Book Review: Taking Eve

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Author: Iris Johansen
ISBN: 978-1-742-61203-4
RRP: $27.99

Taking Eve is the first installment of the new Eve Duncan trilogy, which I thought was fabulous news, and then I discovered it’s the 13th in the Eve Duncan series. This trilogy is a self-contained story that you can start with, I didn’t feel lost jumping in at this point in the series. But my curious natures did leave me wanting to know more about the characters and how they came to be where they are.

Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor who works tirelessly to bring closure to families who have lost a loved one, an emptiness Eve is familiar with as her daughter was taken from her when she was only 7 and the answers Eve needed to move forward and start to find peace have only been recently received.

Doane has also lost a son and he wants Eve to do a reconstruction, he wants her to bring his son back to him. Rather than approaching her and asking he goes about it a totally different way.

Slowly the pieces fall into place and the picture we are drawn is intricate and extremely creepy. Doane is a perfect example of the dangers of appearances being deceiving, a kindly looking older man who happens by and offers help. It seems he’s been using this guise for many years, for formidable purposes.

There is much more to this than the suspense, there are also quite supernatural veins running through the story. Eve stills feels the presence of her daughter Bonnie, and Bonnie has often offered what assistance and support she can. Bonnie isn’t the only supernatural presence in the story but I don’t want to give too much away. As well as these presences there are slightly more than normal people involved as well, people with extraordinary, and extremely rare talents.

talking eve

I was drawn in to this story from the very outset, always knowing there was much more to this situation than met the eye. Eve’s relationships with Joe and Jane are intense and they are very protective of her, as she is of them. Joe is an Ex-Seal, Ex-FBI detective on the police force and he has trained both Jane and Eve to be able take care of themselves. The three will stop at nothing to ensure the safety of the others but it quickly becomes clear that Eve is at the top of the chain and her safety is paramount. I get the feeling that there are reasons for this that I would understand more fully had I read all of the Eve Duncan books preceding this one, but it is not a detractor.

There is lots of CIA and secret business happening and you know, even when you reach the final pages that there is a lot more to learn about this situation. Not all the secrets have been unearthed and things are only going to get more disturbing. It can be quite off-putting to think about the lengths that the CIA will go to in protecting their own, how many innocents need to be risked before it’s worth it?

Thrills and chills abound, many questions left unanswered and some characters that still have me a little perplexed as to which side they are really on and how their involvement is going to play out later in the trilogy.

Johansen has brought together a cast of interesting, and intriguing characters. Some I look forward to getting to know better, and some I’m not sure I want to get to know at all.

Quite an intriguing introduction to Iris Johansen, and it has left me very interested to get my hands on the next two installments.

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