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Eight Days to Live (Eve Duncan Series #10) [NOOK Book]

Overview


Number-one New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen delivers a thriller that will chill you to the core: Eve Duncan’s adopted daughter Jane has been targeted by a mysterious cult who has decided that she has only eight days to liveEve Duncan and her adopted daughter, Jane Macguire, are pitted against the members of a secretive cult who have targeted Jane and have decided that she will be their ultimate sacrifice. In eight days they will come for her. In eight days, what Jane fears the most will become a ...
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Eight Days to Live (Eve Duncan Series #10)

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Overview


Number-one New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen delivers a thriller that will chill you to the core: Eve Duncan’s adopted daughter Jane has been targeted by a mysterious cult who has decided that she has only eight days to liveEve Duncan and her adopted daughter, Jane Macguire, are pitted against the members of a secretive cult who have targeted Jane and have decided that she will be their ultimate sacrifice. In eight days they will come for her. In eight days, what Jane fears the most will become a reality. In eight days, she will die. It all begins with a painting that Jane, an artist, displays in her Parisian gallery. The painting is called “Guilt” and Jane has no idea how or why she painted the portrait of the chilling face. But the members of a cult that dates back to the time of Christ believe that Jane’s blasphemy means she must die. But first, she will lead them to an ancient treasure whose value is beyond price. This elusive treasure, and Jane’s death, are all that they need for their power to come to ultimate fruition. With Eve’s help, can Jane escape before the clock stops ticking?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Having injected vampires into 2009's Blood Game, the previous Eve Duncan forensics thriller, bestseller Johansen introduces cryptotheology—the madeup religious stuff of Dan Brown—into this equally outlandish sequel. When Jane MacGuire, Eve's adopted daughter, exhibits her paintings at a Paris gallery, one of Jane's pieces, a creepy portrait titled Guilt, prompts a charge of blasphemy from a dangerous cult. Nailing the dead body of one of Jane's friends to a cross shows the cult members mean business. Last seen in 2006's Killer Dreams, John MacDuff and Jock Gavin show up at Jane's door to protect her. Later Seth Caleb, the mysterious is-he-or-isn't-he vampire from Blood Game, joins the team. An action-packed search to uncover Jane's link to the cult and find a priceless religious artifact takes Jane and company across Europe—a journey that allows little focus on Eve and even less on her trademark forensic sculpting. 500,000 first printing. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“You’ll want to keep the lights on while reading!”—Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Blood Game

 “Johansen is becoming a master of the macabre and paranormal thriller, and her latest riveting Eve Duncan tale has it all, from ghosts and secret cults to supernatural avengers.” —Booklist on Blood Game

“Readers won’t soon forget either the enigmatic hero or the monstrous villain. This one’s chilling to the bone!”—Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Deadlock

“Johansen’s knack for delivering robust action and commanding characters kicks into high gear.”—Booklist on Dark Summer

“Action-packed, adrenaline-fueled…will keep [you] eagerly turning the pages.”—Publishers Weekly on Quicksand

“Keeping the tension high and the pace relentless, prolific and compelling Johansen adds depth to her popular characters as she continues this suspenseful series.”—Booklist on Quicksand

“Bestselling author Johansen captivates readers with her latest suspense thriller…the suspense escalates toward an explosive conclusion.”—Library Journal on Pandora’s Daughter

“An exhilarating thriller…suspense that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”—Booklist on Pandora’s Daughter

“A fast-paced, non-stop, clever plot in which Johansen mixes political intrigue, murder, and suspense.”—USA Today on The Face of Deception

 

“[A] thrill ride…Action, romance, castles, bomb plots and booby-trapped hideaway in snowbound Idaho—what more could Johansen fans want?”—Publishers Weekly on Countdown

 

“Intriguing suspense…her new tale will please both fans and new converts.”—Booklist on Blind Alley

 

“Thoroughly gripping and with a number of shocking plot twists…packed all the right elements into this latest work: intriguing characters; creepy, crazy villain; a variety of exotic locations.”

New York Post on The Search

"Fans can always count on Johansen to weave consistently excellent, complex thrillers with an unusual edge."

RT Book Reviews on Eight Days to Live (Top Pick!)

 

"A compelling novel that brims with action, intrigue, intricate relationships and a refreshing headstrong heroine."

—Bookreporter.com on Eight Days to Live

 

"Eight Days to Live is Iris Johansen at her very best."

—Genre Go Round Reviews on Eight Days to Live

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429961394
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/20/2010
  • Series: Eve Duncan Series , #10
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 28,676
  • File size: 430 KB

Meet the Author

Iris Johansen

Iris Johansen is the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Night, Blood Game, and Eve, among others. She began writing after her children left home for college, and first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, she began writing suspense historical romance novels, and in 1996 she turned to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

Biography

After her two children left home for college, Iris Johansen decided to devote her new found free time to writing. Since she loved reading romance novels, she penned a love story, and found to her surprise that "I was just as voracious a writer as I was a reader." During the 1980s, her name was emblazoned on dozens of slender volumes featuring spirited adventuresses, passionate mystery men, and smoldering love scenes. These days, Johansen is one of a posse of former romance writers dominating the New York Times bestseller lists.

