Review: “Come Sundown,” Nora Roberts

Pros: interesting ranching business; gets pretty dark in spots; good characters
Cons: slow; too similar to some of Roberts’ other books; gets pretty dark in spots; too many characters
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Nora Roberts’ Come Sundown covers several types of ground. It’s a thriller/serial killer (and rapist) mystery, it’s an exploration of a family ranch/resort business and the family that runs it; and it’s a romance. Although there are a lot of important characters (too many, in my view–I couldn’t keep track), the most important ones, I’d say, are Bodine, Callen, and Alice. Bodine is the ‘big boss woman’ and has quite a hand at organizing a business. Callen left town when Bodine was a teen, and now that he’s back he has his eyes on her; it isn’t hard to tell that it’s mutual. Alice is Bodine’s aunt–she ran away as a teen, and hasn’t been seen since; unfortunately for her, that isn’t by choice. Just to make things a little darker, just after Callen returns home a couple of women are found dead. Callen’s old enemy is a Sheriff’s deputy now, and he’s determined to make charges stick to Callen.

The material in which we see what’s happened to Alice is very dark, involving blunt scenes of rape, so keep that in mind when you decide whether this is a book for you. In contrast, we can see from the start that Callen and Bodine will come together, along with perhaps a couple of other duos. It’s less about will they/won’t they, and more about how will they. It’s fun to see, since each couple is very different.

Lately it seems like Roberts is deeply into extended families and their dynamics, interesting businesses and how they run, and wedding preparations. If you’ve gotten a little tired of this, then this book will feel slow and a bit boring. If you haven’t gotten tired of it, then I expect you’ll enjoy the book quite a bit. It’s very reader-dependent in this case.

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