Eve Duncan sculpts death. A forensic sculptor, Eve painstakingly transforms the skulls of murder victims into the faces of identifiable people. A quiet, reflective woman, she lives far from the violence that brings her subjects to her attention. But one call from Baton Rouge changes all that. A high-intensity psychological thriller by the bestselling author of Final Target and The Search.
Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is neither the cleverest fictional female detective nor the most original, but the meticulous care she devotes to her profession despite the emotional turmoil in her life makes her highly sympathetic. Here, she is tricked into leaving her adopted daughter, Jane, and cop boyfriend, Joe Quinn, to go to Baton Rouge. An influential senator and a fratricidal psychopath want her to work in a remote bayou to identify a battered skull, which may be all that remains of former senatorial candidate Harold Bentley. Duncan tries to reconstruct the skull's features, but it's hard to focus when someone has just tried to poison you and may be on his way to blow up your family. Duncan and wisecracking Sean Galen, hired by her Atlanta friends to protect her, are soon joined by potbellied reporter Bill Nathan, while in the shadows lurks Jules Hebert, a dangerous man of many disguises. First, Duncan's cook dies, then the cook's son, and then lies and dead bodies begin to pile up as Duncan struggles to finish the reconstruction and forgive Quinn for concealing the truth about her dead daughter, Bonnie. A barely credible anti-environment global conspiracy known only as the Cabal drives villains and good guys alike to violence as the story nears its explosive climax at an ex-president's funeral. Prolific bestselling author Johansen (Final Target) builds suspense by thrusting Duncan simultaneously into the unknown and back into the arms of her family in a romantic thriller whose plot may not stand much probing, but whose humanity keeps the reader rooting for its heroine every step of the way. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
A forensic sculptor who carefully reconstructs images of the dead, Eve Duncan suspects that the government is lying about her latest case. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Eve Duncan, considered one of the leading forensic sculptor artists in the United States, refuses to accept a job reconstructing a skull even though the pressing offer is made by Senator Melton. When her adopted daughter is threatened by Melton's henchman, Eve reluctantly agrees to the job. Almost as soon as she begins her work, she barely escapes an attempt on her life, and two people she has recently been associated with are killed. From this point on, Eve, her family, and her friends begin fighting for their lives against a group of powerful, evil world leaders known as the Cabal. Events take the characters from Georgia to Louisiana and into Florida. Johansen describes each location in detail, adding atmosphere and mood to the story, especially when depicting an eerie old church, and, later, a bayou. Several murders, bombings, and quick escapes flavor the story with chills and thrills and keep the action spinning along. Johansen adds a bit of romance, too, as Eve and Detective Joe Quinn try to survive while they attempt to piece their own relationship back together. Eve's daughter is outspoken, practical, and full of life's exuberance, adding another dimension and contrast. Lots of action, strong characters, and some spooky settings make this an entertaining and fast read.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
A forensic sculptor still searches for her murdered daughter's face in every skull she reconstructs. Like any grieving mother, Eve Duncan hopes for closure-and she's overcome when it turns out that a child's skeleton found in the woods wasn't Bonnie's after all. Her true love Joe, an Atlanta police detective, meant well when he led her to believe otherwise; and Eve had found solace in tending the little grave and headstone until after its desecration by an unknown vandal-and after a laboratory DNA report, sent anonymously. Eve is compelled to leave Joe and her 12-year-old adopted daughter Jane to mull things over-and take an unusual assignment in Louisiana: Senator Kendal Melton wants some human remains reconstructed. Could they belong to his former rival for the Senate, Harold Bently, long missing and presumed dead? Eve is escorted to an old plantation house and left alone with cook Marie Letaux. Marie seems friendly enough-but could the Cajun food she prepares be . . . poisoned? Eve begins to feel sick as she enters the spooky old church in Baton Rouge where the senator wants her to work. Say, what's in that huge coffin? Could it be the corpse of Etienne, unwary brother of the villainous Jules Herbert, who's mixed up in all this somehow? Eve blacks out, and here's where the plot sickens: various members of a mysterious group known as the Cabal may be planning to blow up a gigantic dam in China, drowning millions of innocents, all because-it seems-a renegade environmentalist may be intent on promoting his own fuel-cell development program. But why such slaughter? And is Harold Bently really dead or just pretending? Fortunately for Eve, her lost child's ghost perches on the windowsillnow and then to help answer these and other burning questions. Elementary prose studded with innumerable cliches. But the convoluted storyline of this, Johansen's sixtieth novel (Final Target, 2001, etc.), is sure to please faithful fans.
“Iris Johansen keeps the reader intrigued with complex characters and plenty of plot twists. The story moves so fast, you’ll be reading the epilogue before you notice.” —People
“Johansen pushes the gender boundary in popular fiction, offering up that rarity: a woman’s novel for men.”—Publishers Weekly