From Nora Roberts comes the #1 New York Times bestseller Shelter in Place (June 2018)—a powerful tale of heart, heroism...and propulsive suspense.
It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at video game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.
The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies' room, helplessly clutching her cell phone--until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.
But one person wasn't satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait--and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||5 MB|
About the Author
NORA ROBERTS is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Year One, Come Sundown, The Obsession, The Liar, and many more. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print. She lives in Maryland.
Date of Birth:1950
Place of Birth:Silver Spring, Maryland
Read an Excerpt
On Friday, July 22, 2005, Simone Knox ordered a large Fanta — orange — to go with her popcorn and Swedish Fish. The choice, her standard night-at-the-movies fare, changed her life, and very likely saved it. Still, she'd never drink Fanta again.
But at that moment she only wanted to settle down in the theater with her two best friends forEVER and lose herself in the dark.
Because her life — currently and absolutely for the rest of the summer, and maybe for all time — sucked beyond infinity.
The boy she loved, the boy she'd dated exclusively for seven months, two weeks, and four days, the boy she'd imagined cruising through her upcoming senior year with — hand in hand, heart to heart — had dumped her.
In a text.
done wasting time cuz i got 2 b with somebody ready to b all the way with me and thats not u so we r done c u
Certain he couldn't have meant it, she'd tried to call him — but he didn't answer. She'd texted three times, humiliating herself.
Then she'd gone to his MySpace page. Humiliation was too weak a word for what she suffered.
Traded in the old DEFECTIVE model for a hot new one.
Shook off a LOSER and I'll be rolling through the summer and into senior year with the hottest girl in the class of 2006.
His post — with pictures — had already generated comments. She might've been smart enough to know he'd ordered his friends to say mean, ugly things about her, but that didn't lessen the sting or the embarrassment.
She grieved for days. She wallowed in the comfort and righteous anger of her two closest friends. She raged at her younger sister's taunts, dragged herself to her summer job and the weekly tennis lessons at the club that her mother insisted on.
A text from her grandmother made her sniffle. CiCi might be meditating with the Dalai Lama in Tibet, rocking it out with the Stones in London, or painting in her studio on Tranquility Island, but she had a way of finding out anything and everything.
It hurts now, and the pain's real, so hugs, my treasure. But give it a few weeks, and you'll realize he's just another asshole. Kick butt and namaste.
Simone didn't think Trent was an asshole (though both Tish and Mi agreed with CiCi). Maybe he'd tossed her aside — and in a really mean way — just because she wouldn't do it with him. She just wasn't ready to do it. Besides, Tish had done it with her ex-boyfriend after the junior prom — and twice more — and he'd dumped her anyway.
The worst was, she still loved Trent and, in her desperate sixteen-year-old heart, knew she'd never love anyone else, ever again. Even though she'd torn out the pages of her journal where she'd written her future names — Mrs. Trent Woolworth, Simone Knox-Woolworth, S. K. Woolworth — ripped them to shreds, then burned them, along with every photo she had of him, in the patio firepit during a girl-power ceremony with her friends, she still loved him.
But, as Mi pointed out, she had to live, even though part of her just wanted to die, so she let her friends drag her to the movies.
Anyway, she was tired of sulking in her room, and she really didn't want to slump around the mall with her mother and little sister, so the movies won. Mi won, too, as it was her turn to pick, so Simone was stuck with some science-fiction deal called The Island Mi was crazy to see.
Tish didn't mind the pick. As a future actress, she felt that experiencing movies and plays was both a duty and pre-career training. Plus Ewan McGregor ranked in Tish's top five movie boyfriends.
"Let's get seats. I want good ones." Mi, small, compact, with dark, dramatic eyes and a thick wedge of black hair, gathered her popcorn — no fake butter — her drink, and the peanut M&M's she favored.
Mi had turned seventeen in May, dated sporadically, as she currently preferred science to boys, and skimmed just above the nerd line only because of her prowess as a gymnast and solid slot on the cheerleading squad.
