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When the Lusitania sank, more than one thousand people died. One passenger, however, survived to become a changed man, giving up his life as a petty thief but keeping a small silver statue that would become a family heirloom to future generations.
Now, nearly a century later, that heirloom, one of a priceless, long-separated set of three, has been snatched away from the Sullivans. And Malachi, Gideon, and Rebecca Sullivan are determined to recover their great-great-grandfather's treasure, reunite the Three Fates, and make their fortune.
The quest will take them from their home in Ireland to Helsinki, Prague, and New York and introduce them to a formidable female professor whose knowledge of Greek mythology will aid them in their quest; to a daring exotic dancer who sees the Fates as her chance at a new life; and to a seductive security expert who knows how to play high-tech cat-and-mouse. And it will pit them in a suspenseful fight against an ambitious woman who will stop at nothing to acquire the Fates.
Three Fates reads like a cross between a romance, a treasure hunt, and a heist novel. It’s entertaining, but I didn’t find it nearly as satisfying as most of the other Nora Roberts books I’ve read.
All my complaints can be traced back to one main issue: what should have been a trilogy has been condensed into a single novel. There are six main characters and three romances, which means that none of the couples really gets enough time. Also, there were things that grated on me in each relationship, and in several cases, in the characters themselves, so it was harder to wholeheartedly root for each couple. If the book had been written as a long-arc trilogy, more like the Key trilogy or the Inn Boonsboro series, there would been more time to develop each of the characters, giving them more depth as individually and enriching the arcs of their relationships. And I suspect that with more page time, some of those aspects that grated on me would have been smoothed out, or resolved with more emotional believability.
As it is, the complexity and fast pace of the plot, with its wheels within wheels, make the novel far more plot-driven than character-driven. That’s not necessarily a flaw, but it’s not what I’ve come to expect and appreciate from Roberts, who usually excels at balancing the two. Judging from the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, some readers rate Three Fates as their favorite Nora Roberts book. I guess it depends on why you read her books, and what you’re looking for in them. I look for more real emotional connection, but due to the pacing and inclusion of all three couples’ stories in one novel, that connection felt more shallow than I prefer—as though lust and fate are the main things holding each couple together, rather than a love that develops over time.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for an action-packed heist novel, complete with lost treasures, cold-blooded villainess, high-tech burglary, and a team of amateurs out for justice and a hint of revenge, Three Fates should be right up your alley.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- The Backlist Reader Challenge 2017