Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blog Tour Book Review: Declan's Cross by Carla Neggers

Declan's Cross
Author: Carla Neggers
Publication:  Harlequin MIRA (August 27, 2013)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed DECLAN'S CROSS which was my first Sharpe & Donovan novel. I loved the Irish setting and was interested in both the current crime and the crime of ten years past that had not yet been solved. 

Julianne Maroney, marine biologist, snapped at the chance to go to Declan's Cross to help set up a marine research station. She was eager to get away from Andy Donovan since their relationship broke up. She knew going into it that it was unlikely to succeed but that didn't stop her heart from breaking. She is supposed to meet chance-met acquaintance Lindsey Hargreaves at the airport. But when she arrives, Lindsey isn't there. She makes her way on her own to Declan's Cross where Lindsey's colleagues say that she is just that absent minded that she could have forgotten to pick Julianne up.

Meanwhile, Colin Donovan and Emma Sharpe, both FBI agents, are vacationing in Ireland too. Colin in trying to decide, after nearly being killed on his last undercover assignment, whether or not he wants to continue with the FBI. When they are informed that Julianne is coming and going to a village where their was a famous art theft that Emma's family had investigated, they decide to check out Declan's Cross and Julianne's situation.

Julianne is renting a cottage from Sean Murphy who is working on the farm for a while getting over injuries sustained when he encountered smugglers in his job as gardai. Colin and Emma are staying in the inn made from the house where the art theft occurred. The inn is now being run by the niece of the man who owned the missing art. 

Things get even more twisty when Julianne's body turns up. Is her death linked to that long ago crime? Besides the two mysteries there are at least three relationships being worked on in this novel. I thought that the number of relationships and the number of crimes made the focus of the novel rather scattered. I didn't feel like I knew enough about each character to know who to care about. And I was disappointed that only one of the mystery plots was resolved in this story.

I will say that this book has really made me want to read the other books in the Sharpe & Donovan series so that I can fill in some of the backstory that I feel was missing for my complete enjoyment of this book. Fans of the series will want to read this title. New readers might want to start at the beginning.

Favorite Quote:
"He's also not ready to settle down." Emma looked up at Colin. "Are any of you Donovans ready to settle down?"

His smile took her by surprise. "It'd help if we fell for easy women."

"Considering how easy Donovan men are."

"Are you saying my brothers and I are difficult?"

"Challenging. I'd say you're all challenging."
I received this book to review for my stop on the blog tour. You can buy your copy here.

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