Monday, June 3, 2013

Guest Review: Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan Series

Guest Review of Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan series by the fabulous Shirley Ayres: 

"Eve Duncan is a survivor, still tortured by the kidnapping and murder of her seven-year-old child, Bonnie. Years after this tragedy, Eve is one of the world’s foremost forensic sculptors and tries to bring closure to other parents who have lost their children. Iris Johansen's bestselling and critically acclaimed suspense thriller series will keep you turning the pages—and will chill you to the bone." (Goodreads)

1. The Face of Deception (1998) 

Eve Duncan, forensic sculptor helps to identify missing and unknown dead people by rebuilding their skulls. From her reconstruction, the dead can be named and, as Eve puts it, "brought home for rest." Several years ago, Eve's seven year old daughter, Bonnie was kidnapped and murdered, but Bonnie's body was never found. Throughout the series, Eve is searching for Bonnie, trying to bring her home, but it just never happens. When Bonnie was kidnapped, FBI Agent Joe Quinn was assigned tot he case but soon became infatuated with Eve Duncan. After a while, Joe quit the FBI and joined the Atlanta, GA Police Department to be closer to Eve.

In this book, Eve is hired by billionaire John Logan to identify a skull. Logan contributes to politician's campaigns to help elect the candidates of his choice. John and Eve spend a lot of time in Virginia while she sculpts the skull of what may be an American President. Serial killers, murder, and mayhem are the givens in this series. Exciting plot twists, too. Very good reading

2. The Killing Game (1999)

Eve Duncan is called upon by the Atlanta Police Department to identify a child's skull. A number of murdered people were at a Talladega Fall landfill, and one is the child assigned to Eve. Atlanta Detective Joe Quinn is on hand to make sure Eve is safe and to help catch the serial killer responsible for all the bodies. 

Meanwhile, the killer has focused on foster child ten year old Jane MacGuire as his next victim. Jane, wordly beyond her years, is helping a homeless six year old boy, Mike, stay away from his abusive parents. Rescue team, Sarah Patrick and her golden retriever Monty are hired by John Logan to find the killer's victims. Twisted relationships and blood and gore are again themes of this novel. 

3. The Search (2000)

Once again Sarah Patrick and Monty are hired by John Logan to search for survivors in Columbia, South America. Sarah and Eve Duncan remained friends and, when Eve adopted Jane MacGuire, one of Monty's pups is given to Jane.  ****Spoiler Alert****At last, Eve's murdered daughter Bonnie's bones were found and buried in Atlanta ****End of Spoiler****. Logan's right hand man, Sean Galen is introduced to the mix of characters. Now, despite all the murder and mayhem, LOVE rears its head and two couples hook up. Which ones? You will have to read the book to find out. 

4. Body of Lies (2002)

Eve Duncan is hired to go to Baton Rouge, LA to identify a murder victim. Her lab is set up next to a church out on a plantation. Inside the church is the victim's coffin. As soon as she arrives, Eve is poisoned and ends up near death in the hospital. John Logan and associate Sean Galen are called in to protect Eve, but despite their efforts, people begin to be murdered and Eve is in the thick of things, again. 

5. No One to Trust (2002)

Elena Kyler, trained at an early age to be a guerrilla by her father in the hills of Columbia, was captured and tortured before she was able to escape from prison. Sean Galen is sent to Columbia to help Elena and save her from the Cali drug lord, Chavez. As in all Johansen's books, there are lots of murders and plot twists and some romance. 

6. Dead Aim (2003)

Celebrated photojournalist, Alex Graham, is assigned to take pictures of a dam collapse at Araphoe Junction, CO. Alex was working with Sara Patrick Logan and her rescue dog, Monty. Alex uncovers a conspiracy in her investigation of the so-called natural disaster. John Logan's associate, Judd Morgan, is hired to protect Alex as she is surrounded by murder. Eve Duncan is not the central character in this book, but these characters are connected with Eve Duncan in the past and will be in future books. 

7. Blind Alley (2004)

A serial killer is slicing off the faces of his murder victims and Eve Duncan is once again called in to identify the dead. A link is discovered between Eve's seventeen year old adopted daughter, Jane, and the killer. Scotland Yard Inspector Mark Trevor and associate John Bartlett are on the trail of the killer and connect with Eve and Jane. Lots of blood, murder victims and some fantasy. The book moves fast and has an intricate plot. 

8. Countdown (2005) 

Eve Duncan's adopted daughter, Jane MacGuire meets up again with Mark Trevor. Jane is now twenty-one and a student at Harvard University and the problems of Herculeneum, Mount Vesuvious, and Cira's Gold come up again. This time with different villains and different motives, but all seem to involve Jane's uncanny resemblance to Cira, who died over two thousand years ago. 

9. Stalemate (2007)

Eve Duncan reluctantly agrees to go to Columbia to do a reconstruction job for arms dealer Luis Montalvo. She goes without telling Joe Quinn, and when Joe realizes the fact, he and Sean Galen follow. Montalvo promises Eve that he can find her murdered daughter Bonnie's body and her killer. Montalvo's enemy, Ramon Diaz tried to kill Eve to stop her from doing the reconstruction on Montalvo's wife, Nalia, but winds up wounding Joe instead. Eve finds herself attracted to Montalvo but fights it because of her love for Joe. Lots of mini wars, gunfire, explosions, and, of course, murder. Another exciting page-turner from Johansen. 

10. Blood Game (2009)

As part of her payment for a reconstruction job for Luis Montalvo, Eve Duncan is given a list of three names of possible murderers of her beloved daughter, Bonnie. Soon it is clear that Eve is the target of a self-named Vampire, Kevin Jelak. Lots of blood and many murders keep readers in suspense. Good characters

11. Eight Days to Live (2010)

Once again artist Jane MacGuire is the target of a sadistic killer. Jane's adopted mother Eve Duncan and Atlanta Detective Joe Quinn are also involved as well as Scottish Laird John McDuff and his ward, Jock Gavin. They take over Jane's protection and want to take Jane, Eve and Joe back to Scottland where they will be safe from the killer. Seth Caleb, a strange hunter of men, joins the group and revives Jane's attraction to him. A cult, which reveres Judas Iscariot as a wronged martyr, concentrates on Jane for a blood offering. She has only eight days to live. 

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