Shelter in Place discussion thread

Shelter in Place is on sale today (May 29, 2018).  And this is the place to discuss so spoilers are very much ahead.

A quick reminder of the book description:

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at the video-game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.
The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies’ room, hopelessly clutching her cell phone until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.
But one person wasn’t satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.
I read Shelter a couple of months ago and loved it.  Some readers will focus on the opening chapters (I know this from some email already in my box).  Yes, the initial chapter is taut and scary and emotional. The rest of the book gives us a picture of people both strong and weak, some who run toward the past, some run away, some build better lives and some just sink.
Please share your thoughts in the comments, and remember to keep replies kind and polite.

126 thoughts on “Shelter in Place discussion thread”

  1. I’ve just learned about Roberta. Still reading. Complicated plot. I like the twist. Cleverly done. Relevant topic of course, but unfortunately will not change the political landscape. Hoping some of Nora’s fans are Second Amendment purists and will realize not everyone should have a gun.

  2. Have not read it yet! I enjoy other books by Ms Roberts . Thank you for having such great talent and sharing!

  3. An amazing book as usual Nora literally couldn’t put it down had me hooked by page 3, just hate it when it ends as think I could read your books continuously, if it wasn’t for the fact I had to pass it on to my daughter I’d have gone back to the beginning and read it again. Loved CiCi she was my favourite character xx

  4. I really enjoyed this book. Good story and good characters. It seemed thoughtful and maybe even a little deeper than other books and writers. The subject is so current and tragic and the book treated it so.

  5. I’m patiently (ok, not so much) waiting for the release in Australia. I saw it was released today but my book store said no, not for a week! It’s usually only a day or so behind the US, can anyone tell me when it’s supposed to hit the stores over here? I just got my hands on the final 3 books in the bride quartet and have started reading book 2 but I’ve been waiting forever for a new, new book!

    1. Not sure where you are, but I’m in Brisbane and got it at the local Dymocks on Tuesday 29th.

  6. I’m halfway thru; the ebk didn’t download till about 1:00. I know, I checked just after midnight & it wasn’t there yet. Checked again about 1:30 & there it was. Said, reread the 1st chapter & then go back to sleep…well, I read till about 3:30, reminded myself that I had to get up for work later & needed more than a bit over an hour’s sleep for a decent day…woke up a bit after 6 & read till I HAD to get up. Sure wish I could have taken at least the morning off to finish it! Just makes retirement more & more alluring! Yeesh, was I wanting to read this book or what? I’ve wanted it since I foolishly read the preview chapter. I should know better by now; resist! Ha, temptation has never done well at getting behind me; it knows better!

  7. Another amazing start. I started crying in chapter one and proceeded to out out ugly crying. With another school shooting in Texas and schools being placed on shelter in place status because of a good police officer being killed last week here in Maryland, we all know that this could happen for real at any time. The world is a scary place, good job with capturing the horror, emotions and everything that goes with it.

  8. ****I apologize, I used the wrong term for the status of our schools last week. They were actually in lockdown status, not shelter in place status.

  9. Just finished this book. I thought it was fab.

    The story and pace were great but what really made this book for me were the characters.
    – Loved Simone and Reed,
    – I want to be CiCi when I grow up,
    – the steadfast friendship between Simone and Mi (and Tish),
    – the layers and depth to Simone’s family relationships, especially Nat
    – the way the victims were given a voice and a character (instead of treated as a single incident to get the plot moving)
    – Bull and Essie and family
    – finally, I loved Harry I assumed wrongly that he was going to be superficial and shallow when first introduced but he came across as kind and easy going

    Thank you for a great book

  10. Well, this was unnerving at first (subject matter ) but after about several pages, I got past my hesitation and plowed on. This was/is a terrific book and as usual, Nora doesn’t disappoint. I received an “ARC” and have been biding my time to respond. Once I really got into it, I could not put it down. Great characters and great storytelling. Love you Nora.

  11. So looking forward to reading this series, so I’m waiting for all the books come out, and have them loaded on my iPad! BTW, I know this is not related but wanted to mention it. My husband & I have been watching the 8 episode mystery series “Safe” on Netflix starring ” Michael C. Hall (Dexter). The lead female character bears an uncanny resemblance to Nora. Her character, Sophie Mason, plays a sergeant in the police force investigating the crimes! (She might make a great Eve Dallas if they ever decide to make a movie of the In Death books.) Anyway, I just thought I’d mention it b/c I keep seeing Nora when she’s on screen.

    1. This is not connected to Year One. Shelter in Place is this year’s stand alone book. The sequel to Year One is Of Blood & Bone and is out December 4.


