I was a tad worried Legacy by Nora Roberts would be a bit saga-ish. I love her romantic suspense novels and ADORE her JD Robb series, but the blurb here sounded a bit more Barbara Taylor Bradford circa 1990ish.
Thankfully it wasn’t. We do meet our lead Adrian at various stages of her childhood then on a few occasions during her adult life but it’s less about generations of women or families and their legacies and more about Adrian herself.
It takes a little while to get to the ‘suspense’ part of this book but I liked Adrian and the fact her ambition is balanced with a sense of humanity, so was happy to be along for the ride.
by Nora Roberts
Published by Little Brown Book Group
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Romantic Suspense
Adrian Rizzo was seven when she met her father for the first time. That was the day he nearly killed her—before her mother, Lina, stepped in.
Soon after, Adrian was dropped off at her grandparents’ house in Maryland, where she spent a long summer drinking lemonade, playing with dogs, making a new best friend—and developing the stirrings of a crush on her friend’s ten-year-old brother. Lina, meanwhile, traveled the country promoting her fitness brand and turning it into a billion-dollar business. There was no point in dwelling on the past.
A decade later, Adrian has created her own line of yoga and workout videos, following in Lina’s footsteps but intent on maintaining creative control. And she’s just as cool-headed and ambitious as her mother. They aren’t close, but they’re cordial—as long as neither crosses the other.
But while Lina dismisses the death threats that Adrian starts getting as a routine part of her daughter’s growing celebrity, Adrian can’t help but find the vicious rhymes unsettling. Year after year, they keep arriving—the postmarks changing, but the menacing tone the same. They continue after she returns to Maryland and becomes reacquainted with Raylan, her childhood crush, all grown up and as gorgeously green-eyed as ever. Sometimes it even seems like the terrifying messages are indeed routine, like nothing will come of them. Until the murders start, and the escalation begins…
Roberts offers up many delightful characters across many generations here. Their lives aren’t overly dramatic but complex enough that they’re likeable and realistic. The friendships are lovely and relationships thankfully without excessive angst. There are several children featured and she writes them well. Her experience, confidence and skill also show in the way she doesn’t draw-out a will-they or won’t-they scenario in the lead up to a relationship. Similarly, she doesn’t over-play the final scenes and conclusion.
I think it’s obvious where the threats to Adrian originate as we’re not really offered many other alternatives and perhaps Roberts could have introduced some more menacing elements or motivations as red herrings (an obsessive fan or jilted lover perhaps?). Having said that, although it takes some time for Adrian and those around her to understand the who and why, once they’re there Roberts very much picks up the pace – which I enjoyed.
I found the introduction to scenes involving the unseen murderer a bit confusing initially as it’s not introduced in a way that makes it obvious that we’re switching to someone else’s point-of-view or mind; and (for some time) we have no idea who they’re targeting or why.
Of course once Roberts has done it once, we know what to look for style-wise and can recognise when we’ve moved into their thoughts.
Given the obvious source of threats to Adrian this probably weighs a little heavier on the romance side of the romantic suspense scale but I didn’t mind at all. This is an enjoyable and ultimately satisfying read and I’ve no doubt it’ll prove to be very popular.
Legacy by Nora Roberts was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.