Brittany's Reviews > River's End

River's End by Nora Roberts
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's review
Mar 26, 2010

really liked it
Read in March, 2010

Just FYI, I will probably be reading a lot of Nora Roberts (like, more than normal). My friend's mom sent me a whole box full of her stuff! I'm very excited :) So sorry for the lack of variety, but I can't help myself.

River's End is one of Roberts' books that blends mystery in with romance incredibly well. I think one of my favorite things about her work is how much detail she goes into with each character. I've read books where the main character is a scientist, a writer, an anthropologist...whatever the character does professionally is clearly described and linked to personality. She must do tons of research to get things so precisely, but it's definitely worth it in the depth of her characters.

Olivia is the main character, and we first met her when she is four year old. Her parents are both actors living in Los Angles, so you would think she has a perfect life. That is, until she unfortunately wakes up one night hearing her mother scream, and when she investigates sees her father standing over her dead mother's body. Pretty intense for anyone, but especially a toddler. She hides in a closet and is found hours later by a remarkable policeman named Frank Brady, who takes care of her and calls her aunt.

Due to the huge amount of press garnered by this death (imagine Brad killing Angie & Shiloh seeing it), her grandparents whisk her away to their lodge in Washington state and keep her pretty disconnected from the outside world her whole life, until she went to college (home schooled, no outside sports or friends). And they never talked about her mother or father, or what had happened between them. When she's 12 she finds some of her mother's things in the attic though, and asks her aunt to please talk to her about it. She also connects with Frank Brady after 8 years, since he was always someone she could trust.

The case always had a huge impact on Frank, partly because of Olivia and the tragedy of such a young girl being a witness to such a thing. It also impacted his son, Noah. Noah could always tell when a certain case was more difficult or personal for his father, and after seeing a clip of four year old Olivia after it happened he felt a double connection. He wanted to write a book about it, but obviously needed cooperation from the family for this to happen. As you can imagine, this was not easy to come by.

Things only get more confusing when Olivia's father, Sam, gets out of jail after 20 years. He still sticks to his story that he doesn't remember killing her mom, only finding her covered in blood. So there is a tiny question of whether or not he did'll have to make up your own mind about that ;) Personally, I had a gut feeling pretty early on in the book of what really happened, and I was right! I don't know if that means Roberts' was predictable in this, I've read too much of her stuff, or just that I have good intuition sometimes.

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