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Hunting Eve (Eve Duncan Series #17) [NOOK Book]

Overview


#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen brings us book two in a heart-stopping new Eve Duncan trilogy

The stakes are raised even higher in Hunting Eve as Eve battles the man who is holding her prisoner. Secrets about why Eve has been targeted come into the light, bringing Eve even closer to danger. With its ...

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Hunting Eve (Eve Duncan Series #17)

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Overview


#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen brings us book two in a heart-stopping new Eve Duncan trilogy

The stakes are raised even higher in Hunting Eve as Eve battles the man who is holding her prisoner. Secrets about why Eve has been targeted come into the light, bringing Eve even closer to danger. With its cliffhanger ending, Hunting Eve sets up perfectly for the finale, Silencing Eve.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In this lynchpin trilogy thriller, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is still the prey of a vicious killer, but captive or not, she is not without friends. A cliffhanger in the best sense of the word; now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
Johansen’s scattered 16th novel featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, the middle part of a trilogy, picks up where its predecessor, Taking Eve, left off. Eve has escaped from her kidnapper, madman Jim Doane, at least temporarily. While Doane hunts for her in the rough wilderness of Colorado’s Rio Grande Forest, others are seeking her whereabouts and planning her rescue and/or Doane’s capture. Characters with special talents include Kendra Michaels, whose vision is particularly acute; Seth Caleb, who can manipulate the flow of other people’s blood; Margaret Douglas, who can read animals’ thoughts; and assassin Lee Zander, who may or may not be Eve’s father. Eventually, Eve’s lover, Atlanta police officer Joe Quinn; wounded friend Jane MacGuire; and CIA agent Venable converge on Doane’s remote hideaway for a cliffhanger ending. Fans of paranormal romantic suspense will eagerly look forward to the conclusion, Silencing Eve. First printing of 300,000. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (July)
From the Publisher
Praise for Eve:

“Gripping . . . Johansen deftly baits the hook for the next volume.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

“The suspense and action will entertain all, even those new to the series.” —Library Journal (starred)

Praise for Quinn:

“Will leave readers breathlessly anticipating the final installment.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Johansen’s intense storytelling style drags readers into a whirlpool of danger and treachery that can have horrifying results. It’s awesome!” RT Book Reviews

Praise for Bonnie:

"A stunning finale." —Publishers Weekly (starred)

"A stunning conclusion to a very popular trilogy." —Booklist

Kirkus Reviews
After escaping Jim Doane, Eve Duncan navigates the Colorado wilderness to gain her freedom, while the people she loves scramble to find and rescue her. Jim Doane is a father determined to avenge his son's murder, and to that end, he has kidnapped Eve Duncan, a forensic sculptor, to reconstruct Kevin's skull. But there are other reasons he wants Eve under his power, secrets in Eve's past, of which she's not even aware, that will place her in grave danger. After learning some of Doane's intentions, as well as the shocking truth that compelled him to make Eve a pawn in his deadly plan, Eve has escaped him and must keep out of his reach in dense forest far removed from civilization. Doane is a lifelong hunter, but Eve has great instincts, along with some tricks she's picked up from her lover, Joe, an ex-SEAL, and she manages to hold her own. Meanwhile, Joe, their adoptive daughter, Jane, and a small posse of new and old friends and allies are using every weapon at their disposal to find Eve. The quest will force Jane and two possible love interests to work together; demand that Joe partner with the mysterious Zander and his enigmatic assistant, Stang; and forge an alliance between Margaret, a complex psychic, and Dr. Kendra Michaels, an investigator with finely honed powers of deduction and observation. Working in different corners of the country, the three teams will ultimately wind up in the same forest where Eve is fighting for her life, but a couple of surprising turns will make her Doane's hostage again. In an explosive final scene, all seems lost until Margaret opens the door to hope--and another cliffhanger ending leading to Book 3. Johansen's second in a planned trilogy revolving around Eve's kidnapping and (readers can only expect) rescue will keep readers engaged in Eve's fate and intrigued by the many characters who are working together to bring her to safety. A layered, thrilling read that will likely motivate fans to read the final book, too.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250020000
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/16/2013
  • Series: Eve Duncan Series , #17
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 8,688
  • File size: 647 KB

Meet the Author

Iris Johansen

IRIS JOHANSEN is The New York Times bestselling author of What Doesn't Kill You; Bonnie; Quinn; Eve; Chasing The Night; Eight Days to Live; Blood Game; Deadlock; Dark Summer; Pandora's Daughter; Quicksand; Killer Dreams; On The Run; Countdown; Firestorm; Fatal Tide; Dead Aim; No One To Trust and, with Roy Johansen, Close Your Eyes, Storm Cycle, and Silent Thunder.  She lives outside of Atlanta, GA.

