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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Review - Beyond the Pale

Clare O'Donohue is the best selling author of Someday Quilts Mystery series, Kate Conway Mysteries, and now the new World of Spies Mysteries.  The concept of average citizen's becoming spies isn't new, but professors more accustomed to University students and grading papers gives it a good spin.  Read on to see how well the concept worked.


Author: Clare O'Donohue

Copyright: May 2018 (Midnight Ink) 360 pgs

Series: 1st in World of Spies Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy Intrigue

Main Characters: Married college professors Hollis and Finn Larsson.

Setting: Modern, Ireland

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest opinion (NetGalley)

Cover Blurb:  "Married college professors agree to help Interpol in Ireland, but a simple errand leads them into a deadly criminal enterprise

It's a simple, twenty-minute job. At least, that's the pitch from Interpol to married college professors Hollis and Finn Larsson. Going undercover to procure a priceless rare book manuscript means an all-expenses paid trip abroad. A little danger thrown into the mix may even spice things up.

Soon after landing in the Emerald Isle, they realize the job is anything but simple. Their contact is a no show and they're left with fifty thousand euros, some serious questions, and a possible death threat. Ducking and dodging their way across Ireland, Hollis and Finn must hunt down the priceless manuscript and a missing agent while trying to stay one step ahead of a dangerous and unknown enemy."

Wife Hollis is a global politics professor, but she had been through CIA training years ago - but left the agency to marry Finn.  She is bored with her life now.  Finn is an expert in European literature and has settled into his life.  The two come across as on the brink of divorce.  Hollis wants to travel and live a little while Finn wants to sit and watch sports or have his adoring students around him and have his wife travel without him.  Finn doesn't want to travel, it's too inconvenient, and he resents Hollis was trained by CIA.  David, who went through CIA training with Hollis and now works at Interpol, asks the drifting-apart couple to help retrieve a manuscript, supposedly of great value, in Ireland. Several other people appear wanting the same manuscript and who can be trusted is up in the air.

The story takes you across Ireland as Hollis and Finn run from one location to another either trying to get the manuscript or evade being killed.  This became tiresome after a while.  The plot was just okay to me, I never felt the urgency over the manuscript which seemed contrived to me.  The pacing was fast paced once in Ireland, but again the continual running was wearying and a little disjointed. 

The reveal of who was actually the enemy and the final showdown was well done and exciting.  The wrap up left it open for further adventures, if both of them can be persuaded.

I had mixed feelings about this book.  It's a good premise, but I had a hard time with the husband Finn.  My impression of Finn is self-centered and jealous of Hollis and her training so he takes some risks and tries to step up when he shouldn't. The locations used in the story could have been cut down and I think it would have worked better while still keeping the pace.

Rating:
  Good - A fun read with solid storyline and a few areas for improvement.



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1 comments:

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