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Shelter in Place

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Sometimes, there is nowhere safe to hide.

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 the 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, hopelessly 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.

438 pages, Hardcover

First published May 29, 2018

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About the author

Nora Roberts

1,566 books50.4k followers
Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Hideaway, Under Currents, Come Sundown, The Awakening, Legacy, and coming in November 2021 -- The Becoming -- the second book in The Dragon Heart Legacy. She is also the author of the futuristic suspense In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,943 reviews
Profile Image for Deanna .
691 reviews12.5k followers
June 4, 2018
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars!!

“Sometimes, there is nowhere safe to hide.”

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book from Nora Roberts. When I came across this novel, I read the description and immediately added it to the top of my list.

In my opinion, “Shelter in Place” was another great read from Nora Roberts!!

Friday, July 22, 2005
Simone Knox and her two best friends, Tish and Mi are at the DownEast mall to see a movie. Simone orders what she normally does at the movies; a large Fanta drink and Swedish Fish.

She has no idea that these choices will likely save her life...

Halfway through her large Fanta, Simone has to run to the ladies room. Just as she's heading back towards the theatre, she hears loud popping noises. It sounds like firecrackers. All of a sudden, the theatre door slams open and a man covered in blood comes stumbling out…

“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 doesn’t want to believe what she’s seeing. Her instincts kick in and she runs back to the bathroom and calls 911…

Reed Quartermaine waits tables at a restaurant in the DownEast mall. He's just finishing up his break when he hears popping noises...then screaming. People are running towards him, falling, almost crushing each other. A man says there’s someone shooting. Then he sees a little boy all on his own. Reed doesn’t think, he just picks up the boy and runs for cover.

“The gunfire-and he would never, never forget the sound of it-came closer. Front and back. Everywhere”.

Officer Essie McVee is in the parking lot of DownEast Mall dealing with a minor car accident when her police radio squawks. Active shooter. She knows what she’s supposed to do, she had the training. Back-up is coming but they can’t wait….

“Locate, detain, distract, neutralize”

The shooting finally stops.


After the tragic events of July 22, 2005, the book follows the lives of many of the survivors and family members, Some can't get far enough away, some are stuck and angry, while others used that day to find purpose in their lives.


Someone doesn't like how it all went down and wants revenge on those they feel screwed up their big plan. They want PAYBACK.

The opening of “Shelter in Place” was shocking and pulled me in immediately. Witness to a horrifying scene. Even though I had an idea of what was coming, I was still anxious and on edge. Nora Roberts sure knows how to write a gripping plot along with fantastic characters including diabolical villains. I know I've said this before but with fiction (especially thrillers) there will be times where we may need to suspend disbelief. However, I was so intrigued by the story, it wasn't really an issue for me.

With its great cast of characters and a gripping and dramatic plot. "Shelter in Place" kept me engaged from start to finish. I definitely won’t be waiting long to read another book from Nora Roberts.

I'd like to thank St. Martin’s Press for giving me an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,244 followers
June 2, 2018
Well, I can't be a smartass for this review. It was just too close to home to joke about. This story is really timely because it is about a mass shooting. It really gets in-depth with what happens with those who survived and how their lives were changed.

So, the book is divided into sections.

The first part is the shooting itself. How it went down, how different people reacted, what the survivors experienced. It was sad and horrible.

The second part of the book goes through a lot of years telling us about several different characters and their lives after the shootings. That part was my least favorite because it really jumped around for a long period of time. But, I know it was important to bring us to the third part of the story.

The third section of the book is a romance that develops between two of the characters, along with a murder-mystery of sorts. We know who did it the whole time, and we see that person's viewpoint too, it was just a matter of them being caught. This final part read more like Nora's regular romance-mystery type of stories. The female is artsy and a commitment-phobic girl. The male is a great guy who is trying to win her over.

Overall, it was a great book, but there were tough moments. I think Nora did a good job imagining how living through an experience like that would affect the rest of the person's life. I hate knowing that we have all of these teens and others who are growing up with this reality. But, honestly? I don't think we have seen the last of these events. Unfortunately, we are just getting used to it.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
833 reviews4,713 followers
December 19, 2018
Shelter in Place 8 minutes - a mass shooting - a physical and emotional aftermath that leaves countless lives changed forever

This was a gut wrenching book to read in light of the mass shootings we have endured but I found it well written. Roberts' focus wasn't solely on the shooting itself. The book fast forwards and focuses instead mainly on the after effects of the shooting - on the lives of the victims and heroes and on the true mastermind behind the plot's warped quest for vengeance.

The story is part romance, part mystery & thriller. It's not always easy to blend these genres but Roberts does it well. She knows how to write an engaging plot with characters you become invested in and villains you hate. There were moments that required a definite suspension of belief but I was definitely invested enough in the story to be able to just go with it. After all, I enjoy a well written psychopath and we certainly had that here.

