by Sandra Brown
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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On a single night, four people lose their lives in separate yet equally horrific incidents. Within 24 hours, the four hearts of the deceased were transplanted into very sick, very grateful individuals. One of those individuals is Cat Delaney. She is a well-known actress on the hit soap opera Passages, and the story of her transplant is national news.

Fast-forward over 3 ½ years. Cat has recovered beautifully and successfully. She has left the series to start her own show in San Antonio. Cat's Kids profiles special children in the foster care system in the hope that families will see them on television and want to adopt them.

The show runs pretty smoothly on its own and appears to be a success. Cat is very involved in the show, which is how she meets Alex Pierce. He is a famous author of fiction thrillers. Though they get off to a rocky start, the two soon become lovers. However, Alex has a secret past and a secret room in his house  both of which are off-limits to Cat. What is Alex hiding?

About this time, Cat gets three anonymous letters. Each envelope contains a news clipping of a tragic death. But wait, there's more the three victims were all heart recipients whose transplants occurred the same day as Cat's.

Who is sending these letters, and what is this person trying to tell her? The fourth anniversary of her transplant is coming shortly. Will she be the next victim?

Alex used to be a cop, so he tries to help her find the answers. There are a lot of suspects. The killer could be anyone whose lost loved one donated a heart. Perhaps that person now wants the heart to stop beating and be at peace? It's a mystery. Also on the suspect list is an awful biker named Cyclops. He has a connection to Cat (explained in the book) and little control of his anger. Then there's Melia, Cat's receptionist. Melia has hated Cat from the start. She even admitted to hiding Cat's life-maintaining heart medication once she was caught in the act. The question is Who is killing these people, and is Cat Delaney next? Will she find the killer before the killer finds her?

My gut reaction is that Charade is just a so-so book. There's just too many silly events clouding up this supposed thriller. The most glaring irritation I found was that the killer mailed his/her plans to Cat. Why the heck would you hint to someone that you are about to knock her off? The rest of the killings were swift and sudden. I suppose Cat had to get the letters or there wouldn't be a book, right? Yeah, whatever.

Here's another annoying event, which had me literally banging the book against my head: Cat stumbles upon some startling information and finds herself face to face with the person she believes is the killer. She leaves the location and drives all the way home to call the police. Excuse me? She's driving home so she can get killed in her own house, it appears to me. Why must women be so stupid in these types of books?

I did correctly guess the killer in the tale. This usually doesn't happen, as I am a pretty gullible gal. The fact that I saw the end coming, says more about the book than my review alone.

Ok, I picked on Charade enough. To Ms. Brown's credit, I know she has written better books. On such example is The Switch. It is the story of identical twins that switch places for the eveningand one of them ends up murdered. Sounds interesting, huh? It's much better than Charade, trust me.

Would I recommend Charade to you? Eh, it depends. This story has Lifetime movie written all over it. If you like that kind of thing, then you'll probably love this book. For all others, I just ask that you read my review and make the judgement yourself. I did try and summarize the plot fairly before I ripped the book to shreds. If it sounds good to you, by all means, give it a shot.

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Other Sandra Brown
books reviewed at

The Crush



Fat Tuesday

Hello, Darkness


The Switch

Where There's Smoke
The Switch