Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blood Game & Eight Days to Live by Iris Johansen

I was a huge fan of Iris Johansen years ago, flew through all of her books when I discovered her. She is what got me loving series books and reading in order of how an author wrote.  I didn't realize that she interweaves her characters when I first started reading her and that ended up being one of my favorite things about her.  I love when I character pops back into a book or is a main focus in a book after having a small part in a previous book.  Michael Connelly is another one that does that.  Anyways, I've actually grown a bit tired of Iris Johansen typical writing style, but I just can't seem to stop reading the Eve Duncan series.  The thing that bugs me the most is the way she writes "your Joe", "your Jane", etc.  It gets redundant after several pages and several books.  

Anyways, I recently finished 2 of Iris Johansen's latest books.
Blood Game: An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller (Eve Duncan Forensics Thrillers)
Blood Game: An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller is following her past book Quicksand.    Fresh off a multiple child homicide case (Quicksand), Eve discovers a blood-stained goblet in her refrigerator. The goblet closely resembles one found with the bloodless body of Nancy Jo Norris, a U.S. senator's 19-year-old daughter, the victim of a wannabe Dracula who ultimately thirsts for Eve. In a paranormal twist, Joe Quinn, Eve's FBI love interest, appears to have contracted psychic powers from Megan Blair, introduced in Pandora's Daughter, and can now see dead people—Nancy Jo and Eve's daughter, Bonnie, to be exact. The ghosts guide the search for the serial sucker, complete with corny gothic monologues. Johansen risks alienating some readers as the series slips deeper into the supernatural, but diehards will be pleased Eve at last finds some peace in her ever-growing bond with Joe.
This book wasn't bad.  I read paranormal books, so the veering off from mystery/suspense towards paranormal didn't bother me.  I enjoyed the story, just wish the "your insert name" was less.  The vampire side of it was pretty interesting (not anything like a traditional vampire story).  If this book had the same plot with less sappy writing, I'd have loved it more.  
Then quickly after, I read Eight Days to Live: An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller.  This is made out to be an Eve Duncan story, but it is actually about her foster daughter Jane McGuire.  I really liked this book a lot.  I always like the stories about Jane.  Eve and Joe of course make an appearance, but are not the main characters.  

From Publishers Weekly

Having injected vampires into 2009's Blood Game, the previous Eve Duncan forensics thriller, bestseller Johansen introduces cryptotheology—the madeup religious stuff of Dan Brown—into this equally outlandish sequel. When Jane MacGuire, Eve's adopted daughter, exhibits her paintings at a Paris gallery, one of Jane's pieces, a creepy portrait titled Guilt, prompts a charge of blasphemy from a dangerous cult. Nailing the dead body of one of Jane's friends to a cross shows the cult members mean business. Last seen in 2006's Killer Dreams, John MacDuff and Jock Gavin show up at Jane's door to protect her. Later Seth Caleb, the mysterious is-he-or-isn't-he vampire from Blood Game, joins the team. An action-packed search to uncover Jane's link to the cult and find a priceless religious artifact takes Jane and company across Europe—a journey that allows little focus on Eve and even less on her trademark forensic sculpting. 500,000 first printing. (Apr.) 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Booklist
Although billed as an Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller, neither Eve nor forensics plays a big part in Johansen’s latest. Instead the focus is on Eve’s adopted daughter, Jane MacGuire, who has a successful art show at a Parisian gallery. But a painting titled Guilt has drawn some unwanted attention: the religious cult Sang Noir wants Jane dead. When the cult starts going after those closest to Jane, she turns to two strong, dangerous men: Jock, a trained assassin, and Seth, a hunter with psychic powers. Friction ensues between these two strapping guys as they fight to protect the globe-trotting Jane while she travels from Paris to Switzerland to Jerusalem in an attempt to find out why Sang Noir is so determined to kill her. She’s fighting an intense attraction to Caleb, even as she disapproves of his methods of extracting information, and when Eve’s life hangs in the balance, Jane finds herself crossing lines she never thought she would. Readers interested in hard forensic science will want to look elsewhere, but those receptive to paranormal abilities and religious mysteries will find much to enjoy in this page-turner. --Kristine Huntley

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