Overall, it wasn't my favorite Nora Roberts read but it definitely rates among the top 5. Shelter in Place is sure to draw in new fans while appealing to Roberts' tried and true readers as well.
Profile Image for CD {Boulder Blvd}.
963 reviews93 followers
June 30, 2018
I'm so torn on how to rate this one. There were quite a few positive points but there were also quite a few negative points. There were several times while reading where I just put the book down as it wasn't pulling me in and I was either bored, irritated or doing an eye roll.

The book started off great with the shooting in the shopping mall and I really thought I was going to love it, but...

The ability of the person behind a stream of murders after the shooting became too much. The FBI became the cliche of incompetence which gets old. Reed always saying he would run off with Simone's grandmother got old fast (cliche as well) and sometimes just was ick. And Simone's family issues felt more contrived than real. The ending felt like a let down.

So much potential but...
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,243 reviews968 followers
June 5, 2018
In the space of a few minutes, the lives of those visiting or working at the DownEast Mall and adjacent theater in Rockpoint, Maine were permanently altered. Three shooters decided that whatever was wrong in their lives warranted the selfish actions they took in those moments. Survivors Reed Quartermaine and Simone Knox followed paths that weren’t part of their original destinies until that event in the mall. Reed went into law enforcement and Simone expressed her feelings through art.

I first thought this was going to be a story about a mass shooting and the immediate aftermath, more about the pursuit of the attackers and those involved in the investigation. This couldn’t be further from the reality as that event just serves as the context for those that survived the massacre. Reed and Simone may be the central characters to anchor the story but there’s a richness to the breadth and angles of the lives of those that surround them and others. Their relationship develops slowly and fairly organically, a quick ignition but then a slow burn. I adored CiCi Lennon, Simone’s grandmother and admired Essie McVee, the police detective who plays such a strong role in Reed’s life and decisions.

All of this is in the midst of a really diabolical character connected to the mall shooting. This person was chilling, a true psychopath hiding in plain sight. You’re just not going to breathe easily until the creep is stopped. The tension is constant but it doesn’t detract from some truly lovely moments throughout the book.

I loved and inhaled this book, as I knew I would, especially when I learned January LaVoy was narrating the story. She delivered her typically outstanding performance, which made this one of my more favorite reading experiences.

(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)
Profile Image for Corina.
768 reviews2,185 followers
August 21, 2022
4.5 stars

REREAD 2022: was in the mood for some NR, it's been four years since I read it, and the novel is still as fantastic as the first time around!!!


Nora Roberts chose a topic that gives me goose bumps every single time I hear of it in the news. Mass shootings. She took this topic and spun a story that was utterly fascinating as well as captivating from beginning to end. Her impeccable storytelling and incredible skill to spin an enthralling tale produced an UNPUTDOWNABLE novel for me.


Both hero and heroine were genuine and likable characters. Reed Quartermaine and Simone Knox were mature and level-headed, something Nora Roberts excels at. Both were survivors of the DownEast Mall shooting and teenagers at the time of the event. Naturally they were molted by the horrific incident and coped with it in different ways. Years later their life intersected again.

They made it look easy. For them, meeting each other was like finding a piece that had been missing. They connected on a level that felt right and their relationship and interactions literally felt like the calm before the storm. Reed was a darling. His dry humor, and his never-ending appreciation for his colleagues and friends warmed my heart. His genuine and reciprocal connection with Simone’s grandmother was a highlight of this book. Additionally, Simone’s journey was as interesting as her personality – colorful, and deeply layered. There were so many parts in this book that made me smile and happy – and than there was the suspense.


This story gave me chills. I think the reason why I was so invested in this story was because of its topic. In the end Shelter in Place was a piece of fiction, but it was also based on events that unfortunately happen all over America, in schools, malls, and outdoor functions, multiple times a year. It wasn’t just the realism and horror that the author so masterfully wove through the story that kept me turning the pages, but it’s partially why this book is as good as it is.

last thoughts

So, if you love reading romantic suspense, an utterly suspenseful story that had such an authentic feel that will chill you to the bone, especially the opening scene, this is a MUST READ in my opinion. It’s one of her best books so far. BONUS it also had an adorable puppy as a sidekick.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog.
Find me on Bookstagram.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,326 reviews2,145 followers
April 10, 2020
Nora Roberts takes a very sad and serious theme in Shelter in Place and turns it into a gripping and totally enthralling story.

The book starts with a shooting in a cinema and Mall when three young men kill multiple people and themselves. This part of the book is traumatic and very well described. The story then moves into the future focussing on a small group of survivors and what happens to them. Of course the author adds extra tension and drama with a psychotic killer trying to finish off those who did not die on the day.

