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Fiction Review   

 
The Guardian
By Nicholas Sparks
Warner Books, 2003
Hardcover, $24.95 (384 pages)
ISBN: 0-446-52779-3
 
 

Nicholas Sparks has given his latest love story a twist – it’s a thriller.  The love of Julie and Mike is born out of friendship and tested through the attention of a jilted sociopath. But Sparks is careful not to let the thriller plot overpower the love story. 

Julie Barenson is a young widow in Swansboro, North Carolina.  As a final Christmas gift, her husband made arrangements for the delivery of a puppy to keep her company and a last letter from him promising to watch over her.  The ugly puppy grew in to a large Great Dane, a breed known for a sweet disposition.  Named “Singer,” the dog is a constant companion, playmate and protector – a guardian for Julie. 

Mike Harris was best man at her wedding and fell into the role of her best friend after her husband’s death.  He is in love with Julie, but has been waiting for four years for her to see him as more than a friend.  Julie is aware of his love, but had been slow to respond due to her feelings for her husband.  Singer has already picked Mike as the best catch. 

Julie goes on three dates with a handsome, romantic man Richard Franklin, but there is no chemistry in the relationship for her.  Richard on the other hand, has become obsessed and possessive of Julie.  He has the charm of a Ted Bundy.  As Julie ends her relationship with Richard, a course of danger and dark love is set. 

The Guardian is a well-constructed thriller set among a cast of small town characters that add to the horror of a deadly stalker in their “Mayberry.”  I predict Great Danes to become a popular pet for women. 

 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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