Sandra Brown, the #1 New York Times bestselling author, keeps readers turning pages with an explosive tale of a long-ago crime and the victim's plan for revenge...When New York publisher Maris Matherly Reed receives a tantalizing manuscript from someone identified only as P.M.E., its blockbuster potential-and perhaps something else-compels her to meet its author. On an eerie, ruined cotton plantation on a remote Georgia island she finds Parker Evans, a man concealing his identity and his past. Maris is drawn into his tale of two young friends and a deadly betrayal ... and to Parker himself. But there's something especially chilling about this novel, its possible connection to Maris's own life, and the real-life character who uses her, or anyone, to get what he wants.
The prologue of a novel arrives in the Manhattan offices of a book editor, who's intrigued enough to chase its mysterious author, identified only by his initials, to his decrepit plantation on an island off the Georgia Coast. That's the first clue that fiction is stranger than fact; few publishers (if any) would go to that sort of trouble for anything less than a new J.D. Salinger novel. But bestselling author Sandra Brown makes the most of her far-fetched premise, setting up a convoluted plot that keeps the reader engrossed despite its flaws and foibles.
Maris Matherly-Reed is more than an editor. She's also the beloved daughter of the publishing house's highly respected and successful leader, and the wife of Matherly Press's second-in-command, the smooth, suave, double-dealing Noah Reed. Reed, it develops, is the real target of the literary scam set up by the reclusive writer of the novel whose opening pages so captivate Reed's spouse. P.M.E., the writer, has a score to settle with Maris's husband, and he doesn't care whom he hurts as long as he brings Noah down. At least, not until he meets Maris, who has an unfortunate habit of falling in love with her authors (see above; that's the second clue). Brown is a master at romantic suspense, and Envy displays the talents that have won her a devoted following: a deft hand at evoking the vulnerability and humanity of her protagonists, a sure command of narrative tension, and a nice sense of place. This is a terrific hammock read, just right for a summer day as sultry and humid as Envy's Low Country setting. --Jane Adams