I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Thief's Mark by Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe & Donovan #7
Published by MIRA on August 29, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Source: TLC Book Tours
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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.
New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers delivers the gripping, suspense-filled tale readers have been waiting for.
I love mysteries that are fast-paced with ever-mounting tension and high stakes. The book blurb for Carla Neggers’ latest installment in the Sharpe and Donovan series promised all of those things, but sadly fell flat for me as I tackled my first novel by this author. While there was a lot of backstory revealed for the characters, I think that to really appreciate the information you’d need to have read the previous books in the series.
FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan are wrapping up their honeymoon in Ireland by visiting her semi-retired art detective grandfather when they discover that his apartment has been broken into, but nothing has been stolen. As odd as that is for their grandfather, they’re called in to consult in England when an ex-art thief-turned MI5 agent is discovered with a murdered man on his doorstep, who turns out to be one of two men that had kidnapped him and murdered his parents 30 years ago. While Oliver York has run for the hills, his childhood friend and current gardener Harriet Balfour (who also happens to secretly be an ex-MI5 agent) takes control of the scene along with the butler. Thief’s Mark jumps back and forth between the English countryside, Ireland, Scotland, and the eastern coast of the United States as various agents for the FBI and MI5 try to trail the murdered man’s last week of life, as well as his last thirty years of life since kidnapping Oliver.
Thief’s Mark is heavy on character interaction through dialogue and less so on the action. It felt like this book explored the character dynamics that needed to be resolved from several books worth of encounters, and it bogged the flow down in places. I did enjoy the characters, but it felt like they sat around and talked a lot without moving the plot forward that much. This is a mystery that’s light on the romance and police procedural aspects, with little gore as well.
I give Thief’s Mark a 3.5 out of 5. The writing and characters weren’t compelling enough to catch and hold my attention for long, and it seemed like it took over 80% of the book for any real danger to the main characters to materialize. This was definitely a very slow burning book, and it’s just a personal preference on my part that I don’t enjoy slower developing stories. But once the danger hit, everything was fast and furious and the answers were flying along with a few fists. I really enjoyed the epic climax and resolution of Thief’s Mark.
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About Carla Neggers
Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels, including her popular Sharpe and Donovan and Swift River Valley series. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in over 35 countries. A frequent traveler to Ireland, Carla lives with her family in New England. To learn more and to sign up for her newsletter, visit CarlaNeggers.com.
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Carla Negger’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THIEF’S MARK:
Tuesday, August 29th: Clues and Reviews
Wednesday, August 30th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Thursday, August 31st: Reading Reality
Wednesday, September 6th: Deborah Blanchard
Thursday, September 7th: Staircase Wit
Friday, September 8th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, September 11th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Tuesday, September 12th: Run Wright
Wednesday, September 13th: A Holland Reads
Friday, September 15th: Read ‘Till Dawn
Monday, September 18th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, September 19th: Buried Under Books
Wednesday, September 20th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, September 21st: Ms. Nose in a Book
Monday, September 25th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, September 26th: Mystery Suspense Reviews
Wednesday, September 27th: Book Nerd
Thursday, September 28th: What I’m Reading
Monday, October 2nd: A Chick Who Reads
TBD: Rainy Day Reviews
TBD: Jathan & Heather