Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nora Roberts - Angels Fall

Reece Gilmore has come a long way to see the stunning view below her. As the sole survivor of a
brutal crime back East, she has been on the run, desperately fighting the nightmares and panic attacks that haunt her. Reece settles in Angel's Fist, Wyoming-temporarily, at least-and takes a job at a local diner. And now she's hiked this mountain all by herself. It was glorious, she thought, as she peered through her binoculars at the Snake River churning below.
Then Reece saw the man and woman on the opposite bank. Arguing. Fighting. And suddenly, the man was on top of the woman, his hands around her throat . . .
Enjoying a moment of solitude a bit farther down the trail is a gruff loner named Brody. But by the time Reece reaches him and brings him to the scene, the pair has vanished. When authorities comb the area where she saw the attack, they find nothing. No signs of struggle. No freshly turned earth. Not even a tire track.
And no one in Angel's Fist seems to believe her. After all, she's a newcomer in town, with a reputation for being jumpy and jittery-maybe even a little fragile. Maybe it's time to run again, to move on . . .
Reece Gilmore knows there's a killer in Angel's Fist, even if Brody, despite his seeming impatience and desire to keep her at arm's length, is the only one willing to believe her. When a series of menacing events makes it clear that someone wants her out of the way, Reece must put her trust in Brody-and herself-to find out if there is a killer in Angel's Fist before it's too late. 

Comment: This book was first published in 2006 but as it happens so often with books in my pile, only now I grabbed it. I'm a fan of this author and I like to space out the remaining books by her so I always have something to read. I'll read another single title this year and the latest trilogy in 2016.
I'm very pleased this story grabbed me and didn't annoy me like some others did.

This is Reece Gilmore's story and how she survived a tragedy in Boston and is looking for some control in her life. She travels from place to place, stays during a time and moves on. But now she's at Angel's Fist and felt brave enough to apply to a cooking position. Reece thinks about staying for a while and while hiking she witnesses a murder. The only person who believes her is Brody, an ex reporter turned writer who is fascinated by her personality. But as they keep trying to prove Reece didn't made a mistake nor is she crazy despite what people now know about her past, someone is trying to show exactly that and how far will the murder go?

Lately, Nora Robert's books have a certain tone to them I don't particularly appreciate. They seem too perfect, meaning, the characters and the way the author writes about them. While it's good to see she is consistent to her style since so long ago and she manages to deliver interesting romances I've noticed - perhaps it's me? - that her books seem too perfect, too tidy, too automatic. I don't mean just about the type of story or plot, but the whole thing. Her books are a study in perfection and I can't help but being annoyed by how perfect things happen in her stories, even the bad stuff. The characters all have some perfection  and are perfectly described, even their thoughts and actions. Yes, the bad guys too. I can't explain it but it's become annoying and it increases the repetition factor many readers are notice. Is it that she's so used to how she wants to write that things end up with that taste? I don't know but it's annoying how all characters are perfect.

Sure, I know this is mainly because of how ms Roberts writes things. But her older books didn't feel this way. So, when I started this book, despite being almost 10 years old, I feared those feelings would happen once more while reading. Thankfully, it seems this story felt much more emotional than I expected or, at least, it felt that way to me.

This story delivered a good main couple, a simple enough plot that I enjoyed immensely. Nothing overly complicated and I liked to know about Reece's career. She was good, but I never got the feeling she was close to perfect - even when she was described as that - and even Brody has had his issues from a professional POV. I don't know, but it felt more realistic to know about their difficulties and challenges instead of just accepting they were magnificent.

Reece's character is the key piece in this story. I think her character was well thought and developed. I could picture her actions, her fears and how she tried to keep a simple life after what happened to her and she didn't just take the step to a high life again. I liked she wasn't working at the diner just because she needed but because she didn't have a problem doing that kind of work. All the author's heroines are good people of course, but I confess I prefer those who have simpler jobs or who juggle poverty or simple means while trying to make a living.
Reece has an intriguing personality and I liked knowing about the things went through. She didn't just crawled up perfectly after that like a larger than life heroine, but she took her time, took her problems as a way to grow, to look for something... I mean, I liked how she went on her healing. She didn't just think all was alright.

Brody is also interesting but he's clearly the support. I understand this and honestly it's not so bad considering we do have his POV quite a lot, and his relationship with Reece didn't happen in a flash, it took time, it started as a slow recognition and him trying to help her when she needed, but in the end I was glad about the to of them and the hints about the future.

The secondary characters also make the story. I liked the for the part they played and there's also a sort of secondary romance with two of them. Of course this wasn't meant to take center stage but it didn't really felt that special. I think it was there to create more emotional dilemmas because Lo was one of the suspects and obviously we were supposed to "like" him for his romance in a way.

This leads me to the plot. The murderer had to be someone in the community, so someone we also knew as a friend. Sure this is supposed to incite out distrust and shock when finding out the identity of the murderer and usually I never have a clue. Usually I also can easily put aside any likeness for the murderers because somehow I never fully invest in them or in other suspicious characters or their reasons. Same happened in this book although I have to confess I suspected this villain, he just seemed to have the opportunity and I never managed to put that aside. The final scenes didn't surprise me but his reasons did. What people justify is amazing.

In the end, this ended up being one of the books I enjoyed the most. It's not up to the favorite category but it delivered a good enough plot, a charming community - despite the bad guy - and the way the story is told isn't as annoying as others by her, something I truly appreciated.
Hopefully, others will follow.
Grade: 8/10

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