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Hearts of Sand

(Gregor Demarkian #28)

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  335 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
The "endearing and brilliant" (Publishers Weekly) Gregor Demarkian returns with a case of an unresolved crime and a new, brutal murder, in Jane Haddam's Hearts of Sand

Alwych, Connecticut, is the stereotypical old money Connecticut beach town—the best families live in mini-mansions on Beach Drive, their children go to Alwych Country Day School, and the parents have members
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ebook, 320 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published March 19th 2013)
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Barbara

Thirty years ago college student Chapin Waring, from the upscale town of Alwych, Connecticut, pulled off a series of bank robberies, killing two people. Her suspected partner in crime, Martin, died in a car crash after the final bank job and Chapin disappeared. However, the $250,000 nabbed from the banks was never recovered or spent.

Then - in the present day - Chapin reappears in Alwych and is almost immediately murdered. Suspects include the circle of Chapin's friends who survived the car cras
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Ilyssa Wesche
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Can't believe I'm saying this but I actually wanted more backstory on these characters! Jane Haddam does what she does best - takes a community of people, lets out their secrets little by little, and eventually reveals the killer. There was also just enough Gregor and Bennis, a nice change from the most recent books in the series.
Christy
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
It was really hard getting into this book. The characters aren't that interesting and I didn't particularly care about any of them. It picked up a bit once I made a bit further into the story. I figured out who the murderer was partway through the book. I didn't know exactly how events transpired, but it was still a bit disappointing. The problem is that there are a limited number of people that could have done it. When you kill off one of them and have the detective with another suspect while t ...more
Barb Moore
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Instead of being treated to interactions among the familiar characters on Cavenaugh Street, we spend most of this novel among the Connecticut social elite, without really getting to know or care about the characters. Much of the narration and conversation is so stream-of-conscious-y that you just read through not and hope that it makes some kind of sense later on. The solution is no surprise to the reader, but the story was engaging enough to finish the book. Mildly entertaining.
Pamela
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Gregor Demarkian, the ex-FBI agent, and the other characters in an Armenian enclave in Philadelphia, are fun and interesting. Unfortunately, this story takes Gregor to Connecticut to investigate a murder - related to events of 30 years ago? And I just didn't care about those characters as much. In fact, I actually DIS-liked many of them. The story only came alive for me when Gregor spoke to his wife Bennis ON THE PHONE. Talk about a long-distance relationship - for me, the reader.
Brenda Wilson
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jane Haddam never fails to present a twisty mystery filled with lots of twisty characters. Chapin Waring disappeared 30 years ago after being suspected of the murder of two people during a robbery. And now she, too, has been murdered. Enter retired FBI agent Gregor Demarkian to try to find out who wanted Chapin dead after all these years. Jane Haddam writes beautifully on top of creating a great mystery.
Bookish
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
One of the suspects in a 30-year-old robbery that netted $250,000 that was never spent is found murdered in her ancestral home. Nobody has seen her for since the car accident which killed her accomplice. What was she doing home and who killed her? Gregor Demarkian, former FBI agent, is called in to consult.
Kay Wahrsager
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
My first Jane Hassan book and definitely my last. Total snooze. Not my type at all.
Maureen Connolly
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't been reading much so it was fun to visit old friends.
Jackson Matthews
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the writing style put me off a bit with short choppy sentences, the story is still scintillating. Hercule Poirot-like -- the clues are hard to follow.
Nancy
Aug 18, 2015 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ricki
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have been reading Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian boks for years,and have not been disappointed yet! . I look forward to them to find out how Tibor, Gregor, Bennis, and all of Cavanaugh Street feel about current events and issues; for the wide ranging of discussions between the intelligent characters in the novels; and for the engrossing and complex mysteries. I felt this one is a little lightweight in all three of those areas. This book has little to do with Cavanaugh Street, and almost nothin ...more
Rita	 Marie
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-mysteries
I've read every Gregor Demarkian novel ever published, and a few years ago I went back to the beginning and read them all over from the start. Yes, I love this series. Much like Marcia Muller, Jane Haddam allows her characters to evolve over the years. They form new relationships, get new ideas, start using new technology -- it all seems quite real.

The plot in this book is one of the best yet. I did not guess whodunit until the final reveal. Mixing a current murder with decades-old events leave
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Jan
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it
A recommended book in a good series, this entry was more of a 3.5 star book. I took issue with the very thin layer of clues offered up by the author. It also fails my standards as a "stand alone" mystery. Read it if you are a fan of the series, but pass it over for an earlier entry in the series & read it later if you are a new reader unfamiliar with the characters.
Kay
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Excellent entry in the Gregor Demarkian series. Will the Armenian-American answer to Sherlock Holmes be a fish out of water when called in as a consultant on a homicide in upper-crust Connecticut? Fortunately for us readers, Gregor's unerring insight into human nature prevails here. A very good read for a wintry evening or two.

My favorite quote:

"The local police who called him in were often either incompetent or unwilling to be competent. More often the latter. A friend of Bennis's had once told
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Joy
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Chapin Waring, on the run for 30 years after a series of bank robberies that ended in murder, is found murdered in her family's old home. The four surviving members of her old school gang (who we used to call "popular" but really despised) are the most obvious suspects for ridding the world of the thrill-seeking sociopath. But was this murder really only the long-delayed outcome of Chapin's robberies? Jane Haddam lets us see plots and secrets that could easily end in more murder.

