Top critical review
Predictable with some twists
Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2015
Heather Graham is one of my favorite mystery writers. That being said, I was disappointed with some things in this particular book. I thought parts of this book were much too slow and I had to force myself to keep reading in hopes that the story would pick up. Something I noticed that several other reviewers have also pointed out is the lack of a definitive white space between some of the scenes so that you cannot immediately tell that a new scene has begun. It really interrupts the flow when a reader has to stop, cock their head and try to figure out when this other character crashed the scene they were just reading, so please, start a new chapter, or put some white space in so readers know there’s a new scene starting.
Another thing I had trouble with was how quickly Jeremy and Rowenna jumped into bed together (in my opinion). She’s already attracted to him, but he’s fighting his attraction like mad and being cold and distant to her. Then, seemingly out of the clear night sky, he shows up at her hotel room, she drops her robe and they have hot, mind-blowing sex, multiple times. In fact, they seem to have hot, mind-blowing sex multiple times every time they breathe in each other’s general direction when they’re alone. I’m glad they’re so sexually attracted to each other, but really, do we need to be aware of every single intimate encounter these two have? I tended to skim those sections very quickly to get back to the investigation.
Predictability was another problem for me. Now maybe I was just really on the ball when I read the proper name of one of the villains and realized immediately that it was an anagram for something else and knew that he was a villain, but that kind of took the fun out of guessing whodunit for the remainder of the book, which was a good portion of the book. I did not see the other villain coming, though. That was a total surprise and made me very happy that I had not guessed everything.
I love a good historical mystery (and a good mystery with historical elements), and I think Ms. Graham’s research for this book was very good. The story itself was intriguing and the suspenseful elements, once our heroes started figuring things out, kept me quickly turning pages towards the latter 20% of the book (I read it on a Kindle, folks). I do wish there had been less focus on the hero/heroine’s sexploits and more on the investigation itself because the story was so good.