When I read a book, I want to get lost in the story. I want to forget I’m reading and hear the character’s voices speaking as the story unfolds. Unfortunately, this story just didn’t get me there. I like this series, but for some reason, this particular addition to the series felt too convoluted and the situations felt too forced. There are certainly plenty of plots within plots to keep you wondering who is doing what to whom – maybe too many of those. I think the ONLY person I liked in this book was Stoker – and he ended up being hurt emotionally. Why do authors feel the need to do that? There wasn’t a real reason for it other than to set up the next book and that could have easily been done another way. Perhaps the author was suffering from the effects of the pandemic and isolation. Honestly, if I had read the last chapter or so of the book before I requested the ARC, I would never have requested it. I would have just skipped this book and waited for the next one when it is released — and that is mostly because of the ending. I did not like it. Overall, the book was just a bit depressing.
There was no murder, little real mystery, and way too much drama about Veronica’s past. Who would have thought we still had more secrets to learn from Veronica’s past. I mean – goodness – enough already. I thought the story was slow at times and those blazing, fiery interactions between Stoker and Veronica just weren’t really there this time. We do get an imposter, an abduction, a very, very valuable stolen jewel, and some pretty vile villains. Those just weren’t enough to suck me into the story.
I found the first bit of the story very entertaining because Stoker and Veronica are traveling back from the continent with a baby (not their own) and the situations that are described are definitely funny. It was the best part of the book!
The gist of the story is: Upon their return to England, Sir Hugo Montgomerie, the head of Special Branch of Scotland Yard approaches them to handle a personal matter for him. They eventually agree and travel to Hathaway Hall on Dartmoor. When they arrive, they find a highly dysfunctional family. Has Jonathan Hathaway really returned from the dead or is it an imposter? Veronica knows right away but then doesn’t tell anyone. Why wouldn’t she tell given what he had done to her in the past? Anyway – a large, irreplaceable diamond is stolen and Jonathan is blamed. He swears he didn’t do it and Veronica believes him – go figure. Lots of things go on – including abductions – while they are trying to uncover the real thief. Then – at the end – well – things aren’t very good between Veronica and Stoker and …
If you choose to read this book, I truly hope you love it. There are lots of 5-star reviews out there and I hope yours will be one of them. For me, however, it left much to be desired and created a lot of absolutely unnecessary emotional turmoil.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.