cover image Shelter in Place

Shelter in Place

Nora Roberts. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-250-16159-8

The latest from the prolific Roberts (Irish Thoroughbred) follows the survivors of a mass shooting in Maine as they piece their lives together, only to be targeted three years later by the tragedy’s mastermind. After saving a child during a shooting at the DownEast Mall, college kid Reed Quartermaine bonds with the first officer on the scene, Essie McVee, and decides to be a cop. High schooler Simone Knox encounters fame as the first 911 caller and grows up to become a renowned artist who honors the victims by sculpting their likenesses. Three years later, Reed starts to suspect that something’s afoot once he notices that people who were present at DownEast that night begin to turn up dead. His fears are confirmed when he is attacked by Patricia Hobart, the younger sister of one of the shooters who was killed. Patricia blames Simone especially for her brother’s death, but particularly has it out for Reed now that he’s survived her attack. Reed can’t keep himself away from the case of the new deaths, even after it’s taken over by the FBI and he meets and falls for Simone. Roberts’s characters are serviceable, but real draw is the story, which has some welcome red herrings and a page-turning brio that elevates it above the average thriller. 1,000,000-copy announced first printing. (May)