Diamond and the French Blue by Karen Gilleland is a captivating blend of suspense, intrigue, and sparkling gemstones that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
In the third installment of Gilleland’s Diamond-Dennison Mystery series, security expert Hope Diamond returns once again, this time to protect (and eventually recover) a precious artifact that shares her name — the Smithsonian’s legendary Hope Diamond — as she and her team embark on an unprecedented journey to Los Angeles. When the priceless gem vanishes during a star-studded fundraising event, Hope and her beau, FBI Special Agent Matt Dennison, find themselves entangled in a web of glamour, danger, political drama and hidden clues. As they delve into the world of gem collecting, Hope and her friends come up against new kinds of challenges and unfamiliar situations. But, so too do they encounter the usual fare of dangerous secrets that lead them down unexpected paths, where murder lies in wait. With the help of her friends, Hope must once again reach within herself in order to uncover the truth that is hiding in plain sight.

Karen Gilleland weaves a tight narrative in Diamond and the French Blue, skilfully balancing suspense, action, and satisfying character arcs. The pacing is relentless, propelling readers forward with each twist and turn, and the book’s intricate plot keeps us guessing until the final pages. It is a testament to Gilleland’s ability to surprise just when you think you’ve figured her out. The author’s attention to detail immerses us in the glittering world of gemstones and high society. As always, Hope Diamond is a formidable protagonist, sharp-witted, resourceful, and unyielding in her pursuit of justice. It’s astounding that Gilleland is able to give her such compelling stories book after book. Agent Matt Dennison complements her perfectly, with his steely resolve and unwavering commitment. Secondary characters, from eccentric collectors to enigmatic suspects, add depth and intrigue to an already impressive cast of characters.

Diamond and the French Blue stands out for its unique premise—the intersection of gemology, crime, and history. Gilleland’s research shines through, making the gemstone lore and historical context come alive. The same is true, if not more so, for the element of thematic depth that Gilleland brings to this installment. We see Hope, for the first time, in a situation where she must consider the political ramifications of the situation she is in and the choices she makes within it. This opens up the door for Gilleland to explore new thematic ground and, in doing so, ensures that this exciting threequel feels undeniably fresh. As always, her engaging writing style does a lot of the heavy lifting in communicating her message. Her vivid descriptions transport us from extravagant galas to dimly lit back alleys. The tension between opulence and danger permeates every scene, leaving us looking forward to a fourth book.

Diamond and the French Blue is a gem of a thriller! Karen Gilleland’s meticulous storytelling and vivid prose create an unforgettable reading experience.