Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Book Review: Thief's Mark by Carla Neggers

Thief's Mark

Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe & Donovan (Book 7)
Publication: MIRA; Reissue edition (April 12, 2021)

Description: A murder in a quiet English village, long-buried secrets and a man’s search for answers about his traumatic past entangle FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan in the latest edge-of-your-seat Sharpe & Donovan novel

As a young boy, Oliver York witnessed the murder of his parents in their London apartment. The killers kidnapped him and held him in an isolated Scottish ruin, but he escaped, thwarting their plans for ransom. After thirty years on the run, one of his tormentors may have surfaced.

Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan are on their Irish honeymoon when a break-in at the home of Emma’s grandfather, private art detective Wendell Sharpe, points to Oliver. The Sharpes have a complicated relationship with the likable, reclusive Englishman. Emma and Colin postpone meetings in London with their elite FBI team and head straight to Oliver. But when they arrive at York’s country home, a man is dead and Oliver has vanished.

As the danger mounts, questions arise about Oliver’s account of his boyhood trauma. Do Emma and Colin dare trust him? With the trail leading beyond Oliver’s village to Ireland, Scotland and their own turf in the US, the stakes are high, and Emma and Colin must unravel the decades-old tangle of secrets and lies before a killer strikes again.

My Thoughts: This 7th book in the Sharpe & Donovan series stars Oliver York. He saw his parents murdered and was kidnapped as an eight-year-old. He grew up to be a mythologist and thief. Wendell Sharpe had been on his trail since his second theft from an Amsterdam museum. But he began his career in art thievery by stealing paintings an a Celtic cross from a home in Declan's Cross.

Now his history in theft is known but for a number of reasons, including his usefulness to MI5, he hasn't been arrI lested or prosecuted. In fact, he's never admitted to being the thief Wendell Sharpe and the FBI hunted for so many years. 

For all the 30-some years since his kidnapping, he's been looking for the two men who killed his parents and kidnapped him. Even so, he didn't expect to find one of them murdered at his home in the Cotswolds. 

Henrietta Balfour was a neighbor of Oliver's since childhood. She was farmed off to her great aunt's whenever her parents wanted to do things without her which was most of the time. Henrietta became an expert gardener under her aunt's care but she also followed her favorite grandfather into working with MI5. She's left MI5 - a case of burn out - and is trying to establish herself as a garden designer. One of her first commissions is at Oliver's house which puts her right there when the body is discovered. 

I enjoyed the story and especially liked that Oliver finds romance with Henrietta. He's been such an intriguing character through so many of the earlier books in the series. I liked the way the past was woven into this story and I liked that Oliver finally found out what happened when his parents died. 

Favorite Quote:
Wendell was engaging in pure, in-your-face evasiveness. No wonder he's stuck to sparkling water. Colin snatched up his pint glass and nodded to Emma. "Do you want me to get the truth out of him or do you want me to...or just forget it and pretend drinks and a night at the Shelbourne are a last-minute wedding gift."

"They're a surprise wedding gift," Wendell said, unruffled. "They're not last-minute."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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