Guests at a dinner party on a yacht in Maine end up in the hospital with food poisoning. The chef blames her carelessness in mushroom scavenging, but then discovers one of the guests was an MI5 agent and a friend of her father, who is a toxicologist in hospital in Britain dying of mushroom poisoning, blamed on his carelessness. Local FBI agents and MI5 colleagues, suspecting foul play, parse their communication, with intermittent inexplicable forthrightness. The constant repetition of characters’ main traits of being government agents blends them together in a brothy soup of spyness. Suddenly, there’s a culprit, with no previous hints or any indication of involvement, so that backstory must be thrust in awkwardly. I received a digital copy through NetGalley, where the synopsis provided no clue that it was 9th in the series, information only to be found at the end of the book. Perhaps if Dear Reader is already invested in these spy characters, this particular story would hold more credibility.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sharpe & Donovan series featuring Boston-based FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, the Swift River Valley series set in small-town New England and many other novels of romance, mystery and suspense. With dozens of bestsellers to her credit, Carla and her husband divide their time between their hilltop home in Vermont, a pull-out sofa at their kids’ places in Boston and various spots on their travels, frequently to Ireland. Learn more at CarlaNeggers.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Undercover FBI agent Colin Donovan joins his wife, Emma Sharpe, an FBI art crimes expert, for his brother’s wedding in their fishing village on the southern Maine coast. When Kevin Donovan, a marine patrol officer, receives a call to check on suspected food-poisoning at a party aboard a yacht Colin, a former marine patrol officer, tags along.
It’s quickly evident this is no ordinary case of food poisoning. They’re dealing with a deliberate attack. Most of the victims are one-time associates of an imprisoned arms trafficker—a Russian national whose arrest the previous year was made possible by Colin’s undercover work and Emma’s art crimes expertise.
A rare, boutique deadly poison is responsible for the deaths and near-deaths aboard the yacht. From his federal prison, the trafficker claims to know nothing of the attack but he believes one of his rivals is responsible or at least involved. Whoever distributed the poison had to be on the yacht at some point and therefore was either a passenger or a guest. Given the nature of the weapon used, the attacker also would have to be highly skilled in handling its volatile, deadly components. Who made the poison? What was the purpose of the attack—revenge, greed, a message, ideological?
With more questions than answers, Emma and Colin enter the shadowy world of the victims of the attack. They discover someone is out to sell extremely dangerous poisons to organized crime networks. The trail takes them to an unlikely source.
Emma, Colin, HIT and their family and friends must stop the poisoner before he facilitates his next attack.
PRAISE FOR CARLA NEGGERS:
“Well-plotted, intriguing and set mostly in the lushly described Irish countryside, the novel is smart and satisfying.” —Kirkus Reviews on Declan’s Cross
“Saint’s Gate…is a fast-paced, action-packed tale of romantic suspense that will appeal to fans of Lisa Jackson and Lisa Gardner.” —Library Journal
An “intense, edge-of-your-seat whirlwind.” —Booklist
on Liar’s Key
“Insanely sensational….engaging, complex, unforgettable.”
—RT Book Reviews, a September Top Pick!, on Liar’s Key
A “suspenseful, fast-moving thriller with plot twists and excitement to the delightful conclusion.”
—Reader to Reader, on Liar’s Key
“A richly atmospheric, beautifully drawn tale with echoes of Daniel Silva and even Dan Brown.” —Providence Journal on Liar’s Key
“Carla Neggers has long excelled at forging neo-gothic, brooding tales rich in setting and atmosphere. With Thief’s Mark, though, she ups the ante in fashioning a crime thriller of rare depth and complexity.” —Providence Journal