A squad unfortunately captained by one Tiffany Bryce, boyfriend stealer and slut.
"I need the ladies'." Tish — double-fake-butter popcorn, a Coke, and Junior Mints — pushed her snacks at her friends. "I'll find you."
"Don't fool around with your face and hair," Mi warned her. "Nobody can see them anyway, once the movie starts."
And she was already perfect, Simone thought as she juggled Tish's popcorn on the way to one of the three theaters in the DownEast Mall Cineplex.
Tish had long, smooth, silky chestnut-brown hair — with professional golden highlights because her mother wasn't stuck in nineteen-fifty-whatever. Her face — Simone loved studying faces — a classic oval, added flirty charm with dimples; and the dimples flirted often, as Tish always found something to smile about. Simone figured she'd smile a lot, too, if she'd turned out tall and curvy, with bright blue eyes and dimples.
On top of everything, Tish's parents totally supported her ambition to pursue acting. She'd hit the jackpot in Simone's mind. Looks, personality, brains, and parents who actually had a clue.
But Simone loved Tish anyway.
The three of them already had plans — secret ones for now because Simone's parents completely did not have a clue — to spend the summer after graduation in New York.
Maybe they'd even move there — it had to be more exciting than Rockpoint, Maine.
Simone figured a sand dune in the Sahara had to be more exciting than Rockpoint, Maine.
But New York? Bright lights, hordes of people.
Mi could study to be a doctor at Columbia, Tish could study acting and go on auditions. And she ... could study something.
Something that wasn't law, as her own clueless parents wanted. Not surprising, and so lame and clichéd because her father was a big-shot lawyer.
Ward Knox would be disappointed, but that's how it had to be.
Maybe she'd study art and become a famous artist like CiCi. That would freak her parents out awesomely. And, like CiCi, she'd take and discard lovers at her whim. (When she was ready to do it).
That would show Trent Woolworth.
"Come out," Mi ordered, giving her an elbow bump.
"What? I'm right here."
"No, you're in the Simone Brood Zone. Come out, join the world."
Maybe she liked it in the SBZ, but ... "I have to open the door with the power of my mind because my hands are full. Okay, done. I'm back."
"The mind of Simone Knox is an awesome thing to behold."
"I must use it for good, and not use it to melt Tiffany into a puddle of slut goo."
"You don't have to anyway. Her brain's already a puddle of slut goo."
Friends, Simone thought, always knew the right thing to say. She would rejoin the world with Mi — and Tish, whenever Tish stopped playing with her already-perfect face and hair and came out — and leave the SBZ behind.
A Friday night opening meant she walked into a theater already half-full. Mi grabbed three seats dead center, took the third one in from the aisle so Simone — still heart tender — could take the one between her and Tish, whose longer legs earned the aisle seat.
Mi shifted in her seat. She'd already calculated they had six minutes until the lights dimmed.
"You've got to go to Allie's party tomorrow night."
The SBZ beckoned. "I'm not ready for a party, and you know Trent's going to be there with that slut-goo-brain Tiffany."
"That's the point, Sim. If you don't go, everybody's going to think you're, like, hiding out, that you're not over him."
"I am, and I'm not."
"The point," Mi insisted. "You don't give him the satisfaction. You go with us — Tish is going with Scott, but he's cool — and you wear something amazing, let Tish do your makeup because she's got the skills. And you act like: Who, what, him? You know, you're so over that. You make a statement."
Simone felt the SBZ pulling her. "I don't think I can face it. Tish is the actress, not me."
"You played Rizzo in Grease for the spring musical. Tish was awesome as Sandy, but you were an equally awesome Rizzo."
"Because I've had dance lessons and can sing a little."
"You sing great — and you did great. Be Rizzo at Allie's party, you know, all confident and sexy and up yours."
"I don't know, Mi." But she could, sort of, imagine it. And how Trent, seeing her all confident and sexy and up yours, would want her again.
