The incomparable Nora Roberts delivers her latest tour de force performance with SANCTUARY, an irresistibly gripping and memorable tale of passion, obsession and murder. As in Montana Sky, Ms. Roberts expertly juggles multiple relationships, while keeping the suspense riveting.

For a while, photographer Jo Ellen Hathaway has been teetering on the edge of an emotional cliff. Instead of fighting back when she discovers she has become the obsession of a stalker, Jo Ellen withdraws into herself. The final blow comes when one of the latest photos sent by the stalker shows Jo Ellen's long-missing mother, Annabelle, lying dead. After viewing the photo, Jo Ellen suffers a nervous breakdown. Once she recovers, she discovers that gruesome photo has disappeared, offering no proof to its existence.

Feeling trapped, Jo Ellen decides to return home to Sanctuary, the family-owned resort off the coast of Georgia. Jo Ellen's family fell apart the day Annabelle disappeared. Her father never recovered, leaving Jo Ellen, and her siblings, Alexa and Brian, to be raised by their Aunt Kate. Of the siblings, Brian is the only one who loves Sanctuary so much that he now runs it. Alexa, meanwhile, still dreams of making her mark as an actress. Jo Ellen's return is a catalyst that stirs up a number of relationships around the Island, both familial and romantic. It also stirs the mind of a killer.

Architect Nathan Delaney is carrying a horrible secret on his soul. All he has ever believed in was destroyed following the deaths of his parents and brother Kyle. Nathan knows he must return to Sanctuary to confront the evil that still lingers. Depending on her reaction to his secret, the passion and love Nathan feels for Jo Ellen can either redeem him...or destroy him.

(May, 448 pp., $7.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith