An Ethical Thief? – Review of “Nightwork” by Nora Roberts

What’s a nine year old to do when his mother is battling cancer and insurance doesn’t cover everything? Harry didn’t have many options but he quickly became adept at picking pockets and then branched out into what he termed nightwork. Planning was key to his success; make sure the owner isn’t home, no weapons, don’t get greedy – stick to the target, always work solo, and never steal from anyone you know. His nightwork helped pay the bills but after several years he lost his mother to cancer anyway. So Harry left his aunt Mags in Chicago and hit the road, changing his identity several times along the way. Chapel Hill, NC felt like home, so he enrolled at UNC. Harry’s eidetic memory and an insatiable thirst for knowledge made keeping a low profile nearly impossible but he was doing okay until Miranda Emerson.

When he first laid eyes on the professor’s daughter, he knew he was toast. Miranda completed his world. But his world was knocked off its axis when Carter LaPorte threatened everyone Harry cared about, forcing him to break into a museum to steal an artifact. To protect those he loved, Harry cruelly broke off his relationship with Miranda and vanished from the life he’d chosen, knowing he’d never be free of LaPorte unless he faced him down. To do that and survive, Harry needed a long-term plan, and meticulous planning was one of his strengths. Otherwise everyone he cared about was in mortal danger.

Author Nora Roberts’ gift for storytelling has never been more evident than in her newest release, “Nightwork”. Billed as a romantic suspense, it is masterfully crafted with an intricate and original plot and engagingly complex yet authentic characters. Yes, Harry, later known as Booth, is a thief but a thief with a steadfast moral code. A paradox? Not to Booth. Roberts craftily leads the reader through the protagonist’s life from age nine on into adulthood. His interpersonal relationships with Miranda, his aunt Mags and his friend Sebastien pulled me in and kept me riveted and rooting for him all the way. Romance fans will not be disappointed with “Nightwork” as the love story between Booth and Miranda is both charming and steamy. Roberts’ writing with a young boy as the protagonist gives the tale a completely different feel than her usual but he’s such a multi-faceted character he easily bears the weight and responsibility of the storyline. “Nightwork” well deserves the only Five Star rating I’ve awarded this year.

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