Review - Quinn by Iris Johansen

Friday, August 05, 2011

St. Martin's, 374p,
As a former Navy SEAL turned cop, Joe Quinn has seen the face of evil and knows just how deadly it can be. When he first met Eve Duncan, he never expected to fall in love with a woman whose life would be defined by her dual desires to bring home her missing daughter and discover the truth behind her disappearance---no matter how devastating. With the help of CIA agent Catherine Ling, they make a shocking discovery that sheds new light on young Bonnie’s abduction and puts Quinn squarely in the crosshairs of danger. Eve’s first love, John Gallo, a soldier supposedly killed in the line of duty, is very much alive---and very much a threat.
Emotionally charged, with one shock after another, Quinn reveals the electricity of Joe and Eve’s first connection, and how they fell in love in the midst of haunting tragedy. As their search takes them deeper and deeper into a web of murder and madness, Joe and Eve must confront their most primal fears . . . and test their resolve to uncover the ultimate bone-chilling truth.

All the books I've read so far in the Eve Duncan series have been interesting, with lots of emotional drama and ever increasing suspense. All these ingredients have been watered-down and recycled into 'Quinn''s lukewarm story.

In all the novels of this series, Joe Quinn has been portrayed as a hard and steady man, one who loves Eve wholeheartedly even though she's unable to put him first as her life's consumed by her search for Bonnie. Told from Joe's poignant point of view, readers come to know and understand the bittersweet details of how and why Joe falls in love with Eve during the emotionally-filled initial days when he first starts to investigate Bonnie's kidnapping.

Although the book is named Quinn, Joe himself gets to star in only the first half of the novel. Surprisingly, the second half is dominated by CIA agent Catherine Ling's hunt for Bonnie's presumed killer and father, John Gallo, who's himself a wily adversary. Of course there's a twist there, one that's not unexpected but which still adds an interesting dimension to the otherwise molasses-slow pace of this story.

While the other books in this series have been standalone stories with a definite ending (except for the part about Eve's search, of course, which is ongoing and a connecting thread), 'Quinn' ends abruptly in the middle of a bayou battle with no definite ending. It leaves the readers feeling (not only cheated, but also) that like the last 2 Harry Potter movies, the last three stories in this series (Eve, Quinn and the forthcoming October'11 release, Bonnie) should have been released as one book, but for various reasons have been split up.

Mildly engrossing, 'Quinn' is interesting only because it's part of a long-standing series and not on its own merits.

Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.
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