Early on in her career, Johansen developed the habit of following characters from book to book, sometimes introducing minor characters in one novel who then become major figures in another. She developed families, relationships, and even fictional countries in her romance novels, which "stretched the boundaries of the standard formulas," according to Barbara E. Kemp in Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers. In 1991, Johansen broke out of category romance (a term for short books written to conform to the length, style and subject matter guidelines for a publisher's series) with The Wind Dancer, a romantic-suspense novel set in 16th-century Italy. She followed it with two sequels, Storm Winds and Reap the Wind, to form a trilogy, then wrote several more stand-alone romance novels before The Ugly Duckling was published in 1996.

The Ugly Duckling was her first book to be released in hardcover -- and the first to significantly broaden her readership beyond her romance fan base. Since then, Johansen's plots have gotten tighter and more suspense-driven; critics have praised her "flesh-and-blood characters, crackling dialogue and lean, suspenseful plotting" (Publishers Weekly). Some of her most popular books feature forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, who first appeared in The Face of Deception in 1998. But Johansen seems equally comfortable with male protagonists, and her books have crossed the gender division that often characterizes popular fiction. Indeed, Publishers Weekly called The Search "that rarity: a woman's novel for men."

Good To Know

Johansen rewrote the ending of Reap the Wind for its reissue in 2002. "I couldn't resist tightening and changing the climax to correspond with my changed ideas on plot structure but the story is basically the same," she explained in a Q&A on her publisher's web site.

Many of her early novels were written for the Loveswept series from Bantam Books; bestselling authors Sandra Brown and Kay Hooper also wrote for the series.