Then Tish rushed in, dropped down, gripped Simone's hand. "You're not going to freak."
"Why would I ... Oh no. Please!"
"The slut's putting on fresh lip gloss, and the creep's hanging outside the ladies' like a good dog."
"Crap." Mi curled her fingers around Simone's arm. "Maybe they're going to one of the other movies."
"No, they're coming here, because that's what my life is."
Mi tightened her grip. "Don't even think about leaving. He'd see you and you'd look and feel like a loser. You're not a loser. This is your dress rehearsal for Allie's party."
"She's going?" Tish's dimples flashed and flickered. "You talked her into it?"
"We're working on it. Just sit." Mi angled herself just enough. "You're right, they're coming in. Just stay," she hissed as Simone's arm trembled under her hand. "You don't even notice them. We're right here."
"Right here, now and forever," Tish echoed, giving Simone's hand a squeeze. "We're a ... a wall of disdain. Got it?"
They walked by, the blonde with the tumble of curls and snugly cropped jeans, and the golden boy — tall, so handsome, quarterback of the championship Wildcats.
Trent gave Simone the slow smile that had once melted her heart, and deliberately ran a hand down Tiffany's back, letting it slide to her butt and linger there.
Tiffany turned her head as Trent whispered in her ear and looked over her shoulder. Smirked with her perfect, freshly glossed lips.
Brokenhearted, her life a Trent-less void, Simone still had too much of her grandmother in her to take that kind of insult.
She smirked right back and shot up her middle finger.
Mi let out a snorting giggle. "Way to go, Rizzo."
Though Simone's broken heart thudded, she made herself watch as Trent and Tiffany sat three rows ahead, and immediately began to make out.
"All men want sex," Tish said wisely. "I mean, why wouldn't they? But when that's all they want, they're not worth it."
"We're better than she is." Mi passed Tish her Junior Mints and Coke. "Because that's all she's got."
"You're right." Maybe her eyes stung a little, but there was a burning inside her heart, and the burn felt like healing. She handed Tish her popcorn. "I'm going to Allie's party."
Tish let out a laugh — deliberately mocking and loud. Enough to make Tiffany jerk. Tish shot Simone a grin. "We'll rule that party."
Simone clamped her popcorn between her thighs so she could link hands with her friends. "I love you guys."
By the time the previews ended Simone had stopped watching the silhouettes three rows down. Mostly. She'd expected to brood through the movie — actually planned on it — but found herself caught up. Ewan McGregor was dreamy, and she liked how strong and brave Scarlett Johansson came across.
But fifteen minutes in, she realized she should've gone to the bathroom with Tish — though that would've been a disaster with lip-gloss Tiffany in there — or she should've taken it a lot easier on the Fanta.
Twenty minutes in, she gave up. "I've gotta pee," she whispered.
"Come on!" Mi whispered back.
"I'll be fast."
"You want me to go with you?"
She shook her head at Tish, gave her what was left of the popcorn and Fanta to hold.
She shuffled by, strode quickly up the aisle. After making the turn to the right, she hurried to the ladies', shoved the door open.
Empty, no waiting. Relieved, she grabbed a stall, and contemplated as she emptied her bladder.
She'd handled the situation. Maybe CiCi had been right. Maybe she was close to realizing Trent was an asshole.
But he was so, so cute, and he had that smile, and —
"Doesn't matter," she muttered. "Assholes can be cute."
Still, she thought about it as she washed her hands, as she studied herself in the mirror over the sink.
She didn't have Tiffany's long blond curls or bold blue eyes or killer bod. She was, as far as she could tell, just average.
Average brown hair her mother wouldn't let her have highlighted. Just wait until she hit eighteen and could do whatever she wanted with her own hair. She wished she hadn't worn it in a ponytail tonight, because it suddenly made her feel juvenile. Maybe she'd cut it. Spike and punk it up. Maybe.
