The Face of Deception (Eve Duncan Series #1)

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Overview

An unidentified skull...

A trail of terrifying secrets...

And a woman whose talented hands could reveal the shocking truth...

As a forensic sculptor, Eve Duncan helps identify the dead from their skulls.  Her own daughter murdered and her body never found, the job is Eve's way of coming to terms with her personal nightmare. But more terror lies ahead when she accepts work from billionaire John Logan....

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The Face of Deception (Eve Duncan Series #1)

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Overview

An unidentified skull...

A trail of terrifying secrets...

And a woman whose talented hands could reveal the shocking truth...

As a forensic sculptor, Eve Duncan helps identify the dead from their skulls.  Her own daughter murdered and her body never found, the job is Eve's way of coming to terms with her personal nightmare. But more terror lies ahead when she accepts work from billionaire John Logan. Beneath her gifted hands a face emerges from the skull he has given her to reconstruct—a face no one was ever meant to see.  Now Eve is trapped in a frightening web of murder and deceit. Powerful enemies are determined to cover up the truth, and they will make certain that truth goes to the grave...even if Eve gets buried with it.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
A New Face in Suspense

Iris Johansen has grown up. This is not to say that her previous novels were immature, but something has changed — for the better — with this novelist, and it shows in her new romantic thriller, The Face of Deception. This is one of the most riveting reads of the year — brutal and shocking at times, but compelling enough to be accessible for the faint of heart. This novel is right up there with The Day After Tomorrow and Patricia Cornwell as a major-league thriller, but it has a slightly gentle touch. And, yes, romance plays a big part in the story, but it feels like a perfectly natural progression as Johansen's heroine finds herself going deeper and deeper into the dark twists and turns of this story's plot.

Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor who loves her work — and at times, the work is gruesome. Her job is to take a skull and artistically re-create the face around it to identify the dead person. Eve grows attached to the personalities that come through the faces she sculpts, and in general, she has been involved in fighting the problem of missing children ever since her own daughter, Bonnie, was kidnapped and murdered several years prior to the beginning of the novel. Eve's compassion even extends to the man who murdered her daughter — for she wants to know where her daughter is buried in order to find some closure to that terrible event. But her daughter's killer is put to death before he can tell her anything, and Eve feels like she's floundering. Then a stranger comes to her studio door, and her lifechangesdramatically.

John Logan is no ordinary man. He's a Bill Gates wannabe with the billions of dollars and the computer chips to prove it — and he wants something desperately from Eve. He makes her a proposition: If she will work for him for two weeks, in an isolated laboratory/studio, he will pay her half a million dollars. But wait — the offer gets better. He will also donate the same amount — or more — to her favorite charity, a fund that goes toward searching for lost or missing children. Logan knows what Eve's soft spot is, and he hits it hard. Eve lives very much by her principles and her sense of right and wrong, and this deal with the devil feels very much like the wrong side of things...but her commitment to the children's charity goes deeper than usual. The kind of money Logan is talking about would virtually rescue dozens of children from horrendous situations; coming from a poverty-level childhood, with a formerly crack-addicted mother, Eve is all for getting help to children. Plus, in her dreams, her dead daughter's ghost encourages her to accept the job.

But there are problems with the dashing and enchanting Logan: He's too good to be true. And worse (to Eve, anyway), he's a Republican who wants to get the current Democratic administration out of power. So exactly what is it he's after?

What finally sends her into Logan's camp is the blood she finds splattered everywhere in her studio one morning. Someone has killed a neighbor's cat and has ruined all her work in the process. This vague threat to keep Eve from working for Logan has the opposite effect that its perpetrators intended. She decides to take the money and job, and hops into Logan's limo.

In her new digs, she's given carte blanche and can come and go from the security-encrusted property at will. But when Logan finally levels with her about what kind of skull she'll be working on, both terror and disbelief make her want to get as far from Logan as possible. The secret of who the skull belongs to, and the political ramifications it holds for the nation, all make for fascinating fiction; and as Eve discovers that there's no way out from the Logan compound, and that hired assassins are after anyone who knows the secret, she is thrown headlong into a world of love, lies, and suspense.

