Nora Roberts is another one of those authors: she’s well known, has a certain reputation, and whether or not you ever actually picked up and read one of her novels, chances are you probably feel like you know what to expect.
I decided to verify my assumptions and picked up one of her latest novels, The Liar. I would like to say the latest novel she wrote, but holy s*** – that woman doesn’t stop writing! Have a look at her release schedule and you’ll know what I mean. Even if The Liar was her latest novel, chances are she’ll publish another one before I can even finish writing this post.
I expected this novel to be light, yet entertaining, maybe more than a bit cheesy, and that is more or less exactly what I got.
The Liar is the story of a young woman, who is completely disillusioned after losing her husband in an accident: the life they shared was a lie. The mesmerising, successful man Shelby fell in love with was not who he pretended to be, and the wealth she thought he’d acquired throughout his lifetime turns into crippling debt as soon as Shelby is forced to take off her rose-tinted glasses and face reality.
Without giving too much away, I just want to say that this novel actually turned out darker than I expected it to be in some places, without ever achieving any real suspense.
If you intend to read the novel and don’t want me to spoil it for you, you might want to skip the following passage, as I’m going to briefly discuss why this novel did not have me at the edge of my seat while I was reading it.
You’ve been warned, so here goes: for me the main reason for the lack of suspense was that the only real surprise the novel has in store is that the ‘dead’ husband turns out to be very much alive. He was involved in criminal activity and felt the need to disappear, which is why he faked his death. The thing is: I doubt Nora Roberts could have made the fact that the ‘dead’ husband isn’t really dead but instead definitely bound to return at some point any more clear than she did by choosing to have him ‘die’ in a boating accident – to my knowledge the most blatantly obvious code for *winkwink*he’s-not-really-dead*winkwink*.
OK, all clear. 🙂
Personally, the lack of suspense in this novel didn’t bother me at all. I read in some Amazon reviews that readers were very disappointed by this aspect, but really: I just don’t think this is the type of book you’d pick up if you expect to be holding your breath for all of its 512 pages.
Instead of suspense, what you get if you do decide to give this novel a go are some very heart-warming descriptions of Shelby’s life with her family, who supports her while she tries to get back on her feet and fight her way out of the pile of debt her husband left her with. This is served with a side of some very unrealistic – but equally as heart-warming – details about Shelby’s newly blossoming love life. The male protagonist responsible for Shelby’s heart palpitations is – of course – more than just a little to good to be true, but I assume that is to be expected, and I was actually happy to suspend my disbelief at this point. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a view of the world through rose-tinted glasses for a bit every once in a while – reality can be grey enough!
Have you ever read any of Nora Roberts’ novels?
And if not: would you want to?
Do you know what I mean when I say that Nora Roberts is ‘one of those authors’? Are there any authors that you have a similar feeling about? For example: my list of authors that most people kind of know/have a feeling about without ever reading their books also definitely includes Stephen King, John Grisham and Ken Follett.