  12. I and Postman are already at odds 😉 it happens everytime I need a book 😉 and he thinks I must wait for it to arrive 😛
    So this is the time I run whenever I hear his motorcycle distributing non-sense mail.
    I’m still waiting for my copy so I won’t be able to join the discussion yet.
    Happy publishing day ? always a happy day to learn my book is being handled and making its way to me

  13. This is definitely different from past NR books in that it spanned approximately 13/14 years and we get to see the details in those years as opposed to a small chunk of time at a time, i.e. black hills, the reef, honest illusions, etc. Also, the voice of Patricia Hobart was so chilling to me! We usually get some insight from the antagonist in some books but these more in-depth sections from her were…. so very interesting!
    There were such emotions and heartache in this book, and it just shows how wonderfully NR weaves her stories as I spent almost all of the first third of the book with tears rolling down my face. Now, I have to go organize a girls’ day/night/trip so I can tell my girlfriends how much I love them and how thankful I am to have them in my life!
    Thank you, Nora, for another great read!

  14. I just read the FBI agent’s description of Reed as “ an obsessed LEO….” What does LEO mean?

  15. Loving this one! A favorite tidbit: the name of Simone’s dad. My husband has the same name (Ward) so I got a little thrill when first I read it.

    Thanks for this one. Another fab read!

  16. This is the roughest beginning to a Nora Robert’s book I have ever read. I don’t mean that to be a negative, only that the opening chapters are disturbing, because the subject matter is disturbing. I wish more writers were taking on this super relevant subject! Thank you so much for carrying the torch Nora. <3

  17. Loved this book! It grabs you in the beginning and it’s such a journey over years following the characters. So much depth to the main ones! I had plans to get stuff done today, should know better on book release day! Ha!

  18. OMG
    I am about finished with the first third of the book and I actually have to put it up willingly. I spent this whole part crying. Like, I just can not stop crying.
    I love Cici. Natalie is a selfish brat. Simone is a very strong willed person in my mind. I just love her.
    This is definitely really different from any of Noras other stand alones and i love it. Even if it makes me want to cry.
    Oh and Patricia is a fucking psychotic bitch. I mean seriously psychotic. I don’t like her and her two faced self.

    1. You’re going to find out why Nat is a brat later in the book. I really felt for her later.

  19. I just finished Shelter in Place and I absolutely loved it! I couldn’t stop listening. So good.

  20. Given the subject matter, especially in context with current events, I am wondering if you and Nora (and publisher) have approached the “read and buy my book” marketing process a bit differently this time. Nora is a huge author and with the timing of the release, usually promoted as a “summer beach read”, so I am assuming that there will be more media attention than usual. On a pure review basis: with this and Come Sundown, it is obvious that Nora’s literary muse is moving towards a deeper approach than her earlier novels and I am truly enjoying this expanded change. Thank you

  21. Just finished. Loved the Cici character, she’s one of the most interesting folks the author has created, IMO. Timely subject matter, sadly. Starting to see recurrent themes with Nora’s other books in her past few releases which makes sense given the sheer volume of her work. Similar characters and situations in this book as in The Search, murderer drives onto the island using two other people as part of a disguise. Hildy reminds me a bit of Hop in Northern Lights. Artists and bronze work similar to Homeport. Key teenage character surviving a horrible trauma as in The Witness. Rescued dog as in The Obsession. But overall a very good book and one I’d recommend. Though I will nitpick one thing at the very end, Reed puts 3 bullets into Patricia “center mass” and then runs over and tells her not to die? As a trained marksman and a cop, it would have made more sense for him to shoot her to incapacitate her in the arms and/or legs instead? Anyway, enjoyed the book, nicely done Nora.

    1. I agree with some similarities with her other work, but still a good book.

    2. Cops are trained to shoot center mass, not to aim for limbs as do that, miss, you’re the one on the ground bleeding.

    3. I agree with some similarities with other books . Patricia is like the combination of the girl in Innocent in Death & Apprentice in Death . It still a good book . I like it better than the last 2 stand alone book , my favorite is still The Witness
      Thank you Nora .

    4. Reed did exactly as he was trained. Officer’s are trained to shoot center mass.

  22. I’m in Chapter 5, just completely, absolutely, caught up… But I don’t know if I like who is Simone at the moment… Someone there who can help me saying she will improve? LoL

    1. Yah, I found her hard to really like as an adult once she met Reed. As a teen and young adult, I liked her much more. But Cici is such a great person, everyone else felt sort of weak by comparison.

  23. I finished it this morning and I wasn’t sure I would be able to get through it after the beginning. I cried a lot and I usually don’t have to do that with a Nora book. I have spotted the more in the news topics since Come Sundown and Obsession but this one really threw me. I enjoyed it and obviously couldn’t put it down but it was really something to think about.

  24. Finished Shelter in Place early this morning because I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. As usual, your the characters just grabbed me and pulled me into the their story then left me when it was told. Especially loved CiCi! Another great story that was so relatable and relative to today’s world.

  25. Ok…. so I’m just going to do a quick summary, so its going to have spoilers in case anyone hasn’t quite finished it yet (fair warning!)

    A woman, affected by a tragedy in her life, lives on an island. The tragedy has understandably affected how she lives and interacts with people, however she does have important people in her life; a best friend with a short name starting with M, and her older, arty family member.
    She falls in love with a man (outside the norm of her usual behaviour) and bonds over animal/s.

