‘Fric­tion’ by San­dra Brown is grip­ping page-turner

The China Post - - ARTS - BY JEFF AY­ERS

RE­VIEW

What starts as a cus­tody bat­tle soon dis­solves into a con­spir­acy in San­dra Brown’s latest ro­man­tic thriller, “Fric­tion.”

Texas Ranger Craw­ford Hunt hit the skids af­ter his wife’s death. He be­gan to drink, and even started to slide on his job du­ties. He turned him­self around and is now sober. Hunt also met ev­ery cour­tap­pointed ses­sion and ap­point­ment he was re­quired to at­tend.

Now he’s ready to take back cus­tody of his young daugh­ter from her grand­par­ents. But they don’t want to give her up, es­pe­cially her grand­fa­ther, who blames Hunt for his daugh­ter’s death.

Judge Holly Spencer pre­sides over the cus­tody bat­tle, and when Hunt takes the stand, a gun­man walks into the court­room and opens fire. Act­ing on in­stinct, Hunt saves Spencer’s life and also chases the shooter and as­sists with his take­down. Spencer is thank­ful for Hunt’s res­cue, but Hunt re­al­izes that his ac­tions jeop­ar­dize his chances of get­ting cus­tody of his daugh­ter.

The bat­tle be­tween Spencer and Hunt heats up as he tries to con­vince her to rule in his fa­vor. She feels that she can­not be fair in her judg­ment af­ter the in­ci­dent. Both soon start to ques­tion what re­ally hap­pened dur­ing the shoot­ing and why some­one would tar­get Spencer for ex­e­cu­tion.

Hunt and Spencer are per­fect char­ac­ters for a story div­ing into ro­man­tic sus­pense. The sec­ondary char­ac­ters seem a bit stereo­typ­i­cal, with some de­signed as noth­ing more than foils to cre­ate con­flict. That nit­pick aside, Brown has writ­ten another grip­ping page-turner with a few sur­prises that will en­thrall both her fans and any­one who en­joys their tales mixed with a ro­man­tic flair.

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