Book Review: The Search by Nora Roberts

The SearchThe Search by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life — a quaint house on an island off Seattle’s coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescue. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare.

Several years ago, she was the only survivor of a serial killer — a madman who stalked and abducted young women, strangled them, and left them buried with a red scarf on their bodies. As authorities were closing in on the Red Scarf Killer, he shot and killed Fiona’s cop fiancé and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona has found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. Yet all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He’s the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon’s house, and he’s at his wit’s end.

To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can’t handle. Simon is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he’s a rugged and intensely private artist, known for creating exquisite furniture. Simon never wanted a puppy, and he most definitely doesn’t want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to the laws of attraction.

As Fiona embarks on training Jaws and as Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona’s life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands. . . .

I haven't read a Nora Roberts book (other than her In Death series she writes under JD Robb) for a long time. So many are reprints and the ones that aren't are formulaic. The Search surprised and delighted me. I think it was the dogs that really made the book for me.

Fiona Bristow is a dog trainer and part of a very successful canine search and rescue unit. She has three amazing dogs, and they (along with Simon's dog Jaws) totally steal the show. It was so much fun to read about the dog's antics. As a dog lover and owner myself I have to say Nora Roberts wrote them brilliantly.

Simon Doyle is a wood artist--private, snarky, and totally lovable. He comes to Fiona for help with his puppy Jaws. Their chemistry is immediate and intense and completely believable.

The suspense part of the book was written well, the bad guy was creepy . . . or should I say bad guys, there were technically two of them and they were both scary. The ending wasn't what I expected, but it was actually very satisfying.

I also loved the setting, a sleepy little Washington island that fit the mood of the story perfectly.

What I learned about writing from reading this book:
This book was full of information on dog training and canine search and rescue teams.  I found so much of that fascinating.  I also learned a lot about how to write chemistry between characters and how to make it believable.  Also, Simon is kind of a jerk but he was written in such a way that made me totally fall in love with him.  The dialogue was so natural, the setting so thought out, and the characters so well developed.  Nora Roberts is truly talented.

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  1. I love reading a fiction book where you really learn something--an insight into a world you'd normally never know.
    Great review!

  2. Thumbs up for the scary guys (that's my favorite sort of character to read about). LOL. Funny how Simon didn't want a woman or a puppy and ends up with both.


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