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This will be a "quickie" review. :-)
I've wanted to read a book by Carla Neggers for a long time, and the setting of SAINT'S GATE drew me in. Most of the story takes place in and around Heron's Cove located in southern Maine, and specifically the crime occurs in a secluded-ish convent overlooking the sea. The author's descriptions of this area were rich and detailed, which an armchair traveler like me appreciates.
I enjoyed the information the author presented on modern-day convent life, Catholic saints and their presence in art throughout history, and the Vikings' influence in early Ireland. It was a very interesting lesson, and it's clear this book was well-researched.
On the downside, as a romantic suspense novel, I didn't think the story was that suspenseful or romantic. The mystery itself was good. I enjoyed putting all the pieces together to figure out the killer, but the plot wasn't all that gripping. While I liked Emma's character, I didn't care for the hero at all. For most of the book, Colin was a wooden character who lacked emotion, and was kind of rude to Emma after he found out her connection with the convent. Grow up, Colin! I just didn't understand his reaction. I'm hoping that he grows as a character and their relationship develops more in the next book.
I said this would be a quick review, so I'll wrap it up. Will I read the next book in the series, HERON'S COVE? Yes, I think so.