Met every expectation. All good.
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.
What struck me most about this standalone novel from Roberts was its pace. It moved slowly, almost carefully. Roberts literally puts us in the mind of Reece Gilmore, a woman suffering a need for caution that tips to paranoia and a compulsion—for everything—that bends her to the neurotic. She is filled with trepidation and every step; every move she makes requires a lot of energy. Roberts immediately puts the reader in the same rhythm and lets us go forward at Reece’s pace.
The hero is muted as well. Not overbearing, just there. Smart, competent and masculine. Again, Roberts draws readers to him at Reece’s pace, instilling in us the same reluctance and doubt. And to make him more interesting than your average romance hero, Roberts gives Brody an air of boredom instead of patience. This is not a man who decides he wants the heroine and then patiently waits for her acquiescence. For him, at least on the surface, it appears that he could go either way. This only adds to the reader’s curiosity. And caution.
Despite the carefully measured pace however, we do get to see these two come together relatively early and enjoy each other throughout the remainder of the book. I like this about Roberts’ books—Roarke and Eve being her prime example. We can count on watching more than just the chase. Roberts goes further by giving us a window seat as the relationship grows.
The book’s setting—its location and supporting characters--also contributes to the tempo of the story. It takes place in a small town in Wyoming, where the Grand Teton loom yet comfort; where the town folk charm yet intrude. All at the small town pace. Roberts gives us a fully developed cast of characters and describes their physical surroundings in poetic detail. We see a good deal of this through Reece’s eyes, experiencing the same raw appreciation for nature’s beauty and power and the comfort found in the simpler things.
The mystery unfolds slowly as well. For most of the book, it is secondary to character development. Near the end, Roberts steps up the action and gives us an unexpected villain. I did figure it out with the first real clue—just a step ahead of Reece. But that didn’t bother me. Roberts tied it up quickly from there, without too much clutter (those innocent secondary characters she wanted readers to suspect).
Like I said, all good. Seems there are two covers though. Which I can't show you because Blogger won't let me.