Her mouth was too wide, even if Tish said it was sexy, like Julia Roberts.
Brown eyes, but not deep and dramatic like Mi's. Just brown, like her stupid hair. Of course Tish, being Tish, said they were amber.
But that was just a fancy word for brown.
That didn't matter, either. Maybe she was average, but she wasn't fake. Like Tiffany, whose hair was brown, too, under the bleach.
"I'm not a fake," she said to the mirror. "And Trent Woolworth's an asshole. Tiffany Bryce is a slut-bitch. They can both go to hell."
With a decisive nod, she held her head high and walked out of the bathroom.
She thought the loud pops — firecrackers? — and the screams were from the movie. Cursing herself for stalling and missing an important scene, she quickened her pace.
As she neared the theater door, it burst open. The man, eyes wild, took one stumbling step before he fell forward.
Blood — was that blood? His hands clawed at the green carpet — the carpet where red spread — then stilled.
Flashes, she saw flashes through the door that was wedged open a few inches by the man's legs. Blasts and blasts, screams. And people, shadows and silhouettes, falling, running, falling.
And the figure, dark in the dark, walking methodically up the rows.
She watched, frozen, as that figure turned and shot a woman in the back who was running.
She couldn't breathe. If she'd been capable of drawing a breath, it would've expelled in a scream.
Part of her brain rejected what she'd seen. It couldn't be real. It had to be like the movie. Just pretend. But instinct kicked in, had her running back to the bathroom, crouching behind the door.
Her hands didn't want to work, fumbled on her purse, fumbled on her phone.
Her father had insisted on nine-one-one as her first memory code on the phone.
Her vision wavered, and her breath came now, came in ragged pants.
"Nine-one-one. What is your emergency?"
"He's killing them. He's killing them. Help! My friends. Oh God, oh God. He's shooting people."
* * *
Reed Quartermaine hated working weekends. He wasn't crazy about working in the mall, either, but he wanted to go back to college in the fall. And college included this little detail they called tuition. Add in books, housing, food, and you had to work weekends at the mall.
His parents covered most of the freight, but they couldn't manage it all. Not with his sister heading off in another year, and his brother already three years in at American University in D.C.
He sure as hell didn't want to wait tables the rest of his life, so college. And maybe before he donned another cap and gown he would figure out just what the hell he did want to do for the rest of his life.
But summers, he waited tables, and tried to look on the bright side. The restaurant's mall location worked okay, and the tips didn't suck. Maybe waiting tables at Mangia five nights a week with a double shift on Saturdays killed his social life, but he ate well.
Bowls of pasta, loaded pizzas, hunks of Mangia's renowned tiramisu hadn't put much meat on his long, bony frame, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
His father once had hope his middle child would follow in his football-star cleat-prints, as his oldest son had — resoundingly. But Reed's complete lack of skill on the field and skinny frame dashed those hopes. Still, standing on a yard of leg by the time he'd hit sixteen, with a willingness to run all damn day, had made him a minor sort of star on varsity track, so that balanced it out some.
Then his sister took the heat off with her fierce talent on the soccer field.
He served a table of four their starters — insalata mista for the mother, gnocchi for the dad, mozzarella sticks for the boy, and fried ravioli for the girl. He flirted harmlessly with the girl, who gave him long, shy smiles. Harmless because he figured she was maybe fourteen and off the radar for a college man heading into his sophomore year.
Reed knew how to flirt harmlessly with young girls, older women, and pretty much all in between. Tips mattered, and he'd honed the charm for customers after four summers of waiting tables.
He covered his section — families, some old couples, a scatter of date-night thirty-whatevers. Probably dinner and a movie, which made him think he'd see if Chaz — assistant manager at GameStop — wanted to catch the late showing of The Island after their shifts.
He ran credit cards — chatting up table three had bagged him a solid twenty percent — turned tables, swung in and out of the insane kitchen, and finally hit break time.
"Dory, taking my ten."