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


CHAPTER
1
 

Rio Grande Forest
Colorado

IT WAS DOANE’S MOUNTAIN.
He was the hunter, she was the prey.
Was he still behind her?
Eve tore through the underbrush at the side of the trail, lost her balance, fell, then struggled to her feet again.
She mustn’t give in to this weakness. She seemed to have been running through this wilderness forever. No, it couldn’t have been as long as it appeared to her. It had been late afternoon when she had broken free of Doane and the house where he had been keeping her, and darkness was only now falling.
But why was Jim Doane still behind her, dammit? He was no young man, and she should have been able to lose him long before this. As a painful stitch stabbed her side, she paused and drew a deep breath, listening.
A crashing in the brush behind her!
She started running again.
“I hear you, bitch.” Doane’s breathing was harsh, labored. “Come back to me. If you do, I may not kill you … yet. But you’re making me angry and I may lose control. I don’t want to do that. It would spoil everything for Kevin.”
Kevin, Doane’s son, whose reconstructed skull Eve had hurled off this mountain, less than an hour ago, to distract Doane. Doane’s obsession with his dead son was deepening with every passing moment. Did Doane actually think she’d trust him? Kevin had been a serial killer, a monster without a hint of conscience, and his father, Doane, had been his enabler, the one who had made it possible for him to kill all those helpless children who had crossed Kevin’s path. While Eve had been Doane’s prisoner after he had kidnapped her, she had begun to wonder whether it was father or son who had been the true monster.
Perhaps it was both. There had been moments when she’d had the eerie feeling while working on his forensic sculpture that Kevin was trying to break through the bonds of hell and death and merge with his father.
Crazy. Imagination.
Or truth.
It was hard to tell the difference in this nightmare into which she had been drawn.
“You shouldn’t have thrown his skull off into that ravine. Did you think I’d go after it and let you escape?”
It was exactly what she had hoped. That damn skull was everything to Doane, and she’d gambled that he’d go down the side of the mountain to try to retrieve it.
She’d been wrong.
She felt the twinge in her side become actual pain. How long could she keep running?
Stop whining. She’d run as long as she had to run. She was far younger than Doane. She was strong, and she was frightened. Panic was a great spur.
And did she have Bonnie helping her?
For a little while she had thought that her daughter’s spirit had been there beside her, putting speed and wings to every step. It had been a comforting thought …
But now there only seemed to be Doane and her in this deadly race. No loving presence that might warm and save her.
It’s okay, Bonnie. I know you tried. There’s nothing he can do to me that will matter in the end.
The stitch in her side was easing.
She was running faster.
She should have known Bonnie would not let her falter, she thought ruefully. Not if Eve showed even a faint hint that she would not do her best to keep herself alive.
I wasn’t going to opt out, Bonnie. I wouldn’t do that to Joe and Jane. I was just trying to be an understanding mother. I know you can’t do everything. Well, I don’t really know what a ghost can or can’t do, but you seem to have some limits. I’ll keep going.
As long as she could. Her heart was beating so hard that it hurt. She felt sick to her stomach.
She could hear Doane cursing behind her.
Farther behind than he had been before. Was he faltering?
Yes.
He was shouting at her, each word broken and harsh. “Don’t think you’re going—to get away. These are my mountains. Kevin and I spent months out here when he was a boy. He particularly liked to kill the deer. How do you think he qualified to be in the Special Forces? I taught him to be a hunter.”
And had he taught him to hunt down those little girls and kill them?
“Do you hear me? I’m going back to the house and get my equipment and my gun. I’ll hunt you down like Kevin and I did the deer. I just hope that hypothermia doesn’t get you before I do. It gets cold in these mountains at night.”
She knew it was true, but it was hard to believe when her entire body was hot and perspiring from exertion.
“I can hear every move you make in that brush. Do you know how easy you’re going to be to stalk?”
She was pulling more away from him with every second. Close him out. She was winning.
“And then we’ll go get Kevin and take him to that butcher who murdered him. I’ll let Zander see how it feels when I kill you in front of him. There’s no greater agony than a father feels at the death of a child.”
More madness. Lee Zander, the hired assassin Doane was sure had murdered his son, was not her father. How could he be? Eve’s father had disappeared long before she was born, and her mother was never even sure of his identity. This particular insanity Doane had thrown at her when he’d been enraged after she had tossed Kevin’s reconstruction off the cliff to distract him. He had thought it would hurt her in some way to know she was a killer’s daughter and that she was to pay for Doane’s son’s death. It was just one more sign that Doane’s cold-blooded, calculated pursuit and abduction of her was completely bizarre and totally without reason.
Forget that nonsense. She was not the child of a murderer who was probably more deadly and ruthless than Doane. It was all part of Doane’s wild hallucinations. She just had to concentrate on getting out of these mountains or contacting someone to help her.
“Do you know how many people get lost in these mountains?” Doane’s shout sounded still farther away. “Some don’t survive the bitter cold and the animals and the mudslides. You might be glad to come back to me after a night or two.”
Not bloody likely.
“Do you think your Joe Quinn or Jane MacGuire will be able to locate you out here? You could be out here a week, and no one would catch sight of you. You’d have had a better chance staying at the house. I’m the only one who knows you’re here and how to find you. And I will find you, Eve.”
Keep running. He might be trying to fool her into thinking he’d temporarily stopped the hunt. Don’t trust his words.
It was pitch-dark now. She couldn’t see anything but the shrubs directly in front of her. This was too dangerous. She’d be lucky if she didn’t tumble off the mountain.
She stopped and tried to hear something besides the pounding of her heart.
No sound.
Doane?
She stood there, listening. No rustle of brush. No harsh sound of his breathing in the stillness.
Safe?
Good God, no. There was no way she was safe, but maybe she’d have a brief respite from the fear that had been with her since she’d been taken from everything she knew that was safe and good.
Joe, Jane, the cottage on the lake where they’d lived so many years.
She could still hear nothing but the flap of an occasional bird’s wings and the wilderness night sounds. But they weren’t the same sounds as the ones she heard in the forest on the lake. This was wild country.
Keep moving. Put distance between herself and the place where she’d last seen Doane. Providing that she didn’t move in circles. She knew a little about the basics of surviving in a forest, but she wasn’t an ex-SEAL like Joe. He could survive anywhere with no problem. Her profession of forensic sculpting kept her indoors most of the time, and even as a child, she had been a city girl.
So there were a few obstacles against her. She wouldn’t overcome them by self-pity or remembering how good Joe was at this kind of thing.
Or remembering Joe at all. The look of him, the way he’d tilt his head and stare quizzically at her with those tea-colored eyes, the feel of him. There were moments when you could afford to remember the ones you loved, but this was not one of them. The thought of Joe made her painfully conscious of the loneliness of being here without him. Perhaps that was what Doane had intended by mentioning him before he’d left. He’d meant to make her more aware of her isolation. Salt in the wound. Joe Quinn, her lover, and Jane, their adopted daughter, the two people she loved most in the world. Eve would never have wanted to have them here and in danger but it was the—
A sound in the bushes up ahead!
A large animal. A bear. A deer?
Or Doane? He might have circled around and gotten in front of her.
Damn, she had no weapon.
Freeze. Don’t move. The threat might dissolve and go away.
Darkness all around her.
She tried to breathe lightly so that she wouldn’t be heard.
Please, go away.
Doane wouldn’t go away. She just had to hope it was another beast looking for prey.
She was not prey, she thought with sudden fierceness. She would get out of this. She would find a weapon.
To hell with Doane and this mountain he thought belonged to him.
It’s not your mountain any longer, you bastard. I’m going to make it my own.
University of Southern California
Los Angeles

