First Edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2019.
421 pages ; 24 cm
9781538713082 (hardcover)
System Availability:
Current Holds:
Control Number:
Call Number:
F Joh
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Author Notes
Iris Johansen was born on April 7, 1938. She started writing when her two children were in college. A year later she finished her first novel, a contemporary romance. After writing many best-selling historical romances and fantasies, including the Sedikhan and Clanad series, she turned to suspense fiction. Her works include And Then You Die, The Ugly Duckling, Pandora's Daughter, Killer Dreams, Dead Aim, No One to Trust, The Perfect Witness, Night Watch, the Eve Duncan series, the Catherine Ling series, and the Kendra Michaels series. <p> (Bowker Author Biography) Iris Johansen is the bestselling author of "The Ugly Duckling", "Long After Midnight", "And Then You Die", "The Face of Deception", "The Killing Game", & "The Search". She lives near Atlanta, Georgia. <p> (Publisher Provided)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Eve Duncan (Female), Forensic sculptor, Adoptive mother, Fled from California to the highlands to protect the young girl in her care; goes to Africa to help families stuck deep in the jungle
Search for truth
- Africa
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Johansen is back with another fast-paced "Eve Duncan" mystery (after Dark Tribute).This time, forensic sculptor Eve is reconstructing the skulls from a schoolhouse massacre in a small village in Africa. She came at the request of Jill Cassidy, a journalist who has been reporting on events in the village, but Eve soon realizes that there's more to the story. Jill has sinister reasons for inviting Eve in on the project, and the disturbing backstory is heavy with threats of violence. While this installment is a part of a long-running series, it can be read as a stand-alone. The extended dialog that carries the narrative leads to strong characterization; readers will be able to understand the twisted motives and are not spared any detail, from the frightening to the mundane, as every element advances the plot to a heart-pounding conclusion. VERDICT A thriller with underlying political themes, this novel is sure to appeal to Eve Duncan enthusiasts as well as new readers of the series. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.]--Natalie Browning, Longwood Univ. Lib., Farmville, VA

  Publishers Weekly Review

Early in this riveting standalone from bestseller Johansen (Vendetta), journalist Jill Cassidy, who has recently returned from Maldara, an African nation torn apart by civil war, arranges to see forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, the heroine of the author's main series, at Eve's home in Atlanta. Jill, who witnessed a massacre in the village of Robaku, Maldara, offers Eve the job of reconstructing the skulls of 27 schoolchildren killed by rebel soldiers. Moved by the stories of the victims, Eve agrees after some initial hesitation. Soon after arriving in Robaku, Eve discovers that Jill also wants her to reconstruct the skull of Nils Varak, the mercenary responsible for the uprising that caused the children's deaths. Jill is convinced that the Maldara government is engaged in a cover-up claiming that Nils is dead, and that the body they assert belongs to him is not his. Readers will keep guessing about the complex characters' underlying motivations as the plot races toward the stunning conclusion. Best known for her paranormal romantic suspense, Johansen should win new fans with this more realistic page-turner. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

After formidable journalist Jill Cassidy is brutally assaulted by Nils Varak, a cold-blooded mercenary at the center of a tribal conflict in the African nation Maldara, she coerces renowned forensic sculptor Eve Duncan into returning with her to the jungle village whose children have been gruesomely murdered by Varak and his henchmen. Duncan is there ostensibly to recreate the images of the dead to bring peace to their parents. In reality, Duncan and, inevitably, her husband, ex-U.S. Navy SEAL and Atlanta detective Joe Quinn, are there to help Cassidy and CIA operative Jed Novak prove definitively that Varak had not been subsequently killed in a helicopter crash, as is widely believed. They find themselves in a deadly power struggle between Maldara's charismatic but villainous leader, Zahra Kiyani, and the very-much-alive Varak, the target of which is a treasure dating back to the reign of Cleopatra. Propelled by a muscular narrative and elaborate subplots, Johansen's (Dark Tribute, 2019) latest complex Eve Duncan thriller reliably pivots on the cerebral battle of wills among its robust characters.--Carol Haggas Copyright 2019 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

An emotional and highly deceptive plea entices forensic sculptor Eve Duncan from Atlanta to Africa, where all hell promptly breaks loose.Journalist Jill Cassidy wants Eve to drop what she's doing and book passage to the fictional country of Maldara, where an attack by Botzan rebels on a village school has left 27 children dead. Eve can render the bereaved parents a priceless service, urges Jill, if she uses her matchless skills to reconstruct busts of the deceased from their skulls, and she plies Eve with enough sob-story details to overcome her resistance. But she doesn't tell Eve the truth, or at least not the whole truth. The real reason Jill and CIA agent Jed Novak want Eve to come is so she can determine that a 28th skullthat of mercenary Nils Varakisn't really Varak's at all but another skull intended to make the world believe he's dead. Eve, already stung by Jill's deception, points out that the skull has tested positive for Varak's DNA; Jill counters that it must have been faked. While Jill and Novak try to come up with evidence that would support their theory and Eve begins her painstaking reconstructive work on the skulls, Zahra Kiyani, who accepted the presidency of Maldara after her father, the incumbent, was assassinated, seizes more and more greedily the power she thinks is due her as a descendant of Cleopatra's daughter Kiya and the country's rightful queen. She uses her sexual dominance over U.N. diplomat Edward Wyatt to wring concessions from the international community and holds terse exchanges with an unseen party over what to do about this interloping American. How can Eve and her ragtag allies possibly prevail against such entrenched and well-armed adversaries? Readers who take this last question seriously are clearly newcomers to Johansen's venerable franchise (Dark Tribute, 2019, etc.).No matter how intense the action gets, the outcome, for better or worse, is never in doubt. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
In this pulse-pounding thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan journeys to Africa to help families torn apart by a violent attack deep in the jungle--but she may be putting herself in more danger than she knows. <br> <br> A journalist shows up on Eve Duncan's doorstep with a plea for help. Jill Cassidy has just come from a small African village with a heart wrenching story: half the villagers--many of them children--have been killed in a horrific attack by guerilla soldiers, the bodies burned beyond recognition. Now, the families desperately need Eve's help to get closure and begin to heal.<br> <br> But when Eve arrives in the remote jungle, she begins to suspect that Jill's plea may have been a cover story for a deeper, more sinister plot. Isolated and unsure who she can trust, Eve finds herself stranded in an unstable country where violence threatens to break out again at any moment and with only her own instincts to rely on if she hopes to get home to her family alive . . .<br> <br> #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen is back with one of her most exhilarating and dangerous adventures yet in this "riveting" high-stakes thriller ( Publishers Weekly ).
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