Violence and Terror are the ‘Under Currents’ that Test One Family’s Courage in Nora Roberts’ Latest [REVIEW]


Families can be our worst enemies… and our saving grace. (Photo by Canva)

Meet the perfect family. A successful career. An enviable home. Two doting parents. Two talented children. There’s just one problem. Behind closed doors there lurks a monster waiting to get out. What does it take to survive when no one believes the horror? Find out in Nora Roberts’ new novel, Under Currents. 


St. Martin’s Press

In North Carolina’s stunning Blue Ridge Mountains lies a house that is beautiful to behold. But within its walls, its residents don’t find the tranquility one might suspect. Just ask Zane Bigelow, the boy strangers—and even his aunt across the lake—view as privileged. No one suspects what really happens behind closed doors. After all, who would guess that a successful surgeon and his beautiful wife are living anything but the American dream?

Yet Zane knows, and as his father’s rages spiral further out of control and his mother becomes complicit in his actions, the threat becomes increasingly real. Biding his time until he can make his escape from this living nightmare, Zane looks out for his little sister Britt, reminding her to be smart and careful when dealing with their parents and to play along with their warped games and treacherous lies in order to safeguard their very lives. Even as they do their best to avoid confrontation, Zane keeps a secret journal that chronicles his family’s violent legacy and how he truly feels about it all. Yet no amount of acting can protect the children when one blatant act of violence finally reveals the cracks in the family’s carefully crafted façade.

After years of feeling like a prisoner in his own home, Zane finally finds people who try to understand what it is he and Britt went through. And as he grows and heals, he eventually builds a new life for himself with a family of his own. Nevertheless, one can never completely outrun the pain of the past. So Zane chooses to learn from that dark chapter in his life and to fortify his courage for the day when he will once again come face to face with the monsters from his past.

In Under Currents, Roberts sheds light on the subject of domestic violence, a plight that is very much a reality for families around the globe. She deftly reveals how some parents break their children’s trust and keep them fearful to maintain total control. Zane and Britt are one such casualty. Pure instinct is the only thing that carries them through and keeps them safe. Meanwhile, Zane’s journal is the reliquary for his feelings, up until the very moment he is arrested and put in jail for one terrifying night and is left to wonder if his father was right all along, if he is in fact “nothing.”

Roberts captures every nuance of what transpires in a home filled with fear and abuse. She deftly demonstrates how the mind games played by a cruel tormentor leave a lasting effect on each member of the family, until they are all flawed and somewhat broken. As a result, my heart went out to Zane and Britt, and each of them earned my empathy. But it was their resiliency, their survival by sheer act of will, that made me admire them most, as well as the determination that echoed in every breath they took and word they said. Both gut wrenching and tautly plotted, Under Currents is a suspenseful look at a family held captive by the very one who should have loved them most.

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Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts
(Photo by Bruce Wilder)


Nora Roberts is the number one New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Year OneShelter in PlaceCome SundownThe Obsession, and many more.

She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

She currently resides in Boonsboro, Maryland with her husband, photographer Bruce Wilder.

Visit Nora at her home on the Web at Readers may also like her on Facebook and follow her on Pinterest.

By Nora Roberts
448 pp. St. Martin’s Press. $28.99

Purchase Under Currents at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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