Publisher: Putnam Adult (July 6, 2010)
Kindle: 768 pages / 680 KB
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle’s coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescues. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare…
Several years ago, Fiona was the only survivor of the Red Scarf serial killer, who shot and killed Fiona’s cop fiancé and his K-9 partner.
On Orcas Island, Fiona found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. But all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He’s the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon’s house, and he’s at his wit’s end.
To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can’t handle. Simon, however, is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he’s a rugged and in-tensely private artist, known for the exquisite furniture he creates from wood. Simon never wanted a puppy-and he most definitely doesn’t want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to his hormones.
As Fiona embarks on training Jaws, and Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona’s life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands…
It’s the latest of Nora Roberts’ stand alone novels (not counting Chasing Fire being released tomorrow).
Frequently with her novels, Roberts presents an interesting plot to explore. The idea of a search dog/ dog trainer being stalked by a convict, who’s back to finish the botched job, has potential. Added to that, we have the love interest, a new arrival in the small community, is a necessary but interesting aspect. He adds to the story because of how delightfully casual their relationship is and how it grows into something more without them really noticing. There’s a sense of ease, yet discomfort that feels natural (despite the catalyst of a stalker/killer).
Clearly a Roberts’ novel, it follows her basic formula, which tends to be a drawback for many. But as a faithful reader, there is a comfort to be found there. Combined with her interesting plot ideas and ability to make these characters real for me, I feel it balances out into an enjoyable and easy read over all.