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Northern Lights [Hardcover]

Nora Roberts
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Oct 2004
Lunacy, Alaska - population 506 - is Nate Burke's last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he had watched his partner die - and the guilt still haunts him. Maybe serving as Chief of Police in this tiny, remote town, where darkness falls by mid-afternoon and temperatures fall to below zero, will bring some kind of solace. It isn't as if he has anywhere else to go. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose and pulling apart two brothers fighting overJohn Wayne's best movie Nate's first weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But as he wonders whether this was all a big mistake, an unexpected kiss from feisty bush pilot Meg Galloway under the brilliant Northern Lights of the Alaska sky lifts his spirit - and convinces him to stay just a little longer. Born and raised in Lunacy, Meg has learned to be independent. But there's something about Nate's sad eyes that gets under her skin, and warms her frozen heart. However, when two climbers find a corpse on the mountain, Nate discovers that Lunacy isn't quite the sleepy little backwater he imagined.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group; First Printing edition (12 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399152059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399152054
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.9 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,691,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'sheer entertainment' The Guardian" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Set in the beautiful Alaskan wilderness and full of wonderfully real characters, romance and mystery, this exciting page-turner is Nora Roberts' best novel yet. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alaskan Atmosphere Adds Appeal 4 May 2005
Lunacy, Alaska is the kind of place where the weather turns everything on its head. The sun is either always down . . . or always up. The cold is almost always a presence. A little storm can dump 4 feet of show suddenly. A little jaunt can turn deadly if you aren't cautious.
When the weather isn't providing such extremes, the wild animals are. Don't face down an angry moose or a hungry black bear!
The demographics are also unusual . . . there are a lot more men than woman, which can mean that the women can play the field while the men have to be loyal.
Travel isn't simple. You use snowshoes, land planes on frozen rivers and fly hundreds of miles for ordinary shopping.
Is it any wonder that tempers can get short, disagreements can get out-of-hand, and families find themselves in conflict with one another?
With Alaska as the main character in this book, Ms. Roberts turns what would normally be a pretty average romance/murder mystery story into an intriguing one.
Nate Burke was a good cop . . . so good that it cost him his marriage. Distracted by the loss of his wife, Nate Burke even begins to doubt he can be a good cop again. Running away becomes attractive, and he takes the job as police chief in the small town of Lunacy, Alaska. As soon as he arrives, he realizes that he's out of his depth and may not last the winter.
Two women immediately begin vying for his attention and his attractive body. That's enough to make most men come alive . . . but it's even more significant when they both turn out to be untamed . . . and are mother and daughter.
While he's dealing with the possibility of love, Nate finds himself drawn into solving an old, unsuspected murder . . . while realizing that the killer must still be in Lunacy.
How will it all turn out?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading, lightweight fiction 18 July 2006
Northern Lights is set in Lunacy, Alaska, where we follow the adventures of a policeman, Nate Burke, who has transferred from Baltimore. The story centres on a murder, committed many years ago, and body frozen in a cave. The sideshow is Burke's deepening relationship with a lady pilot, Meg Galloway.

The book ticks many of the boxes for a novel of this type. As an adventure story, it keeps moving, and is nicely-paced with the main story building out of a series of smaller, self-contained scenes. The setting, in the Alaskan winter, is unusual and interesting, and there are a good variety of characters who are set out in contrasting colours and styles. It is also well-written - certainly a lot better than a Dan Brown, for example.

The weaknesses are also classic for a work of this type. The principal characters are wooden and stereotyped, and there is little that they say and do with which we can empathise. The setting, although described in some detail, fails to convey the sense of life in the arctic (and here one may suspect that the author's research was limited to one or two short visits and lacked an extended stay). Finally - and this is probably the biggest failing - the denoument of the villain comes as no surprise and is somewhat anticlimactic, though rather lacking the intricate clues of a classic whodunnit.

You get what you pay for. This is a bestselling adventure novel, to read on a plane or on the beach. Don't expect to be challenged with a complex plot, emotional depth, psychological insights, or to be drawn into a close relationship with any of the characters.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, page-turning read - great stuff! 21 Sep 2004
By A Customer
I'm always skeptical when a book claims it's the author's 'best ever' but having now read NORTHERN LIGHTS, for once I can see that this isn't just publisher's hype. It is in my opinion one of Nora's best book yet.
It has wonderfully strong characters, (including a very yummy, tortured hero!) a great plot and I loved the Alaskan setting. (Great fan of NORTHERN EXPOSURE and the quirkiness of some of the characters certainly reminded me of this.)
I could not put it down!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 20 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This is a marvellous book. It is a massive door-stop and every page is enthralling. The characters are terrific and I loved the background with the planes and the snow. There is also an extremely strong mystery. This is the best Nora Roberts novel I have ever read. I really rate it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I was predisposed to enjoy Nora Robert's "Northern Lights", as I like most books, fiction and non, having to do with the Alaskan wilderness and the Arctic. Ms. Roberts' detailed descriptions of Alaskan landscapes - the rhythm of the seasons, the blue light emitted from glaciers, the "Mountain," (McKinley, called Denali here), the long winter nights, snow and ice blizzards, the variety of color displays caused by the Northern Lights, (the Aurora Borealis), that celestial phenomenon of bands or streamers of colored light that appear in the sky predominantly in the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the earth, are simply phenomenal. It is also fascinating to read about the mechanisms people use, who live near the Arctic Circle, to survive and make normal lives for themselves, including going out for sports and to socialize in sub-zero weather.
The novel is set in Lunacy, Alaska, a tiny, quiet town, (pop. 506), whose inhabitants have worked hard to make sure they have all the institutions necessary for a civilized life. It is also of extreme importance for them to function and be self-sufficient when the weather cuts them off from the outside world. The Lunatics, (as the townsfolk call themselves), proudly claim a mayor, a school, a bank, one hotel, (The Lodge), with it own restaurant, and one pizzeria called "The Italian Place," a health clinic, fire department, weekly newspaper, radio station, small plane service, and a police force - minus a chief - which is why Baltimore Police Detective Nate Burke was hired for the job. The town's elders were looking for an outsider without a local or state agenda, and the experienced detective Burke fit the bill.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a light but interesting read
Another very descriptive and interesting read from Nora Roberts, a soli plot like that keeps you guessing. I would recommend to anyone for a enjoyable easy read
Published 19 days ago by miss titch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very happy
Published 1 month ago by Anita Scobell
4.0 out of 5 stars good a bit of slow burn
Good steady Nora book, depicts Alaska beautifully. Slow in parts but overall a good read, worth a punt for sure
Published 1 month ago by S. Trowsdale
5.0 out of 5 stars Great summer read
There is so much cold in this story it has to be great beach book! Cooled me off whilst reading in Greece in 36 degrees. Nora Roberts is my favourite novel author. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Me
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping tale
Could not put it down,excellent story very well written and so descriptive of Alaska,never guessed the culprit,even to the last pages.
Published 2 months ago by jean morgan
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD EASY READING
Published 3 months ago by g. smith
5.0 out of 5 stars sheer escapism
If you want a romantic novel posed in a different setting than the norm - this will undoubtedly do it for you. Not many romantic who dunnits are based in Alaska! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ginty
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
So descriptive, you could imagine yourself there in Alaska and the plot kept you wondering to the last.chapter. Thank you for a great read.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs S Mulliner
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Bit more of a crime story in this and not just the coming together of two people who've fallen in love at first sight but one takes a while to realise it type thing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by emis
5.0 out of 5 stars book
this book came early and in good condition i am really into her books at the minute not bothered if a book is second hand as long as its in readable condition
Published 5 months ago by mags
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