If you are a romantic thriller fan, and if you've never read Johansen before, start with this one. The Face of Deception is a fast-moving, heart-stopping read.
— Douglas Clegg, barnesandnoble.com

From the Publisher
"One of her best...a fast-paced, non-stop, clever plot in which Johansen mixes political intrigue, murder and suspense."—USA Today

"The book's twists and turns manage to hold the reader hostage until the denouement, a sure crowd pleaser."—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While not as unrelentingly grim as its predecessor, And Then You Die, this suspense thriller--from an author who has successfully written historical romance with a dark edge--has its share of grisly scenes, beginning in medias res at the execution of Ralph Fraser, the serial killer who has murdered protagonist Eve Ducan's only child, Bonnie. To overcome her grief, Eve takes up a (notably icky) career as a forensic sculptor, making busts from the skulls of unidentified murdered children so that their parents can identify them. New trouble comes when computer mogul John Logan recruits Eve to reconstruct and identify an adult male skull. The job comes with unforeseen risks and political implications; various criminal figures want to keep the skull's identity a secret and are ruthlessly determined to go to any lengths to avoid exposure. Eve, who combines a tough survivor's instinct with emotional vulnerability, is led to fear for her own life and for the lives of her mother and dearest friends. Despite slow early chapters and stilted dialogue, Johansen makes an admirable effort to give psychological depth even to her villains, and her action scenes use terse prose to build tension. With the help of well-timed, steady disclosures and surprising revelations, the book's twists and turns manage to hold the reader hostage until the denouement, a sure crowd pleaser (since it promises a sequel). Major ad/promo. (Oct.) FYI: A 16-page excerpt of The Face of Deception will be included in the paperback reprint of And Then You Die, out in September.
Library Journal
Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is in trouble--the face she has just reconstructed belongs to a man who is supposedly alive.
Kirkus Reviews
Johansen (And Then You Die, 1998, etc.) leaves romance behind for some pedestrian adventure and a stab at emotional healing. Ever since best-selling Patricia Cornwell introduced medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, romantic-suspense authors have driven their plots by means of coroners and forensic anthropologists. And now hereþs what may possibly be the first forensic sculptor—namely, Eve Duncan, who takes skulls and, with the use of computers, scientific measurements, fake eyeballs, and her own sculpting talent, re-creates the fleshed-out heads of possible murder victims. Why? Because she's searching for the body of her daughter Bonnie, who was killed by a psychopath but never found. Calling them her "lost ones," Eve obsessively rebuilds the heads of slain children—until now unidentified—so that she can send them home to their families for burial. Meanwhile, Eve, being one of the best forensic sculptors around, is solicited for a top-secret mission by computer billionaire John, who fails to tell her of the many dangers he's involving her in. With a cock-and-bull story about finding the real head of John F. Kennedy, he hires her to sculpt a face around a mysterious skull that turns out to belong to the corpse of the now-President of the US (Ben Chadbourne). A double, it turns out, is occupying the White House and being manipulated by the brilliant First Lady and an official in the Treasury Department. Johansen gives hints of a budding affair between Eve and Logan and between Eve and her best pal, Atlanta police detective Joe Quinn. The trouble is that with three strong, silent types like Duncan, Logan, and Quinn, there isn't a whole lot for the reader to sink herromantic teeth into, and, with the exception of a great red herring at the start, there isn't a whole lot of suspense, either. A sequel is on its way, and perhaps with that Johansen will deliver what she only promises here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553578027
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1999
  • Series: Eve Duncan Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.83 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Iris Johansen
Iris Johansen is the New York Times bestselling author of Killer Dreams, On the Run, Countdown, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, No One to Trust and more. 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

"You look beautiful," Eve said.  "Where are you going tonight?"

"I'm meeting Ron at Anthony's.  He likes the food there." Sandra leaned forward and checked her mascara in the hall mirror, then straightened the shoulders of her dress.  "Damn these shoulder pads.  They keep shifting around."

