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Black Hills
By Nora Roberts

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Black Hills
Large Print Edition
By Nora Roberts
Putnam Adult, 2009, 752 pages
ISBN: 978-0399155871
Genre: Mystery, Romance

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - March 16, 2010

The very popular Nora Roberts wrote some four dozen romance books under her own name and some two and a half dozen murder mysteries ending with the word "death" as J. D. Robb. Many public libraries devote an entire shelf to her "recent books." This volume successfully mixes romance, mystery, murder, suspense, family, and a love of and respect for animals.

The plot is the traditional tale of preteens of opposite sexes being introduced reluctantly, infatuation, love, the girl's first sex, separation as they leave for college, tears, the male finding new interests, relations broken, misunderstandings, and meeting again with suspicions. However, Nora Roberts' version is well-crafted and filled with "schmaltz" and loving, faultless and considerate grandparents, horses and cougars. The girl is goal oriented, acquires a PhD, starts a successful business and is highly respected. The boy quits college, becomes a police officer, leaves to form his own detective agency and then abandons it. He has few friends and is unable to discover what he wants to be.

The two find a dead body when they are youngsters. Years later, they hear of other similar murders. Suspense builds as we wonder if the murders are somehow related to our heroine. Then, the couple encounters someone who murders animals and we wonder if this is also related to her. Thus, even readers who dislike romances will enjoy this tale.

Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on

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