Ms. Roberts applies her usual skill to drawing many really likeable characters even including one delightful puppy. She creates a slowly developing but very sweet romance. She tells several tales of different characters making something of their lives despite the terrible event they all suffered. All this at the same time as racking up the tension and stress as the killer slowly makes their way towards them.

Another splendid book from this remarkable author. Loved it.
Profile Image for jv poore.
616 reviews213 followers
June 12, 2018
Just when I think I know exactly what I'm getting into, Ms. Roberts regales with something entirely unexpected and creepy-current.
Profile Image for Teri Parks.
98 reviews2 followers
November 19, 2017
Nora Roberts is BOLD! I don't know of many authors who could get away with what Nora accomplished in Shelter In Place without losing some fans.

In her newest book, set to come out in the summer of 2018, Nora tackles a topic that has become all too common in society today - a mass shooting. When I read the synopsis, I wasn't sure what my feelings were. I had just come off of reading the ARC for Year One - a masterful new direction for Nora due out December 5th - and I was apprehensive that Shelter in Place would fall flat in it's heels, or worse, having Nora losing some fans.

By page 25, Shelter in Place already met one of my criteria for a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️rating, but I was still concerned over the subject matter. What I read was a fast-flowing, grab your attention story that flowed so well you were quickly thirteen years removed from the tragedy and into a typical Nora Roberts romantic suspense novel that reminded you it is just a story. I was impressed most with the way she blended all the characters in their own way of dealing with the tragedy and their healing.

While we all pray that we are protected from such a horrific event in real life, it may just help open eyes of those who have never been touched by such an event what those who have or will experience it in the future to be more sympathetic and understanding.

I will say it again. Nora Roberts is BOLD. This is the second story in a row that she has taken a new approach. The story could have had fans alienating her because of the subject matter. But I sincerely believe anyone who reads it will have a fascinating summer read, with a little bit of human awareness thrown in. It just proves that Nora continues to be a master of her craft and isn't afraid take new directions or play it safe to keep her readers entertained.

A solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating from me! THANK YOU, again, to Marissa at St. Martin's Press for the honor of being one chosen to review this Advanced Reader Copy!
Profile Image for Celeste.
933 reviews2,382 followers
June 11, 2018
Full review now posted!

In my opinion, Nora Roberts is one of the most underrated authors ever. Yes, she’s incredibly popular, but her work is relegated in people’s minds to chick-lit and breezy, mindless beach reads. There’s so much more to her work than that, especially her more recent novels. There’s a depth to her prose and characterizations and descriptions that is overlooked by those who belittle her work and believe that she just writes fluff. I’ve never come across another author who can make me care as deeply about her characters or make me feel their joys and sorrows more profoundly.

With this novel, Nora broaches a topic that is unfortunately all too common in our modern world: mass shootings. Shelter in Place begins with such a shooting, and follows the lives of survivors as they try to put their lives back together. You can never move on from such a travesty, but you can move forward, and that’s what one of our main characters does. After the DownEast Mall shooting that rips his life apart, this character decides to become a cop in hopes of helping prevent other such happenings in the future. Another character dedicates her life to art as a way to block out the past, to try to forget. When someone starts picking off survivors of the shooting, these two come together. And in the midst of this reopened wound, there is healing. And love, because this is still a romance, after all!

Within the first ten percent of the book, Nora had me in tears. Her descriptions of the shooting and the victims and survivors were so realistic that I could hear the pop of bullets and the terrified screams of mall shoppers and movie goers. I felt like I was there. While I’ve been heartsick every time I’ve heard about a shooting in the news, no news coverage has ever sucked me into the midst of death and pain and fear like Nora did through her writing. I was in awe of her skill even as I read on in horror. But what was hardest to read was the stories of survivors trying to figure to how to go on living their lives. Thankfully, our main characters had family and friends who pulled them up and helped them rebuild.

My favorite character hands down was CiCi, a free-spirited artist who is a little bit psychic. She’s also a loving grandmother, and is there for the granddaughter who needs her so much. She opens her heart and home and life to so many people, and I love her for it. There’s no one else quite like her, and she felt incredibly real to me.

I don’t want to name any other characters or go into much more detail, because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who decide to pick up this book. But I will say that I absolutely love when Nora adds art into her stories, because she does such an amazing job describing both the process and the final result. In no other books can I see art so clearly as I can through Nora’s writing. Whether it’s a painting or a sculpture, Nora has such an amazing way of describing art where I can almost look up at my wall and expect to see the piece.

