Heron’s Cove by Carla Neggers (♦♦♦♦)
Colin Donovan has been missing for weeks from Rock Point. Allegedly he is working hard at his FBI desk in Washington; his family knows better. Colin's siblings have been grilling Emma for his whereabouts. Emma doesn't know where Colin is except that he is on an undercover mission to flush out the members of an illegal arms trafficking network formerly run by a Russian magnate who is now in federal custody.
A phone call in the middle of the night tips Emma that Colin’s been held in a house in Fort Lauderdale and his life is in danger. Immediately Emma warns her boss about Colin's situation. Meanwhile, Colin has barely managed to escape from a certain death at the hands of three wannabe arms traffickers.
Back in Heron's Cove, the Maine coastal village that's home to the Sharpes, Emma receives a tip from an unknown Russian jewelry designer named Tatiana Pavlova, that the Russian Art Nouveau jewelry collection formerly a property of Russian billionaire Dmitri Rusakov is heading to Heron's Cove and is going to be stolen. To complicate matters further, Rusakov, a former client of the Sharpes, arrives on Heron’s Cove in his luxury yacht. Natalie Warren, daughter of Rusakov’s ex-wife, has brought the collection on board.
Little do these people know that their lives will collide in unexpected ways, while the men intent on taking Colin’s life in Florida will be back to claim revenge.
This is the third book I read in the Sharpe & Donovan series, which started with Saint’s Gate; Heron’s Cove is the second book, which I just completed, and Declan’s Cross is next. On September 17 I will publish my review of the latest installment in this series, Harbor Island.
I really liked Heron’s Cove by Carla Neggers. I thought this would be another story about the now cliché Russian thugs, but I was pleasantly surprised to rediscover why I got hooked on this series in first place... The writing is atmospheric, the suspense envelopes you, the descriptions of the objects of art are sumptuous and so are the folk tales that inspires them.
Rock Point and Heron’s Cove are two more characters in the series and they are the quintessential New England towns.
It doesn't hurt that there's a reasonable dose of romance and tension among the characters in the book.
While I like the chemistry that Colin and Emma share, I don’t think their characters are that well developed yet; in other words, I just can’t picture them aside from knowing that Emma is an ex-nun, now with FBI art crimes division, and her family makes a living as renowned art detectives, reason why Colin is at times suspicious of her. Colin is a rugged, sexy man, who does undercover work for the FBI, and has a close-knit family, but that’s about it. I think Neggers has to expand on that if she wants the series to grow because the cases, while very good background, aren’t enough to fill in the blanks.
In summary, Heron’s Cove is a very good follow up to Saint’s Gate. While the Sharpe & Donovan series still has room to grow, certain things should remain the same such as the sumptuous descriptions of objects of art and the atmosphere of the stories.