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High Noon    by Nora Roberts order for
High Noon
by Nora Roberts
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Police lieutenant Phoebe McNamara and sports bar owner Duncan Swift meet when they both try to stop one of Duncan's distraught employees from committing suicide. As Savannah's top hostage negotiator, she takes over the situation and expertly diffuses it before tragedy strikes. The incident leaves Duncan badly shaken, yet also incredibly impressed by the level headed, take charge, and very courageous police lieutenant who seems to have a true gift for negotiating. Once the dust settles he makes it his number one priority to learn more of Phoebe McNamara and convince her to let him become part of her life.

Phoebe on the other hand has been badly burned by love. While she's very attracted to Duncan Swift, she cautions herself to put the handsome bar owner out of her mind. She has enough on her plate raising her precocious seven-year-old daughter Carly and protecting her agoraphobic mother, not to mention dealing with her demanding and often volatile job. But when she's attacked at her own precinct house in broad daylight, Phoebe finds the safe world she's built around herself and her family - not to mention her self-confidence - badly shaken. Her tormentor is caught and punished, but when the threats continue and eventually target her loved ones, including Duncan, the gloves come off. Phoebe refuses to be intimidated and is determined to unmask her shadowy, very cunning enemy, who makes it clear that their final showdown will be even more personal.

Using clever and nicely timed plot twists that incorporate references to the classic western High Noon, Roberts crafts another taut and gripping suspense while also building a very involving romance between Duncan and Phoebe. Fascinating back-stories for both leads and secondaries (including Phoebe's tormentor) add even more intensity. High Noon is another character-rich, timely and cleverly imagined story by an author who never fails to disappoint.

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