Nora Roberts’ Putnam publishers have scheduled a separate release for each of the two parts of Remember When, the 2003 collaborative work by Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb. Roberts, under her own name, wrote the romantic suspense novel that comprises the first part of Remember When that Putnam will reissue on January 26, 2010 as Hot Rocks. The second part of the original work, an In Death series book that Roberts penned under her J.D. Robb pseudonym, will be released under the title Big Jack on February 23, 2010. The similar design of Putnam’s two covers suggests the relationship between the titles.
Hot Rocks takes place in the small town of Angel’s Gap, Maryland, where Laine Tavish operates the antique shop called Remember When. Laine has hidden her real identity as Elaine O’Hara, the daughter of Big Jack O’Hara, a man whose life has been spent on the wrong side of the law. Hot Rocks opens with a visit to her shop by one of her father’s disreputable associates – a man she had, as a child, known as Uncle Willy.
Before Willy can explain the reason for his visit, he is run down in the street outside her shop by an oncoming car. When insurance investigator Max Gannon arrives in town, Laine learns that Willy and her father have been involved in the theft of a fortune in diamonds under the direction of Alex Crew. Crew is now searching for Big Jack’s share of the diamonds, which have disappeared – as has Big Jack. After Laine’s shop is ransacked, she realizes she too is in danger.
Hot Rock ends, as expected, with the resolution of the love affair between Laine and Max and the location of some – but not all – of the missing diamonds. Big Jack, which takes place in the year 2059, centers on the stones that are still unaccounted for. In this story, Max and Laine’s granddaughter, Samantha Gannon, enlists New York Police and Security Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s help when her house sitter is killed.
Samantha has just published a very successful book about the historic diamond theft. When a second murder occurs, Eve finds a connection between the current crimes and those of the past. She also suspects that Samantha may be the killer’s next target. Roarke, whose company published Samantha’s book, also becomes involved in the case.
Chronologically, Big Jack fits into the In Death series after the book, Imitation in Death (2003). Peabody is enjoying her recent promotion to detective rank and her new status as Eve’s partner. Summerset is off-scene, still recovering from a broken leg. Mavis, Nadine, Feeney, McNab and Dr. Mira all make their customary appearances.
Although Hot Rocks can be read as a standalone work, it also is an effective prelude to the In Death series title, Big Jack. Taken together, both books provide ample evidence of the truth of the proverb, “Old sins cast long shadows.”
For more info:
Nora Roberts has long history of winning RITA Awards
Nora Roberts 101: Fact sheet on the mainstream standalone novels
Seven Nora Roberts events scheduled for Winter 2009/2010
Nora Roberts’ new 2010 books listed on website
Character development provides Nora Roberts’ incentive for writing ‘In Death’ series