IDIOTS!
Kendra Michaels pushed open the heavy main door of Alexander Hall and stalked down the tree-lined pathway that would take her to the parking lot.
Idiots. Narrow-minded fools.
“Dr. Michaels.” The voice came from behind her.
She didn’t turn around.
“Dr. Michaels, please!”
She didn’t have to look back to know it was Steve Whitty, one of the conference organizers. Kendra hated these things, and her experience here, at the American Psychological Association’s Conference on Autism Causes and Treatment, reminded her why.
She finally stopped. He wasn’t going to be discouraged.
Whitty ran around to face her. “You were brilliant.”
She pointed back toward the auditorium. “Try telling them that.”
“You got a lot of people thinking in there.”
“… Thinking I’m some kind of fraud. Were you even listening to the Q&A?”
“Naturally they’re going on the attack. You’re on the bleeding edge in this field. Uncharted territory. Your work could make a good many of those people’s life’s work obsolete.”
“That’s not what I’m trying to do.”
“Look at it from their point of view. You’re telling them that music can actually help cure autism.”
“It’s not a cure. It’s a treatment. And I never said it was the only treatment.”
“But you told them that your study had results far more impressive than anything they’ve done. Of course you’re going to ruffle some feathers. Which is exactly why I wanted you to be here.” Whitty placed his hand on her forearm. “And when those researchers get over being scared and pissed off, they’re going to examine your data and look at those hours of sessions you posted on the Web. They’re going to see what I saw. They’re going to see how this amazing young woman was able to draw patients out of their shells and help them join the human race.”
Kendra took a deep breath, angry that she had let those fools get under her skin. She always tried to tell herself that the work was its own reward, finding the right instrument, the right chord progression, the right anything that would engage the interest of her patients and help coax them into a world beyond themselves. But she needed more, dammit. She needed to know that she was able to open those educators’ eyes so that they would follow her.
She looked away from Whitty. “Look, part of me understands why they’re skeptical. Believe me, I know that the music-therapy field is populated with all kinds of nuts and woo-woo, and they give my profession a bad name. But I treat it like the science that it is. I got input from ten researchers in that room when I was designing the study, and I was tougher on myself than any of them were in their initial feedback.”
“They’re surprised at your results. Just give them a chance to digest it.”
“I’ve found a way to help those kids, Whitty. And that study is proof of it.”
“Kendra, there’s a significant variable that some people feel you haven’t addressed.”
She looked at him in disbelief. “Impossible. I considered every variable.”
“Not quite.” He smiled. “The variable I’m talking about … is you.”
“Me?” Then she realized what he meant and cursed under her breath. He could be right. She had been nervous about the presentation and several times had caught herself trying to impress the other attendees. It was completely unlike her. “Oh, you mean the dog and pony show? I knew they thought I was a little weird. I just kind of slipped into it. I didn’t mean—”
“Hell of a carnival act, but there’s already been some speculation that’s how you get your positive results. By being so perceptive and empathetic with your subjects, giving exactly what they need in terms of body language, tone, positive reinforcement, the whole package.”
Kendra’s eyes narrowed on him. “That’s what they’re saying? If they read the study, they’ll see I wasn’t the only therapist. My techniques got the same results from everyone.”
He smiled. “I know that because I’ve read the study. And they’ll know it soon enough. You just need to relax.”
“If I’d wanted to relax, I would never have come to this conference. I thought for once that I could make a difference.”
“Kendra, come back inside.” He placed his hand on her arm again. He was trying to soothe her, dammit. He wasn’t a bad guy, and the mistake had probably been her own, but it didn’t matter.
She wanted to deck him.
Her BlackBerry vibrated in her pocket. Thankful for the opportunity to pull away from Whitty, she stepped back, pulled out the phone, and answered it. “Hello.”
“Kendra? Joe Quinn. I need your help.”
“Quinn?” She didn’t like the tone in his voice. Grim. Ragged. She turned to Whitty and mouthed an apologetic “sorry.” He nodded and headed back toward the auditorium. “What’s wrong, Quinn?”
“You name it, everything. I need your help.”
“Dammit, I’m not a detective. And I’m busy as hell. You can’t pull me into—”
“You’re always busy. You’ll have to drop whatever it is.” He paused. “It’s Eve.”
“Eve?” Kendra’s hand tightened on the phone. “What’s happened? Talk to me.”
*   *   *
FORTY MINUTES LATER, Kendra was at her condo throwing clothes into a suitcase on her bed.