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Read an Excerpt


ONE
Paris
Day One
7:35 P.M.
SHE WAS LAUGHING, Jack Millet thought, enraged. Even as Jane MacGuire had left the sidewalk café, a lingering smile had remained on her lips.
He had to smother the anger, remind himself that she would not be laughing for very long.
Eight days, bitch. Just eight more days, and I’ll send you to rot in hell.
He had watched her sitting there in the café, staring out at the Seine, and the seething anger had been building steadily within him. She had no right to look that serene and content.
Liar.
Blasphemer.
He started after her, careful not to get close enough for her to know she was being followed. He knew where she was going. The Denarve Art Gallery was only two blocks away and tonight they were exhibiting Jane MacGuire’s paintings and would probably be heaping praise on her.
Blind. They couldn’t see the ugliness of the atrocity she had committed.
She moved lithely, gracefully, her red-brown hair shining as the sunlight burnished it. Everything about her shouted that she was young and vibrantly alive.
And that enraged him, too.
Dead. You should be dead. You should be burning in Hell.
Eight days. But he wanted it to happen now. It was a deep hunger that wouldn’t go away.
But if he could hurt her, it would help him to wait for that final glory. If he could rip and tear at her and destroy everything she valued and loved, he might be able to keep himself under control.
Take her, torture her, and make her scream with agony.
But he had to do it himself. He could order help in the taking, perhaps Folard, but after that, he couldn’t trust his brothers to be able to stop themselves from killing her before her time. Their souls weren’t as strong as his had become through all the years of service to the Offering.
She was quickening her steps as she approached the gallery. The sun was going down, and the rays of the setting sun were causing her hair to blaze with fiery highlights.
Blaze. Scald. Burn. Suffer.
Yes, fire is an exquisite weapon. Knives. Scalpels. Whips. There are so many ways to hurt you, Jane MacGuire.
I know them all.
MALEVOLENCE.
Overwhelming malice.
Jane stopped, stiffening, as her hand reached out to open the carved oak door of the Denarve Gallery.
For an instant she couldn’t breathe, and she instinctively glanced back over her shoulder at the street behind her.
Nothing. A peaceful Parisian street on a beautiful spring day. No threat.
Imagination. A trick of the mind. Maybe a little nervous reaction because of the show tonight?
But she didn’t usually have nerves.
She glanced over her shoulder again.
Nothing.
Imagination.
She pulled open the carved oak door and went into the gallery.
“There you are.” Celine Denarve turned to Jane and frowned with mock indignation. “I thought I was going to have to send the bloodhounds after you. Marie and I have been slaving with the preparations to make this exhibit the finest I’ve ever given for any artist, and you go strolling o? as if it has no importance. It’s an insult.”
Jane grinned. “You know that you would have whisked me out of here if I’d offered to stay and help.” Celine was reacting with her usual sense of Gallic drama, and it always amused Jane. High drama was so far removed from her own practical character. She had flashes of intensity and recklessness, and that might be why she and Celine had so quickly become friends, but it was Celine’s basic shrewdness and kindness that had cemented that friendship. “How many times have you told me that an artist should paint and stay out of the business of selling her work?”
“Many times.” Celine turned to her assistant, Marie Ressault, who had come out of the offce carrying an ice bucket. “Put it at the bar, Marie. If I give everyone enough champagne, they will forget that Jane’s not really the Rembrandt I’ve been hyping for the past month.”
“I believe those art critics may already be a little skeptical,” Jane said dryly. “Though if anyone could convince them, you could.”
“You’re right. I’m splendid.” She smiled brilliantly at Jane. In her late thirties, Celine was sleek and dark-haired and as attractive as she was shrewd. She might know every trick in the book about pushing a young-and-coming artist up the next rung of the ladder, but she did it with honesty and a bubbly exuberance. “That’s what it takes to make a starving artist an icon.”
“I hate to tell you, but I’m not a starving artist. I did have a few successful shows before you appeared in my life.”
“Yes, but those other gallery owners didn’t make you focus on the important things. They should have made you do publicity to make you a house hold name.”
“Not my cup of tea.”
Celine made a face. “That’s why you make my life so diffcult. I have to work twice as hard just to make you show up for an interview. I’ve begun to tell everyone that they have to forgive you because, after all, you’re just an artist with a shy and sensitive soul.”
“What?”
“It works,” Celine said cheerfully. “They don’t know you.”
“That’s obvious.” Sensitive soul? she thought with amusement. She couldn’t think of any term that would be less applicable. She hoped she was kind and caring and could see beneath the surface, but she was neither fragile nor temperamental. She was only a street kid who had been lucky enough to have been born with a certain talent and the drive to make that talent come alive.
She smiled as she thought about what Joe Quinn would have said about her sensitive soul. She had been a tough ten-year-old when she had come to live with Joe and Eve Duncan, and they had accepted her and made sure that she knew how to handle herself in any situation. He was a detective with the Atlanta Police Department, and his teaching had been both thorough and intense. Karate, Choi Kwang Do, and, when she grew older, training in weaponry. Those lessons had forged a bond that had helped draw them closer, and it was her very good fortune that she hadn’t been a prissy kid who would have forced Joe to treat her delicately. No, he would have laughed himself silly at anyone thinking she was overly sensitive.
“You’re smiling.” Celine was studying her face. “What are you thinking?”
“That you must be very persuasive to make them believe that bullshit.”
“Yes, I am extraordinary.” She took a step back and tilted her head as she gazed at the paintings beyond the velvet ropes. “The lighting is perfect. That’s essential, you know.”
Jane’s lips quirked. “Yes, it makes even my humble paintings look good.”
“That’s what I thought.” She glanced away from the paintings to Jane. “But perhaps they’re not completely humble. I didn’t totally lie when I told those critics you were the next Rembrandt.”
“Crap.”
“No, you’re exceptional. You’re young, only a few years out of college. In another five years, you’ll rock the art world. If you’ll let me help you.” She shrugged and changed the subject. “Lighting may help your paintings, but no amount of lighting is going to help you if you’re dressed in those jeans and shirt. Not here in Paris. Hurry. Go upstairs and change. The first guests should be here in forty-five minutes.”
“I’ll be ready.” Jane headed for the elevator. Celine maintained an apartment above her gallery, and she had insisted that Jane stay with her before the exhibit. “I promise.”
“You cut it very close,” Celine called after her. “Where did you go?”
“Just for a walk, then to the café to have a glass of wine. I thought I’d relax before the hullabaloo tonight.”
“It will be a very elegant hullabaloo. Did it work? Did it relax you?”
“Yes.” She had a sudden memory of that moment just before she had entered the gallery and that feeling of malevolence so intense that it had shaken her. Imagination. It had to be imagination. “For the most part.” She got into the elevator and firmly dismissed that chilling moment from her mind. “Yes, I guess it worked.”
