Author: Nora Roberts
Read copy: Paperback
Published: April 1, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Elizabeth Fitch's short-lived teenage rebellion began with L'Oreal Pure Black, a pair of scissors, and a fake ID. It ended in blood...
Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man's seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.
Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems. Her own security is supplemented by a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the quickest way to get attention in a tiny southern town.
The mystery of Abigail Lowery intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and professional level. Her sharp, logical mind, her secretive nature, her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something, even if he doesn't know what - and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.
Accustomed to two-bit troublemakers, Gleason is about to walk into the sights of very powerful and dangerous men. And Abigail Lowery, who has built a life based on security and self-control, is at risk of losing both.
Another NR winner for me. Though I haven't read a real book in a while, this one truly felt like 'it's like riding a bicycle' book. I dived into it, it grabbed me, and it didn't spit me out (figuratively speaking) until the very last page.
Don't get me wrong, it had its weaknesses and weak moments. Like the heroine whom I couldn't bring myself to love, I simply liked her, because she was there, I just didn't feel for her. She was too tough, too stubborn, too everything for me to realy emphasize with her. Sure, she witnessed a murder, sure, she lived in hiding, sure, they hunted her, but still, lighten up a bit, trust a little, live a little, love a little.
But that's just a very NR thing to do, create a character the reader feels strongly about—whether in a good or a bad sense. It's useless creating a bland character the reader will forget about the next day.
The hero, on the other hand, was the usual NR fare. Protective, sexy, hunky, persistent, an irresistible Alpha/Beta mix one just wants to find on their doorstep one morning. ;)
What was unusual was the suspense part. It was rather bland, in my opinion. It wasn't on-the-edge-of-the-seat suspense, but that's not what I expect from Ms. Roberts. I expected something a bit more than what I got in this book. It seemed like the real threat was always somewhere far on the horizon, never really that close, never really that dangerous. And that was quite disappointing after the last few suspense-y NR books I've read lately.
But this was still in a league of its own compared to the rest.