Review of Iris Johansen’s Latest Novel, Smoke Screen

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  Iris Johansen recently released book #25, Smoke Screen, to the Eve Duncan series.

After reading the last addition to the series, Dark Tribute, which I felt was a low point in the series, I was a bit hesitant in reading the latest release, Smoke Screen. Wow, what a 180 degree turnaround. Smoke Screen reminded me of the very early books in the series, where Eve’s profession as a forensic sculptor was a prominent feature and the characters seem a bit more normal.

Smoke Screen begins with journalist, Jill Cassidy, coercing Eve Duncan to come to the jungles of central Africa to do forensic sculpting on the skulls of young children killed in a massacre at the local school. After seeing the pictures of the destruction at the school, Eve couldn’t say no to the invitation. Little did Eve know is that Jill Cassidy had another motive in getting Eve to Africa and the results will put Eve in grave danger.

Normally, an Eve Duncan novel has at least one character with supernatural or superhuman abilities, such as being a ghost or being the greatest assassin known to mankind, but this novel is different. With the exception of Joe Quinn’s over the top ex-navy seal abilities and Eve’s young son Michael, who has super-empathic abilities and knew his mother was in great danger, all the other characters were relatively normal albeit possibly extremely evil. I found this rather refreshing. That’s not to say that Smoke Screen is Pulitzer Prize quality work, oh no, it is still very much beach read material. But then again, what else would anyone want to read while lounging on the beach?

I would like to thank NetGalley for my copy of Smoke Screen.

To learn more about the series check out the Eve Duncan series.

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