Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stalemate by Iris Johansen

Title: Stalemate
Author: Iris Johansen

Narrator: Jennifer Van Dyck
Series: #7 in the Eve Duncan series
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Random House Audio (November 30, 2006)

Source: Library Find
Rating: ☕☕

Synopsis: (from GoodReads) Eve Duncan has turned down the job twice already. Her skill and devotion in identifying murder victims and helping bring their killers to justice may be world-renowned. But Eve works exclusively for law enforcement and the families of the innocent, and the man on the other end of the phone is many things-none of them law-abiding or innocent.

One of the world's most wanted men, little is really known about Luis Montalvo except that he is extraordinarily dangerous and that he never takes no for an answer. Now he wants Eve's help in the worst way. For he believes they have something in common-and he's about to prove it with a grisly warning.

Eve will leave everything and everyone behind, even the man she trusts and loves the most, Atlanta detective Joe Quinn, to travel to Montalvo's luxurious armed compound in the Colombian jungle to identify the skull he has recovered. She has agreed to this devil's bargain to save an innocent family, but also for a reason she can't admit to Joe, to the CIA, to anyone. For the man in the jungle has promised to be able to give Eve what she wants most of all-the key to unlocking the darkest and most painful mystery of her past.

But Eve is in more danger than she can imagine. As she gets closer to identifying the skull, she finds herself caught between two ruthless killers with no way out. Now, with everything on the line, Eve Duncan must make the most chilling choice of all. And if she's wrong-she's dead.

My Thoughts: I found this book to be overall a decent read. Listening to it rather than physically reading it myself made for some enjoyable housework and drive time. 

The Good Stuff: It was nice to get an Eve Duncan book that actually featured Eve Duncan. I do like her adopted daughter, Jane, but this series is not the Jane series and I was getting tired of having Jane be front and center. The suspense was really good as was the setting. For the most part the plot was solid...too bad the characters were not.

The Bad Stuff: At this juncture I'm over and done with Eve's obsession with her long dead Bonnie. I know one doesn't just get over the loss of a child but by this point Eve is making terrible judgement calls and putting herself in danger constantly in order to find that closure. This is not the Eve Duncan that I remember. Also Joe, an ex-FBI agent, makes some TSTL decisions and almost dies...twice. WTH?!? The combo of Eve and Joe was disastrous also. After this many years together why is Eve constantly shutting Joe out? Even the most independent and strong willed person, after being with someone for a decade or more, learns to lean on someone to make important life altering decisions. Not Eve. She pretty much lies and manipulates her way then sneaks off into the night like a thief. I almost hate her. Oh and the introduction of a potential "love interest" in the form of a Colombian drug lord for Eve...Give me a Break! So frustrating.

On the Audio: While I think Jennifer Van Dyck did an ok job narrating the book, her accents, in my opinion, were off. The Colombians almost sounded European. In addition a reoccurring character named Galen had an Irish brogue yet at one point I could have sworn the book said that he spoke in a British accent.

In a Nutshell: I'll probably continue with the series but only because I really want to read the whole Bonnie closure but honestly, I feel this series has just about run it's course.

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