Putnam, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
fter years of training and then apprenticing in one of the best restaurants in Boston, Reese Gilmore had finally realized her dream as head chef of a trendy new establishment. But her dream is shattered when an evening of celebrating turns into a bloody massacre. The realization that she's the only survivor of a
puts Reese over the edge, and eventually her nightmares and panic attacks alienate her from family and friends and land her in a mental institution. Therapy and drugs aren't the answer so Reese decides to run from her past and also the killers, who've never been identified. Her latest search for some sort of peace lands her in the small and quaint Wyoming town of Angel's Fist. She needs cash to pay for car repairs and is forced to take a job at a local diner. Reese soon finds that getting back to doing the work she loves might have been the best therapy all along.
he fact that the locals don't ask many questions also helps. Reese's new boss, a no-nonsense woman who values hard work over gossip, is a boon and protective of Reese and her expertise with food. Within days of arriving in Angel's Fist, Reese begins to harbor some hope that here among the majestic Tetons, crystal clear lakes and down-to-earth people she might finally be able to heal. The fact that Reese finds herself attracted to another
named Brody is another positive outcome. But when she witnesses a murder while hiking alone, all the progress she's made is suddenly jeopardized. When the sheriff finds no body or evidence to suggest foul play, Reese's mental competence is once again put into question. Brody is her only ally and it's his belief in her that convinces Reese she hadn't imagined anything. She decides that no amount of second-guessing or intimidation from a shadowy killer will throw her off her goal to see justice done.
ora Roberts' greatest gift as a writer is breathing life and depth into her characters, and that gift shines bright in her portrayal of Reese, a very fragile young woman who must deal with being the sole survivor of a horrific crime and her own fears that she's losing her mind. Roberts does a wonderful job showing Reese's frailties as she tries running from her memories, and then, as the story progresses, her underlying strength as she battles to overcome her personal demons and new ones created by a killer determined to break her. The romance between Reese and gruff and reticent mystery writer Brody is also well done as is Roberts' skill at casting secondary characters and bringing the rugged beauty of Wyoming to realistic life. To top it off, Roberts shows her sure hand at crafting a believable and convincing murder mystery. She casts out plenty of suspicion on various locals; every time I thought I'd identified the killer, I was wrong and was as surprised as you'll be when the villain's secrets, (and a very human motive for murder), are finally revealed.
is another vintage Roberts and a story that further reinforces her reputation as one of the best and most versatile fiction writers around.
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