Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Come Sundown Review


Title:  Come Sundown
Author:  Nora Roberts
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Release Date:  May 30, 2017
Order Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Compelling 's

*Many thanks to St. Martin's Press for an arc of this book.  





Synopsis:
The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…

When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.
 

Review:

Come Sundown is a powerful, compelling story showcasing the healing power of love and the amazing ability of the human soul and spirit to survive and recover from unimaginable, mind altering pain and sadistic evil.  It’s also the story of family doing what family does . . . loving unconditionally, making and cherishing memories, surviving loss and pain, building a future on hopes and dreams.  Nora Roberts is a master at writing about close-knit families bound by strong emotional ties whether related by blood, friendship, or romance, and we see that once again in this book.  Four generations of Bodine women, working together with the heart, gut, and grit of the pioneer women who first came west, lay the foundation for this story.  A strong, rich support cast including family, friends, and co-workers cements this epic saga of perseverance and triumph, with the added bonus of a friends to lovers romance (times 3). 


Two stories play out in Come Sundown with one revealed through a series of flashbacks up until the point where the stories and timelines merge.  Two stories - One family - A span of twenty-five years.  The stories become one later in the book when prayers are finally answered, but is it too little, too late?  Alice Bodine was only eighteen the night she slipped away from home heading toward California.  After brief, spotty correspondence, she vanished like a ghost in the night and was later presumed dead.  But readers know that after three long years away, a weary, homesick Alice was homeward bound toting a backpack full of broken dreams when she made a fatal mistake.  Now she fears she'll never go home again as there's no escape route from hell.

I won't reveal any spoilers, but I have to say that Alice's story was the big draw for me in Come Sundown.  Brilliantly written, her plight is what takes this story to another level as it unfolds in tragic bits and pieces - so horrific, so raw and graphic, so physically and mentally devastating that it left me reeling time and time again.  Roberts's villains are often sadistically evil and cruel and this one is no exception, ranking high on the depraved, psychotic killer list. The theme of nature vs. nurture often used by this author is prevalent as true identities are revealed near the end.

After the opening flashback introducing Alice and cueing readers into her fate, the story moves to the present where we meet Bodine Longbow who runs the upscale Bodine Resort and her brothers who operate the Bodine Ranch - both offering guests an exclusive western cowboy experience.  This part of the story moved a little slow for me as it centers on the day to day operations while introducing readers to all the players.  It took me awhile to settle in and feel the connection between Bodine and Callen (her childhood crush and now love interest) who has returned home to work at Bodine Ranch.  The pace is slow and easy as the couple flirts around each other, exploring the sparks flying between them while figuring out where they're headed in the future.  The discovery of two brutally murdered women raises the stakes and intensity as the town now knows there's a serial killer in their midst.  From this point forward, I was on the edge of my seat, flipping pages trying to figure out the "who" and "why".  And after a connection is made to Alice - I couldn't put the book down. 


Come Sundown is a heart-wrenching story of devastating loss and unbearable pain, but at the same time it's a story of hope, perseverance, unlimited love and faith and like the awe-inspiring sundown that appears again and again - the promise of another day.  The vast western Montana landscape, rich in gorgeous sunsets and cold, snowy winters adds a beautiful yet harsh element vital to this story.  Like a curvy backroad, Come Sundown unfolds through a series of twists and bends before ending on a shocking reveal that I didn't see coming.  Another intense, spellbinding Romance/Suspense story by Nora Roberts.  A Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Compelling 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx


Sandra





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