It’s been a few years since Fiona Bristow has moved to Orcas Island. Within the small, tight-knit island community she’s built up her business, a canine rescue centre that trains dogs to track missing persons. Whether they are lonely travellers on a hiking trip gone wrong or disappearances of a more sinister nature, more than once Fiona has been the last hope for those lost in Washington’s vast wilderness.
Other than her work, Fiona doesn’t ask for much: the peace of the landscape, the companionship of her dogs, the safe haven of friends and family. Romantic entanglements are very far down on her list – and certainly not with Simon Doyle, an artist newly arrived from the mainland. Impossible rude, and impossibly handsome, he suddenly seems to be around an awful lot. But he doesn’t know that Fiona harbours a terrible secret, and as her past unexpectedly catches up with her, she has to decide whether past grief will keep her from ever loving again …
I love Nora Roberts’ books so I was really excited when this one arrived in the post. I love the cover with the moody purple clouds and stark beach scene, it made me think I was in for a thrilling read.
My predictions played out, the story is tense and sucked me in within the first few chapters. The book focuses on Fiona, a woman who managed to escape and help to catch a serial killer years ago though her policeman partner and his K9 dog were killed. She has rebuilt her life in a small island community and runs a K9 search and rescue team, the book opens with one of their rescues. A new man on the island, Simon, looks like a potential love interest but the news that there appears to be a copycat killer who may be pursuing Fiona means that nothing is certain.
I really took to the character of Fiona, she is understandably damaged as a result of her past, but is trying her hardest to make a good life for herself. The way she relates to others seems very fitting, particularly in her struggle to work out how to deal with Simon. I liked Simon though whilst I appreciated the way he stood up to Fiona and challenged her I often found the way he went about it to be a little too direct and brusque for my liking. The supporting characters were all well written, by the end of the book I felt like I wanted to move to Orcas Island and become part of the community! I must also mention the dogs, Jaws, Peck, Newman and Bogart. They were such wonderful characters, I enjoyed reading about them very much.
I found the blend of thriller and romance to be very well balanced, Roberts is very good at writing this kind of book. It never felt like one half of the plot was threatening to overwhelm the other, and I cared equally about both of them. Robert’s narrative writing is great, I love the way she describes things. As I’ve already said though I didn’t completely like the way she wrote Simon, particularly his dialogue.
I really enjoyed reading this book and will continue to look forward to reading more by Nora Roberts.
The Search is published in paperback by Piatkus in the UK priced £6.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.