by Nora Roberts

July 2006
ISBN: 0-399-15372-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Putnam

The sole survivor of a brutal attack, Reece Gilmore is hoping to put her life back together. Leaving Boston behind, she has been traveling west, stopping as the mood and her finances dictate. As her overheating car demands attention, she stops in a pretty Wyoming town and decides to stay a while. The people here seem friendly, and, as luck would have it, the town diner needs a cook. Surely a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute can put together a meal for the citizens of Angel’s Fist.

Reece is just starting to believe that she made the right decision, when she sees a violent interlude between a man and woman, too far away to identify, yet close enough to remind Reece that danger can be just around the corner. The local sheriff doesn’t seem inclined to take her word, especially when he learns her history, but a few others believe her.

Brody is an outsider too, but he has been here long enough to earn the respect of the sheriff. He saw Reece’s face. He is convinced that she saw what she reported. No one can do terror that convincingly. He ought to know terror, since he writes mysteries for a living. He finds himself firmly in Reece’s corner, and surprisingly he discovers that he has feelings for her, despite her past.

Angels Fall starts out gently, winding through the mountains as Reece acclimates herself to life in the isolated community. The expected cadre of townspeople is identified and their roles defined. Reece is probably Nora Roberts’ most unusual heroine to date. With a list of phobias and obsessive-compulsive tendencies as long as her arm, Reece still remains endearing and compelling. Her journey toward wellness is a palpable thing, and as readers we will want to reach out with both hands and pull her along. Brody, the unlikely hero, is not quite sure whether he is attracted to her culinary skills or feels obliged to keep her out of trouble. Love grows even on a rocky slope when Ms. Roberts is doing the plotting.

The suspense of Angels Fall is enthralling and the villain shrouded until the last moment. I must admit that I veered way off course in my own hunt for the killer, and was surprised to finally learn who it was. The book runs its course smoothly, leaving the reader sated. Destined for the New York Times bestseller list, Angels Fall is deserving of the accolades, and worth every penny of the hardcover price.

Reviewed in July 2006 by Paula.

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