Feature book: Whiskey Beach
Eli Landon has moved to Whiskey Beach to look after Bluff House, his grandmother’s home, after Hester Landon was hospitalised by a fall. He needs somewhere to relax and heal after the trauma that has been his life for the past year. His then soon-to-be-ex-wife was murdered and Eli discovered the body. The police looked hard and long at him as the perpetrator but no charges were laid due to insufficient evidence. Eli knows he is innocent (and so do we) but the media and many of his former friends and colleagues aren’t so sure.
Eli was a criminal attorney at the time of his wife’s murder but was fired after the publicity storm surrounding her death. He’s always been a part-time fiction writer. At Bluff House, he hopes to finish the novel he has begun, to regroup and find a way to move forward.
Abra Walsh is Bluff House’s part-time housekeeper. She is also Whiskey Beach’s yoga instructor and masseuse. She makes jewellery for the local craft store to sell, cleans house for others in the community and works most Friday nights at the Village Pub. She doesn’t quite have a halo, but everyone in town thinks she’s an angel.
Eli is not looking for any kind of relationship. It’s not even on his radar, but Abra’s compassion and zest for life call to him and they start a slow gentle slide into love.
When someone breaks into Bluff House and assaults Abra, Eli finds he’s not willing to lie back and take it anymore. He, with Abra, start to fight back. Together, they investigate the connection between his wife’s death, the break in at Bluff House and a family legend of pirate treasure.
I always enjoy Nora Roberts’ books. I can’t say this one is my favourite but it was certainly engaging and entertaining. I did find both Abra and Eli almost too nice. From a romantic perspective, there is very little keeping them apart. Abra has significant trauma in her past as well, but (and this did surprise me a little) it had hardly any impact on her relationship with Eli. Almost from the beginning it is clear that Abra and Eli belong together and there was never really any conflict between them. Whiskey Beach, apart from the break-ins at Bluff House, is an idyllic place where everyone seems super nice too.
There is something lazy and gentle about the story without being in any way boring, but it didn’t have the rush and buzz of The Witness (which was one of my top reads last year) or The Search, which are two of my more recent favourite Roberts’ novels. The suspense plot unwinds logically and there are moments of drama but it’s not an edge-of-your-seat book. It was an easy weekend’s read and there was much to like. Even though they belong together, Abra and Eli take their time falling in love, as they solve the puzzle of Esmeralda’s Dowry and his wife’s murder. If you like Nora Roberts, I think you will like this book.
Reviewed by Kaetrin
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.