Thinking about her Paper and what he did for a living which was being one of the best con artists finding marks to rob and not thinking twice, Rose decided to do what she did best as she eased her finger away from the trigger and had to decide to pull it since Tommy Preston was evil and dangerous and she was not going to let Lilly, her sister marry him so why does she? But, first things first as she had to find her own mark and managed to convince a kid to pretend to steal from her and the end result the money winds up in the bank but not before trying to convince two people to go in on business that does not exist.
Caitlin Cassidy and Atticus Spense are five days away from getting married. The island where they were going to get married was picture perfect but now all they had to do is pick the right spot. But, curiosity got the better of both of them when walking on the beach and observing what looked like two newlyweds walking towards to shoreline of the ocean. Thinking they would be intruding something caught Spense’s eyes and set him in motion realizing that something about the women’s body language did not seem right. Watching them enter the water he realizes that they both seem to disappear from sight and both he and Caitlin dove into the water, handled the sinus pain that his Caitlin from the salt water and then fighting their way back to the sand and seeing that the groom was shot and the bride missing.
While they became involved in saving the groom Inspector Jacque Brousseau comes on the scene and he is one man not to be trifled with and when he wants things done you cannot dissuade him or blow him off. Wanting their statements and going over the events many times, Spense becomes irritated and wants to rid himself of this man. But, he keeps coming at him and then invites them to join in the investigation but they sort of politely decline the offer at least for now.
When the inspector left Caitlin and Spense decided on a short romantic interlude to be interrupted by a bride with a gun pointed at them. Luckily they almost talked her down but the police on this island are astute and the Inspector and his men arrived and Rose was carted away. Rose was crafty and a con artist and although she was in jail it did not stop her from duping the guard who happened to be the inspector’s brother who likes a nip all too often. Uncuffing the prisoner was not smart, giving her alcohol dumber and allowing her to get the better of him might cost him his job as she fled.
Inspector Brousseau was waiting for Spense and Caitlin at the Papeete Police Station hoping that Rose Parker would show up. The conversation let to many difficult questions about the Deputy and his role in letting her escape plus for some reason Caitlin is not sure whether Rose is innocent or guilty of the attempted murder of Tommy Preston. Did the deputy accept a bribe? How did she manage to skate free? But, when Spense blows their own horn and tells the Inspector to let them assist on the case because they are great and can handle it, he reminds them that they declined at first but who would be so foolish to not accept their help?
Learning more about Rose’s father, George Parker enlightens the group and learning about the reference to Gauguin and his gold sends them off in many different directions. George told stories at bars and the one he told of Gauguin’s gold landed him in jail but how? Well, believe it or not George sold maps to the treasure-Gauguin’s gold but the maps were bogus.
Excited that they thought Rose was found instead Lilly comes screaming and kicking into the police station demanding to see Rose who she refuses to understand is missing. Some of the scenes are hilarious as Lilly tries to convince them that she really cares about Rose and just wants to get to the bottom of what really happened but that is not something I will reveal as the author creates some startling surprises and twists that will reveal information that you will never believe. Demanding to see Rose and thinking she runs the show it takes everything out of the Inspector and his new team to calm her down but what about her does not ring true? You will learn as you get more in-depth into the plot that not everything or everyone is what they appear to be and someone is really great at creating a mist that will hopefully be revealed as certain lies, betrayals, cons and falsehoods are finally told but what about family love and loyalty?
Chapter 12 reveals what Rose is up to and that she managed to get away, using her wiles get food, cheat a vendor and create quite a good scam. Interviewing Lilly Parker they remained at the station but something was not right as their two moms were dealing with the wedding cake, the priest and other important things for their important day. Spense’s half brother Special Agent Alex Dutch Langhorne arrived with Special Agent Gretchen Herrera as they spent time at Juliette’s bakery picking out the cakes for the wedding. Dutch wanted in on the investigation hoping that he and Gretchen can help reveal where Rose might be, what Tommy is really into and something about the gun that Rose had. Dolphin Beach Hotel is where they were staying but how did Rose find them and would she even know if the gun she had would work underwater?
When Tommy finally catches up to Rose it is revealed that the reason he wants her out of the way and has been threatening to kill Lilly is a thumb drive called Sadie but what does that mean? Who is Sadie? Rose is smart and has Sadie, which is her bargaining chip to keep her sister alive.
Tommy is crafty and thinks that he can find another way to convince Lilly to help him since she for all outward purposes appears to be naïve and able to be conned by him. Drawing her in but not before Rose finds herself facing someone named Pamela Jean whom she thinks Tommy beat up and put in the hospital someone is trying to gaslight someone else into believing truths that are really lies.
Author Carrie Baldwin sets up the final scenes before the wedding that places everyone in danger and leaves readers wondering who is innocent Rose or Lilly, both or what does someone have planned that no one will expect? When the truth behind Sadie is uncovered when the flash drive winds up in Caitlin’s hands and her mother presents her with this package to is the most important clue, everyone seems on board to try and figure out what might be on it. What is on it reveals more than they would expect and learning more about Tommy and then meeting his mother Heather you get a different picture. Tommy was adopted after spending years of abuse in different orphanages and foster homes thinking the streets were safer. When Heather and her husband adopt him you would think he was going to be a model son. In her eyes he was but where was the money coming from for his many businesses and what where was the money going? Why was Rose still at threat and what happens when he draws Lilly closer, takes her to a bar but does not realize she sees something she should not and the finale is unreal. Gaughin’s gold plays a part in this novel as Caitlin and Spense try to find the location that is on one of the maps but what they endure and encounter might make them miss more than their wedding day. Two mothers that are excited yet worried about them. His half-brother that learns is able to break into the flash drive and an ending so explosive and so original you won’t see it coming as Caitlin, Spense, the police and Rose are faced with decisions that will change their lives for forever. Added in we learn that Rose and Tommy plus Lilly and Tommy have taken out life insurance polices and who will benefit if two of them are deceased?
How is the mist lifted? Why didn’t Tommy die from the gunshot wound in the water? Who is the real con artist and what will the fate of both Rose and Lilly be? Two sisters that are supposed to love each other? Sister, Sisters, Sisters such devoted sisters or are they?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine