Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
Burke Basile is a cop with nothing left to lose. Haunted by his partner’s death, the end of his marriage, and the destruction of his career, he targets his nemesis, a flamboyant attorney who helps killers evade justice. Burke’s shocking revenge centers around kidnapping Remy, the lawyer’s trophy wife.
But Burke hasn’t planned on the scorching desire he’ll feel for this desperate woman, who rose from the slums of New Orleans to marry a man she can never love. Nor can he predict the fierce duel that will explode as the clock ticks toward midnight on Fat Tuesday when all masks will be stripped away — and Burke will be forced to confront his own terrifying secret.
I’ve been on a Sandra Brown kick lately. When I borrowed Fat Tuesday from my library I thought it was a romance novel. But it’s more of a noir police procedural set in New Orleans. By the time I finished a few chapters, three characters had died gruesome, brutal deaths. Also, the book is called Fat Tuesday because the events lead up to one big showdown during the Mardi Gras season.
What I love
Well, once I got over my initial disappointment that this book is not a romance, I enjoyed reading it because:
- It isn’t boring.
- It’s a fast paced thriller.
- The POV changes frequently between the good guys and the bad guys, which makes the story flow nicely.
- The heroine, Remy, is sweet and likable. She is stuck in an awful marriage for a very important reason. (Hint: women always suffer and put themselves last to help out their loved ones.)
- The hero, Burke, is flawed but kind and sexy.
- It’s interesting to get inside the mind of Burke. He is complex and initially not easy to understand.
- The bad guys are so bad that it’s entertaining. They are really, really bad.
What I don’t love
I have a lot of thoughts. Here is what I didn’t like:
- This book is totally a product of its time, the 1990s. There are a number of stereotypes and gross generalization about gay people and sex workers.
- The male characters (the bad ones) overuse certain words that have derogatory meanings for women and sex workers. I thought it was overkill.
- I didn’t like it that Remy kept referring to Burke by his last name. That’s so unromantic. I don’t go around calling my husband by his last name, but maybe I should.
- I know I need to get over it, but this story is more thriller than romance. I think this might have been the time period that Sandra Brown switched from writing romance to writing thriller fiction.
Would I read another police procedural type book? Probably not. But I love to immerse myself in different worlds and Fat Tuesday did the trick.
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