At the turn of the twentieth century Alistair McGowan, an archaeologist, found and excavated the lost city of Shandihar. Since the expedition had been funded by a newly chartered university, led by the wealthy Benjamin Howe, the treasures and artifacts went there.
Today, Daria McGowan is a very well known archaeologist (on an international level). Daria is thrilled when the President of Howe University asks her to organize a project at the university. The university wants Daria to set up an exhibition of Shandihar, celebrating the hundredth anniversary of her great-grandfather's expedition. However, as Daria goes through the crates, she learns that several of the items have been stolen over time. Daria calls Connor Shields, the FBI agent she met briefly not too long ago.
Connor Shields has been hoping to see Daria again; but this is not the way he'd envisioned it. Connor and Daria team up to locate the stolen items. Within the last hundred years someone had sold the items to collectors who never knew the objects were stolen goods. As Connor and Daria travel to meet with the current owners and dealers, they learn that each person has been brutally murdered recently and the Shandihar items taken. The situation becomes extremely personal when Daria's home is broken in to. Facts show that the thief/murderer may be on campus. Connor is determined to make sure Daria keeps breathing.
This story clearly shows that the author went through A LOT of research to make this tale as realistic as possible. However, the story starts out slow, followed by many details about the goddess that the people of Shandihar worshiped and of the Shandihar culture. The information is necessary for readers to understand the MO of the murderer, but only readers who enjoy learning historical facts will be hooked during these sections. Once the main characters begin traveling (to see the owners of the stolen objects) things begin to really heat up. From then on I was totally enthralled with all the mystery, suspense, and light romance. This novel is perfect for some beach or camp reading.
Mariah Stewart does the 'murder mystery with a soupcon of romance/sex' very well indeed, and this novel is no exception.
From back cover: As renowned archaeologist Dr. Daria McGowan readies the most important project of her career -- a University museum exhibit showcasing the priceless artifacts her great-grandfather unearthed a century earlier in the Middle East -- she makes a shocking discovery: many of the most significant pieces have vanished. Panicked, Daria turns to the FBI.
Solving the mystery is an assignment that Connor Shields is more than happy to accept: Daria is the same intriguing blonde archaeologist he's had on his mind since their paths first crossed two years ago. Working together to track down the stolen artifacts, Daria and Connor discover a trail of bodies -- collectors who have met brutal, bizarre ends at the hands of a killer whose murderous methods are based on the rituals of an ancient civilization.
Amid rumors of a curse and mounting pressure from both the FBI and the University, Daria and Connor race to unmask their enemy and unravel a mystery stretching across oceans and centuries. All the while, an ingenious murderer follows a sinister plan to gather the coveted antiquities and one last acquisition -- Daria.
Great book. I always enjoy a good mystery. Exciting to the end.
A little slow getting started, not as much action or as in-depth as her other two "Last" books.
I really like this author's books and this book "last breath" was very good.