If you can’t tell, I have this deep and abiding love for Nora Roberts. There is no other author who I’ve read more, or reread more. And I have such deep respect for her choice in recent years to start incorporating hard topics that have touched her heart into her work. If I had to choose a favorite author, it would honestly be her.

For more of my reviews, as well as my own fiction and thoughts on life, check out my blog, Celestial Musings.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books405 followers
March 5, 2022
This was an intense, emotional book detailing the aftermath of a fictional mass shooting in Maine. As a warning, with all the mass shootings that have been occurring recently in the US, the first part of the book can be pretty intense to read. I found it quite triggering. Much of the narrative jumps forward in time after that and looks at the after-effect on the survivors, and the investigation as police try to determine if the shooters acted alone. One of my favorite Nora Roberts books to date! 5/5 stars.

Trigger Warnings:

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Cara.
304 reviews261 followers
May 11, 2022
Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts had my emotions all over the place!! This book was so hard to put down, but I enjoyed every minute of it!! One minute I was sobbing, the next minute I was swooning over the characters, another minute I was gasping for air, and another minute I was screaming, I think you get the point, but I have no clue what to feel. Shelter in Place is part psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and a coming of age for a group of people who survived a mass shooting event. I have no entire clue what to feel, I feel so damn empty after reading this story. What's a book if it doesn't make you cry? I highly recommend this book to anyone, but have a box of tissues close by. I went into this story completely blind, I was shocked, I was speechless, which made it more all the better!

Friday, July 22nd, 2005 was just an ordinary summer evening that changed the lives of so many people in Portland Maine.

Simone Knox and her two best friends, Tish and Mi were at the movies at the DownEast Mall. Simone went to the restroom, but when she starts to leave, she hears screams and gunshots. Simone is instantly worried about her best friends, but her instinct kicks in, Simone returns to the restroom stall and is the first person to call 911 as she shelters in place. This mass shooting was perpetrated by three teenage males at a suburban mall. The chaos only lasted eight minutes, but eight minutes that transformed the lives of everyone in its wake. Some had their futures stolen from them, while others would discover their true calling. The 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, hopelessly clutching her cell phone--until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.

Simone didn't have any injuries but her life was changed forever. Simone's best friend Tish was declared dead at the scene, Simone's other best friend Mi, had serious injuries but made a recovery. Reed Quartermaine waits tables in an Italian restaurant at the DownEast Mall. Reed was on his way back from his break when he heard gunshots and screams coming from the other direction. Reed picks up a little boy who is covered in blood and is alone, Reed takes the little boy and runs with him for cover. Essie McVee is a police officer with her partner, dealing with a traffic accident in the mall parking lot when the 911 calls come in that there's a mass shooting. Essie is the first police officer on scene and is able to take down one of the shooters. CiCi, Simone's grandma takes Simone under her wing and helps her overcome her fears of the mass shooting.

As time goes on, there is one person who is not finished with that day and is seeking revenge against all those that have survived is, Patricia Hobart, one of the shooters sister. Patricia seeks revenge by tracking down those who have survived or loved ones to those who died during this incident and kills them. Simone creates a huge sculpture of all those that died and makes it a memorial. All I can say is grab a cozy blanket, a cup of tea/coffee and just cozy up and read this novel, you will NOT be disappointed!! Simone and Reed had my heart, CiCi was such a sweet and sassy person, I loved her from the minute the book introduced her!! I will never forget this book. I found Simone to be so brave after this shooting, Mi was such a sweet friend to Simone, and my heart broke after they lost Tish.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,228 reviews2,728 followers
June 15, 2018
Simone, Mi and Tish – best friends, with Mi and Tish there for Simone after a nasty breakup with a boyfriend – sixteen years of age and waiting for the movie to start. The theatre in the DownEast Mall was busy, as was the mall outside the doors. Families shopping, video games pumping, people laughing and having a good time. Until the shots started, and the screaming began…

Portland, Maine made headlines from the carnage that night – the three teenage shooters didn’t live to tell the tale; neither did a lot of other innocent people. But those who did made their way into the future, never forgetting – some made a success of their lives; some lived with bitterness and hate. One who went forward was Reed Quartermaine who became a policeman, determined to protect the innocent. Another, Simone Knox, lost herself for awhile until she found therapy in her art. But behind the scenes, as the survivors rebuilt their lives, was an angry psychopath, committed to finishing what was started in that shopping mall…

Shelter in Place by the inimitable Nora Roberts is another outstanding and spectacular psychological thriller which kept me glued to the pages. I don’t know how she does it, but I haven’t read anything by this author that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. Gripping, intense, heartbreaking and emotional, the suspense kept my heart racing - Shelter in Place is one I highly recommend.

