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Remember When    by Nora Roberts & J. D. Robb order for
Remember When
by Nora Roberts
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

In an innovative approach that only Nora Roberts and her futuristic alter-ego J.D. Robb could devise, the talented ladies present a pair of slick, interconnected novellas that follow the trail of murder, revenge and a small fortune in missing diamonds.

Remember When first introduces Laine Tavish, owner of a successful antique store located in the small, picturesque town of Angel's Gap, Maryland. When a mysterious stranger comes into her store warning her that 'he knows where you are' and that Laine must 'find the pooch' she blows him off as an eccentric old man and sends him on his way. Seconds later he's killed while crossing the street, and only afterwards does Laine realize her former connection to the dead man. Willy Young had aged since Laine last saw her con-artist father's best and only close friend and fellow thief. Sick at heart and feeling guilty over the cold way she dismissed Willy, Laine is also suddenly very aware that he came to deliver a dire warning. The next thing she asks herself is, 'what had Willy and her estranged con-artist father gotten themselves into this time?'.

Within hours her house is ransacked. The local police believe it's the handiwork of insurance investigator, Max Gannon, hot on the trail of millions of dollars worth of missing diamonds. He's certain that Laine, (aka Elaine O'Hara), daughter of small time grifter Big Jack O'Hara, knows much more than she's saying about where her father stashed his share of the diamonds. But neither Laine nor Max factors love into the mix of mystery and danger they find themselves in, as they try to stop Big Jack's murderous partner Alex Crew, who's bent on reclaiming all the diamonds for himself, even if he has to kill to get them.

The second story seamlessly fast forwards half a century to 2059 New York where up-and-coming young author Samantha Gannon comes home to find her best friend gruesomely murdered. Samantha has written the intriguing story of how her grandparents (Max and Laine Gannon) met, and later cracked a major diamond heist. She has just completed a successful book tour and can't understand why anyone would want to slit her best friend's throat. Was it a robbery gone bad? An angry boyfriend? Or did the murder have something to do with the fact that Alex Crew's share of the diamonds has never been recovered and a greedy killer is looking to find the elusive clues that will lead him to blood-covered riches? Now it's up to Eve Dallas, her special team of investigators, and of course her enigmatic husband, billionaire and former jewel thief Roarke, to assist in stopping a killer before he strikes again. There's also the possibility of solving a mystery that's intrigued an entire nation for fifty years.

Nora Roberts delivers a pair of thoroughly enjoyable stories. The second novella featuring Eve Dallas doesn't have the usual nifty and complex J.D. Robb plot but that's okay since it's the evolving cast of characters who never fail to intrigue, especially Eve and Roarke with their blistering relationship. Remember When is another sure-fire winner.

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