The Barnes & Noble Review
Olivia Tanner was born into a family of Hollywood royalty, but when she was a child, something terrifying changed her life forever. When she was just a toddler, her mother was brutally murdered by a very human monster. The man who came after little Olivia was her own father, movie star and sometime coke addict Sam Tanner. In his hands, scissors bloodied from the murder of Julie McBride, Olivia's mother.
Frank Brady is the cop who shows up at the scene and protects Olivia. He is thrilled to put the murderous Sam into prison for the rest of his life, as is Olivia's aunt. But is the case closed?
Another thread enters this wonderful novel and lightens the darkness. Noah Brady, Frank's son, is a kid at the time of the murder but even then is aware of the powerful effect it had on his dad. As he grows up, he becomes curious about Olivia. When he reaches adolescence, Noah and his parents take a trip up to the Pacific Northwest, where Olivia and her grandparents now live. Even as youngsters, it's nearly love at first sight. Later, when he's a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Noah makes a trip to Olivia's college dorm. When he sees her, he knows it's all over for him: Cupid has struck. The only problem is, he's really there to reopen the case so that he can write about it and Olivia sees right through him.
As they both grow to adulthood in their very separate lives, Olivia is still haunted by fears and doubts about that fateful night. Noah, now a successful true-crime writer, is virtually obsessed with it. When Sam Tanner contacts him and tells him that he wants totellthe whole story, Noah hopes that he can somehow heal the past for himself and for Olivia.
But perhaps the most terrifying days are yet to come for Sam Tanner is out.
And he wants to see Olivia more than anything in the world, to finish the business that began that night so many years earlier.
Do not miss River's End. It is a truly thrilling romantic novel, part terrifying and part exultant, and all Nora. Nora Roberts has become a master storyteller in any and all genres, but she's showing her loyalty to her huge romance audience with one of her most profound stories of true love, which shares space with a thrill ride in this surefire bestseller.
Jessi Rose Lucas
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Her signature florid style again serving a suspenseful mystery combined with a fated romance, bestselling Roberts (Hot Ice) tells a Helter Skelter-type Hollywood horror story lurid with murder, drugs and insanity. One summer night in 1979, four-year-old Olivia Tanner finds her doped-up father, Sam, bloodied shears in hand, poised over the dead body of her movie-star mom. Haunted by the image of "the monster" pursuing her, Olivia is sent to live with her grandparents in the Pacific Northwest, where she is sheltered from her memories by towering Douglas firs. Two decades later, the specter of the "monster" returns. From prison, her father urges young investigative reporter Noah Brady son of the police detective who discovered Olivia after the murder to research the crime. Noah accepts this task eagerly, heedless of Olivia's rebuffs and undeterred by violence and danger, especially after Olivia begins to remember the crime. The denouement brings both of them into a bloody confrontation with the past. Roberts's careful research, particularly into the ecosystems of the forests of the Pacific Northwest, makes for vibrant background detail. Her artful manipulation of the plot, contrived so that amour and horror escalate in tandem, reaffirms her ability to deliver entertaining fiction.
A classic case of domestic violence or something more sinister? Four-year-old Olivia's testimony put her father behind bars for the murder of her mother. Twenty years later Sam Tanner wants to tell his story, and he wants true-crime writer Noah Brady, the son of the cop who arrested him, to write it. Noah agrees because the story has haunted him all his life. Olivia is first appalled, then curious. Noah is everything she had ever imagined, but he is probing deeply painful memories. Sandra Burr adds her considerable talents to this tightly written romantic thriller from the author of Inner Harbor (Audio Reviews, LJ 4/15/99). Her child's voice is eerily memorable, her teenage Livy aches of womanhood, but she shines with the adult Livy and Noah. Their sexual tension is palpable, and the story's suspense is even more tightly strung. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.--Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
YA-Life changes completely for four-year-old Olivia McBride the night she encounters the monster standing over her mother holding a pair of scissors covered with blood. Until then, she had been the only child of one of Hollywood's most glittering couples, dearly loved by her parents and loving them in return. But the monster, with her father's face, takes away her mother forever. She is whisked away from Hollywood and all the publicity surrounding the murder and her father's subsequent trial and imprisonment to live with her mother's loving and protective family. Growing up in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Olivia's monster is almost forgotten until a young writer, contacted by her father, agrees to write a book about the events of that night so many years ago. Thus, the monster that has been at bay for so long is reawakened. This novel, with elements of suspense and romance, also has vivid and atmospheric geographical descriptions.-Pamela B. Rearden, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Though Roberts (The Reef, 1998, etc.) never writes badly, her newest mystery romance is more inconsistent than most.
Little Olivia MacBride, daughter of two golden Hollywood superstars, wakes up one night to see her coked-up father holding her mother's bloody body, a scissors in his hand. After her dad is led off to prison, Liv is sent to live with her grandparents, who run a successful lodge in the Olympic rain forest on the Washington coast-a location far across the continent from the Maryland shores of Roberts's Quinn trilogy, but one that allows her to explore another place of life-giving scenic wonder. And when Liv grows up and becomes a naturalist/guide, she gets to take us on lots of eye-dazzling tours. Into her sheltered paradise comes Noah Brady, the son of the police detective who arrested Liv's father and has been her friend since childhood. Noah has grown up to be a bestselling true-crime writer, and, against Liv's will, he wants to write his next book about the MacBride murder case. (Liv's dad, about to be released from San Quentin, is dying of brain cancer.) Though Liv fights her attraction to Noah, he's a persistent boy, and on an extended and very sexy camping trip, the two become lovers. Meanwhile, the real murderer, whose identity will probably be obvious to most readers, leaves his own trail of violence up to Washington and a final prime-evil shoot-out.
Added to Roberts's poorly drawn mystery and her interlude of swell lusty love is her usual theme of how wounded children and inner children are healed and nurtured by good nuclear families.
From the Publisher
“A page-turner.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Roberts keeps the suspense building…Her fans will love this book.”—Chicago Sun-Times
"River's End moves at a frantic pace…Great descriptions…Heart-stopping encounters between Olivia and the obviously smitten Noah.”—Chicago Tribune
“A plot that delivers both suspense and romance.”—Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“Roberts weaves a story like no one else.”—Denver Rocky Mountain News
What People are saying about this
From the Publisher
“Roberts keeps the suspense building…Her fans will love this book.” Chicago Sun-Times
"River's End moves at a frantic pace…Great descriptions…Heart-stopping encounters between Olivia and the obviously smitten Noah.”Chicago Tribune
“A plot that delivers both suspense and romance.”Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“Roberts weaves a story like no one else.”Denver Rocky Mountain News