With thanks to Hachette AU for my ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
916 reviews163 followers
July 2, 2018
Absolutely incredible! I ate this book up in a short time because it was so intriguing with amazing characters. This is my favorite Nora Roberts book to date that I have read so far (have not read all her books though). The angst, perseverance, and growth of these characters is so detailed and effective to getting the reader pulled in and invested into the story. I cannot say more than these characters take a devastating tragedy and veer into different directions for their lives, but unfortunately most come face to face with a huge aspect of the original tragedy years later. I really do not want to give too much away and spoil the book, but this book deserves a spot on the reading list for most!

My quick and simple overall: Incredible book that draws the readers in quickly.
Profile Image for Ira.
1,070 reviews100 followers
June 2, 2018
4.5 stars.

I love this one, the story pull me in, the romance part is rather thin though but is sweet 😍 also too many pages given to the villain 😠.

This book feels like a feminist story to me, perhaps that #metoo movement give Ms. Roberts few ideas, many characters involved, except our hero and few supporting characters, are women! That’s for both side, the good guys and the bad guys, er why do they use guys when they are not? 😬

Also, this book show how Ms. Roberts stands regarding the horrific guns crimes who is keep happening in the US and slaughter the children month after month after month after month!

You see, the good guys with the guns who stopped the bad guys with the guns in this story?
They are ALL, law enforcement officers, just like the rest of the world, they allows to carry guns! Not just a mere civilian who can pop to a gun store and get himself that nasty stuff whenever and wherever he fancy them!!! For that alone, I will be Ms. Roberts’s fan for life ❤️.

It made me realise, I don’t think Roarke ever take his guns outside his home at all, correcting me if I’m wrong, will you? 🤔😘.

Okay, this is out of the book review already, but yeah from what I write here, you can see I’m one of those befuddled foreign mum who is never ever understand how children keep slaughtering by guns in schools and the most powerful government in the world couldn’t do anything to prevent it!

That’s it, read this book, the scars from shooting sprees continues long after the victims buried 😢.
It’s a heartbreaking story really...💔
Profile Image for Wendy.
1,681 reviews568 followers
June 17, 2018
Shelter In Place has to be one of my favourite novels by Nora Roberts.
The story begins with a mass shooting at a mall in the U.S. followed by a related killer out to murder the survivors.
However, the subsequent events in the lives of the victims are portrayed as happy and positive moments as the years go by.
It's a story of tragedy, love, family and friendship but most of all a story about survival.
Loved it!
Profile Image for Carol.
1,327 reviews234 followers
August 20, 2018
5 stars.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My first Nora Roberts book and I feel like I struck gold with this recent release.
I had borrowed this book from the library after patiently waiting my turn, hold no. 68 on 20 copies.
It was so worth the wait.
This story not only jumped off the pages but it was like the "Law and Order" series disclaimer it was "ripped from the headlines".
It had so much realism, which made me a little sad but what a wonderfully crafted, suspenseful and thrilling tale in this age of gun violence.
I was so invested in this story from the very first pages when three young girls sat down in a movie theater together and their lives were forever changed - more so for the two who survived the bloody massacre that followed.
All the characters in this book were fascinating to me, they like this story also evolved over time - more than 13 years to be precise .
I really wanted to bite at my nails for the last portion of the story as it was so suspenseful (I am not good at dealing with that in either movies or books).
I also liked that Reed decided to become a law enforcement officer (in the aftermath of events) so we get a little of the police procedural angle with this story as well as a little romance but for me this was mostly a really excellent psychological read/thriller combined.
Definitely a page turner.

I absolutely loved this but really don't know what to try next by this author.❔❓❔
I am open to suggestions here from my fellow readers.🤔🤔🤔
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,127 reviews981 followers
February 9, 2018
Trigger warning: mass shooting

Nora Roberts has been traveling some dark roads lately and I for one am not finding myself loving the results.

I adore Roberts romances, but alas I wouldn't hardly classify this as one (yes there is a HEA so technically it fits the bill). There is a romance, eventually, between two survivors of a mass shooting but the road to get there makes the overall romance arc a bit of a throwaway.

About 40% of the novel is a very detailed account of the mass shooting from various character perspectives, the immediate aftermath, and years of separate character development for the main male and female characters who eventually meet up and fall into destined love. There is really no tension between the characters as they are 'fated' so it wasn't really interesting.

The book is supposed to be suspenseful because there is a nefarious person out there killing survivors of the shooting, but I found myself skimming those parts. You know what is going to happen in the end, so meh.

I believe many Roberts fans will love this book. It is well written, it is a page-turner, it has the Nora Roberts flair. For me who checks in to her for an escape, this was more a "let's get this over with." I'd much rather read about best friends running their successful wedding planning company.

Plus, the hero tells his lady love about fifteen times that he would leave her in a heartbeat for her grandma ! Yes, grandma is awesome. Maybe he should have been with her. Now THAT would be interesting!

