cover image Thick as Thieves

Thick as Thieves

Sandra Brown. Grand Central, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-1-5387-5194-7

Arden Maxwell, the heroine of this taut novel of romantic suspense from bestseller Brown (Outfox), returns to Penton, Tex., after an absence of 20 years. In 2000, Arden was in grade school when she and her college-age sister, Lisa, left town, following their father’s disappearance (their mother was dead). Many of the townspeople believe that their father got away with a large sum of money, stolen from a local business. After Arden hires contractor Ledge Burnet to remodel her rundown family home, she learns that the tall, muscular builder has insider information about her father and the theft. Chapters relating Arden and Ledge’s pursuit of the truth behind the robbery alternate with descriptions of what occurred 20 years earlier told from the thieves’ points of view. The stakes rise as Arden becomes the target for someone who suspects her of having access to the two-decades-old stolen cash. A final twist will catch readers by surprise. Good pacing, smooth prose, inventive action scenes, and a touch of hot romance combine to make this a winner. Brown consistently entertains. Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (Aug.)