Review of ANGELS FALL by Nora Roberts (see her website)
G. P. Putnam's Sons, July 2006
She's been on the run for months. Since gunmen broke into the restaurant where she worked, shooting everyone and leaving everyone but her dead, chef Reece Gilmore has been haunted by fears, trapped by paranoia, and filled with self-doubt. But when she finds beautiful Angel's Fist, Wyoming, and sees an ad for a cook, she thinks she's ready to take a step forward. Not settle down--she's sure she isn't ready for that. Still, she can stay for a while, can cook again, can continue her long struggle to re-capture a life that had been stolen from her nearly as completely as life was stolen from the rest of the restaurant staff. If sexy author Brody can re-fire some of her long-dormant hormones, that would be a nice plus, too.
When Reece sees a fight--and a killing, she feels as if her past has caught up with her. She was too far away to interfere, but she's certain of what she saw. Still, when the local lawmen check out the site, they find absolutely nothing. No body, no blood, no marks on the ground of where boots might have kicked. The lawmen look, but eventually they have to wonder if the so-called murder might not have been a part of Reece's paranoia. Even Reece has to doubt her sanity when she discovers that she's put things away where they don't belong--and can't remember doing it.
While Reece fights with panic, Brody is the one person who believes her, assures her that she is sane, and guesses that the killer may be plotting to make her feel crazy--as in Gaslight. Still, even Brody has his limits and one of those is commitment. He's against it--at least he thinks he is. Which gets confusing when Reece tells him she's in love with him.
Nora Roberts (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Roberts) is among the most popular writers alive and it's easy to see why. Reece Gilmore makes a powerfully sympathetic character. Her foibles are convincing, her passion--for food and for Brody, is authentic, and her emotional reaction to seeing a second murder is completely real. Roberts also does an excellent job conveying the small-town atmosphere of Angel's Fist, Wyoming--where everyone knows what everyone else is doing. In contrast to the wonderfully developed Reece, I thought Brody was a bit flat. Still, Roberts sucks the reader in and keeps the pages turning.
ANGELS FALL is an enjoyable romance with a nice mystery embedded in it. It's certainly possible to guess the killer's identity, but you're better than I am if you're completely sure until near the end.
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