For centuries, the legend of the Spider Rock Treasure has lured people to West Texas with promises of unimaginable wealth. And it just claimed three more victims.The FBI calls in one of its most promising up and comers – Special Agent Bella Jordan.
Bella is assigned to investigate a series of murders in West Texas that are linked to the Spider Rock Treasure. Since she spent the first fifteen years of her life in this area, FBI authorities believe she can get the job done. What they don’t know is that one of their prime suspects—a man who’s been on their wanted list for years—is deeply connected to Bella’s past.
The other prime suspect is Carr Sullivan, the man who owns the ranch where the murders occurred. Carr was once one of the wealthiest businessmen in Dallas and has a shady past a mile long. But it appears he’s turned his life around. Can Bella trust him, or is he just trying to cover his tracks?
As Bella probes deeper into the case, threats on her own life convince her the killer is someone she knows. But it soon becomes clear he’s not working alone, and she’ll need to face the past she’s tried so desperately to forget in order to solve the case and prevent more murders.
The premise behind this book is a great idea-modern day treasure hunting entangled with family controversy and unexpected love. However, I just could not get connected with the characters or the storyline.
The hero, Carr, has a poignant and authentic testimony of struggling with parting, drugs, alcohol, and violent anger. He turns his life around and endeavors to start a center for at-risk teenage boys, but his past makes him a prime suspect in the murders committed on his property. Bella, the FBI heroine, has a dark and mysterious past that is directly connected to the investigation.
I think what kept me from fully enjoying this book was the unrealistic situations trying to pass off as being completely feasible. The FBI would have known about Bella’s childhood connection to the investigation and never would have allowed her to be the lead agent due to conflict of interests. The romantic relationship between Bella and Carr would never have been permitted, nor her disclosure of investigative details or allowing him, a suspect, to assist her. Also, when Carr and Bella discover two precious ancient documents, Carr flippantly reveals that he just happens to be studying Latin and biblical antiquities in his spare time and can identify and translate the treasure. The ending seemed a little haphazardly thrown together as all conflicts had to be resolved.
The backstory for each character is very interesting but, unfortunately, I didn’t see enough character development in their current situation. This book did compel me to do my own research about the Spider Rock treasure and it really is an interesting topic. All of the action and criminal elements are implied but never described, which can be good or bad. Some people are more squeamish so they may appreciate that, whereas other may feel as if they are being left out of the loop.
**Thank you to Tyndale for providing a review copy**