But where had her father gone?
He had secrets—she figured all adults did. Secrets they kept from everybody, secrets that made their eyes go hard if you asked the wrong question. Maybe he was an explorer, one who went through a magic door to another world.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 544
Weight: 362 g
Dimensions: 197 x 128 x 34 mm
Naomi Carson is a survivor. As a child, her family was torn apart by a shocking crime. It could have destroyed her, but Naomi has grown up strong, with a passion for photography that has taken her all around the world.
He looked around, and for one terrible moment she feared he looked right at her. This man, she knew into her bones, would hurt her, would use hands and fists on her like the father who worked to provide security for his family never had. With a helpless whimper in her throat, she thought: Please, Daddy. Please.
As I was reading this book I could not shake off the feeling of dread creeping into me. Storms, odd sightings, skull-like figures, cold, cold bones and rusty hinges. This book was designed to creep people out while reading it.
I Loved That!
But where she imagined a puppy whimpering in his crate was a woman.
Her eyes were wide and shined like glass as tears streamed from them. She made terrible noises against the tape over her mouth. Scrapes and bruises left raw marks on her face and her throat. She wasn’t wearing any clothes, nothing at all, but didn’t try to cover herself.
Couldn’t, couldn’t cover herself. Her hands were tied with rope—bloodied from the raw wounds on her wrists—and the rope was tied to a metal post behind the old mattress she lay on. Her legs were tied, too, at the ankles and spread wide.
I’ve read some crappy books last year from Nora Roberts and I have no idea what I was hoping for with this one but let me just say that it was awesome. Truly terrifying and absolutely shocking, I read the whole lot over a weekend and when I was done, I could not help but think that maybe, just maybe, Nora Roberts can still write.
“Ashley said she thought she’d been down there for a day or two. There was more rope down there, and pictures. There were pictures on the wall of other women, tied up like she was. Worse than she was. I think some of them were dead. I think they were dead. I’m going to be sick.”
Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defences failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
The Good Parts:
- First half of the book (when Naomi was 12) was really well written (5/5 stars)
The Bad Parts:
- Naomi’s adult career seems to take a lot of space in the second half of the book, really going into detail about interior design and shopping. Not a fan of that section (that’s more than half)
- Rooms, plans and furniture descriptions. Renovations ideas. Construction work. Furniture descriptions of the friend’s house. New ideas. Colors. Patterns. More furniture ideas.
- The love interest is a bit of an A-hole and verbally abusive. Not sure if she picked him due to her past trauma and her needing someone to tell her what to do in the same way her mother needed her dad to tell her what to do.
- The most anticlimactic kiss ever. He just puts his lips on the heroine out of the blue. No chemistry. No anticipation. No passion. The dialogue continues as if the kiss didn’t happen.
- The mother is a bit of a depressive mess who keeps going back to the killer husband in jail until he serves her the divorce papers. I mean what woman does that? Presented with irrefutable evidence that your hubby is a serial killer – wilfully keeping your eyes closed and listening to abuse.
- The killer in the second half of the book was – SPOILER – a friend from highschool that felt slighted she didn’t tell him that she was the daughter of a serial killer and then would not share her side of the story with him to be published in the school newspaper. He did pick a bad time to ask too – at her mother’s funeral. Ummm… ok?
“He was in the house. He was going to shoot the dog. I couldn’t let him shoot the dog. He . . . the gun. He has a gun.”
“Not anymore. Don’t worry about him. Broke his nose for you,” Xander murmured, laying his brow to hers.
“High school nerd.” “What?” “Chaffins. Anson Chaffins. Tell Mason,” she said, and slid away.
That was really, really, really bad villaining here. I mean weak as hell.
Just a smart, nerdy kid who’d gone to a school dance with her, who’d put a couple clumsy moves on her, easily brushed off. And a monster, all along.
I would say read the first 30 pages and the last 10 pages and you’ll have a lovely night in. I would also thank Mrs. Roberts for another book that will burn so brightly in my bonfire night due to the 370 pages of interior design crap that pad this mess (my copy had 418 pages).