    Meanwhile, there is a killer on the loose, connected to the earlier tragedy. The police on the island are forewarned that the killer is coming, and watch the ferry, however the super-clever killer slips by them, by simply offering people a ride so they don’t look like a solo person.

    So, what book am I reading? The Search, or Shelter in Place?

    1. I see the characters, setting, conflict, storyline as completely different. If you see them as the same basic book and characters, that’s your perspective.

      1. Miss Austin doesn’t have this problem, but she might’ve if she’d written more books.

        Having readers think that some of your books have cousins that can pass for sisters is one of the downsides to being prolific.

        Keep up the good work!

        1. Nit-pick:

          The overwhelming majority of rifle & pistol bullets are copper covered lead or lead. Using a steel bullet’s a good way to ruin a gun.

          Modern shotguns use steel pellets instead of lead to keep birds from eating pellets and getting lead poisoning.

        2. Thank you Richard, I was thinking the same thing. I found this book a sign that nothing boxes Nora in…

  26. Another amazing book!! I loved how most of the book was Reed’s point of view.

  27. I got it yesterday and finished it today. Loved it. I fell in love with CiCi what a great character. Of course fell in love with Reed. The arts in this book was awesome I could picture them in my mind. Thank you Nora for another great book.

  28. I am only 4 chapters in and have cried 3 times and grinned at CiCi a dozen. I need her in my life.

  29. I just finished reading Shelter In Place and I have to say Nora outdid herself yet again. What a poignant and touching story about tragedy and truimph and the bits with the crazed killer make a great read! Thank you so much for creating this story. I’m going to go back and read it again!!

  30. I love this book!
    I just finished the last page, and once again wish a Nora Roberts book didn’t end.
    I want to be like CiCi when I reach that age. Simone is such a complex character, she could be any one of us. Her example of realizing she did not fit the square box expected by her parents really hit home. She found herself, and Reed.
    Reed is a great guy, and is like so many of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day for our safety.

    Nora, you did not disappoint.

    Thank you for the great story.

  31. I just finished SIP. Thank you Nora for writing a book on this topic. It is important that people realize that the aftermath of these types of horrific acts doesn’t end when the shooting stops.

    Nora handled all of the conflicting emotions with great sensitivity. The characters went thru so many different ways of handling their lives in the shooting aftermath. I want to be CiCi when I grow up. The character development of everyone was great.

    The book is incredible and gives everyone a lot to think about. I’m going to let it settle in my mind for a few days and then re-read it. Once again Nora, thank you for writing about such an important subject.

  32. Just finished it, and I loved every page. It’s frightening, tragic, brutal, and beautiful. Strong, wonderful characters that I fell in love with. CiCi is my favorite character, by far, ever. And Patricia…purely psychotic.
    Thank you Nora for another amazing story. You are absolutely brilliant.

  33. My book came yesterday, and I finished it today!
    It was phenomenal! I couldn’t put it down, I had to know what was happening next!

  34. I, like others, was taken aback by the subject matter at first. Sadly, mass shootings don’t seem to be going away any time soon and Nora plunged head first into this topic. I absolutely loved (LOVED!) the character development in this book. Although, I always love how Nora takes time to develop her characters. CiCi, of course, was my favorite (along with Reed and Simone), but I also love how Natalie’s character evolved and the picture of forgiveness and reconciliation of her and Simone. CiCi’s unconditional and spunky love supporting each character in the way they needed is inspiring. Nora, another excellent read!

  35. I’m surprised no one has commented on the humor of the dialog between Reed and Barney, it gave me so many chuckles and grins. Loved it.

  36. Every bit of this was just excellent. I cried reading the first 100 pages in B&N tuesday night (sorry, Barnes & Noble cafe folks) and could not put this one down. When even minor characters have backstory and obvious depth, and there are so many threads and relationships that still all make sense and flow together, it’s just masterful. I loved that the effects of the mall were touched on for every character even mentioned, and how well all these completely different personalities were written so every person in the book was a PERSON, not a plot device. Also (like everyone else on this thread)…I totally want to be CiCi when I grow up. What a fabulous woman.

  37. I just finished this morning at 2:00 am. Wow! Loved the characters and their development. The survivors each handled the aftermath of the tragedy in his/her own way and the way Nora wrote them was outstanding. Barney was the light, humane, slightly comedic part of the story. I would love to see a rendering of Simone’s memorial to those who died. It sounds awesome. A horrific subject handled with care, love and Nora’s wonderful touch. Thank you.

    1. Diane, I came on here to see if anyone has a rendering of that memorial. We’re having trouble imagining it. Nora…any help?

  38. Just finished it today, and really enjoyed it. Loved how the climax wasn’t drawn out too much – just enough to make me squirm, but not enough to make me anxious, silly me! Now the wait until September, for the new In Death, sigh… Why did I read this one so quickly?

    1. You read it so quickly for the same reason that I do – we just can’t put it down because it is soooo Good.

  39. Nora’s writing is like fine wine. It keeps getting better. I listened, (and read along when I could,) and this story had me from page one. What a perfect summer read. Only a pro like Nora can span 13 years so richly and make us fall in love with ALL of the Characters. Except the 4 killers! BTW, Barney’s story also broke my heart but some of the conversations with Reed to the dog were the BEST! Is it just me or is “J.D Robb” and Nora merging a bit and making the stories even BETTER!!!

