Book Review

SMOKESCREEN (Out 7/30/2019)

Publication Date: 7/30/2019

Rating: 4 / 5

I received an advanced copy of SMOKESCREEN by Iris Johansen as part of a giveaway on Goodreads! Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for the chance to read for an honest review!

SMOKESCREEN is book 25 in Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan series. This is a series that I have read quite often, but it has been a few years since I last picked it up. This isn’t at all because I didn’t enjoy the books, but there are just too many good books out there on my TBR! I was thrilled to win this Goodreads giveaway – it was like visiting with an old friend. There are references to characters who are featured more heavily in past books, but this book would work perfectly well as a stand-alone too.

Trigger warnings: violence, assault, rape.

Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor, using science and artistic skill to recreate a person’s appearance from their skull to aid in identification. Having lost her daughter at a young age, Eve specializes in cases involving children, hoping to help bring them home to give their families closure. The series has a touch of the supernatural as well. In past books Eve has spoken to her daughter’s ghost, her son has “feelings” about people and her skill in knowing what someone looks like from just their skull sometimes defies explanation just a bit.

This book begins with new characters. Journalist Jill Cassidy has been brutally attacked in and has more horrors to tell. She approaches Eve with a heart breaking story. In a small village in Africa, guerrilla soldiers have brutally slaughtered half the people, many of them children and burned the bodies beyond recognition. Jill is there to pull on Eve’s heart strings and convince her to come to Africa to aid in the identification of these children for their families. With her husband and son out of town on pursuits of their own, Eve decides to make the trip.

From the very beginning, we are dragged right into the brutality of this situation. We also know that Jill isn’t giving Eve the full story. Over time, more information comes out about the brutal attack and the confusing political situation that Eve is walking into.

Iris Johansen does an excellent job of building the feeling of suspense in SMOKESCREEN, delivering a enemy to fight against who has brought about so much tragedy. This book definitely has a lot of violence and tells a heart-breaking tale, so be aware of that if you are sensitive to such subject matter. I really enjoyed reading this book, even though it was difficult to read at times given the subject matter. This is a thriller with a touch of romance, as I’ve come to expect from this author. I enjoyed hearing about the forensic sculpting process that Eve uses as well – I find that fascinating.

If you are looking for a good thriller with a strong female protagonist, this is definitely a book you’d want on your TBR. SMOKE SCREEN by Iris Johansen will be released on July 30, 2019!

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