10:45 P.M.
“A WONDERFUL SHOW.” Celine Denarve locked the door of the gallery after her assistant, Marie, had left. “A magnificent exhibit. We’ve sold everything but the three paintings you’ve put a hold on.” She smiled over her shoulder at Jane. “How can I convince you to let me sell those, too? How am I to become a rich woman if you persist in being selfish with the best of the lot?”
“They’re not the best of the lot. I just have a personal attachment to them,” Jane said. “The technique is much cleaner in some of the others.” Lord, she was tired. She hated these art shows. The critics who dissected her work, the reporters probing how she felt when she was painting a certain canvas, the people who bought art because it went with their furniture. But she supposed she should be grateful that she’d met with such success so early in her career.
She was grateful. And she couldn’t have asked for a gallery owner more enthusiastic and devoted than Celine. This was her second show at Celine’s gallery and their warm relationship made all the bullshit bearable.
“You look exhausted. You need a glass of champagne.” Celine moved toward the small bar against the wall. “Though you shouldn’t need any stimulation at all. You should be walking on air. Like I am.”
“And so you should. To night is as much your triumph as it is mine.”
“That is true. I did well.” She turned and smiled at Jane. “And you did well, too. You did not look bored. You were actually charming to that art critic from the London Times. I think I’m getting through to you.”
“Don’t count on it. I’m glad it’s over. You’re right, I am tired.” It’s only that it has been a very exhausting month, Jane thought. She was ready to go home and close herself away and just paint.
“This will wake you up.” Celine poured them both a glass of champagne, and her gaze went back to the three paintings about which she had been previously talking. “You may not see it, but those paintings are very special.” Celine crossed the room and handed the glass to her. “Technique is important, but when there’s so much passion, one can overlook a few mistakes.”
She frowned. “What mistakes?”
Celine chuckled. “See, you may criticize yourself, but I may not. You have an ego like all artists.”
“I never said I didn’t.” Jane grinned. “I’m no Rembrandt, but I’m pretty good. In spite of what your French critics say. They don’t agree that passion is more important. But I do get better all the time.”
“The proof is in the pocketbook,” Celine said. “And name me a great artist who didn’t suffer for their art.” She strolled up to the two paintings at the end of the row. “Me, I prefer to sell your paintings and not suffer at all. My commission will buy me a fine house on the Riviera.” She tapped the frame of the painting of the castle that towered on a steep cliff that overlooked the sea. “Not like this one. It’s much too forbidding. I don’t like Scotland. Not enough sun.” She tilted her head. “But you must like it. That castle has substance and power. It’s very … strong.”
“I don’t know much about Scotland. I’ve only visited MacDuff’s Run a few times.”
“But it had great impact on you.”
“Yes.” She took a sip of her champagne. “You could call it impact.”
“I’ve met John MacDuff. He was here for a charity ball several years ago. I was dazzled. Earl of Cranought, Lord of MacDuff’s Run … It’s hard to ignore all that intensity and Rob Roy mystique.”
“I assure you that he’s no Rob Roy.” Though the people on his property looked upon him as something of a folk hero and kowtowed to the Laird. MacDuff had won a gold medal for archery several years ago at the Olympics, then joined the 45th Commando Unit of the Royal Marines and earned a chestful of medals for bravery. “And he’s arrogant as hell.”
“But he’s sexy enough to get away with it,” Celine said. “I tried to throw myself into his bed, but he would have none of me.”
“Then he was a fool.”
Celine nodded. “I think so, too. He doesn’t know what he missed.” She glanced slyly at Jane. “Tell me, did you make it into his bed? I’ll forgive you if you let me sell this painting.”
Jane shook her head. “Our relationship was a little more complicated.”
“Nothing is more complicated than sex,” Celine said. “Nor anything so beautifully simple.”
Jane chuckled. “You’re just trying to live up to your image as a Parisienne.”
“I don’t need to live up to it. I live and breathe it.” She added teasingly, “Come now, tell me the truth. If you visited that cold castle more than once, he must have offered you a warm bed to lure you. Why else would you go there?”
Celine clearly wasn’t going to give up. Just give her the bare bones and make her happy. “Actually, it had to do with a chest of gold coins, a lost ancient family treasure belonging to one of MacDuff’s ancestors. I’d become involved with tracing that chest from its origin in Herculaneum.”
“Ah, a lost treasure.” Celine’s eyes were wide and shining. “Tell me more.”
“There’s not much more to tell. You wouldn’t be interested.”
“Which means you’re closing up and don’t want to share.” She was obviously disappointed. “I would be interested, you know. I’m not just being inquisitive. I consider you my friend as well as my client. It’s natural to want to know about people you care about.” She shrugged, but her expression was wistful. “But I will try to under-stand.”
Jane stared helplessly at her. Celine was an irresistible force who was all the more appealing because she was sincere. “It’s no big deal.” Though those weeks at MacDuff’s Run had shaken her entire life at the time. “It was years ago, when I was a student in college. I was an art major with a minor in archaeology. I became interested in stories of a young actress, Cira, who was the toast of ancient Herculaneum. She fascinated me. It was rumored that she had escaped the eruption of Vesuvius and fled to Scotland, carrying with her a chest of gold coins that would be worth a fortune today.”
“But you said it was a long-lost MacDuff treasure.”
“Cira changed her name and identity and she and her husband, Anthony, founded the MacDuff family in the highlands.”
“And you went to Scotland to find the chest and found MacDuff. Now that’s a treasure I can appreciate. How romantic.”
“Not at all romantic. I wasn’t the only one trying to trace that chest. Thomas Reilly, a criminal who would take first place on any scumbag chart, was after it, too. He was interested in some specific coins that were supposed to be included with the others. Before it was over it got very ugly. Good people were hurt.”
“But you and MacDuff found the chest and lived happily ever after … in bed?”
“No, in the end finding the treasure wasn’t worth it to me.”
Celine shook her head reprovingly. “Treasure of any kind is always worthwhile. This story is very disappointing to me.”
Jane smiled. “Sorry, I’ll try to concoct a more interesting tale for you next time.”
“Please do that. I’m losing faith in you.” She glanced at the portrait next to the one of MacDuff’s Run. “You said this was one of the young men who grew up on MacDuff’s estate? Jock … ?
“Jock Gavin. Yes, his mother was house keeper at the estate, and he grew up running in and out of the castle. He was like a younger brother to MacDuff.”
“He’s quite beautiful, almost an Adonis with that fair hair and those silver-gray eyes. But he’s too young for you.”
“There wasn’t anything like that between us. I painted that portrait years ago. He was nineteen when I did that first sketch. I was only a couple years older and we … bonded. Jock was going through a rough time, and I was able to help him through it.”
“Nineteen. He looks younger.” She frowned. “And older. I can’t quite put my finger on it. There’s a kind of an explosive breakability. Intriguing. What kind of a rough time?”
 
