Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mystery Book Review: Last Breath by Mariah Stewart

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Last Breath by Mariah Stewart. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Last Breath by Mariah Stewart

Last Breath by Mariah Stewart
The "Last" Trilogy

Ballantine Books (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-345-49224-2 (0345492242)
ISBN-13: 978-0-345-49224-1 (9780345492241)
Publication Date: July 2007
List Price: $19.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): As renowned archaeologist Dr. Daria McGowan readies the most important project of her career–a University museum exhibit showcasing the priceless artifacts her great-grandfather unearthed a century earlier in the Middle East–she makes a shocking discovery: many of the most significant pieces have vanished. Panicked, Daria turns to the FBI.

Solving the mystery is an assignment that Connor Shields is more than happy to accept: Daria is the same intriguing blonde archaeologist he’s had on his mind since their paths first crossed two years ago. Working together to track down the stolen artifacts, Daria and Connor discover a trail of bodies–collectors who have met brutal, bizarre ends at the hands of a killer whose murderous methods are based on the rituals of an ancient civilization.

Amid rumors of a curse and mounting pressure from both the FBI and the University, Daria and Connor race to unmask their enemy and unravel a mystery stretching across oceans and centuries. All the while, an ingenious murderer follows a sinister plan to gather the coveted antiquities and one last acquisition–Daria.

Review: Archaeologist Daria McGowen returns from a dig in Iran to oversee the display of artifacts unearthed by her great-grandfather a century ago in Last Breath, the third and final entry in this trilogy of thrillers by Mariah Stewart.

The fabled city of Shandihar in the Middle East had been buried beneath the desert sands after an earthquake a thousand years ago, its treasures presumably lost forever. In the early 20th century, Alister McGowen, with the backing of a wealthy patron, Benjamin Howe, discovered the city and its artifacts, the most important of which he carefully cataloged and crated to be shipped to the US. 100 years later, these artifacts are to be displayed in a new museum at the university founded by the patron, Howe University. Daria, McGowen's great-granddaughter, is asked to coordinate the effort. To her shock and dismay, she finds several important artifacts missing ... possibly stolen. She immediately calls FBI Agent Conner Shields, a man she had met in Morocco on her way home. Working together, they discover a number of "collectors" who have acquired the pieces. Visiting each of their homes, Daria and Connor find the owners dead, tortured by methods described in the annals of the ancient city, and the artifacts gone. As they continue their investigation, they learn of a woman who calls herself the Goddess of Darkness, a high priestess of Shandihar, and her guardians who obey her every command, including one to kill Daria and Connor before they can expose her.

Last Breath is an excellent book in so many ways. The archaeological information is detailed enough to be interesting without being overwhelming, and significantly enhances the overall plot. The emotional highs and lows Daria experiences are realistically portrayed and add value to the story. And finally, and maybe most important of all, the mystery of who stole the artifacts and why make for a compelling and fast paced thriller.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of Last Breath and to Book Trends for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

Return to ...


Post a Comment

Omnimystery Blog Archive

Total Pageviews (last 30 days)

Omnimystery News
Original Content Copyright © 2022 — Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites — All Rights Reserved
Guest Post Content (if present) Copyright © 2022 — Contributing Author — All Rights Reserved