Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Group Review: Chasing The Night

Chasing the NightSummary: CIA agent’s two-year-old child was stolen in the night as a brutal act of vengeance. Now, eight years later, this torment is something Catherine Ling awakens to every day. Her friends, family, and colleagues tell her to let go, move on, accept that her son is never coming back. But she can’t. Catherine needs to find someone as driven and obsessed as she is to help her— and that person is Eve Duncan. She knows that Eve shares her nightmare, since closure is also something that eludes Eve after the disappearance of her daughter Bonnie. Now, Eve must take her talents as a forensic sculptor to another level, using age progression as a way to unite Catherine with her child. As Eve gets drawn deeper into Catherine’s horror, she must face looming demons of her own.

Bonnie’s killer is still out there. And a new killer is taunting Eve and Catherine at every turn. Is Catherine’s son alive, or not? These two women endure the worst fear any mother can imagine in Iris Johansen’s latest thrill ride, a gut-wrenching journey into the darkest places of the soul. ~Product Description

Jenn's Review:  I've missed a few books in this series, but seeing as I've read Iris Johansen's books out of order before, I thought it would be alright.  I actually had to take a break from this series, because, though I truly enjoy it, I was getting frustrated with where it was going... or not going.  That, and the older I get, or perhaps the longer I'm a mother, the more trouble I have reading about the abduction or death of children.

Don't get me wrong.  I love this series.  Iris Johansen is one of my favorite authors.  I own all the books in the series in hard cover including those between where I left off and Chasing the Night  -and beyond (Eve came out in April).  She weaves a magnificent tale.  I just needed a breather.

That being said, it was good to be back with Eve Duncan and Joe Quinn.  I've missed them.  This book didn't dwell much on their relationship, but they're obviously in a good place again and I like that.  It's always Johansen's characters that get me.  She writes strong women, women who have been shaken to their core but who survive and endure.  They draw the reader in and are impossible to forget.  Catherine Ling is no exception.  Like all of Johansen's female characters, she's admirable, but not enviable.  Her story is unimaginably heartbreaking and terrifyingly believable.

Though the plot seems a little unrealistic, it is easy to forgive because it's good.  As usual, Eve gets pulled farther into a desperate situation than she should but it's easy to see how she could with a missing child on the line. Of course, this pulls Joe with her.

There is something about the flow of Ms. Johansen's writing that is engaging.  Point of view switches are tough, especially in thrillers, but the best authors always make the transition seamless, and she certainly does.  It also amazes me that, after all this time, Iris Johansen can still surprise me, as there was a twist I didn't see coming.

You know you've found a good writer, when you get so involved with the characters that their decisions upset you to the point of putting a series down for a while.  Perhaps now that I know where things are headed, it will be easier for me to visit where they've been. I highly recommend Iris Johansen's work (start with Face of Deception), just don't be surprised when you get emotionally attached to the characters.  She has a way of sucking you in.

Final Take:  4.0/5


Julie's Review: I was about to give up on Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan series after reading Blood Game but after finishing Chasing the Night, I'm ready to see it through to the end. I also feel that based on some upcoming releases this series is coming to an end. I'm actually ok with that based on what Ms. Johansen has done in this book.

Chasing the Night is the best Eve Duncan book in a very long time. It returns to what Eve does best: forensic sculpting. Well ok, this time she uses computer age progression but I felt that it was getting back to the roots of the series; Eve helping others.

We are introduced to CIA Agent Catherine Ling quickly in the beginning of the book and you can't help but admire her. She's tough, resilient and pretty much a kick ass kind of women. She enters Eve's life with a vengeance and never leaves. She is on a mission to rescue her son from the vicious Radovac who kidnapped him 9 years prior.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the other cast of characters that we were introduced to: Kelly, Kelsov and Natalie. I especially liked Kelsov even though you knew he was vicious in his own right. Ms. Johansen was successful in bringing the current fears of terrorist attacks into the plot. She did it in a manner that it didn't take away from the major plot of the book which was finding Catherine's son Luke.

I was also extremely thankful that she did not decide to mess with Joe and Eve again in this book. I've had enough of that in her more recent books. I don't mind tension but I don't like the feeling that they are going to split up.

Chasing the Night never lets up on the action and comes to a rousing conclusion. I enjoyed Eve and Quinn working with the CIA and Venable again. I liked that the novel was cemented in reality and not in the paranormal or vampire world.

If you haven't read an Eve Duncan book you could start with Chasing the Night and not feel completely lost. With the introduction of Catherine Ling it has become a whole new series.

I still have to go back and read Eight Days to Live which features Jane McGuire but I'm looking forward to reading Eve, Quinn and Bonnie.

Julie's Final Take: 4.5/5


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