Monday, May 6, 2013
Taking Eve by Iris Johansen
Taking Eve: An Eve Duncan Novel by Iris Johansen, St. Martin's Press, $27.99 list price, hardcover.
From the publisher:
Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan’s mission is to bring closure to the families whose loved ones have vanished. She knows their anguish—her own beloved daughter, Bonnie, was taken from her when Bonnie was just seven years old. It is only recently that this mystery was resolved and Eve could begin her journey to peace. Now, Jim Doane wants the same kind of answers that Eve always longed for. His twenty-five-year old son may or may not be dead and he has only burned skull fragments as possible evidence. But he cannot go to the police for answers without risking his own secrets and dark past, so instead he chooses a bold step to find the truth—a truth that takes Eve down a twisted path of madness and evil and into the darkest heart of her own history. Doane needs Eve Duncan’s skills and he’ll do anything to get them.
Even if it means taking Eve.
I'm a fan of Iris Johansen and the Eve Duncan series and enjoyed this newest installment with one exception - it is the first book in a new trilogy about Eve so there is no closure. It's frustrating to have a cliffhanger ending and have to wait for the next book, and then the third to find out what happens. Whether this is a marketing ploy to sell more books or because it really takes three books to tell the story remains to be seen but I get the feeling when the trilogy is completed readers will wish the story was told in one really good novel instead of being dragged out into three. That said, I'm willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt that we won't be disappointed by the end of the trilogy despite having to wait.
This story centers around Eve being kidnapped by Jim Doane, a mentally unstable and grieving father who wants Eve to do a reconstruction on a skull that he believes is that of his missing adult son which will, in his mind, bring his son back to life in some sense. It soon becomes apparent that his promise to let her go when it is completed is a lie and she must find a way to escape or be rescued before he kills her. Behind the scenes of her ordeal, her boyfriend Joe Quinn and others are working to find out who Jim Doane is and where he might have taken Eve.
As for the storyline itself, I did find myself caught up in it and read the book in one and a half days although I felt it started out slow and some parts seemed to drag on for me, but overall it had the suspense that I enjoy from the author. Major characters from previous books in the series are brought back as they join together to find Eve, and I suspect more will be included in the next two stories. Despite no real closure to the storyline, there is a big surprise revealed that will surely become a sub-plot in the upcoming installments.
I do recommend Taking Eve to fans of the author and series with the understanding that it will likely leave readers frustrated until the second and third books come out (July and October, 2013).