  40. So, Ms Roberts, you wrote a book I didn’t like, but I finished it in four hours. It was a library copy so I’ll take it back early since there are likely hundreds waiting in line. I will buy the paperback, re-read it and add it to my stash of good books to read again. I enjoyed the character development. It must be hard taking a story from a young person’s point of view and aging that person over the next 14 years or so and still making them believable. Most of Ms Roberts’ books are wonderful reads – there’s been a couple-two I didn’t like, but that doesn’t mean that I left them on the shelf – She’s always worth reading. I may not like the storyline, but I do like how she makes her characters come alive.

  41. i always have a to-do-list on book day, or it would be a total wash. read it in two days. relevance to what is going on in our world right now was spot on, but we were given the ability to see how the characters lives spun out, for the good or bad. we got to watch barney’s life get better, through love and persistence. cici is wonderful, probably one of the best characters created. i wanted to walk through her house, sit down for a glass of wine and watch the ocean. thank you for a great book, a thought provoking book, and another cast of wonderful people.

  42. Another EXCELLENT? but difficult to read (for me) book!!
    Reminds me of all the scary people around. ?

  43. I actually listened to the audio book. Given the school shooting about an hour away from my house a couple of weeks ago I was hesitant to read this one. But it was soooo good. I did take a few short breaks but they were just thoughtful pauses. I’m sure this was a difficult book to write in some ways. Thanks Nora for another job well done.

  44. I’m not even surprised when I devour the books and so fast and fall so hard for the characters. As others have said, the topic is horribly relevant, which makes the tragedy of it all so relatable.

    Cici is amazing! Simone is another fabulous character, reminding me ever so slightly of Abigail in Witness. I understand Simone because it’s easy to want to hide your head after a tragedy. Then along comes Reed to let her see that hiding isnt effective long term.

    When the 911 operator told Reed in the beginning to “Shelter in Place”, it touched me. Not many people think about the 911 operators being responsible for taking information, keeping people under extreme duress calm.

    All in all, another amazing story, solid characters, tragedy being overcome! The bronze memorial at the end? After tearing up a few times throughout the book, that pulled out a few tears!

  45. This is absolutely one of the most moving pieces I have read in a long time…. I love the way each character’s story develops and how the entire novel takes place over a long period of time… that fluidity was greatly appreciated as each character’s resiliency was demonstrated throughout…. wonderful read…. we need to know that survivors from horrific acts can find peace, can help each other, and can find ways to heal.

    Thank you for sharing this story with all of us.

  46. Thank you Nora, for making sure each read is different and unpredictable. I am still only halfway, so I am avoiding comments that may “spoil” it… so apologize if this compliment is repetitive.

    I have read every NR and JDR book, some many times, and with each new one lately, I am enjoying the fresh turns and perspectives. I used to think you were my favorite writer because you eloquently show rather than describe but there is so much more to your talent and seemingly unlimited creativity.

  47. I had a hard time finishing this book as I avoid reading things with psychopaths like Patricia. Stress is something I avoid. I hung in there and finished it, loving CiCi, Reed and Simone. In the future I’ll skip those parts, just like I skip over the killer’s parts in Obsession, which I’ve read about five times.

    1. I’m super sensitive myself and cry during the first chapter of every Robb installment and lately most Roberts books. I still love them but I do have sections I have to skim over. Come Sundown was the one I skipped entire sections and haven’t done a reread yet. This one, I read everything and think I can do a re-read in a few weeks.

  48. Totally and completely loved this!!! Found myself immersed in the lives of these characters and treasured every second of it.

    I loved Barney, his head in the banister stuff just killed me!!

    I could gush about every single character but have to say I loved Reed and Simone but loved Reed and CiCi the most. Many times my heart filled at how much he just simply adored her and loved that it was mutual. I finished the book with the biggest smile and love that even up to the very last minute Reed would still go for CiCi. I know it was all in fun but it was such a special bond.

    I know it has been said before but I want to be CiCi when I grow up.

    Thanks for the way this book made me feel!!! I don’t know how you keep being able to make me feel so much in your books but I thank you to the moon and back for doing it.

  49. I just finished reading it, I was hooked from the very first page. Read it in a day and a half by the way. Loved the intertwining of the characters. This book touched my heart and emotions not for the crime but for the strength, endurance, memory, loyalty, trust, and love that came out of such a horrific moment in time. Another winner!

  50. Loved it. Usually love the female characters best but Reed was a stupendous hero. CiCi was fabulous. The journey that Simone took was tortuously slow; but boy she ended up great. The unveiling at the end made me sob. And Patricia was just about as evil a villain as you can get. Nora you are a genius. Thank you.

