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.

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Review: TAKING EVE by Iris Johansen

A friend introduced me to the writings of Iris Johansen several years ago and I have enjoyed everyone of her fascinating Eve Duncan novels.  Eve is a forensic sculptor who reconstructs the skulls of children who have died but are yet unidentified.  She does this to bring closure to the parents whose loved ones have vanished, a situation with which she can readily identify since her own child was kidnapped and murdered.  This novel continues the story of Eve, Jane her adopted daughter and Joe the love of her life.

In this story Eve’s skills are once again coveted by a man whose son may or may not be dead.  However, he cannot go to the police to confirm that the skull he has in his possession is his son’s.  Therefore, he has stalked Eve and set up her kidnapping to finally know once and for all if this is in fact his son.  However, the story takes the reader down a twisted path as you learn more about the father and the son.

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