Friday, June 27, 2008


Iris Johansen
An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller
From the front flap:
Eve Duncan has turned down the job twice already. Her skill and devotion in identifying murder victims and helping bring their killers to justice may be world-renowned. But Eve works exclusively for law enforcement and the families ofthe innocent, and theman on the other end of the phone is many things--none of them law-abiding or innocent.
One of the world's most wanted men, little is really known about Luis Montalvo except that he is extraordinarilydangerous and that he never takes no for an answer. Now he wants Eve's help in the wost way. fr he believes they have something in common-and he's about to prove it with a grisly warning.
Eve will leave everything and everyone behind, even the man she trusts and loves the most, Atlanta detective Joe Quinn, to travel to Montalvo's luxurious armed compound in the Colombian jungle to identify th sull h has recovered. She has agreed to this devil's bargain to save an innocent family, but also for a reason she can't admit to Joe, to the CIA, to anyone. For the man in the jungle has promised to be ableto give Eve what she wants most of all-- the key to unlocking the darkest and most painful mystery of her past.
But Eve is in more danger than she can imagine. As she gets closer to identifying the skull, she finds herself caught between two ruthless killers with no way out. Now, with everything on the line, Eve Duncan must make the most chilling choice of all. And if she's wrong....she's dead.
I had never read an iris Johansen book, so of course I was had not been introduced to Eve Duncan. One thing I liked about this book, even though the characters have appeared in other books, this book can stand alone. Back stories were explained in such a way that you never feel as if you are reading books out of order.
Dialog is the main reason that I have never written a novel. I am terrible when it comes to dialog. It always feel stilted and unnatural. Ms. Johansen, on the other hand, has no problem at all with dialog. Everything that came out of her character's mouths felt true and real to me. Even the dialog Eve has with herself felt real to me. In fact, I would like to know Eve and Joe and have dinner with them sometime.
My one problem with the book is this, the bad guy undergoes a transformation that I am not sure is one that would be real. The reason he gives for becoming a bad guy to start with make me wonder if he would be so successful at it if he were truly not an evil guy. And why is his profession ignored all over the place? I'm not sure I buy that, and if it is true to life, then we should be a little more worried than we are.
I will be checking more Eve Duncan books out of the library. Books that happened before this one as well as after, because I want to understand the character a bit more as well as what happenes with Eve's painful mystery.
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes quick action thrillers. It is not too scary that you will want to sleep with the light on, but scary enough that you do hold you breath in spots.


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tawnya said...

Man. I have come to the conclusion that we read very, very different books...

Karlene said...

That sounds like a book I might want to read. I've never read any of her books either, but I keep hearing about them.