  51. I am a avid reader. I would rather read them watch TV. I first read Nora Roberts when I didn’t respond quickly enough and silhouette sent me the book of these month.(yes I am that old). I have been reading everything she writes ever since. IMO the search and shelter in place are not even close in characters,plot of emotion! That said I think that a truly wonderful book will have you reading the last page, clutching it to your chest, and wishing there was more. Not wishing for more story just knowing that the book was so good, you didn’t want it to end. Almost always this is how I feel when I read Nora Roberts!

  52. Nora, I have been reading your books for over half my life. You have always painted a beautiful picture with words that bring your characters to life. I have yet to read one of your books that I don’t enjoy. Saying that, this book took it to another level. You wrote about a subject that most are unwilling to even think about. And your heart was in it 100%. You feel it with every word. This was amazing, heartrenching, and sly. It was worth the 3 hrs of sleep I got. Thank you so much for this book. It is officially the BEST book I have ever read.

  53. I have just started Shelter In Place. Hard read, for me, in the beginning. I can see it so plainly in my minds eye. Nora, just has a way with stories. Taking my time to finish. And, finish, I will. Thank you Nora!

  54. Nora, I have been reading your books for over half my life. You have always painted a beautiful picture with words that bring your characters to life. I have yet to read one of your books that I don’t enjoy. Saying that, this book took it to another level. You wrote about a subject that most are unwilling to even think about. And your heart was in it 100%. You feel it with every word. This was amazing, heartrenching, and sly. It was worth the 3 hrs of sleep I got. Thank you so much for this book. It is officially the BEST book I have ever read.

  55. Shelter In Place made me run the gauntlet of emotions that every NR book does. This is now my favourite Stand Alone next to Come Sundown. Thank Ms Roberts for the great read!!!

  56. Had to stop at the halfway point to get some sleep so I could organize my day today and spend quality time in the world Nora created for us. The NYTimes and the LATimes have published their “summer ” book lists. SIP was not on either. What are they, stupid? I really get tired of them ignoring her. Most of the books on their lists would put you to sleep in the sun. Not a good idea these days. As many have said and its true, no one develops characters as the Nora does. Must finish, then gush!!

  57. Just finished reading the book- couldn’t stay awake to finish it last night, no matter how hard I tried.

    It was quite a challenge for me to read the first couple of chapters. Santa Fe HS shooting happened a short drive away in May, and I was sitting next to the president of the school board and by the chief of my department in a high school senior college signing ceremony when the news hit. Sometimes, Nora’s gift as a wordsmith becomes all too vivid.

    But, that’s why I read her books, so I kept going. The characters, the feelings, the situations- not to mention the pops of humor and pop culture references that crack me up – have depth, complexity, and real life behind them. You fall in love with Reed during his maturing, admire Simone’s journey, want CiCi for your grandmother, and hate Patricia a little more each time she appears on page, despite being horrified and fascinated by the way her mind works. The subject matter is relevant and handled from multiple viewpoints and through the grieving process – you can’t ask for better.

    I think Nora’s writing just gets better as she continues to entertain us with her craft. Sure, there are some ties to previous storylines – but it’s meaningful, well researched, and critical to the current book. (After all, who wouldn’t be empathetic to Barney for his traumatic experiences and the apropos selection of his name? Coming from someone who nicknamed her daughter’s dog Stumpy because he’s dumb as a…)

    Thank you for continuing to write novels that I literally fall into the story — and have a hard time coming up for air until the final page.

  58. Well, I’ve just gone back and reread The Search and have to say that while some of the basic setup is similar, I really consider Shelter in Place quite unique and hard to read at times. (The pileup of dead bodies was hard to take.) The dog didn’t have much in common with Fiona and Simon’s dogs, and the characters in each book didn’t resemble each other at all.

    Patricia was like a grownup Raylene (from Innocent in Death). I consider Rayleen one of the nastiest villains in all of the Robb and Roberts output. (I suspect, Nora, that you have probably watched the 1956 movie, The Bad Seed. Rayleen is Rhoda’s sister in spirit.) Thank goodness Eve stopped Rayleen when she did! In a way it’s a pity Patricia died, because she sure deserved a lifetime in prison! Another winner, but as difficult to take sometimes as parts of Come Sundown. Plus it made me cry at the end.

  59. I didn’t know if I’d “like” this book as much as some of the others, because it addresses a very real ugliness in our current lives. I was prepared to read it and move on, but that’s what the book is all about, isn’t it? Moving on. To keep moving. No matter how hard, how awful, you have to keep moving. Of course you still carry the pain, the memories, especially if you’re one of the ones directly affected. The story tells how so many people found so many different ways of coping and dealing with life, even while not forgetting, for how can you? But we humans find a way. Some of your characters found their way quickly, some took years and you showed that they all needed the time they took. These commentators that brought up earlier books and themes, while I guess it’s a sort of compliment that those stories made such an impact they remember such detail, I think for me I’m just grateful you remind us that we’re all human, all with a need for love, hope, and all the ups and downs of being human. We’re remarkably the same, that way, and thank God for it. You found an awful “bad guy” and a wonderful fairy godmother, and added all these great people together for an awesome story. Love the picture you painted of the island and it’s people. Thank you for an awesome read. I don’t know how much influence (beyond the awesome Susan Erickson) you have about your narrators, but bulls-eye on this one, too.

