Thursday, October 14, 2021

Book Review: Liar's Key by Carla Neggers

Liar's Key

Author:
Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe & Donovan (Book 7)
Publication: MIRA; Original edition (March 15, 2021)

Description: An FBI legend, a mysterious antiquities specialist and a brazen art thief draw top agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan into a complex web of blackmail, greed and murder in the next novel in the highly acclaimed  Sharpe & Donovan series

Emma Sharpe is suspicious when the legendary retired Special Agent Gordon Wheelock drops by her Boston office, sharing rumors about stolen ancient mosaics. Emma, an art-crimes specialist, won’t discuss it. Especially since it involves Oliver York, an unrepentant English thief. Gordy and Emma’s grandfather, a renowned private art detective, chased Oliver for a decade. Gordy knows Wendell Sharpe never gave him everything he had on the thief.

When a shocking death occurs, Emma is pulled into the investigation. The evidence points to a deadly conspiracy between Wendell and Oliver, and Emma’s fianc√©, deep-cover agent Colin Donovan, knows he can’t stay out of this one. There will be questions about Emma’s role and where her loyalties lie. From Boston to Maine to Ireland, Emma and Colin track a dangerous suspect. With the lives of their families and friends at stake, the Sharpes and Donovans must band together to stop a killer.

My Thoughts: Colin's coming off his latest undercover assignment and scouting honeymoon locations in Ireland while Emma is fielding a visit from retired FBI Agent Gordy Wheelock in her Boston office. Gordy is still trying to finish the last case he was working on before he retired and is trying to pump Emma for information while concealing as much of what he knows as possible.

Meanwhile in Heron's Cove, Lucas is planning for the Open House for the newly remodeled offices of Sharpe Fine Are Recovery and has assembled quite a guest list. Among them are Oliver York who is a former art thief now working on the fringes of MI5 and Lucas's grandfather Wendell who began the business but who is semi-retired in Dublin. Also invited are Claudia Deverell and her father and brother. Claudia spent some summer's in Heron's Cove where her mother's family had long owned a summer home. 

Claudia has been somewhat adrift since her mother's recent death from a fast-acting cancer. She's interested, as her mother was, in antiquities and was left her family's collection when her mother died. She had a brief relationship with Lucas and another brief relationship with the married Gordy Wheelock which both of them want to cover up for various reasons.

With rumors of antiquities - especially mosaics - stolen and sold to fund terrorists and both Wendell and Oliver stirring the pot, Emma and Colin have a lot to investigate before their upcoming wedding.

This story was less thriller or romantic suspense title than earlier books in the series. The murder that gets thing started looks at first to be a fall and a heart attack in an antiquities expert nearing ninety. The second doesn't occur until the story is almost over. The main focus of the book, which is told from Gordy's point of view and Claudia's in addition to Emma's and Colin's, is a twisty collection of secrets that need to be unraveled. 

There is also a plot thread where Father Finian Bracken's youngest sister Mary comes to visit and gets involved with the various characters and plot threads as she comes to understand her brother's choice to become a priest - though she still wants him to return to Ireland when his year in Maine is finished.

It seems to me that this story would work best for those readers who are already familiar with the characters and previous novels in the series. There isn't much action to draw in a new reader but I found the story satisfying. 

Favorite Quote:
Emma noticed more of the ocean was visible, bluer with the lifting fog. "There's what we know and there's what we think we know. It's best not to confuse the two."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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