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC.
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,957 reviews279 followers
July 21, 2018
3.5 stars
My book club read this month is Shelter in Place, the latest standalone novel by Norah Roberts, an author that does not need any introduction. Her worldwide appeal and long list of popular book series, mostly of the romance fare, has secured her a permanent place on the bestsellers list. I feel that the release of this title in incredibly timely, offering up plenty of discussion for book groups and the like. Gun violence and mass shootings in the US seem to be hot topics. These tragic events are a sad fixture on our television screens, beaming out across the globe revealing the sadness and regret of these common incidents. Shelter in Place begins with a mass shooting in a shopping mall in a town in Maine, in the US. It examines the time of the shooting (trigger warning), the time immediately after and it explores ten years down the track. It follows the survivors, as well as those authorities/media first on the scene. Shelter in Place focuses on the emotional character dramas of two survivors, Simone and Reed, their polarising experiences and eventual fateful romance. Long standing fans of Robert’s work may be a little dissatisfied by the lack of high romance, but this is offset by the strong psychological study on the after effects of such a life changing event. Roberts captures the horror, grief, loss, guilt, and revenge aspect of this situation. The suspense is high, especially when the villain of the story is clearly hell bent on revenge. This adds to the intrigue of the book. Shelter in Place travels to a heady climax and asserts Roberts place as an auto buy author.
Profile Image for Somia.
2,061 reviews135 followers
August 18, 2020
I've always enjoyed Nora Robert's work but this book is something else, my second time reading it and the start still packed an emotional punch.

This storyline could have gone horribly wrong but Roberts has woven her magic and has taken care in addressing a very horrible reality of contemporary society especially in the US - mass shootings. The way in which she dealt with the mass shooting and it's aftermath was done well and with care. The thought given to the characters in this book was clear - for example Reed and Simone were both strong and the development of their relationship was lovely to see, although I would have liked to see a bit more of their romance and wish they had met sooner.
Profile Image for NZLisaM.
414 reviews413 followers
November 11, 2018
Actually closer to 3.5.

As I’ve come to expect from Nora Roberts this was a well written, straightforward read with interesting, varied well-rounded characters, who were easy to connect with. The Mall shooting was tastefully handled – still horrific and tense of course – but the violence was kept as brief as possible, taking place over less than two chapters. There are some pretty emotional scenes, that had me tearing up, especially in Part 1, so keep the tissues handy.

Based on the first half of the novel I was leaning more towards 4-4.5, but after the half-way point there was way too much emphasis on the character’s lives, family drama, and day-to-day routine for my liking. The final confrontation with the killer was long overdue, as I slogged through chapter after chapter waiting for him/her to finally make an appearance. Little time was spent on the romance, and it was one of those relationships where they meet and fall instantly in love, which I’m not a fan of. The crime portion was well done, as were the police procedural parts, even though the killer was almost super human in what they managed to get away with, and the body count was ridiculously high. Because the story encompasses so many genres there’s pretty much something for everyone, and I can see it appealing to a wide range of audience. A good read, but I’ve read better books by this author.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,363 reviews2 followers
January 21, 2019
Had a longer review done but deleted it. It deals with a delicate subject matter ...

I enjoyed the book. It flowed really well. There were no real "who dunnit" moments or shock moments. You sort of knew what was going to happen most of the way throughout the book.

Loved the setting on the coast of Maine.

Liked the main characters. Loved CiCi.

Hot sex scenes - forget it! I didn't mind.

Profile Image for Jess☺️.
487 reviews84 followers
February 22, 2021
Shelter In Place by Nora Roberts is an emotionally charged cat and mouse thriller with a touch of romance which makes this a great Nora Roberts book.
It starts of with a mass shooting at a mall which has such a real life feel too it, it then continues with a murderer spree.
The twist in this book is just as twisted and absolutely shocking as the beginning.
I definitely recommend this even with the heartache 📖
Profile Image for Graylark.
913 reviews42 followers
April 23, 2019
I didn’t like the heroine and couldn’t feel the chemistry between the hero and heroine. The heroine’s grandmother had more chemistry with the hero than the heroine did. I greatly enjoyed the relationship between the hero and the grandmother so much more than the boring one he had with the heroine.

The romance, such as it was, comprised about 15% of the surprisingly long book. The rest of it was the shooting in the past; after which came many, many POVs, including the killer and the victims.

There wasn’t really any tension in the book. Hero and heroine got together without any hurdles. We don’t really see that much face time between them, relatively speaking, as most of the book is devoted to the having so many other damn POVs. Killer is revealed relatively early and everyone knows what’s going on. It felt a little like an Eve Dallas book except the main characters weren’t as appealing.

