Book Log #80: Amber Beach, by Elizabeth Lowell

Note: This is a late review from my 2010 book log, posting as I’m trying to get caught up. The 2011 book log will commence once the 2010 reviews are up to date!

Amber Beach (Donovan, #1)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amber Beach is going back a while in my re-read queue, back to earlier days of Elizabeth Lowell’s romantic suspense novels. It’s the first of her Donovans series, which to this day remain among my favorites of hers. Not because they’re particularly better written or less formulaic than her later work, but more because I’m partial to the family of characters she depicts. Plus, while the cast travels all over the globe, they’re headquartered in Seattle. And I’m a sucker for books that reference Pike Place Market, what can I say?

Anyway, her Donovan clan is fairly fun. You’ve got a large group of brothers and sisters, all headed up by a forceful tycoon of a father and a hugely talented painter of a mother, and the various stories of the series all focus upon a particular sibling. Since the siblings also run an international jewelry business, each book focuses upon the starring sibling’s particular favorite gem. Amber Beach‘s jewel du jour is of course amber, and its heroine is Honor, one of the two Donovan sisters. Honor’s desperate to find her missing brother Kyle, desperate enough to overcome her own phobia about going out on the water and hiring a man to help her search the San Juan Islands by boat. This being a romantic suspense novel, Jake Mallory, the man she hires, does of course have an agenda of his own. And his reasons for finding Kyle are much less benign. And, of course, there are Bad Guys out to find Kyle too, along with agents of the US government. Every last one of ‘em is out to find out what Kyle knows about the fabled Russian Amber Room, and the fortune in amber from it that’s gone missing.

Like I said, formulaic, but it’s a decent enough light read. Three stars.