"Take them out."

"We all don't have broad shoulders like you.  I need them."

"Do you like the food there?"

"No, it's a little too fancy for me.  I'd rather go to the Cheesecake Factory."

"Then tell him."

"Next time.  Maybe I should like it.  Maybe it's a learning type thing." She grinned at Eve in the mirror.  "You're big on learning new things."

"I like Anthony's, but I still like to pig out at McDonald's when I'm in the mood." She handed Sandra her jacket.  "And I'd fight anyone who tried to tell me I shouldn't do it."

"Ron doesn't tell me--" She shrugged.  "I like him.  He comes from a nice family in Charlotte.  I don't know if he'd understand about the way we lived before-- I just don't know."

"I want to meet him."

"Next time.  You'd give him that cool once-over and I'd feel like a high school kid bringing home my first date."

Eve chuckled and gave her a hug.  "You're crazy.  I just want to make sure he's good enough for you."

"See?" Sandra headed for the door.  "Definitely first-date syndrome.  I'm late.  I'll see you later."

Eve went to the window and watched her mother back out of the driveway.  She hadn't seen her mother this excited and happy in years.

Not since Bonnie was alive.

Well, there was no use staring wistfully out the window.  She was glad her mother had a new romance, but she wouldn't trade places with her.  She wouldn't know what to do with a man in her life.  She wasn't good at one-night stands, and anything else required a commitment she couldn't afford.

She went out the back door and down the kitchen steps.  The honeysuckle was in bloom and the heady scent surrounded her as she walked down the path to the lab.  The aroma always seemed stronger at twilight and early morning.  Bonnie used to love the honeysuckle and was always picking it off the fence, where the bees constantly buzzed.  Eve had been at her wit's end trying to stop her before she got stung.

She smiled at the recollection.  It had taken her a long time to be able to separate the good memories from the bad.  At first she had tried to save herself from pain by closing out all thoughts  of Bonnie.  Then she had come to understand that that would be  forgetting Bonnie and all the joy she had brought into her and Sandra's lives.  Bonnie deserved more than--

"Ms.  Duncan."

She stiffened, then whirled around.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you.  I'm John Logan.  I wonder if I could speak to you?"

John Logan.  If he hadn't introduced himself she would have recognized him from the photo.  How could she miss that California tan? she thought sardonically.  And in that gray Armani suit and Gucci loafers, he looked as out of place in her small backyard as a peacock.  "You didn't frighten me.  You startled me."

"I rang the doorbell." He smiled as he walked toward her.  There was not an ounce of fat on his body, and he exuded confidence and charm.  She had never liked charming men; charm could hide too much.  "I guess you didn't hear me."

"No." She had the sudden desire to shake his confidence.  "Do you always trespass, Mr.  Logan?"

The sarcasm didn't faze him.  "Only when I really want to see someone.  Could we go somewhere and talk?" His gaze went to the door of her lab.  "That's where you work, isn't it? I'd like to see it."

"How did you know it's where I work?"

"Not from your friends at the Atlanta P.D.  I understand they were very protective of your privacy." He strolled forward and stood beside the door.  He smiled.  "Please?"

He was obviously accustomed to instant acquiescence, and annoyance surged through her again.  "No."

His smile faded a little.  "I may have a proposition for you."

"I know.  Why else would you be here? But I'm too busy to take on any more work.  You should have phoned first."

"I wanted to see you in person." He glanced at the lab.  "We should go in there and talk."

"Why?"

"It will tell me a few things about you that I need to know."

She stared at him in disbelief.  "I'm not applying for a position with one of your companies, Mr.  Logan.  I don't have to go through a personnel check.  I think it's time you left."

"Give me ten minutes."

"No, I have work to do.  Good-bye, Mr.  Logan."

"John."

"Good-bye, Mr.  Logan."

He shook his head.  "I'm staying."

She stiffened.  "The hell you are."

He leaned against the wall.  "Go on, get to work.  I'll stay out here until you're ready to see me."

"Don't be ridiculous.  I'll probably be working until after midnight."

