Wednesday, August 1, 2007

High Noon by Nora Roberts

Book description:

Police Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara found her calling at an early age when an unstable man broke into her family's home, trapping and terrorizing them for hours. Now she's Savannah's top hostage negotiator, defusing powderkeg situations with a talent for knowing when to give in-andwhen to jump in and take action. It's satisfying work-and sometimes those skills come in handy at home dealing with her agoraphobic mother, still traumatized by the break-in after all these years, and her precocious seven-year-old, Carly.

It's exactly that heady combination of steely courage and sensitivity that first attracts Duncan Swift to Phoebe. After observing her coax one of his employees down from a roof ledge, he is committed to keeping this intriguing, take-charge woman in his life. She's used to working solo, but Phoebe's discovering that no amount of negotiation can keep Duncan at arm's length.

And when she's grabbed by a man who throws a hood over her head and brutally assaults her-in her own precinct house-Phoebe can't help but be deeply shaken. Then threatening messages show up on her doorstep, and she's not just alarmed but frustrated. How do you go face-to-face with an opponent who refuses to look you in the eye?

Now, with Duncan backing her up every step of the way, she must establish contact with the faceless tormentor who is determined to make her a hostage to fear . . . before she becomes the final showdown.

Dude. Can someone puh-lease tell me how Nora Roberts can write a 500 page book and still keep the reader interested? It took me three days to read this book. Three.freaking.days. High Noon was like the book that would never end. It was good, though. In only the way Roberts can, she got me invested in the lives of her characters. Thank Gawd she only comes out with a single title once a year.

Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara is a kick ass heroine. As a hostage negotiator, she is in the top of her field. Of course she's lost some people in the course of her 12 year career, but she's also saved countless lives. She's a single mother raising her seven year old daughter. She takes care of her agoraphobic mother. She's totally verging on sainthood. When she meets the boss of a man that she talks off of a roof, she even finds love. Aw.

Duncan Swift isn't as kick-ass as Phobe, but he makes up for that in other ways. As a cabdriver/bartender, the day he buys a $5 lotto ticket, his whole life changes. Finding himself the winner of the biggest jackpot that the state of Georgia has ever seen definitely changes a man. He's found his niche by the time he meets Phoebe. After seeing her talk his ex-employee off the roof of his apartment, Duncan is determined to get to know her better.

Unfortunately things are never easy for Phoebe. Also a trainer of negotiator in her department, Phoebe butts heads w/ a bigot officer named Arnie Meeks. Good 'ol Arnie doesn't have a very high regard for women in general, let alone women who are his superiors. A first responder on a hostage situation, Arnie doesn't call Phoebe in until it's too late. Trying to talk to hostage taker down, Phoebe is too little, too late. When Phoebe finds out how Arnie handled the situation and basically drove the Hostage Taker to suicide, she suspends him. Like a good psychopath, Arnie attacks Phoebe in the stairwell of the Precinct. Viciously assaulted, Phoebe is sure that Arnie is to blame. Because he's a man that can't keep his mouth shut, Arnie eventually confesses. As his daddy is a higher-up in the Police Department, Arnie only gets kicked off the force and probation. How fucked up is that? I was pissed off on Phoebe's behalf. And you know an author is good when they can get you all worked up over a fictional character.

In the midst of all this, Phoebe is finding dead animals on her porch. Convinced that it's Arnie, Phoebe doesn't think much of it. Then she finds herself at a cemetery where her ex-husband and the father of her daughter has been chained to a grave and strapped with explosives. Using her ex as the go-between, the HT tells Phoebe that she's going to pay and blahblahblah. Then he blows the guy up. Seriously. It was messed up, people. Roberts did a fantabulous job of describing this guy getting blow to bits. Still makes me kind of sick.

Now Phoebe realizes that another psychopath is after her. What she doesn't know is why. Going through all her old cases, she eventually figures it out and the climax at the end of the book is a good one.

Every time I read a Nora Roberts book I am reminded of what a great author she is. I've had a lot of people tell me they don't read Nora because they don't think that an author who releases so many books can be good. That really is their loss. Her characters are real people that, as a reader, you will come to care about and admire. Phoebe is probably on my list of Top 10 heroines. She's that kick-ass.

5 out of 5 stars.


Holly said...

Crap in the face. I keep forgetting to buy this.


Erin said...

Hmmm, I may have to get this one. I usually like her HB books. I used to love her trilogies but have grown tired of them.

I can't believe it took you so long to read it! ;)

Rosie said...

The pages fly by though don't they. Good book. One of my faves this year.

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