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High Noon - Nora Roberts:
Nora Roberts is a talented writer with 190 novels under her belt and over 300 million copies sold worldwide. Not only does she write fantastic single romantic suspense novels, but she also writes in trilogies. I love it when writers continue the stories of certain characters. I am one of those people that like the books to just keep going.
Phoebe MacNamara is Savannah's best chief hostage negotiator. She spends her days putting her own life on the line to stop other people wasting their own. A single mother whose only concern in life is to keep her family safe and happy.
After a traumatic childhood where her mother's partner attacked her family, Phoebe discovered at a young age that she had a knack for talking to people. Calming them down to the point that she could convince them that what they are doing is the wrong thing. This and a close family friend called Dave guide her into her career choice.
Phoebe is called to a job quite early in the book. A man is sat at the top of a building ready to throw himself to his death. His wife has left him; he's lost his job which means he will lose everything else he has worked for. Phoebe is called in to calm him down and bring him to safety and in the process she becomes acquainted with his former boss, Duncan Swift.
Duncan falls head over heels for Phoebe and decides on the spot that he just has to have her. After Phoebe successfully coaxes the amply named Suicide Joe from the roof Duncan wastes no time at all in flirting with her. She brushes him off but his persistence knows no bounds as he visits her at work. He is eventually rewarded with one drink and the relationship starts from there.
Now of course nothing is ever simple and there will always be a few unexpected twists in the storey. Whilst Duncan and Phoebe have a drink in a sports bar that Duncan owns, Phoebe quickly discovers that the man that's chasing her is a multi millionaire. He owns businesses and properties all over Savannah. Talk about landing on your feet. Duncan won the lottery after picking up a six pack of beer and a lottery ticket after finishing work as a taxi driver for the evening.
Now Phoebe's job does not always end in success. She can't save everyone as some people just don't want to be saved. Or worse still, hostages can be killed in the process of negotiations. This means that Phoebe has inadvertently earned herself a few enemies over the years of working for the police and this is when the story really kicks off.
Its starts with Phoebe clashing heads with a fellow police officer, Arnold Meeks. Arnie is a bit of a big head, thinks he knows everything and has a daddy high up in the ranks to back him up. When Arnie makes a bad move on a hostage situation Phoebe knocks him down a couple of pegs and suspends him for 21 days.
A few days later Phoebe is viciously attacked in the police station and all eyes are on Arnie. After he is brought in for questioning it is discovered that he did attack Phoebe and he is quickly stripped of his badge and weapon. His animosity towards Phoebe grows but how far will he take it?
Now when Phoebe starts to receive unwanted gifts on her doorstep she automatically assumes that it is Arnie. But a string of events unfold that point away from Arnie. Someone wants to ruin Phoebe's reputation, and they will go to extraordinary lengths to accomplish it.
Then one evening Phoebe's ex-husband is kidnapped and strapped to a bomb. This is way out of Arnies league and when it is proved that he had an alibi Phoebe has to find out who has it in for her and fast before somebody else gets hurt.
After looking over past cases she has a rough idea who it was but is it too late to save everyone she cares about?? Will she save the hostages and does she want to save the person that has been making her life hell?? You will have to read the book to find out what happens and who it is. Believe me, it's worth the read.
I loved this book; I just could not put it down. I love the plot and the way that Phoebe deciphers who it is attacking her and making her life hell. But I also love the romance of the story as you watch her relationship with Duncan slowly evolve.
I would recommend this book to anyone that loves romance and a bit of action. 5/5.
The blurb as on Amazon.co.uk:
Police Lieutenant Phoebe Mac Namara found her calling at an early age when an unstable man broke into her family's home, trapping and terrorising them for hours. Now she's Savannah's top hostage negotiator, defusing powder-keg situations and has a talent for knowing when to give in - and when to jump in and take action. It's satisfying work - and sometimes those skills come in handy at home dealing with her precocious seven-year-old, Carly, and her agoraphobic mother, still traumatised by the break-in after all these years. It's exactly that heady combination of steely courage and sensitivity that first attracts Duncan Swift to Phoebe. After watching her talk one of his employees off of a roof ledge, he is committed to keeping this intriguing, take-charge woman in his life. She's used to working solo, but Phoebe's finding that no amount of negotiation can keep Duncan at arm's length. And when she's grabbed by a man who throws a hood over her head and brutally assaults her - in her own precinct house - Phoebe can't help but be deeply shaken. Then threatening messages show up on her doorstep, and she's not just alarmed but frustrated. How do you go face-to-face with an opponent who refuses to look you in the eye?
I've read loads of Nora Roberts books, as you can frequently pick them up cheap and secondhand, and although I usually like her characters the plots were starting to bore me a little so I hadn't read anything by her for quite some time when I got given this book.
Nora Roberts is a prolific writer, with what must be hundreds of books underneath her belt. She typically writes romances but has a series of futuristic crime novels written under the pen name J.D.Robb (a play on her sons' first names and surname apparently). I found this book blended together the two kinds of book, it features a Hostage Negotiator as the heroine and the plot contained a lot of detail around her job and situations that arose as a result from it.
I loved Phoebe, she's a hard working modern career woman, who has strong family loyalty which I really admire. Duncan has some great moments, and I'd love to know where on earth I could find such a perfect guy in real life (all her men are just about perfect though). The support characters are, as always with Roberts, great, they're funny and absolutely bring the scenes to life. My particular favourites being Dave and Ma Bee.
The bad guys are insane and you really worry alongside Phoebe as she fears for those she loves. I'd love to say I didn't see the main twist coming but I'm afraid I did despite it almost feeling like Roberts had changed her mind about the main plot halfway through the book. There's not actually that much romance in this novel, whereas in other books she's written romance features heavily this one is lighter and I confess I did miss that, but I enjoyed the plot and reading about Phoebe's work and how difficult it is.
I would read it again if I was bored, and I did enjoy the twists within the plot, but it's not about to be crowned one of my most favourite books but it has bought back memories of past novels by Roberts that I think I might just have to go back and re-read.