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Tuesday 18 December 2018

Femme Bookend: Trainer's Dogged search for stalker

The Search
Nora Roberts
Piatkus €16

International bestseller, they say? Romance specialist Roberts has turned to crime, and found it pays. All the romance ingredients are here -- sexy man and defiantly lonely woman -- but this is also what Hollywood calls a femjep: a story about a woman stalked.

Romance specialist Roberts has turned to crime, and found it pays. All the romance ingredients are here -- sexy man and defiantly lonely woman -- but this is also what Hollywood calls a femjep: a story about a woman stalked.

Stalked? Eww

Eww indeed. Fiona Bristow is a tough babe. She makes her living by training dogs (and owners), and is a volunteer searcher with her skilled search dogs. But she has a secret. She is the only survivor of a soulless creep who killed young joggers, signing the crime with a red scarf tied in a bow.

And he's back, I'll guess?

Apparently so -- even though the convicted killer is still in the slammer, years after he was found guilty of killing Fiona's fiance (and his dog). Could he be using a puppet to play out his fantasies?

Well, could he?

I'm not telling -- that's the author's job. Here, she's weaving in the scary narrative with a romance with a carpenter.

Heart of the working man?

Simon Doyle smells of piney resin and fresh puppy, and when he comes in with his cuddly pup Jaws for training he seems perfect -- a steel-jawed softie with determination but also kindness.

Man of my dreams

Many readers share your dreams -- this has been snapped up by panting women since it came out as an e-book in January, and is now a superseller in hardback and paperback.

Who is this Roberts?

"An Irishwoman through and through," she says -- American, but Irish on both sides, she spent years as a mammy, then turned to writing with relentless discipline.

Like?

Her first published book, Irish Thoroughbred, was a massive hit for romance imprint Silhouette.

So it's possible?

To make your fortune as a writer? Like most jobs, hard work allied to talent pays off. And The Search soared straight to No 1 on the New York Times hardback fiction bestseller list on release.

Will I love it?

I found it too long by half, but if you love scary novels, romance and feisty, admirable heroines and gritty heroes with a heart of pure chocolate, this is for you.

>Lucille Redmond

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