Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Rival's Break, by Carla Neggers {ends 9/3}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Emma noticed an attractive brown mushroom under the pine tree, not far from where she stood. She had no idea what it was. “What about mushrooms that aren’t deadly but still can make you sick?”

Sister Cecilia hopped off the pine root and lifted a low-hanging branch, pointing to the ground. “See those red mushrooms? I haven’t had a mycologist make a positive identification, but I believe they’re the russula emetica species. They’d be my first candidate for yesterday.”

“Emetica? Another one appropriately named?”

“Says it all, doesn’t it? They’re commonly known as the sickener. Not as terrifying as death cap and destroying angel, but it gets the point across.”

Emma took a closer look at the trio of mushrooms, indeed a distinct red color. “They don’t look appetizing, and they certainly don’t bear any resemblance to chanterelles.”

I’m almost amazed any murders get solved, when there are so many different little ways to kill or maim people based on obscure hobbies I’d never even think about. In the case of Rival’s Break, it’s wild edibles—mushrooms—that lend a whole new angle to having to uncover a crime.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: Rival's Break, by Carla Neggers
A deadly poisoning, a stolen painting and a criminal mastermind challenge the skills of FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan as never before in their latest high-stakes case. New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers has crafted a gripping novel of international intrigue and suspense not to be missed.

Emma Sharpe is recovering from a shattering loss while her husband, Colin Donovan, is deep into his latest undercover mission. So they’re grateful to enjoy a peaceful autumn weekend together on the southern Maine coast to celebrate Colin’s brother Andy’s wedding.

But the peace is short-lived when Kevin Donovan, a marine patrol officer, receives a call to check on suspected food poisoning at a party aboard a yacht. Colin decides to tag along. He is surprised to recognize one of the victims as an undercover British intelligence officer, and it quickly becomes evident they’re dealing with something very sinister. At the same time a valuable painting by Irish artist Aoife O’Byrne—a friend of Emma and Colin’s—is missing from the yacht, and the connections make the investigation international and extremely personal.

Emma and Colin discover they are up against a deadly foe who plans to strike again. With the help of HIT, their small, elite Boston-based FBI team, they must foil an attack that will have devastating effects. It’s a case that will alter their lives beyond anything they’ve ever imagined…

As the story started out, I was grateful for introductions to the characters. Although this is the 10th book in this series (including one novella), I had not previously read any of them, so I had some catching up to do. The characters were mostly likable, if a bit far-fetched. I think reading some of the previous books would have made them more understandable. And what do I really know about the private lives of secret agents anyway?

I’m not one to usually try to guess the ending to a book, or the solution to a mystery or crime, but I hadn’t even considered the one who was revealed to be the "bad guy," this time. The plot was intriguing and unpredictable for me. While I wasn’t sure if I might be a little too confused, I wanted to keep reading and have the whole story finally revealed. I did not see this ending coming! I’d love to check out more books by this author and see if plots are always so well thought-out.

Overall, I’d give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was a fun summer read and escape from my everyday life. I also found the characters engaging and would like to hear more of their stories.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a Gemini who loves to start the day with kitty snuggles soon followed by ice-cold Cherry Coke. She loves to read, and doesn’t mind writing a bit at SweetlyBSquared.com.


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Rival's Break!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, September 3rd, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Rival's Break, by Carla Neggers


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