Monday, March 14, 2016


by Heather Graham
MIRA     2016
304 pages      Romantic Suspense

How have I missed Heather Graham all these years? I must have read some of them—she has written 150 romantic suspense novels over the past 30 years. 

Graham's newest book, Flawless, is an appropriate book to read during St. Patrick's Day week since much of it takes place in an Irish pub in New York City. Kieran Finnegan is part of the Finnegan family that has owned a pub  in Manhattan for generations. Right now, she and her three brothers run it, although she and two of her brothers have other jobs—Kieran is a criminal psychologist. Everyone comes together to help out on their times off from their other jobs. Kieran's first loyalty is to the pub and her brothers.

Someone is robbing jewelry stores in the diamond district, and it appears that there are connections to Finnegan's Pub. An FBI agent named Craig Frasier is brought in to investigate the robberies and discovers not only the connections with the pub, but he also makes a connection with Kieran. Although he knows that she has something to hide, he falls in love with her—of course. How involved is Kieran and the pub with the robberies?

When I was a young mother, this is the type of book I read all the time—simple romantic mysteries were the perfect antidote to single parenthood. In the last few years, however, since I have had a blog and been in a book club, I have become a much more discerning reader. I told my husband the other day that what I have learned by more careful reading is to distinguish good fiction from bad. And I am sad to admit, Flawless is bad fiction. I knew it was from the outset, and I still read the whole book. Why did I continue reading it, you ask? Not sure, but I do know I went to sleep easily every night. 

Here are a few of my favorite lines: "Of course," she said, wondering why she suddenly felt as awkward as a newborn filly." and "And I know now you'll have to investigate Finnegan's up the wazoo, she said softly." On the other hand, Heather Graham has written over 150 books in 30 years--that is 5 books a year! Somebody must be reading these things. 

A recent article in The Daily Beast bemoaned the demise of the Irish Pub. In New York City, 40 percent of the city's traditional pubs have closed in the last ten years. If Finnegans closes, where will the jewel thieves hang out? How will Kieran and FBI agent Frasier solve their crimes? Stay tuned—Heather Graham probably has the next installment ready for the publisher.
Happy St. Paddy's Day, everyone!

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