Excerpted from Eight Days To Live by Iris Johansen.
Copyright © 2010 by Iris Johansen.
Published in 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
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First Chapter

Eight Days to Live

An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller
By Iris Johansen

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2010 Iris Johansen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312368159

ONE
Paris
Day One
7:35 P.M.
SHE WAS LAUGHING, Jack Millet thought, enraged. Even as Jane MacGuire had left the sidewalk café, a lingering smile had remained on her lips.
He had to smother the anger, remind himself that she would not be laughing for very long.
Eight days, bitch. Just eight more days, and I’ll send you to rot in hell.
He had watched her sitting there in the café, staring out at the Seine, and the seething anger had been building steadily within him. She had no right to look that serene and content.
Liar.
Blasphemer.
He started after her, careful not to get close enough for her to know she was being followed. He knew where she was going. The Denarve Art Gallery was only two blocks away and tonight they were exhibiting Jane MacGuire’s paintings and would probably be heaping praise on her.
Blind. They couldn’t see the ugliness of the atrocity she had committed.
She moved lithely, gracefully, her red-brown hair shining as the sunlight burnished it. Everything about her shouted that she was young and vibrantly alive.
And that enraged him, too.
Dead. You should be dead. You should be burning in Hell.
Eight days. But he wanted it to happen now. It was a deep hunger that wouldn’t go away.
But if he could hurt her, it would help him to wait for that final glory. If he could rip and tear at her and destroy everything she valued and loved, he might be able to keep himself under control.
Take her, torture her, and make her scream with agony.
But he had to do it himself. He could order help in the taking, perhaps Folard, but after that, he couldn’t trust his brothers to be able to stop themselves from killing her before her time. Their souls weren’t as strong as his had become through all the years of service to the Offering.
She was quickening her steps as she approached the gallery. The sun was going down, and the rays of the setting sun were causing her hair to blaze with fiery highlights.
Blaze. Scald. Burn. Suffer.
Yes, fire is an exquisite weapon. Knives. Scalpels. Whips. There are so many ways to hurt you, Jane MacGuire.
I know them all.
MALEVOLENCE.
Overwhelming malice.
Jane stopped, stiffening, as her hand reached out to open the carved oak door of the Denarve Gallery.
For an instant she couldn’t breathe, and she instinctively glanced back over her shoulder at the street behind her.
Nothing. A peaceful Parisian street on a beautiful spring day. No threat.
Imagination. A trick of the mind. Maybe a little nervous reaction because of the show tonight?
But she didn’t usually have nerves.
She glanced over her shoulder again.
Nothing.
Imagination.
She pulled open the carved oak door and went into the gallery.
“There you are.” Celine Denarve turned to Jane and frowned with mock indignation. “I thought I was going to have to send the bloodhounds after you. Marie and I have been slaving with the preparations to make this exhibit the finest I’ve ever given for any artist, and you go strolling off as if it has no importance. It’s an insult.”
Jane grinned. “You know that you would have whisked me out of here if I’d offered to stay and help.” Celine was reacting with her usual sense of Gallic drama, and it always amused Jane. High drama was so far removed from her own practical character. She had flashes of intensity and recklessness, and that might be why she and Celine had so quickly become friends, but it was Celine’s basic shrewdness and kindness that had cemented that friendship. “How many times have you told me that an artist should paint and stay out of the business of selling her work?”
“Many times.” Celine turned to her assistant, Marie Ressault, who had come out of the office carrying an ice bucket. “Put it at the bar, Marie. If I give everyone enough champagne, they will forget that Jane’s not really the Rembrandt I’ve been hyping for the past month.”
“I believe those art critics may already be a little skeptical,” Jane said dryly. “Though if anyone could convince them, you could.”
“You’re right. I’m splendid.” She smiled brilliantly at Jane. In her late thirties, Celine was sleek and dark-haired and as attractive as she was shrewd. She might know every trick in the book about pushing a young-and-coming artist up the next rung of the ladder, but she did it with honesty and a bubbly exuberance. “That’s what it takes to make a starving artist an icon.”
“I hate to tell you, but I’m not a starving artist. I did have a few successful shows before you appeared in my life.”
“Yes, but those other gallery owners didn’t make you focus on the important things. They should have made you do publicity to make you a household name.”
“Not my cup of tea.”
Celine made a face. “That’s why you make my life so difficult. I have to work twice as hard just to make you show up for an interview. I’ve begun to tell everyone that they have to forgive you because, after all, you’re just an artist with a shy and sensitive soul.”
“What?”
“It works,” Celine said cheerfully. “They don’t know you.”
“That’s obvious.” Sensitive soul? she thought with amusement. She couldn’t think of any term that would be less applicable. She hoped she was kind and caring and could see beneath the surface, but she was neither fragile nor temperamental. She was only a street kid who had been lucky enough to have been born with a certain talent and the drive to make that talent come alive.
She smiled as she thought about what Joe Quinn would have said about her sensitive soul. She had been a tough ten-year-old when she had come to live with Joe and Eve Duncan, and they had accepted her and made sure that she knew how to handle herself in any situation. He was a detective with the Atlanta Police Department, and his teaching had been both thorough and intense. Karate, Choi Kwang Do, and, when she grew older, training in weaponry. Those lessons had forged a bond that had helped draw them closer, and it was her very good fortune that she hadn’t been a prissy kid who would have forced Joe to treat her delicately. No, he would have laughed himself silly at anyone thinking she was overly sensitive.
“You’re smiling.” Celine was studying her face. “What are you thinking?”
“That you must be very persuasive to make them believe that bullshit.”
“Yes, I am extraordinary.” She took a step back and tilted her head as she gazed at the paintings beyond the velvet ropes. “The lighting is perfect. That’s essential, you know.”
Jane’s lips quirked. “Yes, it makes even my humble paintings look good.”
“That’s what I thought.” She glanced away from the paintings to Jane. “But perhaps they’re not completely humble. I didn’t totally lie when I told those critics you were the next Rembrandt.”
“Crap.”
“No, you’re exceptional. You’re young, only a few years out of college. In another five years, you’ll rock the art world. If you’ll let me help you.” She shrugged and changed the subject. “Lighting may help your paintings, but no amount of lighting is going to help you if you’re dressed in those jeans and shirt. Not here in Paris. Hurry. Go upstairs and change. The first guests should be here in forty-five minutes.”
“I’ll be ready.” Jane headed for the elevator. Celine maintained an apartment above her gallery, and she had insisted that Jane stay with her before the exhibit. “I promise.”
“You cut it very close,” Celine called after her. “Where did you go?”
“Just for a walk, then to the café to have a glass of wine. I thought I’d relax before the hullabaloo tonight.”
“It will be a very elegant hullabaloo. Did it work? Did it relax you?”