“You didn’t answer the door, so I used my key. What on earth are you doing?” Kendra Michaels’s mother was standing in the doorway of Kendra’s bedroom watching disapprovingly as Kendra threw clothes into the suitcase on the bed. “Besides packing with no regard to neatness or order. I taught you better than that, Kendra.”
“That was when I was blind, and you thought I had to be superefficient so that no one would feel sorry for me because I was handicapped.” She threw another pair of jeans and a sweater into the case. “After the stem-cell operation I discarded that guideline and embraced chaos.”
“In more than packing,” Deanna Michaels said dryly. “I was worried about you for a number of years after those doctors performed their miracle and made you see. I never thought that you’d sow quite so many wild oats.”
“That’s past history.” Kendra grinned. “Now I’m just a boring music-therapy teacher. I leave all the wild oats to you.” Her mother was a history professor at U.C. San Diego and was the most vibrant and young-minded woman Kendra had ever known. And the most caring. She had used that intelligence and forceful personality to raise a child blind from birth and make her as close to independent as was physically and mentally possible.
And every day Kendra blessed her for it. Though her mother could be difficult and definitely tried to manipulate Kendra and everyone around her to suit herself.
“That would be extremely clever of you. I like the idea of your leading a semiboring life.” Her mother crossed the room and started repacking Kendra’s suitcase. “But there are still lingering tendrils of that less-than-wise period you went through. Go get your things from your bathroom. Now that I’ve rearranged your clothes, I have a place for them in this corner of the suitcase.”
“Mom…” She stared at her a moment and turned and went to the bathroom. She had learned to pick her battles, and this one wasn’t worthwhile. A few minutes later, she brought her plastic bag to Deanna and handed it to her. “Keep it handy. I’ll have to pull it for security at the airport.”
“You’re flying? Where?”
“Atlanta.”
“Why?”
“I have something I have to do there.”
“That’s no answer. If you were still a teenager, I’d call it rude.” She frowned. “Why didn’t you answer the door?”
“I was in a hurry. I have to get out of here.” She smiled. “I wasn’t rejecting you. I gave you a key to the condo, didn’t I? That means you’re welcome anytime.” She paused. “Why did you decide to come today? I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
“I dropped by your conference. I was going to take you to dinner.”
Kendra grimaced. “And you saw me almost blow my cool.”
“They were idiots. They should have known you were right. You were right, weren’t you?”
“Yep. But not diplomatic.”
“Thank God.” She paused. “I followed you out to the parking lot, and I was going to save you from that earnest young man, but you got a telephone call.” She shrugged. “You hung up right away and jumped in your car and left the conference.” She met Kendra’s gaze. “But I saw your expression. It’s happening again, isn’t it?”
“Wild oats?” Kendra shook her head. “I like my life, Mom. I’m not going to fly off and leave those kids I teach.”
“You know what I mean. Who is it? FBI? The local police? Say no, Kendra.”
Kendra hadn’t thought she’d be able to deter her, but it had been worth a try. “I can’t do that, Mom,” she said quietly. “Not this time.”
“Why not?” Deanna asked harshly. “Those law-enforcement people don’t give a damn about you. How many times have you been hurt? And I’ve almost lost you before when they tapped you and ask—” She drew a deep breath. “You’re too valuable to waste. You’re good and giving, and you’ve worked too hard to become a complete person.” Her lips twisted. “The only problem is that you became a bit more than complete.”
“No, I won’t accept that. Anyone can do what I do. All they have to do is concentrate.” All during her childhood, she had trained all her senses to overcompensate for her blindness. At twenty, when she’d had the operation that had given her sight, she’d been amazed that the people around her weren’t able to use those senses in the same way she did. In a way, they appeared more blind to her than she had been before her operation. It had been that ability that had brought her to the attention of the law-enforcement officers against whom her mother was so bitter. “And I assure you that most of those agents at the FBI don’t consider me loving and giving. They consider me a bitch, useful but not comfortable to be around.”
“I never taught you to suffer fools gladly.” Deanna added, “There’s a possibility I might have gone slightly overboard. But deep down, you have fine instincts. The rest doesn’t matter.”
“And since you taught me, it must be the world and not me that’s wrong.” She leaned forward and gave Deanna a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll sign on to that.” She grabbed her computer case. “I have to go, Mom.”
