Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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Woods (Chiefs; Imperfect Strangers) writes a no-frills thriller that moves right along and carries the reader with it. There's no atmosphere to speak of, the psychology is elementary, the characters strictly from stock; but as a creator of a taut narrative that explodes with legitimate surprises, he won't let you down. Chuck Chandler is a middle-aged tennis pro with a yen for the ladies. Once, at Wimbledon many years ago, he choked at the vital moment and lost what could have been a career-making match. Now, living on his boat, he is the new coach at a club on Key West?and into his life comes Clare Carras, a gorgeous woman married to a mysterious, wealthy husband apparently unconcerned about her wandering eye. In no time, she and Chuck are between the sheets, but when husband Harry drowns in a highly suspicious diving accident, she makes sure it is Chuck who is the immediate suspect. Only a new member of the Key West force, a former New York cop called Tommy Sculley, believes Chuck didn't do it, but his skeptical chief demands a fast arrest. There are several killings, a tense boat chase and a series of sudden switches before a denouement in which someone is unmasked as the utterly duplicitous black widow who has already been revealed to the reader. There's some awkwardness about how this revelation is accomplished, but it doesn't seriously detract from a fast, lively read. 100,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; HarperAudio; author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal
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Woods (Heat, LJ 6/15/94) is a master of his writing craft: Choke is a delightfully well-written, highly readable thriller. Chuck Chandler is your typical womanizing tennis pro whom readers will be prepared to hate. Woods instead makes him very human and very likable. Chuck teaches tennis at an exclusive club in Key West and meets his "match" in gorgeous Claire Carras and her much older, wealthy husband, Harry. Chuck boats, wines, and dines with the Carrases, beds Claire, then finds himself accused of Harry's apparent murder. All this trouble and he's just found the true love of his life in cute, perky Meg. Enter Tommy Sculley, formerly with the New York Police Department, now augmenting his pension working for the Key West police. Tommy is street-wise and intelligent, and he won't quit until he finds the truth. Readers will not be able to put this genre gem down and will probably lend it to several neighbors before returning it. Buy this? Absolutely. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/95.]-Alice DiNizo, Raritan P.L., N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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