Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Whiskey Beach
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Piatkus Books
ISBN: 9780749958114

I admit I've been a fan of Ms Roberts work for many years, and I religiously collect every new book she publishes. The last stand-alone book she published (The Witness) I found a little disappointing, but Whiskey Beach was better, though not perfect.

Short Synopsis: Eli Landon (Lawyer/Murder suspect/Writer/Artist) is in retreat after the murder of the wife he was divorcing and the investigation that focussed on him as her killer. He has retreated to his grandmothers house at Whiskey Beach where he meets Abra Walsh, the housekeeper/ cook/ yoga instructor/ masseuse/ waitress/ jewellery maker).  The only problem is that someone has followed Eli, and is intent on causing trouble. There's murder, mystery, buried treasure, legends, secret passages.

The story was good, much better than her last stand-alone book The Witness, and unlike that book I didn't think that there were any loose threads that could have served to tighten up the plot. However I was a little disappointed in the principle characters Eli and Abra. To my mind they came across a little too perfect at everything they do, which made them feel quite one dimensional. Depth of character really comes not just from the things we're good at, but the things we're not good at, and there's quite a lot of focus on everything that Eli and Abra do well, and far too little on their flaws and quirks. As a result you don't really care for them the way that I think you're meant to. I cared far more for the secondary characters like Hester, Maureen and Mike, Stoney etc...

I didn't get who the baddie was until a little while before it was revealed (though I didn't really try). I'm terrible at suspense's like these, and rarely guess right, unless I've guessed at everyone and then get it right by default.

What I liked most: Secret passages in old houses, just love them!

What I liked least: How good everybody is at everything they do. I know I don't read these books for their realism, but does everybody have to be fantastic at everything? Can't some of them be a little bit crap at something!?

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