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Nora Roberts is the author of more than one hundred New York Times bestsellers, with more than 300 million copies of her books in print. Under the pen name J. D. Robb, she is author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series. Visit her website at www.noraroberts.com.
Roberts shines again with a nuanced tale of the Alaskan wilderness and the appealing eccentrics who cluster there. Former Baltimore cop Nate Burke accepts the unlikely post of police chief of Lunacy, Alaska (pop. 506), to stave off the depression caused by divorce and the traumatic death of his partner, for which he holds himself partly responsible. His early days in the close-knit town are quiet except for minor disturbances and a dalliance with a feisty bush pilot, Meg Galloway. Then Meg's father, who disappeared 16 years before, is found frozen in a remote mountain cave, an ice ax in his chest. The discovery that Pat Galloway was murdered most likely by a local shakes up the town and drives his murderer to commit a second, cover-up killing. Though state authorities dismiss that death as suicide, Nate pursues it as a crime a decision that puts him at odds with many outspoken Lunatics, as the townspeople call themselves. With quiet inexorability he fields the flak, uncovers long-forgotten events and finds a tough but loving balance with the fiercely independent Meg. Though billed as romantic suspense, the novel forsakes artificial genre conventions in favor of a wry, affectionate look at community bonds, generational wounds and soul-testing landscapes. The result is a richly textured novel that captures the intimacy of smalltown police work, the prickliness of the pioneer spirit and the paradox of a setting at once intimate and expansive, welcoming and hostile, indisputably American and yet profoundly exotic to those in the Lower 48. Agent, Amy Berkower at Writers House. (Oct. 12) Forecast: Roberts keeps her lock on bestseller lists with her uncanny ability to balance high-quality work and high-frequency publication. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The amazingly prolific Roberts (Key of Valor) continues to entertain and entice readers with good old-fashioned storytelling. Set in the quirky Alaskan hamlet of Lunacy, her latest revolves around Nate Burke, a retired Baltimore cop who has taken the job of police chief to escape the haunting memories of his partner's death. Readers are gradually introduced to an interesting cast of secondary characters, including a young pilot named Meg who has lived in Alaska all her life and embraced the solitude and independence of her job. When Nate learns that a couple of college students are missing, he teams up with Meg to search for them, and in the process they discover the frozen body of Meg's father, who had disappeared years before. Roberts does a nice job of combining a multitude of engaging secondary characters with just the right touches of humor and suspense to sustain the reader's interest throughout this rather lengthy novel; longtime fans won't be a bit disappointed. Absolutely essential for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/04.]-Margaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.