Eve Duncan is the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands. When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won’t rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated…
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by Iris Johansen
Eve Duncan #19
St. Martin’s Press
September 29, 2015
Eve Duncan. She was one of my favorite book heroines for more years than I can remember right now. The main focus of most of the many books that have been published, was the kidnapping and death of Eve’s seven year old daughter, Bonnie. Not sure, but I think this is probably the nineteenth book in this series. I read all of them up to when we finally found out what happened to Bonnie. At that point, several books ago, I quit reading the series. To me, the series was done, we got our answers and that was a good way to finish the series-at least in my mind. When I saw this book on Net Galley, it had been just long enough for me to wonder what was up in Eve Duncan’s world, so I requested it in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Eve Duncan is a world reknown forensic sculptor, otherwise known as the person who gives a face to a skull in order to identify the victim. She lives with Joe Quinn, the police detective that has been by her side pretty much since Bonnie dsappeared. This installment begins with a skull of a nine year old girl being delivered to Eve’s home in Georgia, from a sheriff in California. So Eve does what she does best and gives the skull a face. The victim comes to Eve and pretty much pushes her to finish in half the time it usually takes her. Jenny, the victim, has her reasons for rushing Eve, and pretty soon Eve and Joe are in California helping to solve the case with the sheriff. It’s actually not too unusual for Eve having a spirit visit, her daughter Bonnie visited in many installment that I can remember, and yes, she does show up in this one as well.
Honestly, in the beginning of this book I came close to putting it down and not finishing it. The reason? It just felt like I was reading a book I had read before-several times. It just didn’t seem new or different, just same as all the rest instead. One thing does change it up a bit, the addition of a character from a previous book, Margaret. Margaret is a young free spirit that has the amazing gift of being able to communicate with animals. She practically raised herself in the forest so she is pretty much an expert on them(forests). She comes to help with the investigation and because the grave is in the middle of a forest, her gift of communicating with animals does come in handy. You know because a coyote has been keeping watch on the grave since the child was buried eight years before. Plus Margaret does have a love interest this time around, and that interested me as well. Of course, there is a typical really bad villain, as usual with this series.
These books were a mainstay for me for years, but I think my time is truly up with them now. This was so reminiscent of a lot of the other books in this series, that at times it was almost like reading a book for a second time. This is just my personal taste, because if you haven’t started this series it really is a good one to read. I used to buy them as soon as they were published, and I highly recommend them to adult suspense/mystery fans-ones that like a really good heroine and lots of action.
The review copy of this book was supplied by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
About Iris Johansen
Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. She had seventeen consecutive New York Times bestsellers as of November 2006.
She lives in Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.