September 20, 2007 - Spoiler Alert for Nora Roberts readers, High Noon

Thirteen parallels between Nora Roberts’ High Noon and Blue Smoke

I’d like to preface this almost-flaming sounding BLOG with my personal thoughts on Nora Roberts’ work. I love her stories. She is the author of my all-time, favorite book, Public Secrets. She has so many novels to her name I am hardly worthy, as an amateur writer, to even speak her name much less possibly say things that aren’t uplifting. I suppose as a reader I’m allowed my opinions, though… and I wonder how often an author needs a break. Do the facts that I’m about to display prove that Roberts is off her game?

What do you think?

1. Phoebe and Reena – their mannerisms, their speech patterns… oh, and they both had a traumatic experience as a young girl of 12. They’re both cops.

2. I’d like to mention the short, choppy dialogue here – Blue Smoke had it as the heroine’s trait with minor crossover to the hero. In High Noon, everyone has it. Except for, perhaps, Ma Bee [mentioned later in this blog], it’s like fragment heaven. When Nora looked at her finished product on Word, she must have seen green squiggly lines EVERYWHERE. I just think there has to be some moderation. I got tired of the cadence.

3. Annoying insistence for hero to leave – I didn’t know how to title this, but in both books [more so in High Noon], the heroine appeals for people to leave. Get out while you can type of proposal. It was tolerable in Blue Smoke. In High Noon, after the third time, I wanted to hit a wall. Really. I was a little po-ed. Some themes should die early deaths. It showed not a lack of trust, which Duncan suggested, but a lack of respect. No means no. This bit leads to the Angry Moments… both heroes get an angry moment, which of course leads to, uh, other more passionate things. *cough* They’re mad at the heroine for her thoughtlessness, as they should be, even if it is because they care… I mean, I understand the heroine’s position, I’m just helping you to see the similarities in the story line.

4. Bowen Goodnight and Duncan Swift – despite the lottery winnings in High Noon, they are both self made men without a strong, traditional family base.

5. Family is a HUGE theme for Nora Roberts and I love her for it. There is one bit near the end when the family holes up at one member’s house…for protection, in both books. In honor of T13, I’ll mention it as a parallel but it’s not necessarily a negative one.

6. John Minger and David McVee – the older man who made a difference at a very traumatic event in a young girl’s life. Changed the course of history, so to speak. They both get it by the bad guy…I think, you can comment if I’m wrong. Didn’t Minger get beat up at some point? Hmmm. I think he did while in NY.

7. Ma Bee and Mrs. M – mother figure to hero who wants him hitched. A mentor of sorts.

8. Phineas and Brad– the best friend of hero, will see you through anything, buddy ol’ pal, like brothers and side business associates

9. Loo and Mandy – secondary, secondary female character that the hero feels great affection for but no chemistry. Coupled with the best friend character mentioned above. I mean, really…

10. Sykes/Liz and O’Donell – partner/coworker, the combo here might not be as strong but the link is still there. A good guy who’s got her back.

11. Duncan’s mother and Bowen’s Uncle – greedy bastard of a family member who’s looking to get rich. No love lost. High Noon is backstory whereas Blue Smoke dealt with it in the present. And maybe it was his Dad, dad or uncle… it’s been a while since I’ve read it.

12. Jerrald Walken and Joey Pastorelli – The villains. They have the same motivating factor—a woman who screwed up his life. I liked Joey better. He was way more intense and killed way more people.

13. Michael Vince and Tony Whathisface – the former friend of the villain. Both have families now. And two quotes to finish this up because I read High Noon and KNEW while I was reading this paragraph that I’d already read the same thing somewhere else… in a slightly different word order.

“Lieutenant, if he did what you’re saying, he’s got to be out of his mind. I’ve got a wife and a baby. You can believe me when I say, I hear from Jerry, you’ll hear from me. I won’t take chances with my family.”
--Michael Vince, High Noon

“Things are different now. I’ve got a family. If he’s done murder, I don’t want him coming around my family” *** “…I want you to know, you’ve got my word, if he gets in touch with me again, I won’t tell him you’re looking for him. And I’ll call you first thing.”
--Tony, Blue Smoke

So, do I recommend this book? I do. The characters are just as intriguing as they were the first time around…

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