The Copper Egg is the latest novel by Catherine Friend. This book is what happens when you take Indiana Jones and put him in a blender with lesbian romance novels. And it works brilliantly!
Claire Adams is a disgraced archeologist, run out of Peru for a highly unusual way of finding tombs. She's stuck in Washington D.C. now, working at a middling level job transferring antiquities instead of recovering them. Until she receives a package from Peru, containing three small eggs. One gold, to represent the rulers of the Chimú, one silver to represent their wives, and one copper to represent all the workers that made the ancient civilization possible. And the enigmatic note, saying that Claire is the only one who can find the lost tomb of a Chimú king, Chaco. A tomb that is reported to hold the most incredible treasure in all of Peru.
Claire takes a leave of absence, and returns to Peru, where her ex, Sochi Castillo is still working for the Peruvian government to keep Chimú artifacts in Peru. Their breakup was heavily acrimonious. Filled with betrayal and nursed with hate over the last three years.
Sochi has also found herself in a predicament. She is a tomb preservationist by day, and a tomb raider by night. She believes that this contradiction is helping to preserve the heritage of Peru, but is all the danger she is in worth it?
The Copper Egg has a bit of everything, romance, double dealing, intrepid adventuring, kidnapping. Even the wise grandmother who knows everything, and is trying to lead Sochi and Claire to follow their hearts, instead of feeding their hate. The book goes back and forth in POV from Claire to Sochi, and details their relationship in flashbacks. We learn why both Claire and Sochi refused to contact each other, and why they are reluctant to work together to find the tomb that has brought Claire back to Peru.
I really enjoyed The Copper Egg, I liked the swashbuckling that Claire embodies, and the love of Peru's history that Sochi holds. Their relationship was beautiful, until that last day, where a disagreement exploded into the end of their love. The book is well written, the characters well developed, and I was left wondering what was going to happen next, both between Claire & Sochi, and with King Chaco's tomb.
I give it a solid 4 stars, and a recommendation to read it for yourself. So that you can see the beauty of Peru, see some of the destruction that looters are having on Peruvian history, and scratch your head a bit at the final few chapters.