Such a delight t
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Kathy
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Jane Haddam and Gregor Demarkian. The books seem to get better and better. In this one Gregor goes to the upscale community of Alwych Connecticut, when a woman missing for 30 years turns up dead in her old family home. When young she got her kicks from robbing banks and the FBI is involved because they'd like to get the money back that she and her partner, another rich young person stole. The search for clues centers around the remaining members of the clique. One's a lawyer, another a co ...more
Linda
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I intend to withhold judgment until I read the first book in the series. I had mixed feelings about this book and was uncertain whether it was just this particular story or typical of the author. I liked the story. The narrative seemed a little slow or repetitive [neither is quite the right word] through most of the book. This "weakness" may have been a result of transitioning from the current murders to the related murders 30 years in the past. I am interested enough to want to read at least on ...more
Terri
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family, drama, sisters
This turned out to be a mystery instead of what I expected it to be. A young wealthy debutante from a family in Connecticut is involved in some bank robberies with her friend and they steal about $250,000. The money is never found, one of the robbers is killed and the young debutante disappears for many years. Then one day, she shows up back in the home town and is murdered. Who did it? Why? Is it connected to the bank robberies of 30 years ago? The book was interesting enough for me to keep rea ...more
Jeanne Halloran
I was confused reading this novel. The way the author wrote the first few chapters it appeared as the debutant, Chapin, killed herself. I was shocked in the end to discover that she was murdered. While the entire book talks about her murder, I was under the assumption that everyone was fooled and it was suicide. It turns out that I was fooled. The whole book is written in a confusing way and while I enjoyed the story I probably won't bother reading anything else by the same author. It is only th ...more
Susan
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thirty years ago, beautiful, aristocratic Chapin Waring disappeared with a quarter of a million dollars she'd stolen from five banks. Now her dead body is found in her parents' house. The confused local police hire Gregor Demarkian as consultant. He's only to glad to flee the house renovation that his new wife is masterminding, but he finds it frustrating to work with the clueless locals, and is convinced that the murder is not directly the result of the long-ago robberies.
Diane
Aug 16, 2015 rated it liked it
This is my first experience reading Jane Haddam and her "phenom" investigator, Gregor Demarkian. Haddam tells a fine and intriguing story and I would certainly read another of her books. However, I had two issues with this particular story. The first is that the murderer was portrayed as pathetic and off-putting. The second is that I knew who the murderer was well before the reveal and the ending. This always leaves me somewhat dissatisfied.
Kyrie
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I didn't like any of the characters, not even Gregor. He was abrupt, kept to himself and seemed annoyed with everyone in Alwych except possibly the bed and breakfast owner. I think he liked her because she brought him food.

I wanted to feel more understanding or sympathy for the victims, the killer, the people in the story. Heck, even the cat that Bennis and Donna rescued was smug.
Delia Turner
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I always read every Gregor Demarkian mystery right away. They are slow, befuddling sagas that ring true about the complicated relationships and identities of people whose backgrounds and histories determine their lives. And they are beautifully written.

This one describes a community that is just like one where I lived for four years in Connecticut. A long-ago murder, a car crash, and a Fourth of July parade.
Lee Margaret
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great mystery read that has lead me to a new author. I will be checking out Jane's other books from the library.

Overall this is dealing with an event that happened over 30 years ago. Suddenly that person is murdered and the main character has been asked to look into. I can't say anymore as it will give the story away but this is a great read.
Linda
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was the most boring of all the Jane Haddam books I have read. I just wanted it to be over. Didn't like the reader either. BORING! If I had been reading this book instead of listening to it, I never would have finished it. I only gave it two stars because she really is a good writer and I do like Gregor Demarkian and the usual recurring characters. Do not read this book.
Katherine Clark
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Really 2 1/2. I love the Jane Haddam novels, but after the first 10 or so, I just don't think they have been as good. I love Gregor and his Armenian enclave in Philadelphia, and I love the back stories that Haddam creates for her characters, and this is why I keep reading the books. I no longer think these are great mysteries, but I'll keep reading.
Kelly Wagner
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Latest in the Gregor Demarkian series. Couple of weak spots, but as ever, the characters and their hidden motivations are odd enough and twisty enough to keep you reading just to see how confused everyone can get about what everyone else is thinking and doing, and to watch how Demarkian cuts through it all.
Nadine
Oct 29, 2013 rated it liked it
This series offers good, dependable light reading. The characters are familiar, and the author does a nice job of interjecting personal details while Gregor Demarkian investigates yet another murder. He's sent on the road for this outing, up to Connecticut. I have to agree with some other reviewers that I like it best when he's on hometown street with his quirky neighbors.
Judy
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I always like the Gregor Demarkian series. Ms. Haddam has a cast of characters that you would like to meet at the local restaurant Aarrat in Philadelphia and chat. The ending always comes together and as usual I didn't see it coming. Sign of a good story.
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Aka Orania Papazoglou

Jane Haddam (b. 1951) is an American author of mysteries. Born Orania Papazoglou, she worked as a college professor and magazine editor before publishing her Edgar Award–nominated first novel, Sweet, Savage Death, in 1984. This mystery introduced Patience McKenna, a sleuthing scribe who would go on to appear in four more books, including Wicked, Loving Murder (1985) and Rich,
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Gregor Demarkian (1 - 10 of 29 books)
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