Museum curator Anna Lundgren is excited about the new Mayan exhibit-she is hoping that the newest acquisition will be a success. However, she becomes a little disturbed when a local reporter, Reed Howell, dredges up Pocal's Curse, a curse on the exhibited jade dagger discovered at an ancient burial site. Howell also suggests that the curse could follow Anna, as her father was killed in an earthquake sixteen years ago near the burial site where he was working.
With the murder of museum security guard Eddy Malacek and the theft of the jade dagger, suspicion falls on Anna. Clarence Tebbins, Tampa P.D., and Gil Garcia, St. Pete P.D., begin working the investigation. As clues consistently point to Anna, she becomes the prime suspect. Even when Gil discovers someone running away from Anna's home, he and Tebbins believe that she may be working with an accomplice. Their continued suspicion of Anna sometimes borders on the absurd, especially when she suffers a knife wound after being attacked.
The continuing mystery surrounding the disappearance of the dagger, heavily guarded by a top-notch security system, adds another element to this read. And the appearance of Nancy, Anna's identical twin, is especially appealing when the two agree to switch identities in an effort to unbalance the murderer and thief. The reader is left with the ultimate question-can the killer be found before he decides to end the curse in the only way he knows how, by extracting the beating heart of the descendants of the one who initiated the curse, a.k.a. Nancy and Anna Lundgren?
Ancient artifacts, a mysterious museum theft, and spooky curses definitely add to the allure of this novel. Never knowing where the killer will turn up next, the reader is kept glued to the spine tingling pages. While the mystery is more than adequate, the romance between Gil and Anna is rather short-changed considering that this novel is billed as a romance. Readers wanting the scales tipped in favor of mystery over romance will not be disappointed.