"Then I'll see you after midnight." His manner no longer held even a hint of his previous charm.  He was icy cool, tough, and totally determined.

She opened the door.  "Go away."

"After you talk to me.  It would be much easier for you to just let me have my way."

"I don't like things easy." She closed the door and flicked on the light.  She didn't like things easy and she didn't like being coerced by men who thought they owned the world.  Okay, she was overreacting.  She didn't usually let anyone disturb her composure, and he hadn't done anything but invade her space.

What the hell, her space was very important to her.  Let the bastard stay out there all night.

She threw open the door at eleven thirty-five.

"Come in," she said curtly.  "I don't want you out there when my mother comes home.  You might scare her.  Ten minutes."

"Thank you," he said quietly.  "I appreciate your consideration."

No sarcasm or irony in his tone, but that didn't mean it wasn't there.  "It's necessity.  I was hoping you'd give up before this."

"I don't give up if I need something.  But I'm surprised you didn't call your friends at the police department and have them throw me out."

"You're a powerful man.  You probably have contacts.  I didn't want to put them on the spot."

"I never blame the messenger." His gaze traveled around the lab.  "You have a lot of room here.  It looks smaller from outside."

"It used to be a carriage house before it was a garage.  This part of town is pretty old."

"It's not what I expected." He took in the rust and beige striped couch, the green plants on the windowsill, and then the framed photos of her mother and Bonnie on the bookshelf across the room.  "It looks .  .  .  warm."

"I hate cold, sterile labs.  There's no reason why I can't have comfort as well as efficiency." She sat down at her desk.  "Talk."

"What's that?" He moved toward the corner.  "Two video cameras?"

"It's necessary for superimposition."

"What is-- Interesting." His attention had been drawn to Mandy's skull.  "This looks like something from a voodoo movie with all those little spears stuck in it.

"I'm charting it to indicate the different thicknesses of skin."

"Do you have to do that before you--"

"Talk."

He came back and sat down beside the desk.  "I'd like to hire you to identify a skull for me."

She shook her head.  "I'm good, but the only sure ways of identification are dental records and DNA."

"Both of those require subjects to match.  I can't go that route until I'm almost certain."

"Why not?"

"It would cause difficulties."

"Is this a child?"

"It's a man."

"And you have no idea who he is?"

"I have an idea."

"But you're not going to tell me?"

He shook his head.

"Are there any photos of him?"

"Yes, but I won't show them to you.  I want you to start fresh and not construct the face you think is there."

"Where were the bones found?"

"Maryland .  .  .  I think."

"You don't know?"

"Not yet." He smiled.  "They haven't actually been located yet."

Her eyes widened in surprise.  "Then what are you doing here?"

"I need you on the spot.  I want you with me.  I'll have to move fast when the skeleton is located."

"And I'm supposed to disrupt my work and go to Maryland on the chance that you'll locate this skeleton?"

"Yes," he said calmly.

"Bull."

"Five hundred thousand dollars for two weeks' work."

"What?"

"As you've pointed out, your time is valuable.  I understand you rent this house.  You could buy it and still have a lot left over.  All you have to do is give me two weeks."

"How do you know I rent this house?"

"There are other people who aren't as loyal as your friends at the police department." He studied her face.  "You don't like having dossiers gathered on you."

"You're damn right I don't."

"I don't blame you.  I wouldn't either."

"But you still did it."

He repeated the word she had used with him.  "Necessity.  I had to know who I was dealing with."

"Then you've wasted your efforts.  Because you're not dealing with me."

"The money doesn't appeal to you?"

"Do you think I'm nuts? Of course it appeals to me.  I grew up poor as dirt.  But my life doesn't revolve around money.  I pick and choose my jobs these days, and I don't want yours."

"Why not?"

"It doesn't interest me."

"Because it doesn't concern a child?"

"Partly."

"There are other victims besides children."

"But none as helpless." She paused.  "Is your man a victim?"

"Possibly."

"Murder?"

He was silent a moment.  "Probably."

