Saturday, April 26, 2008

Julie's Review: Stalemate

Summary: In the latest Eve Duncan forensics thriller from bestseller Johansen (Killer Dreams), the Atlanta-based forensic sculptor with an international reputation finds herself attracted, not always convincingly, to a sleazy manipulator. Duncan, who specializes in reconstructing facial features from skulls, has buried herself in her work since the disappearance and presumed death of her seven-year-old daughter, Bonnie, years earlier. That still-open wound is probed with sadistic skill by Luis Montalvo, a shady Colombian arms dealer, who offers to solve the mystery of what happened to Bonnie if Duncan agrees to attempt a reconstruction from a skull Montalvo believes was his late wife's. Despite the misgivings of her former husband, an FBI agent, Duncan accepts, and soon finds herself dodging bullets in a war between Montalvo and a drug lord rival in the Colombian jungle. Despite a shortage of the sort of meaty science that, say, a Kathy Reichs thriller typically provides, Johansen's faithful audience should be satisfied.

Review: I've lost track of the number of Iris Johansen books I've read let alone the Eve Duncan series. I do know that I haven't read all of them and will probably go back to the beginning at some point. Stalemate is another excellent installment in the Eve Duncan series and it doesn't disappoint. Montalvo is an intriguing character not only for Eve but for us readers. I liked the idea of Eve going out on her own, against Joe in this book. She's relied on Joe for a long time and to see her trust in herself was nice. There are a whole host of interesting characters in the story from the CIA agent to the Colombian rebels. The descriptions of the Colombian jungle are vivid and brought it to life for me. Since on of the major themes in this book wasn't resolved I have a feeling we will be seeing most of these characters again. The only character that I missed was Jane McGuire since the last 2 Iris Johansen books I read were centered around her (Blind Alley and Countdown).

You don't have to have read any of the other books in the series to follow this one, so if the summary intrigues you, give it ago, you won't be disappointed.

Final Take: 3.75/5


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