The head waitress gave his section a quick scan, gave him the nod.
Excerpted from "Shelter In Place"
Copyright © 2018 Nora Roberts.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part One: Innocence Lost,
Also by Nora Roberts,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fantastic. Could not put it down. Great characters as expected, combined with suspence, romance (of course), humor and life affirming character growth. Just another great book by Nora Roberts you might say. But think again. This was a real thriller that kept me afraid of what terrible thing would happen next while the charm of the 'good guys' kept me looking forward to their day to day interactions and personal challenges. The ending brought tears to my eyes in a good way. After reading and rereading Roberts for decades it seems her books just keep getting better.
Wow!!! This was an amazing and gripping story. Even though there were central characters each character was well developed and important. This illustrates how one event impacts so many lives and the ways that each person deals with that traumatic life changing event. This may seem vague but you have to experience this story for yourself. Amazing Nora Roberts!
I cried through the first 30 pages. I have a teenager in high school and with all the recent shootings, this really hit me hard. I literally had to put the book down and walk away for an hour. While there is alot of grief in this book, there is also love. It is a book that has you feeling every emotion. You won't be disappointed.
Shelter in Place blends suspenseful storytelling and engaging characters together...as only Nora Roberts can. Her hero and heroines entertwine to build a story of loss and redemption and resilience. On my Nook...so I can read it again...as I do with all my Nora Roberts books.
I was a little worried about reading this, the way current events have been. I am glad I did. While I did have tears I also had smiles. I loved the characters. I kind of wish she'd do another follow up one. More mystery for the chief to handle. I'm going to miss them.
Theres no doubt when you pick up a nora roberts book that you will have a great read. This time i didnt get anything else done. Now iam faced with hoping to find a book that will keep my interest....hard to follow "shelter in place". The on going tragedy that so many face from mass shootings touches all our lives.....the evil that pervades those that are driven beyond.....
Good character development. A real page turner
Nora Roberts knows how to tell a story! Loved cici, simone and reed. Keep them coming, i read everything you write.
Just finished and I want to read it again. An epic tale.
Nora Roberts continues to blow me away! This was another gripping story that I absolutely could not put down. It moved fast and had me from the very start! Don't start this one until you have time to finish it!
Loved it. Should be required reading in high schools.
Could NOT put it down!!!
Strong story and characters. What a great book!
I believe that I have read all of Nora Robert's books, and I think this is the best one so far. I don't know how she does it, but I hope she continues for years to come. This was a compelling story and I had a difficult time putting it down to eat and sleep. Looking forward to her next book.
This story grabbed me at the beginning and didn't let go until the end. The characters were great and I especially liked CiCi. In the aftermath of the shooting, there were so many heroes and there were those who pulled back from life. There was one person who thought that there wasn't enough death and decided to get even with those who survived. After the shooting, Reed decided to become a cop and help those who are helpless. Simone retreated to her art. She tried to be the person her parents wanted her to be, but it didn't work. She only found joy in her art. Reed will protect Simone, Mi and CiCi at any cost. He will not let a killer get near them. Who will protect Reed?
I would have never imagined that this book would keep me glued to the pages like it did, with all the shootings like this one seem to be happening more and more every day. You are instantly drawn into this story that is so heart-breaking in the beginning but it keeps you coming back just to see what will happen next. Once the true killer is revealed, you could have never imagined what lengths they would go to in order to ruin the lives of the survivors of the mall shooting. The one shining moment in this story is how some of the survivors dealt with the pain of that night. Even though someone out there is trying to silence the survivors, there is hope even when everything collides in the end. That ending will bring a tear to your eye for what happened and for what they do for the ones that was lost. I'm not going to be talking much about this but this book is truly a conversation starter for what is happening now in society with all the shootings. I do advise that this book does go into that dark side of things that might make anyone put it down due to the graphic nature of shootings and the aftermath of that event. I can promise you that even through all the bad, there is a story that will get to anyone's heart for what the survivors are able to achieve even during the worst time of their life. Thank You to Nora Roberts for writing this heart-stopping book that will keep anyone glued to it just to see what happens in the end!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher!
