Saturday, July 24, 2010

Book review- Nora Roberts Midnight Bayou

Midnight Bayou is a romantic suspense novel by Nora Roberts. Though I don't really like Nora Roberts's stories, I still end up buying all her books because a book I read (it was a two in one book called Cordina's royal family) was pretty good. I keep on hoping she will come up with something that good again.

In Midnight Bayou, Declan Fitzgerald is a lawyer who moves into a new house far away from the city. However, the house is inhabited by the ghost of a woman (Abigail) who was tragically killed in the house many years ago. The first chapter shows the night when she comes to tend to her infant daughter and is murdered by her brother-in-law. Her mother-in-law hates her because she is of a lower social standing and yet managed to marry her son so she hushes up the whole matter and tells her son that she ran away with another man. Her husband is not able to believe this and tries to look for her. He isn't able to find her and commits suicide, leaving his daughter alone. The mood is very well created in the first chapter and I could feel like I was almost there.

When he moves into Manet Hall (the house)he starts hearing the voice of Abigail who was killed here. He starts having visions later, in which he sees the past and the injustice that was done to her. His best friend is getting married to a librarian. He also meets and starts a relationship with Lena Simone- the owner of the local bar. She is the descendant of the Cajun woman who was killed in Manet Hall.

As their relationship, progresses, so does the mystery. Here is the synopsis given on the back of the book:

Declan Fitzgerald, a Harvard-educated Boston lawyer, has longed to possess Manet Hall ever since he and his friend, Remy Payne, broke into the old place as drunken students on a lark. Now, on the eve of his wedding, Declan leaves Boston, the law and his fianc‚e, buys the decrepit hall and embarks on a mission to restore it with his own sweat, blood and money. But Manet Hall comes with a dark history, and restoring it means uncovering its past, which includes rape, murder and betrayal. Declan encounters an additional challenge in the person of Cajun beauty and bar owner Lena Simone, who has her own dark history and a surprising connection to Manet Hall. As Declan digs deeper at the Hall, he often hears a baby crying. The cries are followed by voices, particularly that of Abigail Manet, the baby's mother. Abigail's story, which unfolds in 1900, is woven so tightly with Declan's that he finds it difficult to escape her grasp. In the end, only Lena can bring him back from the tragic past that threatens to engulf him. Roberts's role reversal here it is the male character who hears voices and even swoons gives her faithful readers a little extra thrill, and the lush setting and the satisfying if predictable romance round out the package.

Although it started out in a creative way, as soon as Duncan and Lena meet, it goes back to being a generic romance novel. Even the exotic elements could not save this novel from becoming a disaster once it became so predictable. And the worst part was the ending which was a total letdown.

Good setting and atmosphere
Suspense and mysterious past
The cover art was good
Nora Roberts's writing style, which is the only reason this book sold

Weak male lead
Weak female lead
Predictable romance
Ending was a letdown
Romance had no obstacles

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