A Sharpe and Donovan Mystery by Carla Neggers
Review: FBI agent Emma Sharpe has been assigned to an elite uncover team in Boston investigating a series of international art thefts, someone her group leader calls the "Sharpe thief" because he seems to be taunting both Emma and her grandfather Wendell Sharpe, who has been hunting him for at least a decade. And now it seems he has struck again, in Harbor Island, the fourth book in this series by Carla Neggers.
Still recovering from jet lag after returning from an adventure in Ireland, Emma receives a phone call from a mysterious woman, asking to meet on Bristol Island in Boston Harbor. She says she has information about the thief, and needs to speak to her urgently. Emma immediately heads out there, but when she arrives, the woman is dead, clutching a polished stone inscribed with a Celtic cross: the signature of the thief and usually signifying that another piece of art has been taken. Usually, but not always … and that's what troubles Emma. What did this woman, who is later identified as Rachel Bristol and whose family owns Bristol Island, have to do with the art thief?
While some of the backstories to what happened previous to the events in Harbor Island are provided — most of the supporting cast that appeared in the first three books of the series seem to make an appearance here, as well — there is still a sense of being a bit lost getting started, as if walking into a movie midway through. The book opens just days after the conclusion of Declan's Cross (not reviewed), and seems to be in many ways a direct and unintererupted continuation of that storyline. That doesn't mean this story cannot be enjoyed as a stand-alone; there is a lot to like, from the complicated — and at times convoluted — murder mystery plot to the settings in New England and Ireland to the relationship Emma has with Colin Donovan, her partner professionally and her new fiancÚ personally. Quite a few plot threads are sewn up here (or at least appear to be) with a couple new ones spun to be explored as the series continues. Entertaining overall, but probably best appreciated by readers familiar with the series to date.
A prequel novella, Rock Point, about a character's departure from Ireland for Colin's coastal Maine fishing village, is included in this book.
Acknowledgment: Harlequin provided an ARC of Harbor Island for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Harlequin Mira (Mass Market Paperback), February 2014
ISBN-13: 9780778315889; ISBN-10: 0778315886
Location(s) referenced in Harbor Island: Boston, Massachusetts; Ireland; Maine
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Harbor Island by Carla Neggers — A Sharpe and Donovan Mystery
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Publication Date: September 2014
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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