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Northern Lights | [Nora Roberts]

Northern Lights

Lunacy was Nate Burke's last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he'd watched his partner die on the street - and the guilt still haunts him. With nowhere else to go, he accepts the job as chief of police in this tiny, remote Alaskan town. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose, he finds his first few weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But that's about to change.
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Publisher's Summary

The town of Lunacy, Alaska, was Nate Burke's last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he'd watched his partner die on the street - and the guilt still haunts him. With nowhere else to go, he accepts the job as chief of police in this tiny, remote Alaskan town. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose, he finds his first few weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But just as he wonders whether this has been all a big mistake, an unexpected kiss on New Year's Eve under the brilliant Northern Lights of the Alaskan sky lifts his spirits and convinces him to stay just a little longer.

Meg Galloway, born and raised in Lunacy, is used to being alone. She was a young girl when her father disappeared, and she has learned to be independent, flying her small plane, living on the outskirts of town with just her huskies for company. After her New Year's kiss with the chief of police, she allows herself to give in to passion - while remaining determined to keep things as simple as possible. But there's something about Nate's sad eyes that gets under her skin and warms her frozen heart.

And now, things in Lunacy are heating up. Years ago, on one of the majestic mountains shadowing the town, a crime occurred that is unsolved to this day - and Nate suspects that a killer still walks the snowy streets. His investigation will unearth the secrets and suspicions that lurk beneath the placid surface, as well as bring out the big-city survival instincts that made him a cop in the first place. And his discovery will threaten the new life - and the new love - that he has finally found for himself.

©2004 Nora Roberts; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"[A] richly textured novel that captures the intimacy of smalltown police work, the prickliness of the pioneer spirit and the paradox of a setting at once intimate and expansive." (Publishers Weekly)
"Roberts's latest hit novel could not be performed better." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1168 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (863 )
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (852 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Charlotte Detroit, MI, USA 07-22-08
    Charlotte Detroit, MI, USA 07-22-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great"

    This book was a little slow, but great non the less.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guiselle Den Haag, Netherlands 01-19-13
    Guiselle Den Haag, Netherlands 01-19-13 Member Since 2009

    Avid reader and listener. Especially (but not just) urban fantasy and romance

    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The balance between murder and romance"

    I'm happy to report that I've finally joined the throngs of Norah Robert fans. Ok, I'm still not an avid fan, but I did like the book, and that's good enough for me.
    After decades of feeling like a pariah and thinking: Is this it?, this novel finally made me think: Ok, I think I get it. Kinda.
    Certainly a good listen. Well. Let's get to it, shall we?

    Premise:
    So, this guy, Nate, an ex cop, is pretty depressed after an incident in which his partner got killed. So he quits his job and moves to Alaska. ...Ok.
    So he gets there and becomes chief of police in this town called Lunacy. (Lunacy, get it? The townspeople are pretty weird and they are called Lunatics. Mrs Roberts seems to have an excellent although not very subtle sense of humor. It's funny, though, isn't it? Lunatics? LOL).
    Nate meets and falls in love with this awesome bush pilot woman Meg. Then a body is discovered on a mountain. The rest of the plot circles around this murder. Who'd done it?! :-O

    The excitement in this books comes mainly from the murder, and the search for the killer. The love between Meg and Nate seems almost placid. Maybe I'm getting mellow in my old age, but I liked that. Nice, kinda calm love. No real drama there.
    Very pleasant.
    While on the one hand, the pace seemed slow and nothing much happened with regards to Meg and Nate, on the other hand, the abundance of Lunatic (lol) characters made me feel as if a lot was going on in the overall story. I need to confess, though that most of the characters (including the main characters) seemed a bit 'flat' to me. Take Nate for example, although he was supposed to be tormented, I wasn't really convinced. The scenes in which his depression was discussed, seemed spaced out and didn't seem to tie into the whole.

    All in all, I liked the book. It wasn't spectacular, but certainly a solid suspense/ romance novel. If you're looking for a novel with a romance/ murder plot. This one's as good as any and better than quite a few. Nice descriptions of the surroundings are included. I would say the romance aspect was pleasantly there, but the murder investigative side of it was more prevalent.

    The narrator has a very nice voice, by the way. My only problem, and that's one of my pet peeves, so please indulge me, is that male narrators sometimes tend to 'overdo' female voices or intonations. I found that mr. Littman's (narrator) rendition of Meg (and of her mother) sometimes tended a bit towards a caricaturization.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MidwestGeek 12-08-12
    MidwestGeek 12-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    176
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    394
    88
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What's all the excitement about?"

    Although romance novels are not my thing, having seen such strong reviews for Nora Roberts as a writer, I decided to give this very highly rated, stand-alone mystery-thriller a try. I found it extremely tedious. Although the writing is good, her character and location development took forever, and I was 3 hours into listening before the mystery presented itself. After listening to half the book, I give up. There are no original ideas or interesting insights to be found here. Whether her descriptions of Alaska and the people who move there are typical, I can't say, but the plot just drags on and on. Maybe condensed into about half the length, it could be a good read but I just don't care. I am not one who is offended either by strong language or by explicit descriptions of sex, but the characters and descriptions seem so hackneyed.