There is only one thing to say about this book: Read it! Seriously, this book has it all. It has the thrill, the anxiety, the romance. It grabbed me from the first page and kept me glued to the book ‘til the end. And along the way, I hold my breath, because I was so afraid what’s going to happen next. I laughed about the hippie grandmother, swooned about the man posing naked and hated the psychopath killer. Five stars for an amazing book I enjoyed reading.
Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts is another one her wonderful standalone novels. In Shelter in Place, Nora gives us an exciting and intense story of the aftermath of a mass shooting at a mall in Portland, Maine. Shelter in Place was not only an amazing and fascinating story that had me unable to put the book down, but the characters Nora created, most of whom were survivors of the shooting, were simply great; such awesome characters. At the start, we meet Simone, Mi and Tish, who are bff’s, waiting for a movie to start in the mall, when Simone makes a quick run to the bathroom. Reed and his friend, Chaz take a lunch break to meet a couple of girls. When Simone tries to go back in the theatre, she hears screaming, and sees someone running out of the theatre dripping with blood; she goes back into the bathroom and calls 911. All hell is breaking loose, and Essie, a young cop, is the first on the scene, trying to help the survivors and find the culprits. This is the start of an enthralling story of the survivors, and the healing process. It is also a continuing story of another villain tied to the shooters, who will haunt the survivors over the years. We follow the main characters, Simone Knox & Reed Quartermaine, their family and friends, over a period of 13 years, as they cope with the tragedy, and try to find a way to go on with their lives. Reed decides after the tragedy to become a cop and eventually will become a detective and partner with Essie. Together they will work together to keep an eye on all survivors, as over a few years, they notice that one by one the survivors of the shooting are being killed. This will become an obsession with both, and when the villain comes for Reed, he is shot but returns the fire; the killer escapes but he now knows who the person is. But the FBI decides to take control and force them not to be involved, Reed will leave the force and become the Chief of Police of Tranquility Island. Simone and Mi remain very close, as they still grieve over the loss of their friend, Tish. Simone is distant from her family, as she does not want to be a lawyer, which the family wants her to be. Simone is very artistic, a trait she learned from her grandmother, Cici. Cici is an acclaimed painter, and sort of physic. She was such a wonderful character, you couldn’t help but love her, as she is the reason that Simone became such a wonderful painter and sculptor; as well as growing up to be such a great heroine. It is Cici who will bring our heroes, Simone and Reed together. I loved Reed, who was always so good and caring to all. He managed to win over the island residents, as well as his police force. At the same time, he knows that the killer will be looking for him and Simone sometime in the future, so Reed prepares everyone to be on the lookout. I also adored Simone, who had a hard time early on, but over the years she used her talent to create wonderful sculptures that touched many people. What follows is an amazing exciting, intense and pulse pounding story, as the killer comes closer. Nora created an excellent villain, whom was evil, but who also managed to fool the police over the years. The exciting climax had me holding my breath, as Reed, Simone and Cici lives were very much in danger. Simone and Reed’s romance was slow built over the years, very sweet and they were great together, with Nora perfectly keeping it in the background.
She does it again
Could not even finish the book it was horrible
Great Book! Wanted more! Love Nora Roberts!
Could not put it down
Shots ring out in the mall. Some people are disbelieving while others panic. A lone gunman goes up and down the aisle in the movie theatre leaving dead and injured before he is shot and killed by police. His two accomplices are in the mall randomly shooting shoppers and clerks before they are also killed. A total of 89 are killed and 242 injured. Years later, survivors of the shooting are being targeted and killed. Just as the survivors were able to sleep without nightmares, easy sleep now eludes them. They are being hunted but why and by whom?
Page Turner that keeps you holding your seat and hoping for the best for all involved in a tragedy that shaped and changed their lives