Review – Smokescreen by Iris Johansen

About the Book:

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.

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.

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 . . .

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                       Smokescreen (Eve Duncan Book 26)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Eve Duncan, forensic sculptor, has a passion for reconstructing skulls of murdered children so that they can be identified and give closure to their families.  Though she is known as one of the very best in her field, she tries to keep a low profile and enjoy privacy with her husband, Joe, and son, Michael.  A very persistent journalist, Jill Cassidy, finally wears Eve down, and they schedule a meeting where Eve will be interviewed.  Jill has an ulterior motive – she has spent the last two years in strife torn Maldara, in Africa.  After a bitter civil war, President Zahra Kiyani is trying to rebuild her nation.  The president wants the world to see her as a queen dedicated to her country, when, in truth, she is a delusional narcissist who is in a partnership with a notorious terrorist who is responsible for the butchering of many innocents, including children.  This terrorist, Nils Varak, is reputed to have been killed, but Jill believes he is still alive, and wants Eve to reconstruct his skull to definitively determine the truth.

Eve has always been stubborn and headstrong, and against Joe’s wishes, she agrees to go to Maldara, under the pretext of reconstructing the murdered children’s skulls.  Jill is already on the president’s radar, and has suffered greatly for trying to uncover the truth.  Soon Eve becomes persona non grata, and when she ignores the suggestions that she leave the country, she becomes a target, as well.  Soon her husband, Joe, an ex-seal, and CIA agent Jed Novak, along with enigmatic millionaire Sam Gideon, are all involved in the plot to expose the corruption and the truth.  Hopefully, they will all live long enough to complete their task successfully.

SMOKESCREEN has all the trademark action, twists, and excitement of previous novels in the Eve Duncan series.  As always, I sometimes want to throttle Eve for the actions she chooses, but I can’t stop reading.  I’m in love with her husband, the heroic Joe, whose courage, commitment, and strength are the stuff that makes up a genuine hero.  The supporting cast of Jill, Jed, Sam, and, surprisingly, Zahra’s personal slave, are fascinating characters who add substantially to the story.  I particularly admire Jill’s strength in overcoming what she endured, and her ability to begin a steamy romance with Jed, the focused CIA agent who wants to bring down this crooked regime as much as she does.  This page turner has a very satisfying conclusion, and I recommend SMOKESCREEN for readers enjoying thrilling suspense novels.    ~Rose

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