October 22, 2011
Finally, in the trilogy that began with Eve and continued with Quinn, comes the story that fans have been dying to read. With the help of her beloved Joe Quinn and CIA Agent Catherine Ling, Eve Duncan gets closer and closer to answering the questions that have tormented her. But the deeper she digs, the more she realizes that Bonnie’s father, John Gallo, is a key player in solving this monstrous puzzle. And that Bonnie’s disappearance was not as random as everyone had believed. Eve Duncan finds herself in a deadly dance where answers will be uncovered, and justice might finally be served—if she can stay alive.
Review & Possibly My Life Story (The actual review is in italics below, if you don’t want to read my rambling.)
The Eve Duncan series started with the 1998 publication of The Face of Deception. There are thousands of readers who have been following the series since then, I started around 2004.
See, I was a little late in joining the literary world. I’m just about the only reader in my family, and didn’t read my first novel until I was eighteen years old. I’m really not kidding. That novel was Iris Johansen’s The Ugly Duckling. I devoured that book, and since have read it until the back cover has started to come off. However, I was a eighteen and stupid. I didn’t continue reading past that book. But that all changed in 2004. Back around 2003 and into 2004 I found myself yanked into some very earth shattering stuff. It was dark, ugly, and at times felt hopeless. I was also pregnant during part of the time so I was hormonal too (YAY!). Sometime in 2004 I came across The Ugly Duckling. To mine, and everyone who knows me, disbelief I had kept up with this book for five years. I read it, and really saw it. For the first time in my life really understood escapism, entertainment, and for someone who took art for seven years, I understood art, creativity, and beauty on a whole new level. Had I known what books could do for the soul I’d have been reading my entire life. I could have used a good YA book a million times over throughout my adolescence.
To make a long, long story short, I found Iris Johansen’s website and saw that she had a long running series, The Eve Duncan series. I found a used book store and, with the help of my couch, scratched together money we didn’t have and bought every book in the series. I read them. And then I read them again. And again, and I’ve probably read every book in this series at least four times. It was also during that time, and I still remember the day it hit me, that I realized I too wanted to write. Though, that’s another story for another time.
My point, Johansen’s Eve Duncan Series kicked in the door to the literary world, and I now read 80-100 books a year. So, as you can imagine and clearly see, I’m a tad sentimental when it comes to this author and her books. I’m just hoping that this post is coherent as I am typing, sniffing, crying, and wiping my disgusting excuse for a nose all at the same time.
And quickly, before I jump into specifics about the book, I do want to say that even though this book is heavy with emotion, not all the books in the series are like this. Johansen has been brilliant with suspenseful plots throughout the entire series, and her secondary characters are just as impressive. She writes the best secondary characters I’ve ever read. Most of which end up with their own books. You can’t help but fall in love with this woman’s characters.
Now, more specifically about BONNIE…
For those who have been reading this series since 1998, I applaud you for making it through this book in one piece! I barely did, and I haven’t been reading for that long.
The world of Eve Duncan is always alive. The characters make strong impressions in a world that you feel you can touch. BONNIE is just the same. The interesting thing is that I can’t really recall (and never really do) Johansen getting into too much description about the surroundings, but I still always feel like she puts me right there in the book. And while reading BONNIE I felt like I was picked up by a pair of giant hands, and dropped into Eve Duncan’s world. It’s really magnificent.
As far as the mystery itself, let me tell you how I read this book… I started out at the kitchen table. Then I moved to my husband’s recliner. Then I jumped several times, once nearly landing on the floor. At some point there was pacing. In this book there are so many directions your mind goes that the guessing never stops. It was like being in a maze, and just when you might get lost Johansen blows the entire maze to pieces. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a story line climax so strongly as this one did. When I got to what we will forever call The Page, I busted out into a sob. Not a few tears. Not a muffled little cry that slowly became a sob. Not a gasp and then sob. I dropped the book into my lap and exploded into a sobbed. It was dang near violent. And then she closed the book with one of the most beautiful endings I’ve ever read.
All in all, this book cannot help but be a five star book. The twists are shocking and keep you on your toes, as Johansen leaves a trail of clues that will have the book glued to your hands. There are haunting, beautiful moments between a mother and daughter ripped apart far too soon. And yet in some parts it’s charming and there are even a few moments that make you laugh out loud.
I am in awe of the power that is Iris Johansen. She took something so horrible, a nightmare, and brilliantly crafted it into a story of how love cannot be trapped by time.
In the end there is only love.
Find out more about the Eve Duncan series and Iris Johansen at her website here, and if you haven’t started reading this series I demand you go find The Face of Deception. You will cheat yourself otherwise. Trust me, Johansen makes it totally worth it.
*I received this book via a book store and my wallet.