* Prices may differ from that shown
There's a lot to be said for the old adage of not judging a book by its cover. Truth be told, I never would have chosen this if that was the only reason. To me it looks like just another sappy romance novel, which I would never in a million years consider reading. But my local library has practically a shelf full of Nora Roberts books and, remembering that a friend of mine thought they were pretty good, decided to pick one out in an attempt to be more open-minded and less of a book snob!
Angels Fall follows chef Reece Gilmore, sole survivor of a brutal massacre at work, as she moves out west from Boston to start a new life away from the bad memories of home. Although a year has passed since the incident, she is still, understandably, more than little messed up from being shot and left to die as 12 of her good friends did that night.
Obsessive compulsive, neurotic and a bag of nerves, the people of Angels Fist, where Reece ends up as a diner cook, are instantly curious about the jumpy new arrival. Being a small town, tounges wag and the locals are placing bets on whether she's running from the law or a man.
One day while exploring the mountains near her home, Reece spots a couple arguing through her binoculars. After a struggle, the man appears to strangle his partner and, she's sure of it, kills her. On her way down the mountain she bumps into the attractive if a little unfriendly mystery writer, Brody, and tells him what she saw. Together they go to to the local police.
Unfortunately, her somewhat crazy demeanour does not vote in Reece's favour, and it's not long before the whole town has heard about her ordeal back in Boston. With no evidence, there's little to point towards the murder she saw actually taking place.
Brody, however, sticks by her and they of course strike up the inevitable relationship. Together they're determined to find out who is responsible and, more to the point, who the victim was, but Reece's behaviour gets increasingly stranger and makes her a lot less credible...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, finding it incredibly compelling, with plenty of twists and turns. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out what is going to happen in a book, provided there are a few clues, but this gave absolutely nothing away. In the end, though, it all added up and you realise there was nobody else it could have been.
I was surprised not to find the romance side of the story too irritating, definitely not sappy, it helped develop the leading characters of Reece and Brody, and if it weren't for him, nobody would believe her at all and there would BE no story to tell.
I have a fairly short attention span, and at almost 500 pages this is nearing my upper limit, but I shot through it so I could find out the culprit! I'll definitely be checking out more of Nora Roberts' books, although my worry (again from the covers, which are practically identical, a woman standing in front of some nice scenery) is that she will be a one-trick pony with the "strong woman faces challenge" plot. Fortunately she has a wide catalogue of other works already so I will have plenty of opportunity to find out.
Angels Fall is available at Amazon from 1p used or £4.89 new. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to people who enjoy a book with plenty of twists, or fancy trying something different.
The sole survivor of a brutal crime, Reece Gilmore has been on the run, desperately fighting the nightmares and panic attacks that haunt her. She doesn't intend to stay in the sleepy town of Angel's Fist one second longer than she needs to, despite its friendly - if curious - inhabitants, and the irresistible attraction of local writer Brody. However, on a hike into the mountains she witnesses a couple having a vicious argument that culminates in murder. By the time Reece finds Brody and brings him to the scene, both killer and victim are gone. Faced with a lack of evidence, the authorities find it hard to believe Reece's story. After all, she's a newcomer in town and yet has already gained a reputation for being jumpy - maybe even a little fragile. But when a series of menacing occurrences makes it clear that someone wants her out of the way, Reece must put her trust in Brody - the one person who does believe her - to find the murderer before it's too late
This is quite an interesting book from Nora, how would you react if everyone around you thinks you are going mad? Reece is a very troubled lady, who was a witness to not one, but two terrible crimes, the latter of which no on believes happened. The perpetrator is also out to ensure that everyone continues to believe that she is insane.
It is only with the help of Brody that she begins to find the strength within herself to face up to her past, and find not only the victim, but also the murderer.
This is not one of Nora's best novels, as some of the characters are not as well drawn as in previous novels. However the setting and the storyline is good, and you really get the feeling of living in Angel's fall and the isolation and loneliness of the countryside is reflected in Reece. Fans of Nora will love it.