It's been a few years since Fiona Bristow moved to Orcas Island to rebuild her life. Within the small, tight-knit island community she's built up a canine rescue centre that trains dogs to track missing persons in Washington's vast wilderness.
Other than her work, Fiona wants to be left alone. Romantic entanglements are very far down on her list - and certainly not with Simon Doyle, an artist newly arrived from the mainland. Simon doesn't know that Fiona harbours a terrible secret, and that her past still puts them both in very real danger . . .
The serviceable latest from Roberts centers on Fiona Bristow, a professional canine search-and-rescue trainer, who moved to Orcas Island in Puget Sound eight years earlier, just after barely escaping from a serial killer. The story opens with Simon Doyle, an artisan cabinetmaker who arrives on the island with a puppy in tow. It's the puppy that brings Fiona and Simon together, and the romance gets off to a rocky start; he's grumpy and plainspoken; she doesn't scare easily. Then a serial killer begins operating within striking distance, and all Fiona's hard-won peace and equanimity begins to wobble: the man who almost killed her is in prison, but he's got a disciple on the outside. The serial killer plot is very familiar and without much to distinguish it, but the romance is finely done, with Roberts's trademark banter lighting up the page. Fiona and Simon are the main attraction, but the setting and the supporting characters with paws and without provide a vivid backdrop.