Newest Review: ... dream of opening a wildlife refuge for wild animals of the feline variety. As a child she became friends with Cooper Sullivan, the grand... more
Nora Roberts is back on form with this book
Black Hills - Nora Roberts
Member Name: ladybracknell
Black Hills - Nora Roberts
Advantages: Good story, wonderful descriptions
It was with a great deal of trepidation that I took this book home from the library. My last reading experience with Nora Roberts, was a bit of a dud for me. But I needn't have worried. Ms Roberts is definitely back on form with this offering.
Plot: A summer at his grandparents' South Dakota ranch is not eleven-year-old Cooper Sullivan's idea of a good time. But things are a bit more bearable now that he's discovered the Lil Chance, the girl from the ranch next door, and her homemade batting cage. Even horseback riding isn't as awful as Coop thought it would be. Each year, with Coop's annual summer visit, their friendship deepens from innocent games to stolen kisses, but there is one shared experience that will forever haunt them: the terrifying discovery of a hiker's body.
Years pass and Lil stays steadfast to her dreams of becoming a wildlife biologist and protecting her family land, while Coop struggles to find what he wants from life. Twelve years after they last walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills when the people and things they hold most dear need them most.
Coop recently left his life in New York to care for his aging grandparents and the ranch he has come to call home. Though the memory of his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something . . . or someone . . . has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil's beloved cougar, recollections of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe.
Lil and Coop both know the dangers that lurk in the countryside. But now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey.
In many ways this book harks back to earlier Nora Roberts novels, especially Montana Sky. Her descriptions of the American wilderness, its wild landscape and the creatures that inhabit it, are so well drawn that one can easily picture the Black Hills region of South Dakota, despite never having been there.
She devotes several pages at the start of the book to describing the early lives of Lil and Coop, which helps to understand what motivates them as adults. And once the story really gets going, although ostensibly a romance, the murder mystery also comes into its own. Many people will know that Nora Roberts also writes crime fiction under the pseudonym J D Robb and she's no slouch at describing death in all its gory detail, both human and animal.
I found this book to be a real page turner. The story is peopled by characters who are well developed, even the minor characters sprang to life on the page. The story is pacy and the action so well described that it pulls the reader into the story, so much so that at times it was more like watching a film rather than reading a book.
I certainly think that Nora Roberts true talent lies in the field of romantic suspense rather than pure romance, and this book is definitely one of her better ones and, once again, confirms my belief that she is still the queen or romance.
Summary: Descriptive writing that was more like watching a film than reading a book!
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