"And you're sitting there asking me to go with you to a murder site? What's to stop me from calling the police and telling them that John Logan is involved in a murder?"

He smiled faintly.  "Because I'd deny it.  I'd tell them I was thinking of having you examine the bones of that Nazi war criminal who was found buried in Bolivia." He let a couple of moments pass.  "And then I'd pull every string I have to make your friends at the Atlanta P.D.  look foolish or even criminal."

"You said you wouldn't blame the messenger."

"But that was before I realized how much it would bother you.  Evidently the loyalty goes two ways.  One uses whatever weapon one's given."

Yes, he would do that, she realized.  Even while they'd been talking he'd been watching her, weighing her every question and answer.

"But I've no desire to do that," he said.  "I'm trying to be as honest as I can with you.  I could have lied."

"Omission can also be a lie, and you're telling me practically nothing." She stared directly into his eyes.  "I don't trust you, Mr.  Logan.  Do you think this is the first time someone like you has come and asked me to verify a skeleton? Last year a Mr.  Damaro paid me a call.  He offered me a lot of money to come to Florida and sculpt a face on a skull he just happened to have in his possession.  He said a friend had sent it to him from New Guinea.  It was supposed to be an anthropological find.  I called the Atlanta P.D.  and it turned out that Mr.  Damaro was really Juan Camez, a drug runner from Miami.  His brother had disappeared two years ago and it was suspected he'd been killed by a rival organization.  The skull was sent to Camez as a warning."

"Touching.  I suppose drug runners have family feelings too."

"I don't think that's funny.  Tell that to the kids they hook on heroin."

"I'm not arguing.  But I assure you that I've no connection with organized crime." He grimaced.  "Well, I've used a bookie now and then."

"Is that supposed to disarm me?"

"Disarming you would obviously take a total global agreement." He stood up.  "My ten minutes are up and I wouldn't want to impose.  I'll let you think about the offer and call you later."

"I've already thought about it.  The answer is no."

"We've only just opened negotiations.  If you won't think about it, I will.  There has to be something I can offer you that will make the job worth your while." He stood looking at her with narrowed eyes.  "Something about me is rubbing you the wrong way.  What is it?"

"Nothing.  Other than the fact that you have a dead body you don't want anyone to know about."

"Anyone but you.  I very much want you to know about it." He shook his head.  "No, there's something else.  Tell me what it is so I can clear it up."

"Good night, Mr.  Logan."

"Well, if you can't call me John, at least drop the Mr.  You don't want anyone to think you're properly respectful."

"Good night, Logan."

"Good night, Eve." He stopped at the pedestal and looked at the skull.  "You know, he's beginning to grow on me."

"She's a girl."

His smile faded.  "Sorry.  It wasn't funny.  I guess we all have our own way of dealing with what we become after death."

"Yes, we do.  But sometimes we have to face it before we should.  Mandy wasn't over twelve years old."

"Mandy? You know who she was?"

She hadn't meant to let that slip.  What the hell, it didn't matter.  "No, but I usually give them names.  Aren't you glad now that I turned you down? You wouldn't want an eccentric like me working on your skull."

"Oh, yes, I appreciate eccentrics.  Half the men in my think tanks in San Jose are a little off center." He moved toward the door.  "By the way, that computer you're using is three years old.  We have a newer version that's twice as fast.  I'll send you one."

"No, thank you.  This one works fine."

"Never refuse a bribe if you don't have to sign on the dotted line for return favors." He opened the door.  "And never leave your doors unlocked, as you did tonight.  There's no telling who could have been waiting in here for you."

"I lock the lab up at night, but it would be inconvenient to keep it locked all the time.  Everything in here has been insured, and I know how to protect myself."

He smiled.  "I bet you do.  I'll call you."

"I told you that I'm--"

She was talking to air; he'd already closed the door behind him.

She breathed a sigh of relief.  Not that she had the slightest doubt she would hear from him again.  She had never met a man more determined to get his own way.  Even when his approach had been velvet soft, the steel had shown through.  Well, she had dealt with powerhouse types before.  All she had to do was stick to her guns and John Logan would eventually get discouraged and leave her alone.