  60. I’m working on my second reading of the book. I always do this when I read Nora’s books. The first time through I just can’t stop and finish so quickly that I must go back and read it again.
    I’ve been saying for a long time that we tend to dismiss the people who are “only” injured, or “not ” injured in these shootings. We remember the dead, have memorials for them, repeat their names. But the “merely” injured , not so much. We tend to think they survived. Great. But people don’t just come through something like that and are fine in a day, week, month, etc. Many people suffer the rest of their lives. Something you mentioned about Simone never going back in a Mall. And having a “flutter” every time she has to go in a public bathroom. And the woman who was paralyzed. She could have chosen to let that end her life, but she refused to do that. But you just know that she paid the price every day of her life.
    Like everyone else I want to be like CiCi.

    Thank you once again Nora.

  61. Thank you Nora for another fantastic read. I Should know better than to start one of Nora’s books at night, (sigh) another 2am finish for me. I really couldn’t put it down.
    Ok, from the beginning, the innocence of the teenagers in the opening scenes, the very normalcy of their hopes, dreams and the eternal angst of the teenage mind described so well. Then that abrupt switch to the total horror of the unfolding crisis and what followed after is masterful storytelling.
    I really don’t know how a writer (AKA Nora) can live in the mind of the various psychopaths, sociopaths and just plain evil people they portray in their books and make them so believable in their mindset and thought processes.
    The character development and depth is handled well, as always, making a well researched, well balanced and well written book with plenty of emotion and ‘good versus evil’ to keep the pages turning. Thanks, again.

  62. I made this mistake of starting this book on public transit – had to fight not to cry and not embarrass myself! Found myself in tears several times through the book, the emotions and reactions just felt so believable. The ripple effect of a tragic event was well portrayed. And the ending had me in tears again, it was so moving. There have been other stories that Nora has done that have spanned years, but this one seemed very different for some reason, maybe because the characters grew so much. I think it will become one of my favourites. ( as an aside one of the things I really enjoy about the annual romantic suspense novel is learning about different careers – dog training, photography (etc) … and now sculptor)

  63. I also forgot to say how fascinating it was, reading the steps of the sculptor. I’ve always loved sculpture, without ever giving a thought to what it takes to create such beauty. Thanks for that.

  64. What can I say about this book? Just finished it and I’m very sure I’ll drink think in anything else in the next days. So touching, and tense, and intense. Though the romance between Reed and Simone didn’t was the focus, the plot on the tragedy, on Patricia and her sickness, made the book just complete. Thank you, Nora, thank you very much. You always make me travel in yours histories.

  65. I have no words… well, maybe a few 😉 “thankyou” 😛 and “she (Nora) heals”

    I read the book as a starving woman goes through a box of Godiva.

    So now I’m feeling soft headed, slightly nauseated but certain I’ll return to this book so often that I risk joining one choir:

    1 – “her best ever” and giving away my soul 😉
    2 – “not like Nora” and having to admit I don’t have a soul ahahahahaha

    So I’m allowing the “sugar” rush to drive my post and I repeat:::::

    ✋ Thank You, Nora. I really needed this book. The healing on it – on so many levels that needed healing in my personal, social, worldly levels – is much appreciated. I’m sure no one could or would bother to do so much to allow the healing to happen, or at least start.


  66. Thank you, Nora, for this book!! My dad passed away from heart failure in January and I have not been able to read since it happened. Nothing has been able to hold my attention. This is the first time since then that I have been able to read a book. I loved it! Thank you again for crafting a thoughtful, beautiful, and timely story.

  67. Okay – I replied to this post last week but have to do so again today. I think this is probably the BEST NR stand-alone book to date. My reason for saying this: knowing who the killer was made the book that much more a part of the “thriller” genre. When almost finished reading it, I told my husband (Ward!) that as much as I was loving the read, I was literally afraid to turn to the next page to read on. The only other author I read where I’ve experienced that same type of fear (well, it was really a fear, so I’m calling it what it was) of loving the book but fearing the next page/scene/chapter is Gregg Hurwitz. The guy is totally brill, but I would never have locked both your works together in the same genre. That changed with “Shelter In Place”.

    So, ma’am, once again, you’ve topped yourself. And, if I may say, jumped into an entirely new type of literary fiction. Good on you. And oh, so lucky on all of us.

  68. I’ve read almost everything Nora has written. I agree some plots seem similar but the characters are not the same. I really liked Shelter In Place. It’s just a bit scary how well you, Nora, can write from the perspective of the killer! ( I guess I knew that from the JD Robb books as I’ve read all of them.) Keep the great stories coming!

  69. Just posted my 5 star review on amazon. i love CiCi! This book was both emotionally draining and emotionally uplifting — great job Nora!

  70. Nora, you have done it again which no longer surprises me. This has to be the most “compelling” book yet. Just couldn’t put it down and in a few months will read it again. Have been reading you since the start in 1981 and you never fail to surprise me. Can’t begin to tell you what your books mean to me whether it is a “Nora” or “JD” they give so much pleasure and let me disappear for a few hours where I can let go of what is going on in my life. Thank you for that.

