After hearing amazing things about Iris Johansen and her Eve Duncan series, I realized I needed to see what all the hype was about. Instead of starting with book one of the series, for better or worse, I chose the latest release by Johansen – Night and Day, which is her 21st Eve Duncan novel and the final book in the latest Eve Duncan Trilogy.
I will begin this review by saying I made a grave mistake in starting at the end. This is a well-established genre and I believe a lot of the nuances, subtleties and connections being made throughout the book were lost on me because I didn’t know Eve, her friends or her story.
Despite lacking knowledge of Eve’s past, Night and Day is an easy read. The action packed sequencing of the story quickly whisks you right into the challenges that Eve and her friends are facing as they try to save a young girl, Cara, from her evil, sociopath mafia Russian mother. The action scenes are exhilarating and play through your mind as if you were watching a movie. This is all a testament to Johansen’s writing style and mastery of pacing of plot and story.
Where the book fell flat for me was that the sense of true danger for the characters was not really there. There was too much foreshadowing of how the good guys would get out of the dangerous situation that ultimately played out just as they anticipated. The characters were also a bit static. Everyone in Eve’s circle was completely devoted to her to the point of almost worship. The villains were completely bad to the core with no redeeming qualities. This combination makes for a fairly predictable outcome, so it was hard for me to get caught up in thinking Eve and her gang might not get out of the tough situations. It was too telegraphed that they would.
The paranormal elements, which were admittedly unexpected by me, felt a bit out of place with the realism of the rest of the story. The use of the powers by certain characters to conveniently get the team out of difficult situations seemed like cheating by the author. In the end, though I did gravitate toward Seth Caleb with his cryptic power over blood and Cara’s grandfather, the Russian mafia leader. These two characters weren’t so static or black and white. Both were good, with a bad side or bad, with a good side … either way, it made both characters the more appealing of the bunch.
While Night and Day was interesting to read, I think die hard fans of Eve Duncan will enjoy the book a lot more than I did, having just met Eve.