Nora Roberts is a prolific writer and loved by many. I much prefer her JD Robb In Death series—the futuristic crime novels, with a smidge of romance stirred into the mix. As Nora Roberts her work is (mostly) romantic suspense and my enjoyment usually depends on the two genres being as evenly balanced as possible*.
Her latest, The Liar really doesn’t offer a lot in the suspense side of things, but fortunately for me in this instance I was smitten by one of the main characters so didn’t really mind…..
When her husband Richard dies in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But his death reveals a horrible truth—Richard was a liar and a cheat. Now Shelby is left with the consequences —huge, terrifying debts and mounting proof that her late husband betrayed her in every conceivable way.
Heart-broken but unbowed, Shelby is determined to fix her problems—if only for the sake of her gorgeous little daughter Callie. Returning home to Tennessee and the family she thought she’d lost for ever, she discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the handsome form of carpenter Griffin Lott—a straight-dealing man who couldn’t lie to her if he tried.
But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard’s shady business, it becomes clear that she is not safe from him, even in death. With her life in danger, Shelby must face the lies of the past—or lose everything.
The Liar is a solid offering from Roberts. It’s probably a bit weaker than some of her other work in terms of its plot—although it does have potential. It’s reminiscent of Laura Lippman’s After I’m Gone, which (however) added another layer to the dodgy-rich-businessman-dying-leaving-secrets scenario. The thought that came to mind was that Roberts was ‘phoning it in’, or simply pushed the manuscript away saying… “Oh, that’ll do.” I sometimes feel the same about James Patterson, or other authors who are (undoubtedly) talented, but sometimes go for quantity over quality.
However, although the plot was a tad predictable, I enjoyed this book and loved her characters. I was besotted with the delightful Callie. Kids can be hard to get right in fiction and I think Roberts did a great job with the three year old’s voice. I also liked Shelby (although struggled to believe someone could be so naive or obtuse) and her family, and of course Griffin.
The Liar by Nora Roberts, published in Australia by Hachette, will be available from 14 April 2014.
* given my penchant for thrillers / suspense / crime fiction.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.