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27 November 2012

Nora Roberts: The Witness

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One of Nora Roberts' best
Norah Roberts has written so many books it is difficult to decide which are the best - but this one must be in my top 10. It does not strictly follow Roberts' normal romantic suspense formula and the feminine lead is different because she is still trying to hide from had a terrible trauma when she was a teenager.

Abigail Lowery is hiding from her past when at age 16 she witnessed a Russian Mafia assassination and was then nearly killed in an attack on a police safe-house when she was under witness protection before the trial of the Mafia hit-man and the son of the Mafia boss. Twelve years later she is still on the run and lives an almost solitary life guarded by advanced security systems, a guard dog and an arsenal of firearms. The only person who can penetrate her isolation is Brooks Gleason, the local police chief who has recently returned home to his loving family.

The interaction between the scared, reclusive but very intelligent and clever young woman who didn't have a loving childhood and a skilled, personable and friendly police chief is well played. Unwittingly Abigail drops her guard as the attraction between the couple grows and she gets exposed for the first time in her life to a loving family.

Abigail's conundrum is that she will never be able to live a normal life until the Mafia threat has been faced and eliminated. As usual Norah Roberts builds on the relationship as she builds up the tension. The finale is cleverly schemed and orchestrated.

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