Target Audience: Mature
Characters: Caer Cavannaugh/Donahue, Zach Flynn, Sean O’Riley, Kat O’Riley, Bridey O’Riley, Amanda O’Riley, Cal Johnson, Marni Johnson, Detective Morrissey, Eddie Ray
Synopsis: An outsider in a world of extraordinary wealth, Caer Donahue must learn who can be trusted…and who should be feared.
Caer is spending this Christmas among strangers. Brought to Newport, Rhode Island, from her native Ireland to nurse ailing millionaire Sean O’Riley, she’s living a life few can imagine. But money can’t hide the tension between O’Riley’s trophy wife, his paranoid daughter, the eccentric aunt in the attic and the staff members who run the house.
When O’Riley’s business partner goes missing, family friend Zach Flynn arrives. Determined to help him solve the case, Caer becomes enmeshed in a mystery that weaves together the sins of the past with one family’s destiny…and a spirit that watches the mansion, possessing a deadly gift.
I was positively thrilled by the inclusion of Gaelic folklore in the final installment of the Flynn Brothers trilogy, Deadly Gift, which could easily be read as a stand-alone novel. Failure to rename her heroine on the cover notwithstanding, Heather Graham does a wonderful job creating believable characters for the modern era and an equally remarkable job describing the wintry setting of Rhode Island during the Christmas season. Unfortunately, I was much less impressed with the progression of the storyline. Despite its promising beginning and Graham’s masterful use of foreshadowing and plot twists, the plot lacked the momentum necessary to truly capture the heart of its target audience.