Daily Archives: September 13, 2010

The Search – Book Review

“[…] I know this is hard for you, Fee, but I don’t want you to worry. They’ll get him. And as bad as it is, this asshole’s sticking to Perry’s pattern. Young college girls. You’re not twenty anymore.”

“No.” She bore down to keep her voice steady. “But I’m the only one who got away.” – from the ARC of The Search, page 57 –

Fiona Bristow survived a sadistic serial killer nearly seven years ago – although her fiance and his K9 partner did not. Now living on an idyllic island off of the coast of Washington, Fiona spends her days training her three search and rescue dogs while running a small dog training school for others. The search and rescue unit she created responds to call-outs and fulfills her desire to save the lost. When she’s not working and training, she spends her days with friends, and enjoys the company of her stepmother, Sylvia. Then a handsome, but rough-edged artist named Simon moves to the island and arrives on Fiona’s doorstep asking for help with his mischievous puppy Jaws. As Fiona and Simon begin to heat things up, Fiona finds herself unwittingly falling in love.  But, she is not emotionally prepared when someone begins copying the crimes of the serial killer who tormented her. He’s behind bars, but could he be orchestrating everything behind this latest string of murders? And if so, what does that mean for Fiona – the only victim that got away?

Nora Roberts’ latest novel is fast paced with impeccably developed characters and a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. There are some steamy sex scenes, but this is not your typical romance. I have to admit, I was reluctant to accept this book for review – I have always thought that Roberts’ books were typical romance books (a genre I don’t usually love), and when I heard The Search was about a canine search and rescue team, I was doubly reluctant. So many times, I find that fiction writers do not get it right when it comes to canine search and rescue. Often the facts are wrong, the procedures don’t mesh, and the relationship between dog and handler does not ring true. Since I was certified in Search and Rescue with my K9 Caribou in California, nothing bugs me more than incorrect information regarding the discipline.  So, it was with great delight that I discovered an author who does get it right. Roberts’ descriptions are spot on. Her facts are obviously well researched and accurate. My only quibble with her was the radio chatter where the dialogue sometimes fell short of how law enforcement actually communicates during a search…but, this is a small complaint really.

Roberts’ authenticity and terrific characters made me forget I was reading a novel. I loved how she portrayed the strong women in the book, specifically their friendships with each other which felt honest to me. The plot moves forward relentlessly, building to the final scene of the novel which had my palms sweating. Nora Roberts is a great story teller – she knows when to push forward and when to hold back. She knows how to build tension. She knows all about conflict and its resolution. I can see now why Roberts has a huge fan following and why her books sky rocket onto the best seller lists.

The Search is not literary fiction, but it is a wonderful, plot driven novel with great characters. This is excellent genre fiction, one which falls somewhere between romance and suspense-thriller. Readers who like their novels gritty and real, and who don’t mind a little bit of hot romance in the mix, will love The Search.

Highly recommended.

FTC Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publisher for review on my blog.

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