“Yes.” She had a sudden memory of that moment just before she had entered the gallery and that feeling of malevolence so intense that it had shaken her. Imagination. It had to be imagination. “For the most part.” She got into the elevator and firmly dismissed that chilling moment from her mind. “Yes, I guess it worked.”
10:45 P.M.
“A WONDERFUL SHOW.” Celine Denarve locked the door of the gallery after her assistant, Marie, had left. “A magnificent exhibit. We’ve sold everything but the three paintings you’ve put a hold on.” She smiled over her shoulder at Jane. “How can I convince you to let me sell those, too? How am I to become a rich woman if you persist in being selfish with the best of the lot?”
“They’re not the best of the lot. I just have a personal attachment to them,” Jane said. “The technique is much cleaner in some of the others.” Lord, she was tired. She hated these art shows. The critics who dissected her work, the reporters probing how she felt when she was painting a certain canvas, the people who bought art because it went with their furniture. But she supposed she should be grateful that she’d met with such success so early in her career.
She was grateful. And she couldn’t have asked for a gallery owner more enthusiastic and devoted than Celine. This was her second show at Celine’s gallery and their warm relationship made all the bullshit bearable.
“You look exhausted. You need a glass of champagne.” Celine moved toward the small bar against the wall. “Though you shouldn’t need any stimulation at all. You should be walking on air. Like I am.”
“And so you should. Tonight is as much your triumph as it is mine.”
“That is true. I did well.” She turned and smiled at Jane. “And you did well, too. You did not look bored. You were actually charming to that art critic from the London Times. I think I’m getting through to you.”
“Don’t count on it. I’m glad it’s over. You’re right, I am tired.” It’s only that it has been a very exhausting month, Jane thought. She was ready to go home and close herself away and just paint.
“This will wake you up.” Celine poured them both a glass of champagne, and her gaze went back to the three paintings about which she had been previously talking. “You may not see it, but those paintings are very special.” Celine crossed the room and handed the glass to her. “Technique is important, but when there’s so much passion, one can overlook a few mistakes.”
She frowned. “What mistakes?”
Celine chuckled. “See, you may criticize yourself, but I may not. You have an ego like all artists.”
“I never said I didn’t.” Jane grinned. “I’m no Rembrandt, but I’m pretty good. In spite of what your French critics say. They don’t agree that passion is more important. But I do get better all the time.”
“The proof is in the pocketbook,” Celine said. “And name me a great artist who didn’t suffer for their art.” She strolled up to the two paintings at the end of the row. “Me, I prefer to sell your paintings and not suffer at all. My commission will buy me a fine house on the Riviera.” She tapped the frame of the painting of the castle that towered on a steep cliff that overlooked the sea. “Not like this one. It’s much too forbidding. I don’t like Scotland. Not enough sun.” She tilted her head. “But you must like it. That castle has substance and power. It’s very . . . strong.”
“I don’t know much about Scotland. I’ve only visited MacDuff’s Run a few times.”
“But it had great impact on you.”
“Yes.” She took a sip of her champagne. “You could call it impact.”
“I’ve met John MacDuff. He was here for a charity ball several years ago. I was dazzled. Earl of Cranought, Lord of MacDuff’s Run . . . It’s hard to ignore all that intensity and Rob Roy mystique.”
“I assure you that he’s no Rob Roy.” Though the people on his property looked upon him as something of a folk hero and kowtowed to the Laird. MacDuff had won a gold medal for archery several years ago at the Olympics, then joined the 45th Commando Unit of the Royal Marines and earned a chestful of medals for bravery. “And he’s arrogant as hell.”
“But he’s sexy enough to get away with it,” Celine said. “I tried to throw myself into his bed, but he would have none of me.”
“Then he was a fool.”
Celine nodded. “I think so, too. He doesn’t know what he missed.” She glanced slyly at Jane. “Tell me, did you make it into his bed? I’ll forgive you if you let me sell this painting.”
Jane shook her head. “Our relationship was a little more complicated.”
“Nothing is more complicated than sex,” Celine said. “Nor anything so beautifully simple.”
Jane chuckled. “You’re just trying to live up to your image as a Parisienne.”
“I don’t need to live up to it. I live and breathe it.” She added teasingly, “Come now, tell me the truth. If you visited that cold castle more than once, he must have offered you a warm bed to lure you. Why else would you go there?”
Celine clearly wasn’t going to give up. Just give her the bare bones and make her happy. “Actually, it had to do with a chest of gold coins, a lost ancient family treasure belonging to one of MacDuff’s ancestors. I’d become involved with tracing that chest from its origin in Herculaneum.”
“Ah, a lost treasure.” Celine’s eyes were wide and shining. “Tell me more.”
“There’s not much more to tell. You wouldn’t be interested.”
“Which means you’re closing up and don’t want to share.” She was obviously disappointed. “I would be interested, you know. I’m not just being inquisitive. I consider you my friend as well as my client. It’s natural to want to know about people you care about.” She shrugged, but her expression was wistful. “But I will try to understand.”
Jane stared helplessly at her. Celine was an irresistible force who was all the more appealing because she was sincere. “It’s no big deal.” Though those weeks at MacDuff’s Run had shaken her entire life at the time. “It was years ago, when I was a student in college. I was an art major with a minor in archaeology. I became interested in stories of a young actress, Cira, who was the toast of ancient Herculaneum. She fascinated me. It was rumored that she had escaped the eruption of Vesuvius and fled to Scotland, carrying with her a chest of gold coins that would be worth a fortune today.”
“But you said it was a long-lost MacDuff treasure.”
“Cira changed her name and identity and she and her husband, Anthony, founded the MacDuff family in the highlands.”
“And you went to Scotland to find the chest and found MacDuff. Now that’s a treasure I can appreciate. How romantic.”
“Not at all romantic. I wasn’t the only one trying to trace that chest. Thomas Reilly, a criminal who would take first place on any scumbag chart, was after it, too. He was interested in some specific coins that were supposed to be included with the others. Before it was over it got very ugly. Good people were hurt.”
“But you and MacDuff found the chest and lived happily ever after . . . in bed?”
“No, in the end finding the treasure wasn’t worth it to me.”
Celine shook her head reprovingly. “Treasure of any kind is always worthwhile. This story is very disappointing to me.”
Jane smiled. “Sorry, I’ll try to concoct a more interesting tale for you next time.”
“Please do that. I’m losing faith in you.” She glanced at the portrait next to the one of MacDuff’s Run. “You said this was one of the young men who grew up on MacDuff’s estate? Jock . . . ?
“Jock Gavin. Yes, his mother was housekeeper at the estate, and he grew up running in and out of the castle. He was like a younger brother to MacDuff.”
“He’s quite beautiful, almost an Adonis with that fair hair and those silver-gray eyes. But he’s too young for you.”
“There wasn’t anything like that between us. I painted that portrait years ago. He was nineteen when I did that first sketch. I was only a couple years older and we . . . bonded. Jock was going through a rough time, and I was able to help him through it.”
“Nineteen. He looks younger.” She frowned. “And older. I can’t quite put my finger on it. There’s a kind of an explosive breakability. Intriguing. What kind of a rough time?”


