This wouldn't have been half as bad if the written hadn't been so deplorable. There were so many awkward sentences, and Roberts would just say things that didn't make sense (e.g. "her spine shuddered"* -- how the eff does a spine shudder??). The romance scenes were also some of the unsexiest things I've ever read ("he had spilled himself in her three times that night"** I have no problem with that kind of thing, but it was written as if trying to evoke something romantic/sexual/sexy and maybe this kind of thing does it for people?? I dunno.) I found the whole cop mentality vs. psychiatrist mentality boring, and I never bought the romance--it felt very contrived.
But since I'm reading this for a Reader's Advisory assignment and I'm supposed to look for appeal factors (because people obviously enjoy Norah Roberts and other people have enjoyed this) I'm going to try to identify some:
- procedural plot; serial killer
- our protagonists don't initially see eye-to-eye but come to understand one another; their romance accompanies this trajectory
- written in an alternating third-person limited perspective (focuses on Ben and Tess but also dips into other characters); allows readers to be privy to the thoughts of both protagonists to experience their growth and change
- that's all I got (may add more as I think of them)
* recalling from memory, but it definitely involved shuddering spines
** also recall