My rating: 3 of 5 stars (aka 7/10)
I’m far more of a J.D. Robb fan than a Nora Roberts fan (which is kind of weird when you remember that they are actually the same person. However, I relate better to the voice she has when writing as Robb more than I do to the Roberts’ voice. That means I’ll pick up the next Eve Dallas without thought, but I look over the Roberts’ releases, read the blurbs and reviews and think about it.
After a bit of reflection, I decided the blurb of this one sounded like something I would enjoy.
Abigail Lowery has a dark and terrifying secret. Aged just sixteen, she witnessed a shocking mafia murder. Narrowly escaping with her life, she was forced to leave her old identity – even her real name – behind for good. Fifteen years later Abigail is still hiding from the world – a semi-recluse in the quiet, rural town of Bickford, Arkansas. She has convinced herself that this is all she needs: peace, safety…and her faithful guard dog Bert. Perhaps now, at last, she can stop running. But Brooks Gleason, the local chief of police, has other ideas. Abigail intrigues him – and he’d like nothing better than to break through the walls she has built around herself. His persistence and determination to uncover the truth is unsettling, exciting – and dangerous. One way or another, it will change both their lives for ever.
I went off to check out the ebookstores, those being my favourite purchase places these days. I was rather horrified to see that the price was significantly more than I was willing to pay for a book I knew I would only read once. So I went old fashioned: I borrowed it from the library.
I read the first half in a day, then stopped and went back to my more “serious” books. Having completed the ones I immediately wanted to read, I spent this afternoon finishing The Witness. I admit, I did a bit of skimming along the way, but I picked this book for a relatively lightweight enjoyment read, not one that made me think great and deep thoughts. And for that, this hit the spot perfectly.
I found the Abigail, the heroine, to be quite fascinating. For the first half to two-thirds, I was constantly reminded by Temperance Brennan from the TV show Bones. To be clear, not the book Tempe, who is quite different from her television counterpart; Abigail is definitely in the Bones mould. She really is socially clueless, but in a way that is quite believable (which is more than I can say for Brennan on Bones who has apparently managed to write a number of best-selling novels while having no idea of real people respond to other real people). She had a sterile, love-starved (and essentially abusive according to Brooks) childhood and then ended up on the run for her life at seventeen, not daring to trust anyone for the next twelve years. Where did she ever learn to deal “normally” with other human beings.
The things she said were sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and the way they just made Brooks fall for her more was really endearing. Brooks was just plain endearing on the whole; an honest man who wants the best for the town he’s taken under his wing. He comes with common Roberts baggage – an eccentric but lovely family who teach the love-starved heroine what family means – patience and a passion for justice that doesn’t make him blind to the faults of that law.
And Bert? Well, Bert was awesome, but I think I’d be terrified to meet a real Bert in real life.
So in conclusion, a good Nora Roberts read. It was a little predictable here and there, but that’s not always a bad thing and it was right what I wanted to read right now. Thank you Nora for always providing an enjoyable and reliable read. From such a prolific author, that’s saying something.