I think so much more could have been done with the shooting—exploring its aftermath on other survivors and people dealing with it, rather than the more unlikely development she came up with. Oh, well.
Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
971 reviews142 followers
January 22, 2019

I enjoyed this one even with the difficult story line.

When picking it up I wondered how the story would affect me. Sadly this story centers around a tragic and senseless event that happens one too many times in this world. But Nora Roberts took care with how this story unfolded. My heart broke but it was put back together by the end. She nurtured each of the characters bringing them to a place in their lives that seemed realistic.

I adored the characters. Simone and Reed were perfect for each other. Whether apart or together they were each others saving grace. And Cici. I would love to have a grandmother like her. She was the constant sunshine in the story. LOVED HER!

It was lovely to have the setting be Tranquility Island in Maine. What a beautiful part of that state. I am blessed to be so close by.

I know this is a vague review but that's all I have! :)

Profile Image for Chris.
678 reviews15 followers
January 7, 2019
2.5 averaged stars - 🖐🏻Shooting Alert🖐🏻this story starts out innocently enough with some teens going out to a movie theater at the mall, but turns into a planned mass shooting by three other individuals.

There is the usual teenage behavior in play; close girlfriends out, concern/confidence in looks, pressure of sex by one the boyfriends, what does the future hold, etc. The mall is busy; there are a lot of people out and about in the stores, kiosks, theater, restaurants.

Once the shooting begins, and it’s horrific, people scramble for cover. Some survive, some don’t, some carry the emotional and physical pain and suffering to their end of days. The problem is, it’s not over. It’s not over for the twisted individual, the mastermind, who is the brains behind the crime, and it’s not over for the survivors. Each deals with their trauma in their own way - Reed becomes a Detective, Simone becomes an artist, a sculptor. Each has their own mentor to guide them through their life journey and I enjoyed reading of their full support and friendship to each other.

I was invested in this story for about half of the book then didn’t really like the way it proceeded. We always know who the deranged perpetrator is - they’ve been identified early on. There was romance (not hot and heavy as usual Nora Roberts’ style), in the second half between two of the shooting survivors, Reed and Simone.

What I definitely didn’t like:

The character of CiCi, the old hippie, artist, footloose and fancy free, open about her sexuality/promiscuity, eccentric, new age, “did I tell you I’m psychic?” Grandmother of Simone. She was a free spirit, rather loose mouthed and a loose cannon, though she knows how to use it. She paints and enjoys her liquor and smokes weed. She boasts of people she knows/met, her worldwide travels, her drug use, etc. she comes off as being a know it all, voices her thoughts and opinions to all, “did I tell you I’m psychic?” She and Simone are relations cut from the same cloth, with their artistry the thread that binds them. I cringed with all the outrageous flirting going on and sexual innuendoes between CiCi and Reed. It was all fake but sentimental; was it or wasn’t it? I didn’t think it was cute or funny though at the beginning I thought it was. I know the character was done up in that particular style, but it was getting very overdone, tiresome and slightly outrageous. “Did I tell you I’m psychic?” 😳 Enough said on that character and her part!!

The other part I most definitely did not like was of an abused dog that was found on the island by Reed. Reed is now the new top honcho, the Chief of police of Tranquility Island. He has his past and he has his future ahead of him, and he’s doing a good job dealing with both. He is fair and treats his police staff and islanders and visitors with fairness, concern and respect. So when he comes across this dog, who has health issues and psychological issues, he takes this dog on as his own and also deputizes it. The dog literally cements his relationship with Simone. But...when he calls the dog a “fucking moron” many times in the story, I completely lost all respect for him and was angry. You rescue this dog, take him in and on as your own pet, pay for his care out of your pocket, give him his medicine and food, toys; earn his trust, and then for things beyond the dogs’ control or his life knowledge, you call him a fucking moron??? This part was not crucial to the story so I have no idea why it was included. Calling your dog a fucking moron is abusive in my book. Grrrr At this point, I’d lost all my animal loving patience and my interest, however, I was almost near the end, so I just pushed on, though I was not real happy about it.

The ending was quickly done and anticlimactic. Because we all pretty much knew who it was and it was easy to figure out where this was all going.

I had formerly been a fierce fan of Nora Roberts years ago and followed her publications and read many of her books. I was invested at the start of this one, but was disappointed with the rest of it, my reasons above, thus averaging my rating out to just 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for Anne OK.
3,577 reviews461 followers
May 28, 2018
Meeting today’s headlines head-on with a mass shooting, Nora Roberts’ latest release may be a trigger (no pun intended) for many readers. I admit that the blurb left me a bit hesitant.