  71. I just finished a re-read of The Search the day before I got Shelter in Place and I have to disagree with the person who said they were the same. Finished Shelter in one day and I’m seriously considering reading it again before I pass it on to my niece on Sunday. Patricia was one sick little girl ad yet very scarily brilliant, and you could see her begin to crack and fall apart as the book went on.
    Like any others, I want to be CiCi when I grow up, except I think I just might be older than she is. Oh well, another goal. Except for the pot. I’m one of those people who gets sick just by smelling it,
    Another great book.

  72. I’ve read every book that You’ve ever written. Needless to say, I’m a fan. I’m curious about your motivation on this one. Are you trying to make a statement about gun control, or showing that if someone is a sociopath they can kill in many different ways? It’s the person that’s responsible? I also noticed that you referred to Patricia streaming Fox News. Is that a dig at conservatives? That Fox News watchers could be compared to some one of this caliber? If, that is the case, you’ve sorely disappointed me. I’m a conservative. My husband and I earned all our money ourselves from 45 years of really hard work. We are generous to charities and volunteer our time. We’d never expect the government to support us. That’s who conservatives really are. My husband owns guns. He’s never considered ever shooting another person. He keeps them locked in a safe. Anyway, I’d love an answer to my questions. By the way. I read the book in 2 days. Loved it and cried with the characters. I’m just curious about your motivation.

    1. I’m not Nora but my impression was the story was about how people never get over a trauma like the one in Shelter. They live lives before, then after, markedly changed in myriad of ways in a matter of seconds. Didn’t see politics in it at all.


    2. My motivation was to tell a story about the aftermath, and the lives of survivors from a tragedy that’s all too common in our world. To show the struggle, the humanity, the strength and weaknesses of people who lived through a violent event, and how it marks or changes them.

      It wasn’t a political statement, but a story about the human spirit, love, and the evil that only seeks to destroy.

      1. Nora, you did a wonderful portrayal of the aftermath, something I’ve often wondered about. I’ve heard them referred to as the walking wounded, but never how they survive. This book was powerful and so insightful. Thank you.

      2. Task totally accomplished. You’re amazing and can’t think in other way to tell a story with so much humanity, so much love and passion and tension… As much as I read you, more I think: wow! What is this with Nora???

      3. Nora – however you wanted to tell the story, it was YOUR story, and I’m happy to say, you NAILED it. The human spirit, love, and evil were all portrayed as starkly as could be described — anywhere. Good on you, and once again, we – your readers – thank you.

      4. And you did a beautiful job. The news and the public move on, maybe remembering a tragedy when the next one occurs. They never think about the “survivors” and how they cope and continue their lives. Thank you for writing their stories.

      5. I want to thank you for responding. I honestly didn’t expect you too. I appreciate it very much. In today’s world terrible things do happen, all too often. Many celebrities use it as a platform to promote their personal agendas or to use as a tool against a different point of view. I was afraid that you had joined that group. I’m very relieved to hear that you are not.

        I thought the book was spell binding. As, most of yours are. Thank you for being the prolific writer that you are.

  73. I just finished it and loved it. Nora never disappoints. My favorite author by far. Such complex, well written and likeable characters. Looking forward to her next book already. Meanwhile, I will reread some favorites; next up for me? The Villa! An oldie but goodie.

  74. Back when my two boys went to school, we never had to worry about this kind of thing happening. We didn’t even think about this happening. Now, with my two grandsons, one a high school junior next year and one a college junior next year, we think of the “what if” and we pray it doesn’t happen at their school, just like I am sure every parent prays the same thing. This book, for me, was emotional, informative, and and a reminder that families that lose loved ones….people who survive these horrific happenings ….never are the same again. The people lost should never be forgotten. Even though this was fictional, it was very much a part of today’s world. Great book Nora. One I will read over and over. I want to be CeCe!

  75. I always enjoy your books, Nora. The stories fascinate me and I always want to hang out with the characters! CiCi! I’ve never been involved in something so horrific but I have friends who have (one school shooting and one at Las Vegas). My heart breaks for them but they have and continue to deal with the aftermath as best they can. Thank you for taking such care in writing a beautiful book about a sensitive topic.

  76. Oh Nora…’ve done it again! The story, the characters…all wonderful! You never disappoint. Thank you!

  77. Really great book. I loved how you showed the good guys. And you always write psycho really well. I feel like Reed was the main character, and again showing good , nice guys finish first!

  78. I knew the moment I read an excerpt many months ago that I would be counting the days until release. Circumstances prevented me from getting the book until yesterday. I finished earlier this afternoon.

    I loved how the story built over the course of the book-the way those who survived evolved, dealt with the tragedy-or didn’t. I think Patricia has to be one of the most evil, reprehensible characters I’ve ever found in a book. (and I read ALOT of books).

