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Tough Customer: A Novel | [Sandra Brown]

Tough Customer: A Novel

From acclaimed best-selling author Sandra Brown, Tough Customer is a heart-pounding tale about obsession and murder, the fragile nature of relationships, and, possibly, second chances.
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Publisher's Summary

Colleagues, friends, and lovers know Dodge Hanley as a private investigator who doesn't let rules get in his way—in his private life as well as his professional one. If he breaks a heart, or bends the law in order to catch a criminal, he does so without hesitation or apology.

That's why he's the first person Caroline King—who after a 30-year separation continues to haunt his dreams—asks for help when a deranged stalker attempts to murder their daughter...the daughter Dodge has never met. He has a whole bagful of grudging excuses for wishing to ignore Caroline's call, and one compelling reason to drop everything and fly down to Texas: guilt.

Dodge's mind may be a haze of disturbing memories and bad decisions, but he arrives in Houston knowing with perfect clarity that his daughter, Berry, is in danger. She has become the object of desire of a co-worker, a madman and genius with a penchant for puzzles and games who has spent the past year making Berry's life hell, and who now has vowed to kill her.

Dodge joins forces with local deputy sheriff Ski Nyland, but the alarming situation goes from bad to worse when the stalker begins to claim other victims and leaves an ominous trail of clues as he lethally works his way toward Berry. Sensing the killer drawing nearer, Dodge, who's survived vicious criminals and his own self-destructive impulses, realizes that this time he's in for the fight of his life.

From acclaimed best-selling author Sandra Brown, Tough Customer is a heart-pounding tale about obsession and murder, the fragile nature of relationships, and, possibly, second chances.

©2010 Sandra Brown Management Ltd. All rights reserved. (P)2010 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (419 )
5 star
 (147)
4 star
 (157)
3 star
 (83)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (18)
Overall
4.1 (204 )
5 star
 (81)
4 star
 (78)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (5)
Story
4.4 (203 )
5 star
 (110)
4 star
 (69)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    J. Gall 08-19-10
    J. Gall 08-19-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Really like Sandra Brown"

    I almost didn't buy this book because of the one review written when I purchased it. But I love Sandra Brown, and I'm glad I disregarded the review and gave the book a try. While I agree that it isn't her best novel, and that it was a little slow in the beginning, there were unexpected twists later in the book that kept me interested. I especially sympathized with Dodge and Caroline in the choices they made and lived with for 30 years. If you're a fan of Brown, I wouldn't call Tough Customer a wasted credit.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Claude Lakewood Village, TX United States 08-13-10
    L. Claude Lakewood Village, TX United States 08-13-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    653
    9
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    2
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    Overall
    "Not her best"

    I'll freely admit this is not Sandra Brown's best effort. Out of the over 70 books she has had published (close to 60 on the NY Times Best Sellers list) there are several I like better than this one. Envy,of course, being my favorite along with The Alibi, Chill Factor, Mirror Image as well as some of the "romance" titles, Bittersweet Rain, Slow Heat in Heaven and others.

    Tough Customer isn't bad, it's just not her best. I liked the back story involving Dodge and Caroline, it was interesting. The current story which involved Berry and Sky as well as Dodge and Caroline just didn't quite make it for me.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fran in FL SATELLITE BEACH, FL, US 09-09-10
    Fran in FL SATELLITE BEACH, FL, US 09-09-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    "Not her best - but it is Sandra Brown"

    I always look for new releases by Sandra Brown, so I came across this one. I would always choose one of her novels. I went with it despite the negative reviews. It was entertaining, but definitely all over the place! Too many subplots. When I thought I was winding up the book, I was surprised to see that I had 3 hours left! A bit formulaic, but entertaining enough. Lots of Sandra Brown signature moments. I wouldn't put it at the top of your list, but when you need a new read, I wouldn't pass it up because of the reviews.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcheta Suffolk, VA, United States 08-13-10
    Marcheta Suffolk, VA, United States 08-13-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    225
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1422
    38
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    FOLLOWING
    4
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    Overall
    "mediocre story at best"

    There are many books by Sandra Brown that I like, but this isn't one of them. I wasn't able to connect with the story or the characters. Having just reread her excellent Chill Factor, this book was definitely at the other end of the spectrum. The narrator was fine; he just couldn't salvage the stale storyline.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas LEWISTON, IDAHO, United States 01-27-11
    Thomas LEWISTON, IDAHO, United States 01-27-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    92
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    46
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    7
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    Overall
    "I was leary at first"

    Sandra Brown is one of my favorite authors but I wasn't sure about a book featuring the private detective from Smash Cut. Then I read the reviews about book and since most of them were negative I decided not to get this book. Glad I changed my mind. I should have known that a Sandra Brown book narrated by Victor Slezak couldn't help but be excellent. Having said all of that I agree that isn't the best book that Sandra Brown has ever written.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fritz Moraga, CA, United States 08-11-10
    Fritz Moraga, CA, United States 08-11-10 Member Since 2015

    No matter where you go, there you are.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    510
    ratings
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    183
    97
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    39
    4
    Overall
    "Should Have Been in the Romance Section"

    On a whim, fooled by the marketing blurbs, I tried this author randomly, looking for a mystery. After a few pages (or minutes in an audio file) I was ready to hit the delete button. Switching to sarcasm and parody mode, I began to hear the stilted dialog and corny, unsophisticated story line as a work of humor. And it worked. For a short while.
    Along with being the most badly written novel I have ever had the misfortune to come across, I remain amazed at the complete lack of depth, character development and writing skill this book presents. How does someone get this stuff published? And do people intentionally buy it?
    I haven't smoked pot in forty years, but doing so may be the only way to get through this dog.
    Note: The website would not allow me to leave the page without selecting at least one star. Ergo my rating.

    42 of 54 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 08-11-14
    Karen 08-11-14

    Sassy dialogue, humor, and a great reader are important to me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    412
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    542
    428
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    99
    18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""Sue Me""
    Would you listen to Tough Customer again? Why?

    yes, I did listen twice, as I missed some good parts the first time. S.B. writes a mystery, so you can miss some clues if you are multi-tasking.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    yes, as this has a bit of a thriller in the story.


    Which character – as performed by Victor Slezak – was your favorite?

    Victor Slezak and S.B. books are an automatic download for me. I own all of this reads on downloads/MP3 of Ms Browns. He is the best of the SB readers. I just wish Audible would get White Hot in full length. This is my all time fave of SB with Victor stealing the show!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, and that is why I missed some clues.


    Any additional comments?

    Check out V.S. reads of S.B. You will not be disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Lithonia, GA, United States 09-22-10
    Joy Lithonia, GA, United States 09-22-10 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Thoroughly enjoyed this novel"

    The characters were very well developed, expecially the mother who was a strong independant woman who showed the care expected of a mother, and a father who was going to protect his daughter no matter what. I loved the romance mixed in with the mystery; romantic moments mixed in without overshadowing the real story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele 02-16-15
    Michele 02-16-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Engrossing but not great literature"

    Male characters just not very believable and the female characters are made out to be shallow and vulnerable. An OK book with a convoluted plot that was interesting just not very believable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARIA Moreno Valley, CA, United States 09-13-11
    MARIA Moreno Valley, CA, United States 09-13-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    11
    10
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not too bad"

    Being a Sandra Brown fan for a few years, I always like to see what new storyline her new books render. I hadn't read (or listened in this case) this book until now and needless to say it isn't one of her best ones. It was entertaining and worth a listen. One of my faves is "Fat Tuesday" as well as "Chill Factor". Those are the classic Brown suspense novels that i personally enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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