“Not until you tell me who you’re going to see.” She added grimly, “I need to know who to go to for the body if they get you killed.”
Deanna wasn’t going to be deterred. Kendra had hoped she would be able to avoid explanations. She didn’t have time for them. “Joe Quinn. He’s a detective with Atlanta PD. You may remember my mentioning him. I worked with him when he was out here chasing down a serial killer; and then later he involved me in a missing-person case.”
“I remember you weren’t happy to leave one of your students at a crucial time.”
“It was okay. It worked out.”
Deanna was frowning. “And you were working with an Eve Duncan. You had problems with her.”
“We were a little too much alike. That worked out, too,” she said. “I liked her, Mom. She was kind of special.”
“So you’re going to be working with her again? That’s why you have to become involved?”
“Yes, she’s the reason.” She shook her head. “But I won’t be working with her. Joe Quinn called me and told me that Eve has been kidnapped by some nutcase. The man’s name is Jim Doane. Quinn asked me to help find her. I have to do it.”
Deanna sighed. “Dammit, then I don’t have a chance of talking you out of going, do I?”
“It won’t be that dangerous. I’m not going to be actively working the case. I just have to try to pull up any clues as to where this Doane took her. I’ll go in and do my job and get out.” She added softly, “I won’t tell you not to worry because that’s been your modus operandi from the moment I was born twenty-eight years ago. I celebrate that you think I’m still worth it. But this time, I honestly believe that there’s not going to be any reason to do it. Okay?”
“No.” She stared at her a moment. “If you don’t get yourself hurt physically, you’ll end up an emotional wreck. I’ve seen it before. And this time the odds are leaning in that direction. You told me yourself, you like this Eve Duncan. You’ll get hurt again.” She turned and slammed the suitcase shut. “And I’ll be here to pick up the pieces. Maybe someday you’ll develop a sense of self-preservation.”
“I already have. Things just seem to get in the way. You’d like Eve, too, Mom.”
“Would I?” Deanna asked as she turned toward the door. “I’m driving you to the airport. You can tell me about her on the way.” She held up her hand as Kendra opened her lips to speak. “I’m driving you,” she repeated firmly. “I’m not letting you fly off into the night without having a solid hold on the situation. Grab your suitcase.”
Kendra shook her head ruefully as she hurried after her out of the condo to her mother’s Mercedes in the parking space in front of her condo. “We might have to go to a therapy session or two when I get back. You’re being domineering again.”
“Am I?” She got into the driver’s seat. “Oh, well, you can take it. Talk to me. Tell me about Eve Duncan.”
“She’s a forensic sculptor, one of the best in the world. She does a great deal of work re-creating the faces of skulls of victims found by police departments across the country. She tries to devote most of her time to doing reconstructions of children. Perhaps you’ve heard of her? She’s very famous.”
“The name’s familiar, but I tend to avoid looking at skulls unless it has to do with something of historical significance. It reminds me of my own mortality. But a person is more than a profession. You haven’t told me about Duncan, just what she does for a living.”
“She’s illegitimate and grew up in the slums of Atlanta. Her mother was on drugs most of her childhood and didn’t list any name for the father on Eve’s birth certificate. Her mother wasn’t sure who he was. Eve had an illegitimate child herself when she was seventeen. It was a little girl she called Bonnie. She adored her. The little girl was kidnapped and killed when she was seven years old.”
“Dear God,” Deanna whispered. “How could she survive a blow like that? I don’t know if I could.”
“Eve survived. She went back to school and became a forensic sculptor. She spent years trying to find the body of her daughter and only succeeded a short time ago. She adopted a ten-year-old street kid, Jane MacGuire, years after her daughter disappeared, and she and her lover, Joe Quinn, raised her. Jane’s now an artist and temporarily living in Europe. Recently, Eve discovered she had a half sister, Beth, and they’re trying to build a relationship, but Beth lives here in California. They don’t see much of each other.” She looked at Deanna. “Is that enough personal background for you?”
Her mother nodded. “She’s no lightweight.” She made a face. “Maybe I shouldn’t have asked you to tell me about her. I don’t have much ammunition to convince you not to go off and try to find her.”
“No, you don’t. She’s strong, and she’s real. Like you, Mom.”
Deanna didn’t speak as she changed lanes to get on the freeway. “If they know the name of this man who abducted her, why can’t they find them without you?”
“I don’t know. Joe said that Doane had been planning this for years. His son, Kevin, had been murdered and partially cremated, and Doane only managed to salvage his blackened skull.”