She stood up and went over to the pedestal.  "He can't be so smart, Mandy.  He didn't even know you were a girl." Not that many people would have.

The desk phone rang.

Mom? She had been having trouble with the ignition on her car lately.

Not her mother.

"I remembered something just as I reached the car," Logan said.  "I thought I'd throw it into the pot for you to consider with the original deal."

"I'm not considering the original deal."

"Five hundred thousand for you.  Five hundred thousand to go to the Adam Fund for Missing and Runaway Children.  I understand you contribute a portion of your fees to that fund." His voice lowered persuasively.  "Do you realize how many children could be brought home to their parents with that amount of money?"

She knew better than he did.  He couldn't have offered a more tempting lure.  My God, Machiavelli could have taken lessons from him.

"All those children.  Aren't they worth two weeks of your time?"

They were worth a decade of her time.  "Not if it means doing something criminal."

"Criminal acts are often in the eyes of the beholder."

"Bullshit."

"Suppose I promise you that I had nothing to do with any foul play connected with the skull."

"Why should I believe any promise you make?"

"Check me out.  I don't have a reputation for lying."

"Reputation doesn't mean anything.  People lie when it means enough to them.  I've worked hard to establish my career.  I won't see it go down the drain."

There was silence.  "I can't promise you that you won't come out of this without a few scars, but I'll try to protect you as much as I can."

"I can protect myself.  All I have to do is tell you no."

"But you're tempted, aren't you?"

Christ, she was tempted.

"Seven hundred thousand to the fund."

"No."

"I'll call you tomorrow." He hung up the phone.

Damn him.

She replaced the receiver.  The bastard knew how to push the right buttons.  All that money channeled to find the other lost ones, the ones who might still be alive .  .  .

Wouldn't it be worth a risk to see even some of them brought home? Her gaze went to the pedestal.  Mandy might have been  a runaway.  Maybe if she'd had a chance to come home she  wouldn't .  .  .

"I shouldn't do it, Mandy," she whispered.  "It could be pretty bad.  People don't fork out over a million dollars for something  like this if they're even slightly on the up-and-up.  I have to tell him no."

But Mandy couldn't answer.  None of the dead could answer.

But the living could, and Logan had counted on her listening to the call.

Damn him.

Logan leaned back in the driver's seat, his gaze on Eve Duncan's small clapboard house.

Was it enough?

Possibly.  She had definitely been tempted.  She had a passionate commitment to finding lost children and he had played on it as skillfully as he could.

What kind of man did that make him? he thought wearily.

A man who needed to get the job done.  If she didn't succumb to his offer, he'd go higher tomorrow.

She was tougher than he'd thought she'd be.  Tough and smart and perceptive.  But she had an Achilles' heel.

And there was no doubt on earth that he would exploit it.

"He just drove off," Fiske said into his digital phone.  "Should I follow him?"

"No, we know where he's staying.  He saw Eve Duncan?"

"She was home all evening and he stayed over four hours."

Timwick cursed.  "She's going to go for it."

"I could stop her," Fiske said.

"Not yet.  She has friends in the police department.  We don't want to make waves."

"The mother?"

"Maybe.  It would certainly cause a delay at least.  Let me think about it.  Stay there.  I'll call you back."

Scared rabbit, Fiske thought contemptuously.  He could hear the nervousness in Timwick's voice.  Timwick was always thinking, hesitating instead of taking the clean, simple way.  You had to decide what result you needed and then just take the step that would bring that result.  If he had Timwick's power and resources, there would be no limit to what he could do.  Not that he wanted Timwick's job.  He liked what he did.  Not many people found their niche in life as he had.

He rested his head on the back of the seat, staring at the house.

It was after midnight.  The mother should be returning soon.  He'd already unscrewed the porch light.  If Timwick called him right away, he might not have to go into the house.

