An intricately crafted mystery set in the contemporary Middle East. Zan is a politician’s daughter and an adrenaline junkie. Whether she’s rock climbing or shoplifting, she loves to live on the edge. But she gets more of a rush than she bargained for on a forced mother–daughter bonding trip to Turkey, where she finds herself in the crosshairs of an antiquities smuggling ring. These criminals believe that Zan can lead them to an ancient treasure that’s both priceless and cursed. Until she does so, she and her family are in grave danger. Zan’s quest to save the treasure—and the lives of people she cares about—leads her from the sparkling Mediterranean, to the bustle of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, to the eerie and crumbling caves of Cappadocia. But it seems that nowhere is safe, and there’s only so high she can climb before everything comes tumbling down.
After a recent shoplifting offense, Zan, the daughter of a politician, finds herself on a forced mother-daughter trip to Turkey. While on the trip she's suppose to help her Aunt Jackie with her struggling hotel. Her aunt has suffered a tragic loss of her husband, who she swears was murdered. Zan's mother brushes it off as part of grieve. On the trip, Zan finds herself involved in an antiquities smuggling ring which might have had something to do with her uncle's death. There is an ancient treasure the smugglers are sure her aunt has and they will stop at nothing to get it.
What works: First off, Renn does a fabulous job of showing readers Turkey in all it's beauty and wonder. The cruise part of this novel takes place Fethiye, Turkey, that has tombs built into the side of the mountainside. I ended up Googling the site and was amazed at the beauty!
The country Turkey is a huge character in this contemporary thriller. Readers can see the exotic locale, along with the feel of the country. Renn does a great job of transporting readers to this Middle East country.
Zan at first comes across as a spoiled teen with her impulsiveness and anger toward her family but later her mask is uncovered to show her vulnerabilities and also how she cares for her aunt. The conflict between her mother is very realistic especially on how both of them deal in different ways to grief and change.
I liked how Zan learned to open up and also how she pulls within her reservoir of skills to help solve a mystery happening around her. When she basically stumbles on an antiquities smuggling ring, she doesn't stay totally quiet. Instead she tries to help figure out the whys behind a number of mysteries which include an ancient so-called 'cursed' vase that her dead uncle might have had a part in stealing. She refuses to believe that and sets out for the truth.
Red herrings pop up when you least expect it. Just when you think you figured out who might behind the smuggling ring, you are proven wrong! I love when you have to figure out the mystery and don't know until the ending!
Fast-paced adrenaline ride through Turkey where danger is around every counter. Mystery, International intrigue, and hints of romance will make you want more! Another Diana Renn winning novel!