Nora Roberts’ newest novel, The Liar, was released April 14th, 2015. It was worth the wait! There was something about this particular novel that really struck a cord with me. I loved it, start to finish.
As an author of romantic suspense, Ms. Roberts is very able to balance both the mystery and the relationships in her books. This one many readers have felt tended to be more romance. Personally I thought more time was spent on background building up to the mystery than in many books, but it fit so well that it added to the story. It also built our admiration for the heroine, Shelby Foxworth.
Soon after Shelby Foxworth learns of her husband’s accidental death, she finds the life they were living was a huge lie. Her husband, who had controlled all of their money, had kept them in a wealthy lifestyle. That included a huge home, expensive cars, clothes and jewelry, and more debt than Shelby could have imagined. Many would have been destroyed by what she learns, but instead, she faces each debt and plans how to repay the millions she is now responsible for.
While the numbers were staggering, that part of the story was very well done. The tension caused by what she discovers about her husband grew as I read. It certainly made me a fan of Shelby, her daughter, and those who were helping her. You had to respect her determination and perseverance.
Then she learns the debt may have been only a small part of it. The authorities were looking for stolen property that they suspected her husband had in his possession.
As soon as she is able she returns to her hometown, to a family who loves her, and several broken relationships that resulted from her marriage. But the mystery surrounding her husband doesn’t stop with her move. Instead she finds herself in increasing danger from her husband’s past.
In the midst of this, she meets Griff Lott, a contractor who recently moved to her hometown. As the two become more and more attracted to each other, Griff becomes a target. The question is, who is after them? And why?
Besides the mystery and the romance, the locale of the book adds much to the story. Moving from a big city to a small town is a dramatic change. It tends to mean that everyone know what their neighbors are doing. It’s hard to hide secrets. The characters of the town, Shelby’s friends and her fun, loving and protective family, all added to the book.
In a way I’d call it a light read, probably because you know Nora Roberts will leave us with a satisfactory ending. The novel ‘read’ quickly though it is fairly long with 501 pages. I enjoyed the audio version that ran a bit over 16 hours, narrated by January LaVoy. I thought she did a great job at varying the voices and keeping up a good pace. It drew me in so well that I was extra glad I could keep listening while I did things during the day. The benefit of audiobooks!
In the few weeks since its release, there have already been over 2300 ratings/reviews on Amazon that give it a 4.3 average rating. Pretty fast for so many reviews!
It was somewhat easy to guess where the story would lead, but that didn’t detract from the enjoyment of it. It was exactly what I was in the mood for after a few darker thrillers.
I’m sure I will be listening to it again soon, to pick up on things I might have missed the first time through. The story led me right along with the characters, sympathizing at times, cheering other times, and looking forward to seeing exactly how it resolved.
If you are familiar with Nora Roberts you probably already know that each year (at the moment) she publishes a stand alone novel like this one. This has the makings of a series though, with several of the side characters who would be excellent lead characters in their own story. We’ll have to see if Ms. Roberts agrees.
Late in the year, she usually publishes a book in a trilogy or series. This year will see the start of a new one, The Star of Fortune, Book 1 of the Guardian Trilogy. It’s release day as of now is November 3rd, 2015. Nora Roberts also writes as J.D. Robb, with her “In Death” series. Her newest book in that series, Devoted in Death, was released September 8th.
A few of my favorite books by Nora Roberts are featured below. You can read the reviews of each book here.