Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Date of publication: May 2018

Sometimes, there is nowhere safe to hide.

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at the video-game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.

The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies' room, hopelessly clutching her cell phone--until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.

But one person wasn't satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait--and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

Shelter in Place opens with a pretty detailed mass shooting in a local mall in Maine.  There is no trigger warning, but I would assume from the synopsis that people who would be triggered would avoid this book anyway.  I am torn on how much I enjoyed this book.  The opening scenes were tense and had me on the edge of my seat.  Then the next quarter of the book dragged.  It wasn't until about halfway through that the book really got going again.

Part of what made me hesitate to say I loved the book was finding out pretty early on the identity of the other conspirator.  I think I would have felt more suspense had the reveal been toward the end with most of the book putting the pieces together.  We also follow the main characters through their college years up until they meet again on the island.  I know that it was meant as a way to see how their lives were shaped by the shooting, but I found much of those passages longer then they needed to be and honestly would have been fine with  some simple flashbacks.

The romance was sweet. I just wish it hadn't taken so long to get to it. Reed and Simone were an unlikely pair, but I bought into it anyway.  Reed was my favorite character with CeCe being a close second.  I would have loved to have a grandmother like her.   

This is a fairly enjoyable stand alone.  I'm sure most Nora fans will pick it up.  I did like it, I just didn't love that whole thing like I usually do.  

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