Series: Sharpe & Donovan #3
Format Read: Hardcover
Source: print book from PR firm & egalley from the publisher
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
An escape to an idyllic Irish seaside village is about to turn deadly in this riveting new novel by master of romantic suspense Carla Neggers.
For marine biologist Julianne Maroney, two weeks in tiny Declan's Cross on the south Irish coast is a chance to heal her broken heart. She doesn't expect to attract the attention of FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan—especially since a Donovan is the reason for her broken heart.
Emma and Colin are in Ireland for their own personal retreat. Colin knows he's a reminder of everything Julianne wants to escape, but something about her trip raises his suspicion. Emma, an art crimes expert, is also on edge. Of all the Irish villages Julianne could choose…why Declan's Cross?
Ten years ago, a thief slipped into a mansion in Declan's Cross. Emma's grandfather, a renowned art detective, investigated, but the art stolen that night has never been recovered and the elusive thief never caught.
From the moment Julianne sets foot on Irish soil, everything goes wrong. The well-connected American diver who invited her to Ireland has disappeared. And now Emma and Colin are in Declan's Cross asking questions.
As a dark conspiracy unfolds amid the breathtaking scenery of Declan's Cross, the race is on to stop a ruthless killer…and the stakes have never been more personal for Emma and Colin.
I didn't read the first two books in this series but for the most part that wasn't a problem. I had downloaded the prequel novella when it was a freebie and read that which helped. I wouldn't recommend starting the series with this book though as it would be confusing.
The main characters are Emma Sharpe, and art expert with the FBI, and Colin Donovan, an undercover agent for the FBI. They've been involved for several months and are currently on vacation in Ireland. While there, they run into Julianne Maroney, a marine biologist who recently broke up with Colin's younger brother Andy, a lobster man in their small Maine hometown. There was a lot of overlap in characters; people in Declan's Cross, the Irish town where most of the story took place, had friends and relatives in Rock Point and vice versa as well as everyone in town knowing everyone else. With all the ties between characters, it felt a bit like an incestuous soap opera at times.
The beginning of the book is a bit slow and confusing as everyone seems suspicious of Julianne's trip to Declan's Cross and the marine station that another American, Lindsay Hargreaves, is setting up. Everyone was suspicious and automatically linked current events back to an art theft from ten years ago. Everyone, seemingly, had a 'bad feeling' but it was all very circumstantial, and for me, confusing. The story picks up with an unexpected death and it's possible connection to the earlier art theft.
Officially, Emma and Colin can't do anything as they're out of their jurisdiction but that doesn't stop them from poking around. Emma and Colin have a complicated relationship, as do Julianne and Andy. Apparently the Donovan brothers are difficult and complicated men. :D I liked that we got to see the ups and downs of their relationships, the complications of family, and also that no one recovers immediately from injury, whether emotional or physical. I also appreciated that sometimes, just as in real life, not all cases are solved.
Neggers weaves an intriguing story of families, relationships, and mystery that has a delightful, not too-touristy, taste of Ireland. Although occasionally confusing, I enjoyed the story and will probably be back for more.
Thanks to Harlequin MIRA, I have one hardcover copy of Declan's Cross to giveaway, open to residents of the US and Canada. Enter using the rafflecopter below. Please read my Giveaway Policy. Update 9/16: Harlequin has generously added another copy to the pot so there are 2 books up for grabs, 1 per winner.