Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man's seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.
Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems--and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail's reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something--and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.
Elizabeth is 16 years old when she finally decides to rebel against her mother. Her mother isn’t a mom, she’s someone who gave birth to Elizabeth and is more like an instructor than a parent. Elizabeth is highly intelligent and at 16 is already attending pre-med at Harvard. When Elizabeth rebels she goes to the mall and buys all the wonderful teen clothes that her mother forbid her and meets up with a girl that she had gone to school with. The pair shop til they drop and Elizabeth makes fake ID’s so that she and Julie can go to a club. They go out and drink Cosmo’s and dance and dance. They meet up with two men who are connected with the club and Julie talks Elizabeth into going home with them. Elizabeth’s “date” has to stay at the club but promises to catch up with them soon. Once Elizabeth is out of the club she just wants to go home. She’s sick from the alcohol and knows that going to the one man’s home is NOT a good idea. What happens next is a nightmare. Elizabeth witnesses a murder and runs for her life. She calls the police and is brought in and protected but can you really hide from the Russian mob? The events that follow are both good and horrific. I don’t want to tell you too much as part of the beauty of the story is the slow revealing of it all. Suffice it to say that Elizabeth found herself on the run once again and that’s not a good thing.
The second part of this book begins 12 years later and center around Abigail Lowry, who we know immediately is Elizabeth and her life in a small town in Arkansas. She has set up a home, has a dog, Bert, as a companion and highly trained attack dog (who is a big ole sweetie) and works from home. When the relatively new Chief of Police becomes interested in Abigail – not just on a professional basis but also on a more personal level – Abigail is a bit put out. He’s too curious and the last thing that Abigail needs is a curious police chief hanging around and making her life more complicated. What Brooks Gleason actually does is change her life in a good way. He not only makes her life more interesting it makes Abigail herself look at herself in a different way.
Abigail is, as I said earlier, a highly intelligent woman. She’s freaking brilliant but her interpersonal relationships really have suffered – for good reason. Because of this, and the way she was raised, she speaks in a very logical way. It almost reminded me of Spock from Star Trek – how he would analyze things and give the logical answer – yeah, that’s Abigail. At first it was almost like an alien and really kind of put me off a bit but as I read and got to know her character a bit better I saw that she had a lively sense of humor – it was just dry.
Brooks was an amazing man. He had been a cop and then detective in Little Rock and had recently taken the job as Chief of Police there in Bickford. He was competent and creative when it came to his job but fair and reasonable as well. I loved seeing his interactions with the different townspeople because it gave us some insight into his moral compass. He was smitten with Abigail almost from the word go. He loved her look, the fact that she constantly packed a gun, that she was so logical. He found humor not in her but with her and got her to relax - not her security but enough to enjoy life a bit. Brooks knew that Abigail was hiding from something and as much as he wanted to know he didn’t push. When Abigail trusted Brooks enough to tell him the truth he was understanding and anxious to set it all to rights. It was because of Brooks that Abigail saw a future and that just made me love them as a couple even more.
This story is so very good and one that I highly recommend. Roberts has really done a fabulous job of bringing us a bit of suspense, romance and inner strength all rolled up in one great package.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5