True confession time. I have become someone I never thought I
would see in the mirror: an addict of women written mystery series.
It started harmlessly enough. My gateway author was Jodi Picoult.
When we read My Sister's Keeper for book club I was mesmerized and
went on to her other titles. I rationalized this indulgence by the
ethical questions posed by her work. This probably made me a pushover
when my younger daughter, Katie, clued me in on Lisa Scottoline whose
insights into the legal world and the human heart are intriguing.
Still I could deceive myself until I discovered Sandra Brown's latest
and coveted her previous volumes. I now admit that I really enjoy a
mystery book with believable characters and enough plot twists to keep
me from guessing the outcome. Friction by Sandra Brown really fits
Crawford Hunt is a Texas Ranger fighting to regain custody of
his only child, Georgia, from the grandparents who are taking care of
her. His wife had died unexpectedly and tragically, leaving him in no
shape to care for a one-year-old. Now four years later he's cleaned
up his act, undergone court mandated counseling, and decorated a room
in Georgia's favorite color. There's only one problem. The in-laws
are fighting to maintain custody, claiming that's in the best interest
of the child.
Holly Spencer is the presiding judge. She's also head to head
with a sleazy opponent in an upcoming election, determined to keep her
office, to show that her interim appointment was based on ability, not
something more sketchy.
Court is in session, Crawford in the witness seat, when all Hell
breaks loose. A grotesquely masked gunman bursts into the courtroom
shooting. A bailiff is killed. Crawford shields Holly with his body
and chases the attacker to the rooftop where the masked man is taken
out by a rooftop sniper.
Only the man in the morgue may not be the shooter. Crawford's
actions, while seen as heroic by many, could play into his father-in-
law's hands, killing his chances of getting custody of Georgia. And
it may be Crawford, rather than Holly, who was the intended target.
Maine has some long cold nights in the winter months. A
favorite chair, a copy of Friction, a hot cup of tea, and, if you're
truly fortunate, a purring lap cat, can be a great remedy for the
On a personal note, my friends are delighted rather than disappointed
by my new favorite genre, eager to share their favorite authors. I
guess I'm in good company.
A great big shout out goes out to the sisterhood of mystery readers
and the talebted writers writers who keep us happy.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod