Sunday, November 12, 2006

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts

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.

I only started reading Nora Roberts just over a year ago, and had only read one standalone title, and none of her suspense titles, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book! What I got was a solid read, that was much better than the other stand alone book that I read!

Reece Gilmore has been trying to piece her life back together after barely surviving a horrific crime two years previously. She suffers regularly from panic attacks, nightmares, and hasn't settled in one place since she left Boston. But she is getting stronger all the time. She's a strong believer in signs, and when the signs point out that Angels Fist might be the kind of place she could spend a little time in, Reece stops, intending to take things a day at a time. Before long she has a job working as a cook, spending time in a kitchen for work for the first time in a couple of years, she has started to make friends with the locals, and she feels safe.

Before long she meets the local writer, known to everyone by his surname Brody. Brody lives a little way out of time in a little cabin. He is brusque, almost rude, he is infuriating, and he is just a little sexy - something that is a little surprising to Reece to acknowledge because it has been so long since she even thought about anything like that.

One day, whilst out hiking, Reece witnesses what appears to be a murder. Brody assists Reece, and believes her, but by the time the local police arrive, the murder scene is as tranquil and peaceful as it has ever been, and there is no trace of a missing woman. Worst of all, as Reece continues to insist that she saw what she saw, someone starts playing with her mind, making her doubt that she really had made as much progress as she thought she had.

With Brody's support, and those of a couple of other newly acquired friends, Reece continues to grow stronger despite the problems that she is having, but the question is..did she really see a woman get murdered and will she have a future in Angel's Fist?

I thought that Reece's character was really well written for the most part. The picture that was painted was of a woman clawing inch by inch by inch up the mountain that is life. Every now and again, she got to rest on a mountain clearing, enjoying the fresh air and views. Other times the way was hard, and there were times when she temporarily lost her hand grip, but then she knew that in order to reach the summit she had to keep going, no matter what it cost her.

As for Brody, I totally got that he was hot! Character wise he was a bit taciturn really, but I liked that Brody was, for want of a better expression, a man's man, and yet he gradually came to care for Reece and to be prepared to allow himself to become the nurturer. In short, he knew when to support and nurture Reece, but he also knew when to annoy her, and taunt her and goad her into continuing forward motion.

There is a whole cast of small town locals to populate the background in the novel, and they are well drawn, and full characters. The author resisted the urge to populate Angel's Fist with caracitures and cliches...thank goodness. There is a secondary romance, which I am not 100% sure of, but it was still sweet to see come to fruition.

The mystery was taut, and overall I really enjoyed this. The only reason why my grade is probably a little lower than it could be is that there were some times where I felt the book was a little overlong and my attention got more easily distracted than usual. But overall, it was a very enjoyable read.

Rating 4/5


  1. I thought this was one of her better stand-alones. She does small-town settings so well. I agree with you on the secondary romance, was a bit underdone. :)

  2. I agree with Jennie that this is one of NR's better stand alones. How well she did with both Reece and Brody coping and trying to move on from the tragedys in their lives. I really enjoyed this book.

  3. I enjoyed this one a lot, too. I know some people thought Brody a bit too gruff, but I thought he was exactly what Reece needed.

    And yeah on the secondary romance. I wasn't too fond of it.

  4. Man, I thought I commented on this already. :P Anyway, I saw another review for this recently and it sounded very interesting. So I'm glad you like it, and once I rein in my tbr, I'm hoping to find this.

  5. I want to read this one! I've had it on my wishlist at the library forever, but I keep getting other things. Wonderful review, Marg!

  6. I've had this book for quite a while, I just haven't read it yet. I'm not a big NR fan, but I'll give this a chance now. Thanks for the review!

  7. That's pretty much what I thought of it, too, Marg.

    Except that for some reason, I kept wanting what had happened to Reese before she came to Angel's Fist to tie in to the current mystery. I wasn't disappointed that it didn't--I just kept waiting for the connection, & I think that distracted me a bit.

  8. Yes I was waiting for that too Darla. In some ways I guess it was refreshing that it didn't, but it definitely all feels unresolved for me.

  9. I love Nora Roberts. This is a great book.



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