    Without revealing any spoilers, I can share that the heroine is a strong, self-assured, independent women, only a bit too perfect. Perfectly rational and truthful with a perfectly sculptured, sexy body, easily aroused yet always under control. The hero is the consummate police detective but emotionally scarred and needy, suffering from depression but unwilling to take any meds because he can't think or work under their influence. He's unsure of himself one minute but the perfect lover the next. He doesn't miss a detail even though some days he can barely drag himself out of bed. I know a person can harbor many self-contradictions, but somehow this guy never became believable.

    I can pretty much see how the rest of the book will develop and how things will turn out, but I just don't care about these people or the solution to the mystery. I guessed who the bad guy was, and I looked online at a spoiler review to check that I was right.

    The narrator does a good job with the material and characters, although I couldn't stand the voice he used for the woman who was the town mayor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Oakville, Ontario, Canada 03-18-11
    Mary Oakville, Ontario, Canada 03-18-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    304
    120
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    FOLLOWING
    16
    0
    Overall
    "A great listen"

    Truly enjoyed this book. A great blend of substance, humour and romance with a well defined plot and engaging character development.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 02-02-11
    Lia Sutton, Australia 02-02-11 Member Since 2009

    I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2325
    ratings
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    544
    479
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    335
    24
    Overall
    "Enjoyable"

    This was my first Nora Roberts book and I enjoyed listening to the end. I found the end of the book a bit predicable but the narrator made up for that. Overall I would recommend this book.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 10-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Remarkable"
    If you could sum up Northern Lights in three words, what would they be?

    Getting Nothing Done


    What did you like best about this story?

    I have had this book for years and have read it many times but never have I enjoyed a book more than this audio book. I cannot pick one thing I like best. I do know I have had a hard time just letting go of my Kindle to get something done--like cook dinner.


    What does Gary Littman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Do not listen to anyone who might criticize Gary Littman. His performance borders on truly remarkable. Love Hopp. Got used to Meg. Had her harder in my mind after reading the book. He softened her up a bit. "Ignatius" reminded me of the police officer I knew in my hometown; tough when he needed to be but compassionate and human the rest of the time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but little things intruded like the need to eat, sleep, etc.


    Any additional comments?

    Really, really enjoyed this book. I might be regressing back to my childhood, enjoying being read to but, there was nothing childlike in the audio version of this book. Thank you, Gary Littman and Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rusty Galloway, NJ, United States 09-06-14
    Rusty Galloway, NJ, United States 09-06-14

    Avid reader for 45 years

    HELPFUL VOTES
    98
    ratings
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    163
    162
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    3
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    "Totally Enjoyable Romance with Humor & Suspense"

    This is one of my all time favorites; a book I can listen to once a year and enjoy every time.I just loved the quirky residents of Lunacy and the detailed description of Alaska (which I would only want to visit in summer).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 08-20-14
    Jennifer 08-20-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    235
    88
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Rural Alaska came to life"

    Intense book when action picks up - be it danger due to a bear, mountain or bad guy. Great characters, all well drawn, as was the town itself. Made you feel a part of it. Some of the internal emotional parts with Nate were not to my tastes, but the damaged cop struggling back to life worked for this plot. I always love Roberts' writing, how she captures the scenes. Painted a wonderful portrait of the town and all of its inhabitants. It was a mix of solve-the-crime with human interest and romance, and they were woven together expertly.

    Narration was great too, and impressive given the myriad characters to keep consistent. (I think the mayor might have been my favorite). Only had a brief dialogue voice-switch issue once or twice.

    I would never last long in such a secluded snowed in place as Lunacy, but it sure sounds beautiful, and made me miss my mountains a little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Pennsylvania 07-13-14
    Amazon Customer Pennsylvania 07-13-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love the Alaskan setting"
    Would you listen to Northern Lights again? Why?

    I definitely would listen again... Great story but really loved the narrator. Excellent reading!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Northern Lights?

    There were many memorable moments but I think my favorite was Nate's proposal.I The more she protested the more fixed on her he became... Until she was putty in his hands.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Meg's dogs were being attacked by a bear was a favorite. She loved those dogs and the uncertainty of whether her or the dogs would survive was a real nail biter.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I seriously wish I had the time to listen in one sitting. It was so hard to turn it off since there was always something lurking right around the bend.


    Any additional comments?

    This narrator was terrific. I'm not always keen on the reader, but this was probably an all-time favorite. Very easy to listen to... His voice just enveloped me and I was instantly in the scene right alongside the action. I could literally feel the frost bite and tension.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susana C 06-29-14
    Susana C 06-29-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best performance I've listened to in an audiobook"
    Any additional comments?

    I've loved some books by Nora Roberts, and I've disliked some others. This story I liked very much but I didn't love, however I really loved the performance, and I'll be looking for other books read by Gary Littman's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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