Monday, October 2, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Thief's Mark

Author: Carla Neggers
Title: Thief's Mark
Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: Aug 29, 2017
Book Blurb: 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 wealthy 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. Now, after thirty years on the run, one of the two men Oliver identified as his tormentors may have surfaced.

Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan are enjoying the final day of 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, an expert in Celtic mythology and international art thief who taunted Wendell for years. 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, new questions arise about Oliver's account of his boyhood trauma. Do Emma and Colin dare trust him? With the trail leading beyond Oliver's small 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.

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Review: I have a tendency to job head first into a series, with whatever book I find first. This was not a 100% of a good idea with this series, as the lives of most of the characters are pretty complicated. However it didn't take me long to get into the story, which I loved, even though the pacing was very slow.

I loved the setting and more than that I loved Emma and Colin. I like stories with established relationships. The book opens as Emma and Colin are finishing up their honeymoon. Even better, as the story goes along, I learned Emma was once a nun! I really have to go back and read the earlier books, just to learn how she came to marry Colin.  This is the seventh installment of the Sharpe and Donovan series.

There are so many characters in this intricate mystery, that involves a thirty year old murder and a child, who was kidnapped and is now a grown man, turned art thief, turned MI5 informant. Oliver reminds me a bit of Neal Caffery from White Collar. He's a criminal but he's lovable. You can definitely understand why Henrietta has feelings she's trying to hide from him.

Most of the action takes place in the last quarter of the book. Its a slow buildup, kind of like a children's toy that you wind up and then let it loose. Once the action starts, it doesn't stop and the end results definitely aren't what you are likely expecting.

I liked the complexity of the secondary characters that really felt more like main characters; Martin, Ruthie, Henrietta, and Finian to name but a few and of course the dog, Alfred, named after Batman's butler.

The setting is fabulous. I really hope to get the other books so that this series will pull together for me.

Rating: 5 flowers


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I hope you enjoy the other books in the series as much as you loved this one! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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