by Sandra Brown
Summary: Born into a fine old Charleston family, Hammond Cross is determined to be the city’s next district attorney – without sacrificing his integrity.
Prosecuting the sensational murder of a real estate magnate could be his ticket into office. Yet, while Hammond anticipates his success, someone near him is plotting his downfall. Is it Steffi Mundell, colleague, ex-lover and rival? Rory Smilow, homicide detective and Hammond’s avowed enemy?
Is it the dead man’s widow, wily, beautiful and Hammond’s lifelong friend? Or is it Hammond’s prime suspect, the mysterious woman who shares the secret that would be fatal to Hammond’s ambitions?
Source: I purchased a paperback from a used bookstore
I decided to read The Alibi to complete the Book Set in Your Hometown category of the 2015 Reading Challenge, as it’s set in Charleston, SC. I’ve lived in a lot of places, but Charleston is one of the places I consider a hometown.
The Alibi was sort of a crime drama mixed with romance, which is common for many of Sandra Brown’s novels. I used to read her books all of the time and I still consider some of them favorites, but I was not impressed by The Alibi.
I enjoyed the beginning, as I could see the setup unfold. Hammond met a mysterious woman by chance at a fair, felt a strong connection, and decided to do the unthinkable and take her to his cabin. Then she disappeared and he came back to the city only to find that an important person had been murdered and he would be the lead prosecutor on the case. The only suspect happened to be the woman he slept with. That’s quite the conflict.
Mostly, I felt like the plot was over the top, unrealistic, and unbelievable. From the moment Hammond realized he recognized the person sitting in front of him, he would have come clean and it wouldn’t have had the power to destroy his reputation. I can’t imagine anyone who has integrity would have lied for no apparent reason and create a web of lies so tangled, he would struggle to not get caught up in it.
I felt that the romance was forced and that Hammond and Alex were only thrown together to cause conflict. I didn’t feel that the person she was after the fair coincided with her personality at the fair at all, which kind of made the entire romance fall flat for me.
The redeeming quality was that I had no idea who actually killed Lute Pettijohn and when that was revealed, I was quite shocked. I honestly didn’t see that coming, despite having several theories. The whodunit twist was certainly an enjoyable aspect of the book.
If you’re a fan of Sandra Brown, The Alibi is good, but it’s not her best. If you’re not a fan or haven’t read her books yet, I wouldn’t recommend beginning with this one, as it’s not one of her best.