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04 September 2013

Sandra Brown: Standoff

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Short but not very satisfying sorbet
This is one of several early Sandra Brown book being re-released on Kindle at promotional prices. From time to time I read them as a sorbet between heavier doses of thrillers. This is a very short book, really no more than a long novella and is clearly showing its age.

Tiel McCoy, an ambitious TV reporter is driving to New Mexico for a long delayed vacation when she hears the news on the radio that Sabra, the teenage daughter of Fort Worth tycoon Russell Dendy, has been kidnapped. She immediately changes course towards Dendy's home hoping to get the drop on other networks on the kidnapping. She stops at a service station shop for a payphone to talk to her producer (no self respecting TV reporter would be without a cell phone now) and finds the kidnapping is a myth and Sabra (8 months pregnant) has run off with her boyfriend Ronnie.

As a total coincidence while Tiel is in the shop with a few other customers Ronnie enters the shop, pulls out a gun, empties the till and holds the customers hostage. This is a once in a lifetime scoop for Tiel but she gets involved in more that she anticipates, including of course an unexpected romantic connection with one of the hostages.

The best part of this pretty trite tale for me was when Tiel clouted an objectionable FBI agent (who had been sent in posing as a Doctor) with a can of Wolf brand chili. Oh dear, Sandra Brown I know that your later books are a lot better than this one.

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