Continues...

Excerpted from Eight Days to Live by Iris Johansen Copyright © 2010 by Iris Johansen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 265 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Iris has another smash hit with her newest paranormal thriller

    At the age of seventeen Jane MacGuire started having precognitive dreams, already in art school she paints what she dreams as a release. These dreams have led her once before into troubled waters and she's having them again. Any artist worth his/her salt should love gallery shows especially when you're the artist on show, but Jane hates the notoriety and she does it only because her friend and gallery owner insist. What she doesn't know is that disaster is right around the corner. Seth Caleb has been obsessed with Jane since he helped her and her adoptive parents rid the world of a ruthless serial killer. Now she needs him again, will they find the answers they need in time and what about what they feel for each other, is it a simple case of lust or does it run deeper.
    You can never go wrong with an Iris Johansen mystery, and this one is no exception. The main-stream mystery lover will appreciate the attention to detail, the complicated plot and the myriad of wonderful characters both good and evil. The paranormal mystery lover will love the touch of woo woo that Iris includes in this titillating read and I'm not talking mythological or mystical she just dips her toe in the paranormal stream. You will recognize her dialogue if you're a fan as you re-connect with the characters you've come to love and respect. Her characters are very real and almost three dimensional as this wonderful storyteller brings them to life for her audience. Her heroine Jane is a complicated player but Iris portrays her to a tee. Caleb is an enigma and she goes beneath all the layers to find what makes him tick. Together they are a powerful force. There is a romance and you're present for it's birth. Her supporting cast of characters including her usual protagonists Eve and Joe are essential to the telling of the story.
    If you love a great mystery, look no farther. If you love a little paranormal thrown in, this is your read. If you want it told by a ace storyteller, here she is.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    Loved it..

    I just finished reading this and loved it. I liked how they brought back a bunch of people from previous books.. I would highly recommend this if your an Iris and an Eve/Jane fan..

