by Heather Graham
Series: New York Confidential #1
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 8 hours and 39 minutes
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 3.5 cups
There's a pub in New York City that's been in the Finnegan family for generations. Now Kieran and her three brothers own it. Kieran Finnegan is also, as it happens, a criminal psychologist—a fitting reaction, perhaps, to her less-than-lawful teenage past.
Meanwhile, New York's Diamond District has been hit by a rash of thefts. No one's been killed—until now. FBI agent Craig Frasier is brought in to investigate; he and Kieran meet at a jewelry store in the middle of a heist. She's there to "unsteal" a flawless stone taken by her light-fingered youngest brother as an act of vengeance. Craig's there to stop the gang.
But the police and FBI begin to wonder if there are two gangs of diamond thieves, the original and a copycat group of killers—who seem to think their scheme is as flawless as the stones they steal.
Thrown together by circumstance, drawn together by attraction, Kieran and Craig are both assigned to the case. But to Kieran's horror, there's more and more evidence that, somehow, the pub is involved. Because everyone goes to Finnegan's.…
FLAWLESS by Heather Graham is the first in the New York Confidential series. This is a contemporary romance set in Manhatten in the Irish community. The tale narrated by Saskia Maarleveld offered suspense, a loud Irish family, and a copy-cat crime.
FLAWLESS was an interesting listen. We spend a significant amount of time at Finnegan’s an Irish-American pub owned by the Finnegan family. Kieran Finnegan works at the family pub when she isn’t working as a criminal psychologist. Declan the oldest runs the bar, Kevin works there but is also an acting career and Danny is a local tour guide. Julie is a family friend and also works at the bar. When Kieran’s sibling Danny, decides to steal a flawless gemstone as a prank, Kieran finds herself in the position of un-stealing it. Unfortunately, she ends up in the middle of an actual heist. FBI agent Craig Fraiser is brought in to investigate. There are plenty of secondary characters like Bobby, a recovering alcoholic who spends time at the bar and is loved by all and Fraiser’s partner Mike. I loved all of their interaction and felt they made the story memorable.
The mystery and suspense were interesting. We have a string of jewelry robberies by three people in hoodies and a series of identical robberies that also involve murder. Craig Fraiser believes these are copycats, but when the first group is captured, the city feels they have their killers. Graham did an excellent job with the mystery and added suspense when Kieran finds herself in danger.
We have a light romance develop between Kieran and Craig, but Craig feels Kieran is hiding something. Kieran made me a tad crazy. She withholds things to protect her family, which I understand, but then she keeps things that anyone with a brain would know Craig would discover for himself. I get annoyed when an educated woman acts this way. I have a tough time believing as a psychologist she wouldn’t have had more sense..but perhaps she was overthinking it and panicked. I will let you draw your own conclusions. I really enjoyed FBI agent Craig Fraiser and forgave him for getting involved with a witness. He is honorable, an old school detective and his treatment and interactions with everyone made me respect him.
Now, Saskia Maarleveld narrates, and she does an excellent job, but FLAWLESS was a tad awkward as an audio listen. When I attended an Audio tea at BEA in Chicago, John Scalzi talked about how audiobooks made him change the way he writes. I totally get it now! Graham has a lot of dialogue between the characters, and I have always read her books. The dialogue has a lot of “he said” “she said” to indicate who has spoken. When I read my mind must simply skim this repetitiveness because it never bothered me, but on audio…there were times where it drove me mad.
While not perfect, I enjoyed FLAWLESS, and look forward to A PERFECT OBSESSION. Kieran and Craig will be partnered again, and now that all the secrets are out in the open, I am anxious to see them work a case.
[bctt tweet=”Flawless by Heather Graham was a good start to the New York Confidential series. #audiobook” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
I enjoyed this one, too, but I agree with your assessment of Kieran, and her secret-keeping drove me up the wall. The second book is better on that score, but not entirely so. Still, I’m looking forward to whatever comes next in the series.
I love books that have irish families in them, 😀 so much fun. I am not sure how I would feel about her behavior either..
This sounds so great! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t heard of this author; thank you for putting this one on my radar! 🙂
Tyler H. Jolley
I love your reviews on Graham’s books, I need to read more of them. She’s such a great author.
The Bibliophile Babe
Kiaran sounds a bit frustrating! Looks like a good read!
I need to read this one! Love this author!
I don’t mind mystery in romance but when secrets are kept that’s seriously a pet peeve of mine, but I’m intrigued enough by the mystery that I might dive into this one.
I’ve read some of her Shannon Drake books but not under this name. This sounds interesting though.
I like the sound of the Irish pub and the mystery, but I think I might be better reading this one. If the he said she said drove you nuts, it would me too.
I know what you mean about Kieran! I enjoyed your review, thanks for sharing.
It has been awhile since I have read anything written by Heather Graham. This title seems like a good one to pick up back on her work. I am glad you enjoyed it despite the imperfections.
I think I might be a bit upset with Kieran, too, Kim. I don’t understand it when seemingly intelligent (and street-smart) women act stupidly like that… It still sounds like a good story, though, and I’m definitely curious about the bar and the criminal psychology tie-in 🙂
I like this author’s work and like a contemporary suspense thrill. I’m pretty sure I would do better reading it in book form to get the gist of the storyline a little better, but as always, I totally love this review! Hugs…
Geybie's Book Blog
Glad that you enjoyed this, Kim. It sounds very good. Awesome review, as always.
I really need to try more of her books! it’s been so long!
I have actually never tried anything by her
Oh boy, it sounds like Kieran would also drive me a little mad! But happy to hear there’s good interaction with the secondary characters! Glad this was a good listen even though it wasn’t perfect. Lovely review, Kim!