Simon and Schuster, August 2007, $26.95, 404 pp.
He was the starting quarterback star for the Dallas Cowboys until he was caught gambling, throwing a game and being involved with criminals. Griff Burkett was sent away for five years at a federal minimum security prison and when he got out he had nothing. Everything was sold to pay off the lawyers, fines and court costs and he had to take a junky apartment in a lousy neighborhood and accept handouts.
He is shocked when wealthy paraplegic Foster Speckman, who brought SunSouth Airline out of bankruptcy, offers to pay Griff $100,000 if he agrees to impregnate his wife Laura because he is sterile; $ 500,000 more when she becomes pregnant. A desperate Griff takes the job all the while knowing his archenemy Rodarte, who wants an in with the syndicate, is trying to take him down. When tragedy strikes, Griff is on the run only this time he has to find the one person who can prove his innocence otherwise he will be sent away for life.
Sandra Brown has written another exciting thriller, full of action and angst. The feelings that spring up between the two protagonists are always muted even when they have sex yet the audience feels the heat they generate even though neither wants to admit how they feel for one another. Griff is not the typical hero as he did commit some very serious crimes yet readers will have a soft spot for him because what happened to him could happen to anyone who was tempted like he was. Rodartee is a great villain who threatens or hurts anyone connected to the hero just because he wants to make lots of illegal money. PLAY DIRTY deservedly is going straight to the top of the best seller lists.