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2010

    Eight Days to Live by Iris Johansen

    I would give this book a five star rating. It is gripping. I don't want to put it down. It pops from the first page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2010

    Definace - paperback comes out Sept 10.

    I am a long time fan of Iris Johansen - she's one of the ultimate "rainy day" authors. If it were a month later, I'd have saved this one for the beach. A fun read and I particlarly love the recurring characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    AMAZING

    AMAZING

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    great book Great book

    I loved this book i have read several of books by this author and have loved every one this book had mystery and compassion and kept my interest to the very end

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2012

    It absorbed me completely!

    I really enjoyed this book. My mom gave it to me as a Christmas gift and I never thought I was going to love it. Amazing book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 17, 2011

    Another A+ for the series

    This novel focuses mostly on Jane so it was a nice change of pace before the trilogy begins the beginning of the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    My good friend got me into Iris Johansen books. I can't stop reading her books. I could not put this book down!

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    LOVED THIS BOOK

    Cannot wait for next one of this series

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  • Posted January 5, 2011

    good but predictable finish

    good reading

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A good book to read

    I started this book and I could not put it down. Iris Johansen out did her self in this book. Well, all her books are great. I can't wait until she comes out with the next book. Keep up the good work Iris.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2010

    I loved this book!

    This was my favorite of the Eve Duncan series. I really hope that Seth and Jane continue into the next Eve Duncan series. I can't wait to read the next one!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    OK, so Eve Duncan IS in the book....kind of.

    ...but calling it an "Eve Duncan Forensic Mystery" is a bit of a stretch. This is a follow-up to the Jane McGuire tale of the lost treasure chests of Rome, you know, the one in the Scottish castle? Eve makes an appearance and serves as bait, and Joe is firmly in the background.

    This "thriller" tried very hard to put me to sleep. So much of the text is conversation between characters; there is very little action until the very, very end - and that action isn't as much thrilling as it is formulaic. None of these characters felt "real" to me, which is important when I am reading. Lina was at least quirky and original, although thinly sculpted. While I have to admit that I am intrigued by Seth Caleb's character he falls more comfortably into a TWILIGHT kind of tale than he does any forensic thriller, and the laird and his castle are so stereotypical that they are really comic.
    That said, I'd likely still read whatever comes next for Eve and Joe, as they are favorite characters of mine, but I wish Johansen would leave Jane to her Scottish lord and get back to the stories of Eve's forensic work.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Eight Days to Live

    In Eight Days to Live, Eve Duncan and her adopted daughter Jane have been targeted by this secret cult. Jane has been selected as the ultimate sacrifice and has eight days until they come and get here. Iris Johansen has written some wonderful thrillers involving the Eve Duncan character and her villains are just so sinister. This particular book is more about Jane and not about Eve. Other than that, there is some interesting character development and the story itself fast-paced.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    loved it!!!

    I could not put the book down! This is a "Nail Biter". Iris created an exciting adventure with Jane and a hint of our loved characters, Eve and Joe. Thanks for the escape into a world of the unknown. Do we believe?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2010

    Great, wonderful, coundn't put it down, suspenseful

    this is one of the best Eve Duncan books so far. The plot has so many turns and twists that you can't put the book down. I love the fact that Jane plays the main character in this book but Eve was certainly not pushed to the side. It also brought up many facts from previous books which was also wonderful as you got to read about what the older characters in previous books were doing now. Just loved it. Can't wait for more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    I love Iris Johansen books, and this series.

    This series by Iris Johansen is great. I like the fact that she uses characters from previous novels. With this series she does a great job utilizing the characters from previous novels to spin off. These books are also great even if you haven't read the previous editions, though I recommend that you read all of them.
    This book was great, I like to see Jane coming back into the picture and can't wait to see who she might end up with in the romance department. She is very much like Eve in character, strong and capable. I am waiting to see Ms. Johansen add the characters we meet in this book to one of her next books. This book was exciting, and fast paced. The book plot takes place in 8 days and they are filled with excitement, danger, and some kind of romance. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys mystery.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting read with paranormal elements

    Jane is the main character in the latest Eve Duncan novel. Eve herself barely makes a cameo appearance, although it is very important to the plot. For Iris Johansen fans, you will be glad to know that Seth Caleb is back as are the characters from MacDuff's Run. The whole plot seems very realistic, with characters offering sacrifices and seeking for a treasure. I would recommend to anyone who likes thrilers and more than a hint of the paranormal. Particularly interesting was the part Caleb played in Jane's dreams and Jane's close connection to Eve. A runaway thrill ride, although I did think that the plot dragged a little in the middle.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    Eight Days to Live is by far the Best Iris Johansen Book to date.

    From the first page to the last sentence I was totally hooked on the newest Eve Duncan thriller. While Eve and Joe were not prominently featured they still had a presence and stayed in the background to help Jane their adopted daughter. I like that the author brings in characters that have been featured in her other books and even with the blood and gore there is usually a "happy ending" so to speak.
    Wherever Eve, Jane, Joe and even Caleb are taken next, I can't wait for the next Eve Duncan Book or even a new character that Iris Johansen may write about. In the meantime, there is the Library and many other books that the author has written for me to read.

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