cover image Liar’s Key

Liar’s Key

Carla Neggers. Mira, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1911-5

Bestseller Neggers’s sixth novel featuring FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan (after 2015’s Keeper’s Reach) generates a lot of smoke but not much fire. Retired FBI agent Gordon Wheelock, an art-theft expert, calls on Emma at her Boston office to tell her that he recently ran into Oliver York, an English “mythologist” and art thief, at a party in London. Oliver, who was hunted by Emma’s grandfather Wendell Sharpe, founder of Sharpe Fine Art Recovery, will never be prosecuted for his crimes, mainly because he has agreed to help MI5. A subsequent social gathering at the Sharpe family place in Heron’s Cove, Maine, happens to include Gordon, Oliver, Wendell, and Emma’s brother, Lucas, who now runs the art-recovery business. Everyone is suspicious of Oliver, and everyone knows Gordon is holding back info, but it takes a late murder to move the story from a slow simmer to a brief boil. Neggers does a good job exploring the relationships among recurring characters, but she does so at the expense of action and suspense. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Aug.)