From the Publisher
"Gripping ... shocking."
-- New York Post
Look for Iris Johansen's New York Times bestsellers:
The Ugly Duckling
Long After Midnight
And Then You Die
The Killing Game
And don't miss Iris Johansen's new thriller:
Available in hardcover in summer 2001 wherever Bantam Books are sold
Building on her series featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, bestselling suspense writer Iris Johansen takes a slightly different tangent with her latest thriller, The Search. The search and rescue team of Sarah Patrick and her golden retriever, Monty, first appeared in The Killing Game, where they helped Eve track down a kidnapped child and a maniacal killer. Now, John Logan, the billionaire who wooed Eve only to lose her to Joe Quinn, needs to utilize Sarah and Monty's talents in a quest of his own.
Although it has it rewards, the rescue work Sarah and Monty do demands a hefty emotional toll from them both. Sarah is highly protective of Monty, and when Logan first approaches her with what's obviously a very dangerous mission, Sarah is quick to say no. But Logan brings his powerful resources to bear and more or less forces Sarah to agree to the mission or face the loss of her job, her peace of mind, and Monty. The task at hand involves finding and rescuing a highly valued scientist who has been kidnapped and is being held somewhere in Colombia. But the man who took the scientist is a ruthless and heartless killer whose primary objective is carrying out his sadistic revenge on Logan.
Sarah, none too happy about being coerced into helping Logan, becomes even less inclined toward him when Monty is wounded in the rescue attempt. Logan is wounded too, and after their mission has been accomplished, the threesome end up back at Sarah's isolated cabin. Sarah does everything she can to make Logan leave but finds it hard to be too insistent given his wounds. Besides, when Logan pays his debt to her for completing the mission, it is something Sarah could never have anticipated, an act that leaves her stunned, confused, and indebted. As for Logan, he refuses to leave Sarah alone because he knows that his nemesis, Rudzak, saw her and Monty in Colombia. And because of the nature of his relationship with Rudzak and the secret history they share, Logan knows the psycho will eventually come after Sarah.
Holed up together and fighting a wide array of emotions, Sarah and Logan discover a spark of passion between them. Though they both try to resist, eventually the spark ignites a full-fledged conflagration that leaves both of them stunned, puzzled, and forever changed. By the time the inevitable confrontation with Rudzak occurs, Logan will be forced to risk both his life and his heart in hopes of keeping Sarah and Monty safe. And Sarah must risk everything she holds dear if she ever hopes to find a happiness she is only now beginning to realize.
Fans of Johansen's previous books in this series, The Face of Deception and The Killing Game, will enjoy brief though hair-raising appearances by Eve, Joe Quinn, and Jane -- the spunky, street-wise child Eve adopted in the last book. Also filling out the character roster is an intriguing love interest for Monty: an injured gray wolf named Maggie. But the best parts of Johansen's latest effort are her characteristically explosive mix of chilling terror and heated passion and her gift for weaving a tale of intrigue where seeing isn't necessarily believing.
Jill M. Smith
Make room on your keeper shelf for another outstanding thriller from the awesome Iris Johansen. The Search is the next chapter in the story line that got started in The Face of Deception. However in this newest book it is secondary characters Sarah Patrick and John Logan who take control of the action and suspense. Hang on for a wild ride.
Barnes & Noble Guide to New Fiction
Best-selling author Johansen delivers another "easily read" novel with this story of a courageous woman who is coerced into tracking down a ruthless killer, only to become the object of his wrath. Though some found it "a bit too predictable," the majority of our reviewers found it "thoroughly enjoyable, a real page-turner with well-drawn characters." "A great, well-written, and suspenseful read."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two strong-minded women from Johansen's bestselling Killing Game make return appearances in her latest thriller, with their billing reversed: Irish-Apache search-and-rescue worker Sarah Patrick is the star, while her friend, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, takes a supporting role. The center-stage love story also features a twist. Eve's billionaire entrepreneur ex-lover, John Logan, falls for Sarah even while risking her life in his war with hyper-evil Martin Rudzak, who has already killed his own half-sister, Chen Li, rather than lose her to John. Johansen's roots lie in historical romance, but her thrillers ooze enough testosterone to suggest she also descends from the house of Robert Ludlum. Sarah and her fabulous canine partner, golden retriever Monty, slog into the aftermaths of a Turkish earthquake and a Taiwanese mudslide, and engage in a heartbreaking search for drowned teens in a lake near Sarah's Arizona cabin. They deal with bullets and bombs and collaborate to save a cruelly trapped wolf, dubbed Maggie, whose unlikely cross-species passion for Monty provides neat commentary on female-male attraction in general--and there's no need to be a dog-lover to revel in Sarah and Monty's empathetic closeness. On the downside, Johansen seems more interested in telling her story than in writing it. To create a sense of urgency, she relies heavily on the device of the two-word sentence and the one-sentence paragraph; parts of the book read like shorthand. Sarah and John globe trot, but there's scant sense of place, and minor characters like nasty Sen. Todd Madden are one-dimensional. Then again, the novel admirably eschews gush and wallpaper--in a postfeminist way, Sarah's ruggedness simply is. For better or for worse, Johansen pushes the gender boundary in popular fiction, offering up that rarity: a woman's novel for men. Major ad/promo. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Sarah Patrick, introduced as a supporting character in Johansen's The Killing Game, now has her own story. She is a member of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms's search-and-rescue team and a loner whose closest relationship is with her golden retriever, Monty. John Logan is a billionaire who is used to getting what he wants. John needs Sarah and her dog to search for a member of his staff who has been kidnapped. He successfully blackmails her into helping him, which he then bitterly regrets when she becomes a target of the kidnappers. The strength in this novel lies in the two main characters, who are both strong, hard-headed people. When John compliments Sarah, she responds with "Don't be sappy." Fans of contemporary suspense fiction by Johansen, Catherine Coulter, and Nora Roberts will definitely want this one. Recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/00.]--Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
As always, Johansen serves up romantic suspense spiced with action-and characters drawn with a contemporary edginess. It's a winning combo.
Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
Read an Excerpt
"Get out of there, Sarah," Boyd yelled from outside the house. "That wall is going to tumble any minute."
"Monty's found something." Sarah carefully moved over to the pile of rubble where the golden retriever was standing. "Be still, boy. Be very still."
"How do I know?" Monty always hoped it would be a child. He loved kids and all these lost and hurt children nearly killed him. They nearly killed her too, Sarah thought wearily. Finding the children and the old people were always the most painful. So few survived these catastrophes. The earth trembled and the walls fell and life was snuffed out as if it had never been.
"Okay." She absently patted Monty's head as she gazed at the rubble. The second story of the small house had caved in, and chances of anyone being alive beneath the wreckage were minimal. She could hear no groans or weeping. It wouldn't be responsible of her to bring anyone else from the search and rescue team into the building. She should get out herself.
What the hell? Stop wasting time. She knew she wasn't going to leave until she investigated more closely. She reached for a stool and tossed it aside. "Go to Boyd, Monty."
The retriever sat down and looked at her.
"I keep telling you that you're supposed to be a professional. That means you obey orders, dammit."
She tossed a cushion to one side and tugged at the easy chair. Jesus, it was heavy. "You can't help me now."
"Get out of there, Sarah," Boyd yelled. "That's an order. It's been four days. You know you probably won't find anyone alive."
"We found that man in Tegucigalpa alive after twelve days. Call Monty, will you, Boyd?"
Monty didn't move. She hadn't thought he would, but there was always a chance. "Stupid dog."
"If you're going to stay there, I'm coming in to help you," Boyd said.
"No, I'll be out in a minute." Sarah glanced warily at the south wall, then tugged at the mattress until she got it to one side. "I'm just looking around."
"I'll give you three minutes."
She pulled frantically at the carved headboard.
"Shh." She finally heaved the headboard to one side.
And then she saw the hand.
Such a small, delicate hand, clutching a rosary...
"A survivor?" Boyd asked as Sarah walked out of the house. "Do we need to send in a team?"
She numbly shook her head. "Dead. A teenage girl. Two days, maybe. Don't risk anyone's neck. Just mark the site." She snapped on Monty's leash. "I'm going back to the trailer. I've got to get Monty out of here. You know how upset he gets. I'll be back in a couple of hours."
"Yeah, it's only your dog that's upset." Boyd's tone dripped sarcasm. "That's why you're shaking like a leaf."
"I don't want to see you take a step out of that trailer until tomorrow morning. You've gone without sleep for thirty-six hours. You know exhausted workers are a hazard to themselves and the people they're trying to help. You were incredibly stupid to run that risk. You're usually smarter than that."
"Monty was sure there was someone-- " Why was she arguing? He was right. The only way to stay alive in situations like this was to stick to the rules and not act on impulse. She should have gone by the book. "I'm sorry, Boyd."
"You should be." He scowled. "You're one of my best people, and I won't have you thrown off the team because you're thinking with your heart instead of your head. You endangered not only yourself but your dog. What would you have done if that wall had fallen and killed Monty?"
"It wouldn't have killed Monty. I'd have thrown myself on top of him and let you dig the wall off me." She smiled faintly. "I know who's important around here."
"Very funny." He shook his head. "Except you're not joking."
"No." She rubbed her eyes. "She had a rosary in her hand, Boyd. She must have grabbed it when the quake started. But it didn't help her, did it?"
"I guess not."
"She couldn't have been over sixteen, and she was pregnant."
"Yeah." She gently tugged on Monty's leash. "We'll be back in a little while."
"You're not listening. I'm in charge of this search, Sarah. I want you to rest. We've probably found all the live ones. I'm expecting the order to pull out tomorrow. The Russian team can finish searching for the dead."
"All the more reason to work harder until the order comes. None of the Russians' dogs has Monty's nose. You know he's incredible."
"You're not so bad yourself. Do you know the other members of the team are making bets on whether or not you can actually read that dog's mind?" "That's pretty dumb. They're all close to their own dogs. They know that when you live with an animal, you get to learn how to read them."
"Not like you."
"Why are we talking about this? The important thing is Monty is unique. He's found survivors before when everyone had given up hope. He may find more today."
"It's not likely."
She walked away.
"I mean it, Sarah."
She glanced back over her shoulder. "And how long has it been since you slept, Boyd?"
"That's none of your damn business."
"Do as I say and not as I do? I'll see you in a couple of hours." She could hear him swearing behind her as she picked her way through the rubble toward the line of mobile homes at the bottom of the hill. Boyd Medford was a good guy, a fine team leader, and everything he said made sense. But there were times when she couldn't be sensible. Too many dead. Too few survivors. Oh, God, too many bodies...
Did that poor girl have time to pray for her own life and the life of her child before she had been crushed? Probably not. Earthquakes took only a heartbeat to destroy. Maybe she should hope that death had come quickly and the girl had not suffered.
Monty pressed against her legs. Sad.
"Me too." She opened the door of the mobile home for Monty. "It happens. Maybe next time it won't be that way."
She filled up Monty's water dish. "Drink, boy."
Sad. He lay down in front of the metal dish.
He'd drink soon, but she'd wait for an hour or two before she tried to feed him. He was too upset to eat. He never got used to finding the dead.