I have been an ardent fan of this fantastic suspense thriller series for many years, and have been reading works by this prolific author since the late 1980s, and I am always amazed by her dexterity at weaving a compelling story with wonderfully mystical elements. That being said, I wasn’t as carried away by this particular story as I have been by past tales, and I am not sure whether that is because some things didn’t quite seem quite believable or that I have set the bar so high for the series that this one felt a little less intense than usual. Don’t get me wrong, there is the chilling evil, the suspenseful investigation, and some wonderfully startling surprises, particularly at the end, that I have come to expect from this talented author, but I just wasn’t as enthralled as I normally am. Part of my unease may be due to the shift from having Bonnie as an integral element and the contributions of one of Eve’s allies and her non-human informant, and, an incidental episode of violence that seemed illogical to me. Nonetheless, this was a nice addition to an exciting series and I look forward to finding out the repercussions of the developments that have occurred.
“Shadowplay” by Iris Johansen is an addition to the extensive series that features forensic sculptor Eve Duncan as she encounters a new child to stand for through the auspices of Sheriff John Nalchek. The amazing connection that Eve feels for the new reconstruction that she is working on intensifies, even as horrific events demonstrate that there is someone who is just as determined that the case not be solved as Eve and the sheriff are to find justice for the murder victim. Fortunately, Eve, her husband, Joe, and multiple allies are tenacious and willing to fight, but it is going to take all of the resources she can muster and sometimes it is difficult to determine who is truly trying to help.
Eve Duncan: the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands.
When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his fierce investment in the case puzzles her. But when Eve finds herself experiencing an unusual connection with the girl she calls Jenny, she becomes entangled in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and bring closure to the crime.
When the killer discovers that Eve Duncan is on the case, he begins to move in. First, eliminating those most remotely involved. Then, targeting those more closely tied to Jenny. And he won't rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated-but even that won't satisfy him. He wants something more. He wants something more. One girl escaped from him. And she is his ultimate prize...