Roberts expertly creates a realistic story where the lives of two teenagers are forever changed in just eight short minutes. Shelter in Place is agonizing and harrowing with an intense view into long repercussions of violent crime, filled with a cast of characters that readers won’t soon forget. The psychological and intriguing plot immediately seizes your attention from the first page to the last.

Simone Knox and Reed Quartermaine are survivors. Years later, they are now adults ensconced in careers – one an artist and the other a police detective. But fate – good or bad – has a way of rearing its ugly head. And survivors of the DownEast Mall shooting are once again being targeted and killed. Reed believes their deaths are related to the mall massacre, but others disagree. When he is wounded, people begin to pay attention to what he has been saying. With time off to heal, he returns to his childhood roots where he becomes involved with Simone. And a psychopathic killer is on the loose. And that’s all I’m sayin’ folks because spoilers aren’t my thing!

The romantic connection between Reed and Simone doesn’t come until late in the telling – thirteen years after the mall shooting. A little disappointing maybe for some readers — me included. That seems the way Nora Roberts has chosen to roll these days. Less romance and more focus on intensifying the suspense. But in her usual inimitable way, NR has once again delivered readers another unforgettable couple — a perfect match with a first-rate relationship. I can live with that so long as the rest is engaging and interesting. That would be the case with this storyline and Reed and Simone’s relationship.

A small nitpick regarding the hero’s somewhat obsessive infatuation with his lady love’s grandmother. Not only does CiCi play matchmaker, she helps Reed with his dream house and in obtaining a new position as police chief in his hometown, too. In my opinion the infatuation was overplayed – so much so that granny was included in personal moments where grannies aren’t normally found. A little strange! But NR counteracts my distress over the granny lovefest by introducing an adorable puppy that turned my frown upside down and upped my appreciation for the tale. I’ll fess up that Granny CiCi plays a key role throughout the book adding goodness and wisdom and without her this story would not have been the same.

Another bugger I found within this story was the significant jumps in time that weren’t always easy to follow. This reader appreciates clearly marked changes – both in backward and forward movement — in a timeline. And it shouldn’t be too hard of a request to manage.

With her decision to seemingly break new ground and head in new directions, NR appears unaffected by what her fans may find too much of a drastic change in topics. Her romances continue ever popular and her In Death Series written as J.D. Robb is a favorite among so many readers. I stand among those! Never miss a new release. Nora Roberts remains at the top of her game — a skilled master of her craft.

If you’re a fan Ms. Roberts and/or romantic suspense that will terrify, move, and at times, humor mixed with the sweetness of new passion — but with less emphasis on this aspect of the genre — this captivating saga is a must read.

Note: An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) was provided by the Author and Publisher.

Profile Image for Pilar S.C..
Author 9 books200 followers
April 9, 2019
¡¡MARAVILLOSA!! No esperaba menos de Roberts pero, desde luego, el libro ha superado mis expectativas. Personajes muy muy definidos, trama envolvente, descripciones ajustadas... ¡Es increíble cómo escribe esta mujer!
Nora consigue mantener al lector en continua tensión. Es imposible decir el famoso cliché de "un capítulo más y ya". ¡Imposible!
Reed me ha enamorado. La evolución de adolescente a adulto es palpable en cada página. Su madurez se hace patente con cada decisión que toma, cada pensamiento, cada palabra que sale por su boca... Incluso la forma de enamorar a Simone, de cortejarla, darle el espacio que necesita (el justo)... es sencillamente increíble.
Simone, por otra parte, es el personaje con el que seguramente se identifique más el lector. No por cobardía en sus decisiones, sino porque muchos actuaríamos como ella hizo ante una tragedia semejante. Es fantástico ver como se vuelca con los años en resurgir como el Ave Fénix: más fuerte, más invencible, más segura de sí misma... Más ELLA.
CiCi es ENCANTADORA. Quiero una así para mí. ¿Dónde se piden, Roberts? Moderna hasta rayar lo surrealista y, sin embargo, maravillosamente fácil de querer.
Incluso los personajes secundarios (Tish, Mi, Bradley, Tiffany, Trent...) son adecuados para la trama. Perfectos. Necesarios.
CONCLUSIÓN: Me encantaría poder borrar de mi memoria los posos que ha dejado esta novela en mi corazón para releerla de nuevo y recuperar esas sensaciones -millones, incontables- que me ha provocado cada página.
Sencillamente inmejorable.
¡Enhorabuenísima, Nora Roberts!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Myrna.
714 reviews
July 21, 2018
In Shelter in Place, Nora Roberts dishes out a sensitive/timely tale with a gut punching opening. It’s been a while since I’ve read a Roberts novel but in this one she continues to have compelling characters and twists. For the most part this was a gripping read, full of suspense with a touch of romance. I think it’s a must read for the romantic suspense fan.
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