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Review: YOUR NEXT BREATH by Iris Johansen

I love Iris Johansen’s stories about Eve Duncan, her family and friends. Your Next Breath engages us in the life of Catherine Ling, a friend of Eve’s, who suddenly finds that former acquaintances are being stalked and killed by someone who wants to see Catherine suffer.  As a CIA agent who was recruited practically as a child, Catherine has made a lot of enemies. Which one of them wants to reek revenge on her and those she is close to?

21853634Although Catherine sees herself as a loner she finds as the circle tightens around her, she really has many more people who care about her and are considered targets than she ever imagined.  First and foremost is her 12 year old son Luke who was kidnapped when he was two and raised by an evil man who also sought to punish Catherine.  Now that she has Luke back, she will do anything in her power to keep him and her friends safe.  However, it is no small task and she finds herself all over the world trying to find the vicious murder before he kills those who mean the most to her.

I enjoy the complexity of Johansen’s characters and the “special” gifts some of them have that are almost supernatural and yet fascinating in terms of how she weaves these into her story.  Richard Cameron is one of those people with a special gift that he always seems able to use when Catherine needs it most.  Will their relationship develop into what Catherine is fighting so hard not to feel?  Seth Caleb is another character with “special” talents and his use of these will be important when Jane, Eve’s daughter, is most in need of them,  another complex relationship that leaves the reader wondering where it will lead.

Johansen’s books are a quick read for me as I just can’t put them down.  The mystery and intrigue just keep coming and although they are not always easy to read because of the evil inherit in some of her characters, her endings never disappoint.

Reviewed by Mary

* * * * *

About the Book:

Title: Your Next Breath

Author: Iris Johansen

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: April 28, 2015

Category: Thriller

Source: ARC received from Publisher

Book Summary:

Catherine Ling is one of the CIA’s most prized operatives. Raised on the streets of Hong Kong, she was pulled into the agency at the age of fourteen. If life has taught her anything, it is not to get attached, but there are two exceptions to that rule: her son Luke and her mentor Hu Chang. Luke was kidnapped at age two, and now, nine years later, he has astonishingly been returned to her. Catherine vows never to fail him again. Now, just as she is building a relationship with Luke, it seems that someone from Catherine’s past is playing a deadly game with her, and using those she cares about as pawns. Three are dead already: the former prostitute who helped Catherine when she was out on the street, a CIA agent with whom she worked closely, and the informant who helped her free Luke. Someone is picking off the people Catherine cares about one by one, with the circle narrowing closer and closer to those she loves the most. Catherine has made many enemies throughout her life, and she has no choice but to weed through her past to find out who is targeting her now, and then go after the vicious killer herself.

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