“Ah, and he wanted Eve Duncan to do the reconstruction on the skull?”
“Presumably. Doane let her call Quinn and check on the condition of Jane MacGuire, and she told him she’d made a deal with him to do it.”
“Condition?”
She hesitated. Her mother was not going to like this. “Jane MacGuire was shot by one of Doane’s accomplices, a man named Blick.”
“Shit. And this isn’t going to be dangerous?”
“I go in, then get out. Jane wasn’t killed, only wounded.”
“What a relief,” Deanna said grimly. “Wonderful.”
“It is wonderful.” She wouldn’t tell her about the CIA man who had been found with his throat cut on the lake property. “I’m not saying that Doane isn’t dangerous. He’s not stable, but I’m not going to have to deal with him. That’s Joe Quinn’s job. And he’s fully capable of handling it. Before he became a detective, he was with the FBI, and before that, he was a SEAL. He only asked me to look around and see if I come up with something.”
“And he wouldn’t try to pull you into the case if he thought it necessary? You said he was Eve Duncan’s lover. That doesn’t bode well for cool professionalism.”
Trust her mother to cut through everything to get to the truth. “No, Joe isn’t at all professional about Eve.” Kendra wouldn’t lie. “He’s crazy about her. They’ve been together for years, and it’s still a love story. Nice…” She added quickly, “But no one pulls me into anything if I don’t want to go. I’m not reckless. You know me well enough to realize that, Mom.”
“But you don’t have to be reckless if you get emotional. What about that case a few years ago, where there were kidnapped children involved? That nearly made you into a basket case.”
Kendra didn’t answer.
“Okay.” Deanna sighed. “I’ll shut up right now if you promise to call and give me reports how things are going.”
“So that you can get on your white horse and come to my rescue?” she asked gently. “Mom, you have to let me go sometime. You were the best, the most extraordinary mother a child could have. You fought a thousand battles for me and taught me to fight them, too. Now you have to trust me to make good choices. And, if I don’t make them, you have to trust me to make the situation work.” She added softly, “Just as you did all those years. It shouldn’t be so hard. After all, I am your daughter.”
Deanna didn’t speak for a moment. “Was that supposed to appeal to my ego? It is hard. You’ll realize that when you have a child of your own.” She pulled over in front of the terminal building. “And I will come to rescue you if you don’t behave sensibly. I’ll give you space, but I won’t give you up.”
“And that makes me a very lucky woman.” Kendra opened the passenger door. “How could I ask for anything else?”
“You couldn’t,” Deanna said brusquely. “Now, have you told me everything you know about the situation? If I have to mount that white horse, I want to know how to program this GPS.”
“How convoluted can you get?” Kendra got out of the car and retrieved her suitcase from the backseat. “I think you have the bare bones. I don’t have much more than that. Quinn was rattling off names and details so fast that I still have to get everything straight in my mind. I’ll probably be landing in Atlanta before it becomes clear to me.” She leaned back into the car and gave Deanna a quick kiss on the tip of her nose. “Now you know as much as I do. Satisfied?”
“No.” Her eyes were glittering as her palm cupped Kendra’s cheek. “And if you don’t want me to interfere, you’ll call and keep me informed. That’s not too much to ask.”
“Blackmail.” Kendra was laughing as she straightened. “What am I going to do with you?”
“I have no idea. I taught you to make your own decisions.”
“True.” She slammed the car door. “And there’s really only one thing I can do with you.” She turned away. “I just have to love you. I’ll call you when I get to Atlanta.”
She could feel her mother’s eyes on her as she headed for the glass doors. She lifted her hand and waved as she went through the doors into the terminal.
Her smile faded as she went toward the kiosk. She had tried to comfort her mother and she wished she had been able to be more reassuring. She knew so little, and she hated it. She wanted to reach out, to see, to hear, to touch. She was going into this hunt for Eve as blind as she had been during the first twenty years of her life.
And she had a terrible feeling that she wouldn’t be able to help Eve. Eve was very sharp, and if she’d been taken by this criminal, then he must be a formidable adversary. It was hard for Kendra to understand how the wary, intelligent Eve she had come to know had become a victim.
But most criminals left traces, clues that shined a light on their path. Doane surely wouldn’t be different. All she needed was to go to the crime scenes and everything would come clear.
God, she hoped he wasn’t different.
I’ll find him, Eve. Fight him. Give me a chance. I’ll do everything I can. I’ll search so hard for you.…

