When Julianne Maroney accepts an invitation to spend time in the tiny Irish village of Declan’s Cross, she has no idea that she’s stepping into a decades-old mystery, a criminal conspiracy and the sight lines of a killer.
Marine biologist Julianne escapes her small town in Maine to nurse her broken heart and visit an acquaintance in Ireland, but when she arrives, the woman, Lindsey, has disappeared. Coincidentally, Julianne’s childhood friend and FBI agent—and brother of the man who broke her heart—Colin Donovan is nearby, taking a long break from his undercover responsibilities with his companion, fellow agent Emma Sharpe. At first annoyed at this perceived intrusion on her privacy, Julianne reconsiders when Lindsey turns up dead and the clues connect her death to a decades-old unsolved art theft. There are suspects aplenty, but there are also a lot of equations that don’t add up, and since it’s a case that Emma’s grandfather worked on, she has some insider information and a bit of intuition that tells her all is not as it seems. There are connections to the States, too, and Colin’s family starts to work the clues in the U.S., including Andy, his brother, who is in love with Julianne but is determined that she have every opportunity in her career, which he believes is limited in their tiny hometown. Also on the case is a retired policeman who was a suspect in the original crime and whose life was turned upside down by the event. The investigation takes some odd turns, and while the mystery deepens, the one thing that becomes clear is that Julianne is in danger and some questions must be answered to keep her alive. Neggers’ Sharpe & Donovan series has developed a wide following, and her books maintain a potent combination of suspense and romance. Well-plotted, intriguing and set mostly in the lushly described Irish countryside, the novel is smart and satisfying, and the paths of three couples growing even more devoted to each other are deftly woven into the suspenseful storyline, though the jumps back and forth from Maine to Ireland can be jarring.
Another impressive romantic thriller from Neggers.