Title: Midnight Bayou
Author: Nora Roberts
No. of Pages: 352
First Released: 2001
Synopsis (courtesy of B&N): “Declan Fitzgerald had always been the family maverick, but even he couldn’t understand his impulse to buy a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans. All he knew was that ever since he saw Manet Hall, he’d been enchanted – and obsessed – with it. So when the opportunity to buy the house comes up Declan jumps at the chance to live out a dream.
Determined to restore Manet Hall to its former splendor, Declan begins the daunting renovation room by room, relying on his own labor and skills. But the days spent in total isolation in the empty house take a toll. He is seeing visions of days from a century past, and experiencing sensations of terror and nearly unbearable grief – sensations not his own, but those of a stranger. Local legend has it that the house is haunted, and with every passing day Declan’s belief in the ghostly presence grows.
Only the companionship of the alluring Angelina Simone can distract him from the mysterious happenings in the house, but Angelina too has her own surprising connection to Manet Hall – a connection that will help Declan uncover a secret that’s been buried for a hundred years.”
Comments and Critiques: I love Nora Roberts. She is one of my go-to authors when I can’t decide what to read or am just not in the mood to pick up something new. I find her work fun, refreshing, and just plain exhilarating, and I’ve read almost everything she has published. I consider myself a Nora Roberts expert.
Unfortunately, this is not one of my favorites of hers. The snappy dialogue that I’ve come to expect from her is lacking. I just don’t care enough about any of the characters to really get into resolving the mystery. The ghost story isn’t quite as vivid and horrifying as her other forays into a fantasy world. The love story portion between Lena and Declan seems lacking.
It’s not a bad book in and of itself. It just isn’t one of my favorites of hers. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, her writing has definitely gotten sharper and better over the years. This one is still relatively early in her career, and I do think that makes quite the difference. At the time, this was probably very good, but when compared to her more current works, for me, something is missing. I am just one person, so I would still recommend Midnight Bayou to anyone who likes Nora Roberts.