 
Copyright © 2013 by Johansen Publishing LLLP

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 99 )
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(50)

4 Star

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(9)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 99 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 22, 2013

    SO MUCH MORE DISAPPOINTING with each new EVE BOOK THAT COMES OUT

    SO MUCH MORE DISAPPOINTING with each new EVE BOOK THAT COMES OUT. If I were Jane, I would RUN not walk and never try to find Eve. How many times can you use the phrase "adopted daughter" before it becomes repetitive???? and when does adoptive daughter EVER EVER become daughter??? My Joe, My Jane MYMYMYMYMY Frankly I have been wondeering time afer time
    why I keep buying this series. IT keeps getting worse. I guess I kept HOPING that the author would actually take the time to read her own books and SEE WHAT WE SEE in the characters. AND NOW she has taken - at least in the last six books of chopping a book before a proper ending thereby forcing you to buy yet another if you want to get even a little closure. REALLY????? have you sunk that low to think we may not buy your book otherwise? You have taken a good character, good premise and turned it into...what man would want her and what child would want to be "adopted by her" I wish you would stop mass producing and really put some care into your characters and stories...you did ONCE UPON A TIME.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    I'm not sure why I keep buying these books.  The characters of E

    I'm not sure why I keep buying these books.  The characters of Eve, Joe and Jane are so lame.  I have read every book in the Eve Duncan series and don't feel any closer to these characters.  I also don't feel the closeness that Eve, Joe and Jane are supposed to feel for each other.   I thought in Taking Eve and Hunting Eve things would be different.  No, it's just more of the same repetitive verbiage.  I am all for strong, independent females but I think Ms. Johansen takes it WAY too far with her characters. I want to read more about Catherine.....  It may be time to find a new author to read.  

