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Play Dirty: A Novel Hardcover – August 14, 2007

374 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The seven deadly sins help propel this provocative, sex-fueled thriller from bestseller Brown (Ricochet). Foster Speakman, an eccentric Texas paraplegic millionaire, offers $500,000 to Griff Burkett, a disgraced former NFL quarterback fresh out of prison after serving a five-year sentence for racketeering, to impregnate Foster's wife, Laura. Foster insists the child be conceived naturally (The way God intended). Broke with no prospects, Griff takes the job. Meanwhile, Stanley Rodarte, the crooked detective behind Griff's arrest, is bent on pinning an unsolved murder on him and takes to terrorizing Griff and those close to him in the hopes of nailing him when he self-destructs. After Griff's stint as stud takes a bad turn, the ex-footballer must track down the one man who can secure his freedom. The tension builds as lust, greed, pride, wrath and envy threaten to undo everyone in this tightly told tale of modern temptation. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for Sandra Brown -- : 'It's a great, entertaining read, with lots of surprising twists and turns, credibly flawed characters and a love affair that's as steamy as a Savannah summer.' -- Lisa Scottoline, Washington Post on RICOCHET 'Brown's novels define the term page turner' -- Booklist 'Millions of readers clamour for the compelling novels of Sandra Brown. And no wonder! She fires your imagination with irresistible characters, unexpected plot twists, scandalous secrets ... so electric you feel the zing' -- Literary Guild 'A masterful storyteller, carefully crafting tales that keep readers on the edge of their seats' -- USA Today 'If you want romantic suspense that has teeth ... Sandra Brown is your gal.' -- Stephen King 'An edge-of-seat thriller that's full of twists ... Top stuff!' -- Star 'Fast fun' -- Cosmopolitan 'Perfectly plotted' -- People Magazine --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743289358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743289351
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (374 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including MEAN STREAK (2014), DEADLINE (2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), RAINWATER (2010), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008) & PLAY DIRTY (2007).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into thirty-three languages.

A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program "PM Magazine."

She is much in demand as a speaker and guest television hostess. Her episode on truTV's "Murder by the Book" premiered the series in 2008 and she was one of the launch authors for Investigation Discovery's new series, "Hardcover Mysteries."

In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.

Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer's Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on November 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Sandra Brown for years. Her writing style is always brilliant and amazes me. The stories she creates are so intense and deeply detailed, I am always surprised.

While I don't fault the writing, I just didn't' find myself liking the characters of Griff and Laura. Griff Burkett was a star of the Dallas Cowboys who tossed it all away by getting caught up in gambling and wound up loosing not just his job and reputation but went to prison for five years. Laura Speakman is devoted to her husband Foster, and was driving when they were in a horrific auto accident. She basically runs the company and has given up everything else in order to care for him. He has lost feeling from the waist down. Foster wants an heir. To avoid negative publicity he has convinced Laura to have a baby his way. He wants her to conceive the natural way with his a chosen substitute - Griff. The fact that Griff agreed to this made his character more appalling, and the fact that Laura also agreed, made her character equally not likeable.

I didn't feel any chemistry or real emotion between Griff and Laura. It felt very forced.

I hope her next book is better.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A. Ryan VINE VOICE on August 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm a big Sandra Brown fan, but lately, she's been really "hit-and-miss" for me. This one was mostly a miss.

I have to agree with those who are saying the main characters are very unlikeable. I have the feeling that Brown wanted us to really feel that Griff was just a misunderstood guy, and maybe create some kind of tension because we were never sure if he was really a good guy or a bad guy, and that's fine, but I guess I need my heroes very clearly defined as good guys from the beginning.

I also had a hard time feeling anything for Laura. She seemed very detached from everything. I kept hearing about how she really loved her husband, but that attraction and love was never really well defined. I never felt that they had that very close relationship. When it was explained how they got together, I got more a feeling that the situation between them was comfortable, so they got married. They kept telling each other they loved each other, but I wasn't feeling it. Certainly not enough from her to think she'd go along with his plan involving Griff. I didn't even feel enough sympathy from her for her husband to warrant her wanting to go through with the plan. I basically felt nothing from her. I was not ever in any way emotionally engaged with her or her "plight."

Given that, I didn't really see why she and Griff had such an emotional bond, if that's how Brown was trying to portray it. He was unlike-able, she was unemotional and detached. The only thing they had to form that bond was that both of them had been celibate or too long. Not a really good basis for any kind of a love story. So, again, I ended up not feeling it. If they'd have had some kind of an emotional spark when they first met....I might have felt better about their relationship.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Sandra Brown has created another superhero for those who love their mysteries flavored with romance. Griff Burkett, former Dallas Cowboy football icon, has just been released from prison after serving five years for racketeering. In a state where football is king, he was convicted of shaving points and conspiring with mobsters to cheat his fans of imminent victory. There is no way that he ever could serve enough time to redeem himself in the eyes of most Texans. Yet, upon his release, one of the state's wealthiest couples invites him to their estate and offers him a job.

As owners of the innovative and successful SunSouth Airlines, Foster and Laura Speakman are used to getting what they want, and they have the means to pay for it. The simple task that they require of Griff promises to pay him one-million dollars a year, and it's all perfectly legal. With everyone else turning their backs on him, the disgraced hero accepts their bizarre offer and steps into a dangerous world where nothing is as it seems and everyone plays dirty.

From the Speakmans to his old coach and foster father, from Stanley Rodarte, a thug out to torment Griff in every possible way, to the Vista boys who facilitated his downfall, all have secrets and hidden agendas that serve to push Griff to the wall. He does not want to return to prison and is doing his best to follow the rules of his parole. Though debased in numerous ways by unforgiving former fans and disregarded by those who once sought his favor, Griff is determined to become a better person. He had time to do some soul searching while behind bars and recognizes that, despite his difficult childhood, he had been given the talent and opportunity to do more with his life.
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Elaine C McTyer VINE VOICE on August 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First let me say I was not sure I liked Griff Burkett at the begining of the book but by the end I understood him alot better. Griff was a shinning light of the Dallas Cowboys who got caught up in gambling and wound up loosing not just his job and reputation but five years of his life to prison. Now when he gets out he has nothing, his lawyer loans him a car and some money to rent an apartment. Griff has to find a job and nobody wants to have anything to do with him.

Foster Speakman the owner and CEO of Sunsouth airlines has invited Griff to his home, possibly to offer him a job. Foster is a paraplegic, he and his wife were in a car wreck and he is wheelchair bound. His wife is a beautiful career minded woman who worked for him before they married.

Laura Speakman was driving when they were hit by a truck and she has shouldered alot of the responsibilities that were Foster's. She is devoted to her husband and has given up all her interests in order to care for him and take care of those things important to him. She can not help but feel guilt for his physical problems. He is unable to feel anything from the waist down.

In the two years since his accident he has been upset over not having an heir. He has finally convinced Laura to have a baby. But he is determined to have it his way. He wants her to concieve and deliver a baby, in the natural way with a chosen surrogate. Griff is offered 100 thousand dollars now and 500 thousand when the baby is born. Then one million each year of the child's life.

Although I found it hard to like a man who would accept money for such a thing, we later find that Griff is not without some sympathy and compassion. I found the story interesting and read it at one sitting. It was a bit hard to get into and if I had it to do over I probably would wait for the paperback. None of the characters were very likable.
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