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Becky Bohan
The Santorini Setup
Becky Bohan, author
Britt Evans’ working holiday on picturesque Santorini takes a perilous turn when a Greek photographer plunges from the island’s steep cliffs. The death is called an accident, but the enigmatic Susan Marcello of the American Embassy enlists Britt to discover the truth, but is it a set up that will take her life? Into the mix sails Cassie Burkhardt, a windsurfing computer engineer at the archaeological site. She finds herself falling hard for the enchanting Professor Evans… and is drawn with her into an ever-tightening spiral of danger.
After the death of an artist with connections in Criminal Investigative Services, Senior Foreign Service Officer Susan Marcello is recruited to keep an eye on the Akrotiri dig taking place on the Aegean island Santorini. She reaches out to Britt Evans, a professor of Classical Studies, who’s visiting the island and excavation site. But before Britt even has the opportunity to get to Santorini, she and her friend Nicki are already facing danger in Athens. She quickly notices that things don’t seem quite right on the island–items in dig inventory are mysteriously disappearing and reappearing, there’s something off about deliveries of grapes to a winery on the island, and a dangerous accident at the docks seems like a prelude to disaster.

The Santorini Setup is a romantic suspense story that reimagines Bohan’s earlier Sinister Paradise. Britt, who has faced recent struggles with romance and voices a determination to stay single, experiences immediate sparks with excavation contractor Cassie Burkhardt, a development that could put them both in danger as Britt puts together the clues that get her closer to the truth. The narrative balances the intrigue and the romance, though the novel’s short length serves to make the suspense element feel underdeveloped, and the romance escalates quickly. Readers tuned into details will catch the clear opportunity for a future book digging deeper into some elements, especially with Nicki and her godfather Mikos Zerakis.

The setting of Santorini is atmospheric and enjoyable, and Bohan has clearly done extensive research to make the archeological and classical literature references accurate. Despite readers learning of several characters involved in suspicious island activities relatively early in the story, Bohan provides a red herring and a nice, unexpected twist that helps generate interest. The combination of passion, thrills, and a surprise ending make this a satisfying adventure.

Takeaway: Mystery, danger, and romance abound for a professor searching for a life change in Santorini.

Great for fans of: Cat Sebastian, Kristen Lepionka’s Roxane Weary series.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A