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    This was a waste of time and money. Both books one and two of t

    This was a waste of time and money. Both books one and two of this trilogy are at least half full of repetitious stories from previous books. I am fairly sure any new material could have been combined into one novel.

    I think the Author has gone overboard with her "special powers" characters and this drops her credibility as a crime/mystery writer to more of a fantasy writer.

    I am not sure I will even bother with #3 and while I have read all of her books I may have to say goodbye. I have many friends who abandoned her a long time ago for these same reasons.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    great series

    I follow all of her Eve Duncan books. I really enjoy them. Good reading

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    Too long!!

    I really enjoy this series. I've followed this character from the beginning and was looking forward to the sequel to Taking Eve.

    But this book dragged. And dragged. Only to turn into a trilogy.

    Very disappointing!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    Really Really??!!!

    Way too slow and repetitive. Get real with these endings, very annoying!! Will not buy another one.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Love it

    You cannot go wrong with any of Iris Johansens books!! I like to be wisked away when I read and she does this in every book. Please keep them coming.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Definite read

    Wow! Didn't see that ending coming!
    I couldn't put book down.
    Can't wait now to read next one - Silencing Eve.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    SnowPaw

    She nods, Going into pouncing position. She waited and her paws sprang off the ground and pouncing.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended!

    As always Iris Johansen delivers on a fantastic story line, edge of the seat suspense. She never fails to capture me and doesn't let go until I finish the last page, even then I am held captive until I find the next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    LOVED IT!!

    While a lot of people don't like trilogies, I don't mind, and I adore the Eve series and all of the "spin-offs." I love how Ms. Johansen has brought back characters from previous story lines to show the love they all have for Eve. I love the introduction of the new character (who I will not discuss for spoiler reasons).

    I have not grown tired of this series. I love the plot line, and I found the story very exciting. But the again, I love a good cliffhanger!

    Thanx for another sleepless night Ms. Johansen! Please keep them coming!

    -- SPeeD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Brilliant

    Another brilliant read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2013

    I will not read any more Iris Johansen books after this series.

    I will not read any more Iris Johansen books after this series.  The writing is horrid, not the story line.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    You will love Hunting Eve , Its all you expected and a whole lot more .

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    very highly recommend

    The suspense is really getting to me in this series. Please don't let this be the end of Eve. The new people that have come in to help her are great also. Keep them around also.

    I really like this type of story from this author. She grabs your attention and keeps it until the end of the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Johansen at her best and she continually tops that!

    I am hooked on the EVE Duncan Series - have read every one and can't wait for the next. Keep them coming Iris Johansen!

    Karen Mitchell

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Her usual high quality! Well worth a read.

    I've been a fan of Eve Duncan for years, and Iris Johansen never fails to delight me, with her concise, clear writing and really great story lines. This book was right up there in caliber with the rest of them, and I enjoyed reading it. I'm the type of person who can't just check a book out at the library; I have to own the books I enjoy, so I can take them off the shelf any time and reread them, which I do, frequently.

    My Nook, and my Barnes&Noble account, made things much simpler-and far less cluttered. Since one of my sons bought my Nook as a Mother's Day present, along with two $50 gift cards, I've been enjoying several of my favorite authors and will read "Hunting Eve" again soon. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and that may be a trite phrase, but it's true, and I fell in love with Eve and her family all over again!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    I normally love the Iris Johansen books but am very disappointed

    I normally love the Iris Johansen books but am very disappointed in this trilogy. I feel like I am left hanging in each book and would not buy the 3rd one if I didn't want to know what happened. I would not recommend this set of books to my friends. I would only give it a 2 star rating if that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Very disappointed! I had read this author years ago and thought

    Very disappointed! I had read this author years ago and thought I would try again. I was unaware that this book was part of a trilogy. Usually you would see that on the cover. Several characters were introduced but none of them seemed interesting. By reading the first few pages, you had no idea that some of the characters had 'special powers'. The story line was not credible. I kept reading on to see if it would improve but it did not. I was really disappointed at the end when you find out that there is no ending, just another book that you need to purchase. I will not be making that purchase.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Great read

    What a thrill ride. Iris Johansen delivers another great read. This book draws the reader in and does not let them go until the last sentence. Looking forward to Silencing Eve in October.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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