What started out as a fun-filled day at the mall – watching movies, shopping and grabbing a bite to eat – became a memory that people there would never forget. They heard the term “shelter in place” many times before, but only then did they really understand what that meant. Sometimes hiding meant the different between life and death.
Nora Roberts, a New York Times best-selling author, weaves a tale that unfortunately mirrors real life all too often. Shelter in Place, published in 2018, shows how average people doing everyday things can quickly become victims and sometimes heroes while a nightmare unfolds around them.
Sixteen-year-old Simone Knox, who by a stroke of luck was in the restroom when the first gunman entered the movie theatre where her best friends were sitting, had the presence of mind to call 911. Her actions saved a lot of people that day, and she was heralded as a hero. Inside, however, she felt like a coward for not doing anything to protect her friends that day, even though the operator told her to stay hidden. Once old enough to be on her own, Simone tried to escape the pain by running as far away as she could from her hometown.
Reed Quartermaine was working at his after-school job and was on a break when the second shooter came into the mall. As he ran to hide, he spotted a scared little boy looking for his mom. Scooping him up and hiding him from the bullets saved both of their lives that day. Reed too was hailed as a hero. To deal with his pain, he went on to become a cop so he could try to prevent more crimes against the innocent.
Little did they know there was one person left from that night who was the mastermind behind the terror, and she wasn’t done with her plans yet. One by one Patricia Jane Hobart was coming after the people who survived the carnage, and that included Simone and Reed. Now in a relationship and looking forward to their future, they will once again have to fight for their lives and the lives of those around them.
Shelter in Place is a book about the courage and resilience of everyday people who are forced to confront evil, not once, but twice. Will Simone and Reed escape with their lives once again, or will Patricia succeed the second time around?
To find out more about this book and the author, please visit http://www.noraroberts.com/.
Written for The Woodbridge Magazine in the UK.