- Publisher: Grand Central
- Release Date: 9/20/2011
- ISBN-13: 978-1455501472
- Available Formats: Audio, e-Book, Print
In LETHAL Honor Gillette discovers the ‘sick’ man in her yard is Lee Coburn, a man accused of murdering seven people the night before. He promises Honor that she and her daughter won’t be hurt as long as she does everything he asks. She has no choice but to accept him at his word. But Honor soon discovers that even those close to her can’t be trusted. Claiming that her late husband possessed something valuable and dangerous, Coburn convinces her that he must find it before it falls into the hands of The Bookkeeper, a merciless crime boss who will stop at nothing until they are all dead. Now from Washington, D. C., to coastal Louisiana, the desperate trio run for their lives from the very people sworn to protect them while unraveling a web of corruption and depravity.
A Note From Sandra
It’s been several years since I set a book in Louisiana. WHITE HOT was the last, and that was 2004. Seven years is far too long to be away from one of my favorite settings, and a lot has happened to coastal Louisiana since then. The changes that area has undergone influenced the plot for my new suspense novel, LETHAL. But the illegal activity along that highly-trafficked Interstate 10 provides only the backdrop for the story.
The morning after a brutal mass killing, suspected slayer Lee Coburn crawls out of the bayou and into the yard of Honor Gillette’s remote house. The object of a full-scale manhunt, he’s got blood on his hands, murder in his heart, and a flippant disregard for his own survival or anyone elses. Coburn is a man on a mission. To Honor’s dismay, his success or failure lies largely with her. Now, here’s where it gets really good. Isolating the main characters from the rest of the world is one of my favorite plot devises. I like it so well that I’ve used it several times: FAT TUESDAY, CHILL FACTOR, ENVY. The central characters, forced together by life-threatening circumstances, never trust each other entirely, and the tenuous trust they begrudgingly bestow in LETHAL — “I won’t harm you or your kid if you do everything I tell you to.” — wears thin around Chapter 15.
I love writing the mental cat-and-mouse. I love testing the characters to see if they’ll go with what their common sense tells them, or if they’ll trust their gut instinct and go with what they feel. That’s a dilemma to which everyone can relate, isn’t it? Poor Honor. I put her through the wringer. (Figuratively speaking. Actually it’s a swamp.) She and her daughter are at the mercy of a man driven to accomplish what he has set out to do, or die trying.
According to the media, her friends and family, local law enforcement, and even the FBI, Coburn is — you guessed it — lethal. She herself witnesses the violence he’s capable of. And yet. . . It’s that qualifier which makes for a story that’s a hair-raising adventure as well as an emotional roller coaster ride.