    And Barney….how he went from this scared, abused puppy to the loving, trusting and devoted companion was awesome. I loved how Simone and Reed’s relationship progressed. And like many others, I want to be CiCi when I grow up.

    Thank you Nora for tackling this difficult subject .

  79. Compelling read! Nora, you must have researched till your eyes bled (as Eve would say). When another shooting happens we feel the pain of it, but soon get back to our lives. This book opened me to what really happens to all those involved, even those marginally involved. And, with Patricia, you gave insight into one of the many reasons the shooter might have. Simone had many nuances and I loved that. Also, I appreciated the Memorial insight as to why they are so important to so many. Thank you for once again touching me, enlightening me, and entertaining me at the same time!

  80. My honey said, ‘You finished it already?’ My reply, ‘What’s your point?’ LOL Couldn’t put it down. Nora is an excellent storyteller. She has a way to bring out all your emotions. Thank you Nora. ?

  81. Finished the book yesterday and started my re-read this morning. The first few chapters are so intense and emotional, they were difficult for me to read, but so very compelling. I enjoyed the entire book, and the story and the emotions it inspired stayed with me. Definitely one of my favorites. I have to admit that I got a little giggle from a typo. At least I think it was a typo. I was reading along, truly engrossed in the action and tension of the first few chapters, when I came upon the description of Reed’s partner, Bull Stockwell. His cat was described as one-eyed and one-legged. I got a mental picture of a scraggly old tom cat hopping along on one leg like pogo sick. It gave me a welcome little break in the heavy tension of that part of the story.

  82. I just want a spoiler alert.
    At the end, does one of the victims of the initial shooting become a mass shooter?
    From reading the synopsis on Amazon, I got that “intuitive” impression.
    Thanks in advance

  83. I finally read this last night. As in, I started at 11:00pm and finished at 3:30am. I don’t know why the change over the last couple of books. Noah has always written great characters and immersive details alongside the main story lines but with both this and year 1 it feels like there has been a shift in focus and it’s amazing. I kept finding myself silently weeping as I made my way through the story and paused only to my own, thankfully not abused, rescue puppy. I am having trouble explaining why I feel these two are so different, as everything I love about them always did exist within Nora’s books but it just feels like she’d been let off of a leash and the intensity has been turned to 11.

    I’ve always been impatient for each release date but I can’t wait to see where this new intensity goes next.

  84. I’ve been buying and reading Nora’s books beginning with Irish Thoroughbred. She is one of the few authors whose books I buy without reading what it’s about first. I was afraid there might be a political message, as everything seems to have these days, so was very relieved that it was so even-handed. I’m always impressed with how well Nora is able to write so that the characters, even the minor ones, are so real that I feel like I would recognize them if I met them on the street, and have greater insight into them than I have into the people I work with every day.

  85. Shelter In Place – excellent as always. Question: How the hell do you take care of a one legged cat?

  86. Finally got to sit down and read this book. Wow! It’s compelling, emotional, and absolutely brilliant.

  87. This book hit close to home! We had a theater shooting close by a few years ago. They found a journal that belonged to the suspect stating he had staked out our local theater but it wasn’t busy enough so he moved on to a theater 45 minutes away. I literally could not put this book down and literally abandoned my family for 2 days until I completed it. I’m hoping like crazy they make a movie to this. Several of her books have been converted to movies so maybe this one will make it also. Thanks Nora for a great book. LOVE IT!!!!! 2 THUMBS UP ??

    1. Which of Nora’s books have been converted to movies ? Are they only available in America ? (I’m in the UK).

      Shelter in Place was excellent, thoroughly enjoyed it, and I love the In Death series too.

      Nora Roberts has a fantastic imagination, love her !

  88. Just finished reading shelter in place and absolutely loved it…… The mass shooting had me by throat…. I was so engrossed and made me feel like I was there in the middle of the chaos….. I always love Nora’s female characters…. How they come out of their misery… And nope…. No prince charming to the rescue…. Bt here i love Reed more…. He has so much to give…. He is smart, funny and brave….. ??I absolutely adore Cici…. She is cagey…. But I will always love the MacGregor more…. ? And i cried more than one time before finishing the book…. I think it’s not fair that Tish didn’t get to live…. I hated patricia with all of me and at the same time can’t stop admiring her guts and brains…. Bt i guess she was taken out too easily at the end… For all her guts and brains…. One of my favorite novels of Nora Roberts which I’m going to read again for like 20 or 30 times…. Thanks and eagerly waiting for of blood and bone….

    1. Hi Mary,

      I answered your question in the other thread a couple of days ago. Hope you see this one.

      Hi Mary,

      There are no formal Shelter in Place discussion questions. When readers ask about them, I encourage them to consider questions from the heart.

      If I were to lead a discussion, I’d probably start with the first two chapters and ask if people were certain they wanted to continue on with reading after the harrowing event at the mall.

      What was your reaction to the setting of the event?
      What did you think of the directions the main characters chose after the shooting?
      Did you connect more with Simone’s shutting life out after the shooting or Reed’s finding his direction?
      What did you think of CiCi?

      Things like that.
      Hope the book club enjoyed the book.

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