If the prick could make up his mind to do the smart, simple thing and let Fiske kill her.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 179 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(93)

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(28)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 180 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 27, 2012

    Smoothly written, interesting plot, some really good action. Par

    Smoothly written, interesting plot, some really good action. Part of the problem with this book is its length which contributes to the episodic nature. Once we are set up with Eve and John mostly at each others throats, and not in a romantic way, it becomes necessary to periodically inject a crisis or major disruption to maintain tension. Eventually Eve Duncan got on this reader's nerves and she became a bit predictable. Some readers will be put off by the references to former President John Kennedy. I was not. I also found John Logan beginning to wear thin. A shorter, tighter story would have been an improvement.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    Amazing

    this was the first book I had read by Iris Johansen. And Let me just say it definatly will not be the last. I couldn't put it down! I suggest everyone read this book. I even got my husband to read it. And he usually doesn't read anything that doesn't involve cars. So, every go out and get this book!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2005

    Horrible

    I am glad this was not my first Iris Johansen novel. I would never have picked up another. Eve Duncan and Joe Quinn are the most annoying characters. Joe gets upset about anyone talking to Eve....and he's married!!!! I am all for a strong, independent women but Eve Duncan has been taken overboard. Her daughters death keeps getting beaten into the readers head. Needless to say, I won't be buying the Eve Duncan series anymore.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2012

    This is the first book I've read by Iris Johansen. I became inte

    This is the first book I've read by Iris Johansen. I became interested in her books after watching "The Killing Game" on LMN. After reading some of the reviews, I was leary about reading the book, but am glad I followed my own instincts! The book was a good read and I can't wait to get to the 2nd book in the series (although i may have to skip it since I've already seen the movie).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good read

    This book was a good read. The book got cheesy every time her daughter talked to her as a ghost. They could have cut that out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    Excellent!

    This is the first book I ever read by Johansen. It was thrilling, exciting and suspensful. Worth reading! Does anyone happen to know the sequel books? I know the killing game is next but what's after that? Thanks for the help!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2012

    Good Book

    This is the first of the Eve Duncan Series and was a good read. I look forward to reading the rest in this series, but the book did not "grab" me like some other series has. I would recommend it!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Great book!

    It holds the reader from start to finish. I will definitely read the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 8, 2012

    Highly recommended

    I started reading Iris Johansen' books over the past several years and have loved her Eve Duncan series. I enjoyed this book very much and could not put the book down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Loved it very suspensful

    I loved everything about it from the beggining to the end. I couldn't put it down, not even for a second! The suspense was great it had me buried in the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Loved it

    Wish i could afford the rest in the series...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Good Read

    I really enjoyed this book. I always like a twist that I wasn't expecting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Friend request

    ShadeBlaze at third result.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Dread Fiend

    I am the One from above. One of Many. Many of One. I am the heart of darkness. I am the soul of the eaten. I am Dread Fiend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    To dried friend

    Im cat #123 you want to be the third results ill tell her you can meet her at the chat room to

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    Too Much Bantering

    The premise of this book and the characters are intriguing, but there is an almost impossible amount of unnecessary arguing, sarcasm and silly talk amongst the characters. It gets tedious and turned me off of them right away..
    I didn't hate the book so will give the next in the series a chance to convince me Eve Duncan is a worthy read. I really enjoyed the LMN movie based on one of these books.



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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    WARNING.... Do NOT read this before bed. This is my first Johans

    WARNING.... Do NOT read this before bed. This is my first Johanson book and she hooked me. I couldn't put it down I
    Can't wait to read book 2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    Interesting characters, I will read more from this author

    I liked that the characters in this book were harder boiled than other similar books. It isn't the literary equivalent of a RomCom. It does however end in a predictable place. The thrills aren't really that thrilling, and but a good solid read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Good storie

    Good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2011

    Wow!!

    This book was awesome... from start to finish!! This author keeps the storyline exciting. I couldn't wait to pick this book up each day and loved the many twists and turns thrown at you throughout the whole book! I love the fact that the author tells the story from each character's point of view so that you are aware of everything that is going down. Just when you think you know what's going on, you will learn that you are wrong. All in all, I LOVED the book and am about to start on the next one!! Great read!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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