Putnam, Oct 2004, 25.95, 576 pp.
Baltimore Police Officer Nate Burke is in the dumps due to the break up of his marriage so his partner Jack takes him on a night on the town. When they are ready to go home, they see a drug deal going down so they go to arrest the perpetrators, but Nate is shot and Jack is killed. Feeling guilty and unable to cope, Nate quits the force and heads to Lunacy, Alaska to become police chief.
Lunacy is a small quiet town in which Nate deals with traffic incidents and minor misdemeanors. From the first time he sees bush pilot Meg Galloway, Nate feels he has returned to the living. When a frozen male body is found inside a cave on No Name Mountain, Meg identifies the corpse as her father, who she and the townsfolk felt walked out on his family eighteen years ago. Not long afterward, newspaper publisher Max commits suicide leaving a note that he killed Meg's father. Nate thinks a second homicide is covering up a two decade old murder.
NORTHERN LIGHTS is an electrifying romantic suspense that will please the myriad of Nora Roberts' fans. The hero is a wounded warrior who runs as far away from his hometown as he just about can to bury himself in the tundra. Instead he finds a new home, a satisfying job, and a woman for some tender loving. The support cast is eccentric and likable (Nora Roberts' trademarks) with anyone and no one capable of committing murder. Thus the readers will enjoy a solid police procedural that they will want to solve (not an easy mission) alongside a strong romance heading to the New York Times bestseller list.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner