Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan Series

Iris_JohansenAbout the author:

Born: April 7, 1938


Thriller Sub-genre: Forensic/Romantic Thriller

Publishers: Bantam Books & St. Martin’s Press

Future of the series: The next book in the series, The Persuasion, has a tentative release date of 6/2/2020.

My review of the latest novel in the series- Smoke Screen

The Simon Review

If you do a search on Amazon for “forensic thrillers”, Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan series will surely show up.  Unfortunately, for the forensic thrill seeking fan, the only thing forensic about the series is that Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor.  It is, however, a thriller, with murder, blood, gore, vampires and ghost.  Oh yes, you heard me right, vampires and ghost!   I guess Ms. Johansen wanted to increase her fan base to include all the “Twilight” fanatics.  If you are into paranormal activities then this series is sure to please.

If the paranormal behavior doesn’t distract you, then I am sure that the characters will.  Johansen tries to portray the female characters (Eve Duncan, Jane McGuire, and Sarah Patrick) as determined and strong willed but instead they come off as demanding and selfish.  The men in the series come off as being weak and subservient to the women (Joe Quinn, John Gallo, and John Logan).  Just to give you an example; Joe Quinn is married to another woman early in the series but it is glaringly obvious that he has a thing for Eve.  Quinn eventually gets divorced and admits that the only reason he got married in the first place was so that Eve could have a woman friend while she was recovering from the loss of her daughter.  I just have one word for that, Ouch!

Johansen began her writing career writing romance novels before switching over to the thriller and unfortunately it shows.  Even though the stories are reasonably interesting, the interaction and conversations between the characters just doesn’t seem natural or fluid.  Johansen also uses some interesting expressions to describe actions of the characters such as “spinning on his heels”, I just imagine something like this:


For the most part, the series should be read in order especially the two trilogies; Eve, Quinn and Bonnie, and Taking Eve, Hunting Eve, and Silencing Eve.  There are numerous characters that come and go within the series and reading the series in order gives a better understanding of their roles.

If you are into forensics, this will not be for you.  Johansen does, however, give a good, if not far-fetched story.

Simon’s pick:

Most Favorite Novel in the Series- The Face of Deception, because this was the first book of the series before all the paranormal activity took over.

Least Favorite Novel in the Series- Blind Alley, because this is when the series started to become “weird”.

What about the science?

Johansen is pretty good at discussing the forensic sculpting except when she does the annoying “pat-pat, smooth-smooth thing” to describe Duncan’s molding of the clay.  As for real science, there is none.

Books in the Series by Order:

Vote for your favorite Forensic Thriller on the Forensic Fiction List on Goodreads Listopia.

Goodreads Forensic Fiction Best List

Most Favorite in the series: ‘The Killing Game’ and ‘Night and Day’ (tie) with a score of 4.18

Least Favorite in the series: Eight Days to Live with a score of 4.00

Based on overall ratings from Goodreads, Library Thing and Amazon (US & UK)

#1-The Face of Deception- 1998

Listed #39 out of 121 on Goodreads Forensic Fiction Book List

First Line:

It was going to happen.


Eve Duncan: A forensic sculptor and main protagonist in the series.  Her young daughter, Bonnie, was kidnapped and murdered.  Bonnie’s murder is a major focal point in the series and Duncan is motivated to become a forensic sculptor as a result of it.

Joe Quinn:  Is an ex-SEAL, ex-FBI agent, and later turned cop.  He meets Eve during the investigation of Bonnie’s murder and eventually becomes Eve’s lover and closest friend.

John Logan:  Is a self-made billionaire that contracts out work to a reluctant Eve Duncan.  Develops a brief romantic relationship with Eve.

Bonnie Duncan:  Eve Duncan’s deceased daughter who makes appearances throughout the series as a ghost.

Ben Chadbourne: President of the United States and is hiding a secret that John Logan and Eve Duncan will eventually uncover

Lisa Chadbourne: First Lady and co-conspirator

The Setting

Atlanta, Georgia

As a forensic sculptor, Eve Duncan helps identify the dead from their skulls. Her own daughter murdered and her body never found, the job is Eve’s way of coming to terms with her personal nightmare. But more terror lies ahead when she accepts work from billionaire John Logan.

Beneath her gifted hands a face emerges from the skull he has given her to reconstruct—a face no one was ever meant to see. Now Eve is trapped in a frightening web of murder and deceit. Powerful enemies are determined to cover up the truth, and they will make certain that truth goes to the grave…even if Eve gets buried with it.

Looking for a review of The Face of Deception?  Check out:

A Bookaholic’s Review

Chorley Chronicals


Debbie’s Views

The Bookish Reviews

Tales of a Book Addict

Miss Nola Leigh

Every Book Counts

GoodReads Rating: 4.07 out of 5 stars based on 20,690 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.22 out of 5 stars based on 354 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.33 out of 5 stars based on 9 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.83 out of 5 stars based on 253 ratings

Total Score 4.07 (updated 10/17/18)




#2-The Killing Game- 1999

Listed #93 out of 121 on Goodreads Forensic Fiction Book List

First Line:

The skeleton had been in the ground a long time.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, John Logan and Bonnie Duncan

Sarah Patrick:  Along with her dog, Monty, is a search and rescue team

Jane McGuire: A seven year girl that becomes the potential target of Eve Duncan’s nemesis.  She eventually becomes the adopted child of Duncan and Quinn

The Setting

Georgia and Phoenix, Arizona

The killer knows Eve Duncan all too well. He knows the pain she feels for her murdered daughter, Bonnie, whose body has never been found. He knows that as one of the nation’s top forensic sculptors she’ll insist on identifying the nine skeletons unearthed on a bluff near Georgia’s Talladega Falls. He knows she won’t be able to resist the temptation of believing that one of those skeletons might be her daughter’s. But that is only the beginning of the killer’s sadistic game. He wants Eve one on one, and he’ll use his ace in the hole to make sure she complies. And he won’t stop playing until he claims the prize he wants most: Eve’s life.

Looking for a review of Killing Game?  Check out:

Tangled in Pages

Words I Write Crazy

Miss Nola Leigh

The Bookish Reviews

Book, Tea, and the Inbetween

Every Book Counts

GoodReads Rating: 4.18 out of 5 stars based on 27,008 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.42 out of 5 stars based on 239 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.45 out of 5 stars based on 11 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.71 out of 5 stars based on 226 ratings

Total Score 4.18 (updated 10/17/18)




#3-The Search- 2000

A Sample Clip of the Audiobook

First Line:

“Get out of there, Sarah,” Boyd yelled from outside the house.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, John Logan, Sarah Patrick, and Bonnie Duncan

Martin Rudzak

The Setting

Turkey and Columbia

The search and rescue team of Sarah Patrick and her golden retriever, Monty, first appeared in The Killing Game, where they helped Eve track down a kidnapped child and a maniacal killer. Now, John Logan, the billionaire who wooed Eve only to lose her to Joe Quinn, needs to utilize Sarah and Monty’s talents in a quest of his own.

Although it has it rewards, the rescue work Sarah and Monty do demands a hefty emotional toll from them both. Sarah is highly protective of Monty, and when Logan first approaches her with what’s obviously a very dangerous mission, Sarah is quick to say no. But Logan brings his powerful resources to bear and more or less forces Sarah to agree to the mission or face the loss of her job, her peace of mind, and Monty. The task at hand involves finding and rescuing a highly valued scientist who has been kidnapped and is being held somewhere in Colombia. But the man who took the scientist is a ruthless and heartless killer whose primary objective is carrying out his sadistic revenge on Logan.

Sarah, none too happy about being coerced into helping Logan, becomes even less inclined toward him when Monty is wounded in the rescue attempt. Logan is wounded too, and after their mission has been accomplished, the threesome end up back at Sarah’s isolated cabin. Sarah does everything she can to make Logan leave but finds it hard to be too insistent given his wounds. Besides, when Logan pays his debt to her for completing the mission, it is something Sarah could never have anticipated, an act that leaves her stunned, confused, and indebted. As for Logan, he refuses to leave Sarah alone because he knows that his nemesis, Rudzak, saw her and Monty in Colombia. And because of the nature of his relationship with Rudzak and the secret history they share, Logan knows the psycho will eventually come after Sarah.

Holed up together and fighting a wide array of emotions, Sarah and Logan discover a spark of passion between them. Though they both try to resist, eventually the spark ignites a full-fledged conflagration that leaves both of them stunned, puzzled, and forever changed. By the time the inevitable confrontation with Rudzak occurs, Logan will be forced to risk both his life and his heart in hopes of keeping Sarah and Monty safe. And Sarah must risk everything she holds dear if she ever hopes to find a happiness she is only now beginning to realize.

Looking for a review of The Search?  Check out:

Reading With Tea

Every Book Counts

GoodReads Rating: 4.14 out of 5 stars based on 13,616 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.38 out of 5 stars based on 205 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.14 out of 5 stars based on 8 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.72 out of 5 stars based on 200 ratings

Total Score 4.14 (updated 10/27/18)




#4-Body of Lies- 2002

First Line:

The flatboat glided slowly through the bayou.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, and Bonnie Duncan

Sean Galen: Eve Duncan’s protector while she is on a job in Baton Rouge.

Jules Herbert

The Setting

Georgia and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan has been summoned to Baton Rouge by a high-ranking government official to identify the remains of an unknown murder victim. Eve wants nothing to do with the project. She has finally found peace from her own tragic past, living a quiet life with Atlanta detective Joe Quinn and her adopted daughter, Jane. Then a stunning series of seemingly unrelated events turns Eve’s new world upside down.

Now, in a special government facility, she takes on the project of identifying the victim’s skeleton. But she hasn’t even begun when another death occurs. Someone totally ruthless, who can strike anywhere at any time and with seeming immunity, is determined to put a halt to her work, her life, and the lives of those she loves. Eve has stumbled onto a chilling conspiracy. There is only one person who can give her the devastating truth . . . and he’s already dead.

Looking for a review of Body of Lies?  Check out:

Patti’s Pages

Tales of a Book Addict

Every Book Counts

GoodReads Rating: 4.06 out of 5 stars based on 12,736 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 3.98 out of 5 stars based on 145 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 3.20 out of 5 stars based on 5 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.58 out of 5 stars based on 186 ratings

Total Score 4.05 (updated 10/17/18)



#5-Blind Alley- 2004

First Line:

Joe watched the body wrapped in a dark green tarp being carefully lifted from the grave by the forensic team.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, and Bonnie Duncan

Mark Trevor: Inspector from Scotland Yard that becomes a love interest for 17 year old Jane McGuire

Aldo: Serial killer

The Setting

Georgia, Italy

Her job is to put a face on the victims of violent crimes. But as forensic sculptor Eve Duncan works on the skull of a newly discovered victim, she’s about to get the shock of her life. The murdered Jane Doe’s face has been erased beyond recognition. But whoever killed her wasn’t trying to hide her identity. The plan is far more horrifying. For as Eve’s skilled hands reveal the murdered girl’s face, she recognizes someone she knows all too well. Someone who isn’t dead. Yet.

To stop this twisted psychopath, Eve must put her own life in the balance. But that’s not the worst of it — when her adopted daughter Jane reveals a bizarre connection to the case, Eve can’t stop her from joining the hunt for the killer. A hunt that will lead to a terrifying confrontation …

“But you know where you’re going.  You’re not lost and continually going down blind alleys.

“No, I know where I am going and you are safe with me.”

Looking for a review of Blind Alley?  Check out:

Consuming Worlds

The St. Thomas Blog

Paperback Worm

Where’s Your Book Today?


Write This Down

GoodReads Rating: 4.04 out of 5 stars based on 11,142 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 3.55 out of 5 stars based on 199 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: not reviewed

Library Thing Rating: 3.56 out of 5 stars based on 160 ratings

Total Score 4.02 (updated 10/17/18)



#6-Countdown- 2005

A Sample Clip of the Audiobook

First Line:

The hotel room was dark but he didn’t dare turn on a light.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Mark Trevor and Bonnie Duncan

The Setting

Scotland, Boston

“Don’t kill her. She’s no good to us dead.” These words haunt Jane MacGuire after a shocking attack shatters her world in an instant. Was it a random kidnapping attempt–or the countdown to something far more sinister?

Who is after her–and what do they want so badly they’ll kill anyone in their way? That’s what Jane is determined to find out, without the help of the police, the FBI, or her adoptive parents, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and her husband, Joe Quinn, of the Atlanta PD–because whoever is after her won’t hesitate to hurt those she loves the most. Now Jane will go on the run with the only man who may be more dangerous than those who are pursuing her. A smuggler, a con man, and who knew what else, Mark Trevor had his own mysterious reasons for wanting to keep Jane safe and out of the hands of a killer obsessed with a two-thousand-year-old mystery that could rock the modern-day world.

Orphaned at an early age, Jane grew up the hard way, but she was given a new life, a loving family, and a chance to pursue her interest in one of the greatest archaeological finds ever unearthed. Now someone was trying to destroy that new life before it could even get started. The past is returning with the kind of vengeance that knows no mercy. The countdown has already begun, and it’s approaching zero faster than anyone thinks.

From The Best Bad Reviews:

A review of Iris Johansen’s novel Countdown from Alicia Keenon “Rabid Reader” on Amazon:

I haven’t read such a bad book in a while. The plot was far fetched, too fragmented, and unlikely. The characters – especially Jane – unsympathetic. The interaction between the characters is psychologically a stretch.

But what really bothered me was the repetitive writing style. “She stiffened”, “he stiffened”, “Trevor stiffened”, “McDuff stiffened”, there was a lot of stiffening going on – in lieu of interesting action, obviously.

Everyone is angry and constantly saying “dammit”. Jane’s gaze flies a lot. Her gaze flies to his face, flies to the action, flies here and there. And she whirls. “She whirled on him” – frequently. McDuff whirled a few times, too.

Between the stiffening, the whirling, the gazes flying and the dammits, the style was insipid to the point of torture. Needless to say, I do not recommend this book.

Looking for a review of Countdown?  Check out:

On a Book Bender

Books to the Ceiling

Write This Down

GoodReads Rating: 4.06 out of 5 stars based on 9,142 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 3.66 out of 5 stars based on 171 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.67 out of 5 stars based on 3 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.64 out of 5 stars based on 150 ratings

Total Score 4.05 (updated 10/17/18)




#7-Stalemate- 2006

First Line:

Ignore it, Eve told herself, her fingers moving swiftly on the skull reconstruction she’d given the name of Marty.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, and Bonnie Duncan

Luis Montalvo: Columbian arms dealer that requires the skills of Eve Duncan

The Setting

Georgia, and Colombia

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.

Looking for a review of Stalemate?  Check out:

Ryder Islington’s Blog

The Bookmark Blog

GoodReads Rating: 4.06 out of 5 stars based on 9,408 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.03 out of 5 stars based on 147 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 2.00 out of 5 stars based on 3 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.58 out of 5 stars based on 160 ratings

Total Score 4.05 (updated 10/17/18)




#8-Quicksand- 2008

First Line:

Someone was watching him.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, and Bonnie Duncan

Megan Blair: An Atlanta physician with psychic abilities

Venable: CIA directive

The Setting


“Do you still miss your little Bonnie?”

This one sentence, spoken by a male voice in an anonymous phone call, is all it takes to drag Eve Duncan right back to that horrifying moment years ago when her only daughter vanished without a trace. Since then, Eve’s life has become an obsession to find her daughter’s remains. Only one man–a brilliant, ruthless killer–knows the truth about what happened to Bonnie. But taunting Eve might be his first and last mistake… Eve is armed with more than just her talent as a forensic sculptor. She brings with her former Navy SEAL Joe Quinn, Atlanta detective who will do anything to help Eve put the pain of Bonnie’s death to rest. Even if he has to lie to the woman he cares about the most. And even if this killer wars nothing more than to lure Eve further and further into swamp of madness…

“He was being chased and he had to take time to spread those branches over the quicksand.  He would have to run an extra quarter of a mile to go around the bog to get to that tree.”

Looking for a review of Quicksand?  Check out:

Lori’s ET Reviews

Books to the Ceiling

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Stacy’s Books

Tales of a Book Addict

Picots, Poetry, and Prose

GoodReads Rating: 4.07 out of 5 stars based on 8,618 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.17 out of 5 stars based on 116 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 3.00 out of 5 stars based on 2 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.67 out of 5 stars based on 152 ratings

Total Score 4.06 (updated 10/17/18)




#9-Blood Game- 2009

First Line:

The woman was fruitful.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, and Bonnie Duncan

Seth Caleb: Has been chasing Kevin Jelak for some time and comes on the scene to help Eve Duncan.  A possible vampire?

Kevin Jelak: Serial killer who likes to drink blood

The Setting


Eve Duncan returns in a thriller that pits her against the most evil mind she has ever encountered: a ruthless killer who taunts her with his every move…and who has a special affinity for blood. When a Georgia senator’s daughter is found murdered, and her body drained of blood, Eve Duncan is drawn into the web of Kevin Jelak—a serial murderer who is on Eve’s short list of killers who might know something about her missing daughter Bonnie. When a goblet of blood is found in Eve’s refrigerator, she knows the taunting is over…and the games have begun. As Eve and Jelak engage in a dance of death, Eve must call upon those she loves and trusts the most…even if it means bringing them into the game as well.

No you played the Blood Game all these years, and now you’ve lost.  It’s time to give the blood back.”  He is within a  few feet of Jelak now. “No resurrection. Never.”

Looking for a review of Blood Game?  Check out:

Always With a Book

Book Reader’s Heaven

Reviews by Christy

One Book At A Time

GoodReads Rating: 4.14 out of 5 stars based on 9,564 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.11 out of 5 stars based on 160 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 5.00 out of 5 stars based on 5 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.65 out of 5 stars based on 104 ratings

Total Score 4.13 (updated 10/17/18)




#10-Eight Days to Live- 2010

First Line:

She was laughing, Jack Millet thought, enraged.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Seth Caleb, and Bonnie Duncan

The Setting


Eve Duncan and her adopted daughter, Jane Macguire, are pitted against the members of a secretive cult who have targeted Jane and have decided that she will be their ultimate sacrifice. In eight days they will come for her. In eight days, what Jane fears the most will become a reality. In eight days, she will die. It all begins with a painting that Jane, an artist, displays in her Parisian gallery. The painting is called “Guilt” and Jane has no idea how or why she painted the portrait of the chilling face. But the members of a cult that dates back to the time of Christ believe that Jane’s blasphemy means she must die. But first, she will lead them to an ancient treasure whose value is beyond price. This elusive treasure, and Jane’s death, are all that they need for their power to come to ultimate fruition. With Eve’s help, can Jane escape before the clock stops ticking?

Looking for a review of Eight Days to Live?  Check out:

Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Always With A Book

Book Loving Mommy

Carolyn’s Bookshelf

GoodReads Rating: 3.99 out of 5 stars based on 6,627 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.33 out of 5 stars based on 183 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 5.00 out of 5 stars based on 4 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.79 out of 5 stars based on 87 ratings

Total Score 4.00 (updated 10/17/18)




#11-Chasing the Night- 2010

First Line:

Broken bones.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Venable, and Bonnie Duncan

Catherine Ling:  CIA agent that comes to Duncan to help her find her lost two year old son.

The Setting


A CIA agent’s two-year-old child was stolen in the night as a brutal act of vengeance. Now, eight years later, this torment is something Catherine Ling awakens to every day. Her friends, family, and colleagues tell her to let go, move on, except that her son is never coming back. But she can’t. Catherine needs to find someone as driven and obsessed as she is to help her – and that person is Eve Duncan. She knows that Eve shares her nightmare, since closure is also something that eludes Eve after the disappearance of her daughter Bonnie. Now, Eve must take her talents as a forensic sculptor to another level, using age progression as a way to unite Catherine with her child. As Eve gets drawn deeper into Catherine’s horror, she must face looming demons of her own.

Bonnie’s killer is still out there. And a new killer is taunting Eve and Catherine at every turn. Is Catherine’s son alive, or not.

Looking for a review of Chasing the Night?  Check out:

Always With a Book

Red Headed Book Child

Black Cat Book Reviews

A Romance Fox

Carolynn’s Book Shelf

GoodReads Rating: 4.12 out of 5 stars based on 11,646 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.38 out of 5 stars based on 206 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 5.00 out of 5 stars based on 2 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.89 out of 5 stars based on 121 ratings

Total Score 4.12 (updated 10/18/18)




#12-Eve- 2011

First Line:

Two minutes.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Venable, Catherine Ling and Bonnie Duncan

John Gallo:  Eve Duncan’s lover from her youth and the father of Bonnie.

The Setting


Eve Duncan’s mission in life is to bring closure to the families who have experienced the agony of a missing child. As a forensic sculptor, she is able to piece together bones, create a face, and bring an identity to a child who would have otherwise gone unidentified…maybe forever. Eve is brilliant, and driven, and tormented–because her own daughter, Bonnie, was taken from her years ago. And Eve has never discovered what happened to her. But now a name from the past resurfaces, thanks to CIA agent Catherine Ling who knows all too well what it’s like to lose a child.

After teaming up with Agent Ling to find her missing son, Eve and Catherine share a bond forged by their mutual pain. Now, Catherine challenges Eve with a name: John Gallo. A man from Eve’s past. A man, seemingly raised from the dead, whose whereabouts are unknown. Could Gallo be the missing piece to the puzzle that has haunted Eve for years? Why was he in Atlanta just before Bonnie’s disappearance?

Looking for a review of Eve?  Check out:

The Reading Frenzy

Bee’s Knees Reviews

Black Cat Book Reviews

Books Are Life- Vita Libri

It’s All About Books

GoodReads Rating: 4.09 out of 5 stars based on 12,713 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.14 out of 5 stars based on 369 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 3.60 out of 5 stars based on 10 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.69 out of 5 stars based on 110 ratings

Total Score 4.09 (updated 10/18/18)




#13-Quinn- 2011

First Line:

Agony tore through him as John Gallo pushed through the brush, the branches scratching his face as he ran.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Venable, John Gallo, Catherine Ling and Bonnie Duncan

The Setting


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.

From The Best Bad Reviews:

A review of Iris Johansen’s novel Quinn from LB found on Amazon:

She must have had. Somebody else. To have written. This book. Most of the book. Was written with choppy. Short sentences. Like this. Where the heck was. The editor?

Looking for a review of Quinn?  Check out:

The Reading Frenzy

It’s My Genre, Baby

A Book Blogger’s Diary

Books Are Life- Vita Libri


GoodReads Rating: 4.15 out of 5 stars based on 11,245 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 3.87 out of 5 stars based on 374 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.10 out of 5 stars based on 10 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.79 out of 5 stars based on 85 ratings

Total Score 4.14 (updated 10/18/18)




#14-Bonnie- 2011

First Line:

“What star is that, Mama?”


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Venable, John Gallo, Catherine Ling and Bonnie Duncan

The Setting


When Eve Duncan gave birth to her daughter, she experienced a love she never knew existed. Nothing would stand in the way of giving Bonnie a wonderful life – until the unthinkable happened and the seven-year-old vanished into thin air. Eve found herself in the throes of a nightmare from which there was no escape. But a new Eve emerged: a woman who would use her remarkable talent as a forensic sculptor to help others find closure in the face of tragedy. Now with the help of her beloved Joe Quinn and CIA agent Catherine Ling, Eve has come closer than ever to the truth. But the deeper she digs, the more she realizes that Bonnie’s father is a key player in solving this monstrous puzzle. And that Bonnie’s disappearance was not as random as everyone had always believed…?

Looking for a review of Bonnie?  Check out:

Always With a Book

Books Are Life- Vita Libri

Luxury Reading

Gizmo’s Reviews

Joelmp98’s Blog

Cannonball Read IV

GoodReads Rating: 4.06 out of 5 stars based on 8,970 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.29 out of 5 stars based on 551 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.60 out of 5 stars based on 10 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.63 out of 5 stars based on 84 ratings

Total Score 4.07 (updated 10/18/18)


Sequencing gel


sleep-no-more#15-Sleep No More- 2012

First Line:

The kill should be ridiculously easy.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, and Bonnie Duncan

Kendra Michaels: Blind at birth and then is given sight as an adult, her heightened senses while she was blind gives an unusual ability to profile murderers.

The Setting

Georgia and Santa Barbara, California

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan knows what it’s like to be haunted by the past.  For years after her daughter Bonnie was stolen from her, she fought for closure.  But now as she’s striving to begin anew, she can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is about to happen—or maybe already has.  When her mother, Sandra, asks for help in finding a missing friend named Beth Avery, Eve is sure that she’s hiding something.  It’s odd that Sandra would get involved at all, and the fact that she adamantly refuses to go to the police for help reinforces Eve’s suspicions that something is very wrong.

Eve learns that Beth has been locked away in a mental hospital for years, which makes it even harder to understand how she could have disappeared. As Sandra reluctantly reveals small pieces of the truth about Beth’s identity, Eve is shocked to discover that their lives are strangely entwined, and Beth’s disappearance now puts them all in grave danger.

Desperate, Eve enlists a secret weapon to pick up Beth’s trail: rogue profiler, Kendra Michaels. With an uncanny ability to detect clues and solve puzzles, Kendra begins to uncover the bizarre circumstances of Beth’s escape from what should have been the safety of her hospital room. Beth is on the run, and as her mind clears–detoxing from the drugs that have held her prisoner–she begins to see the threads of a twisted plot within the powerful Avery family, threatening to destroy Beth and anyone else who might jeopardize the high-stakes game that is already in play.

Looking for a review of Sleep No More?  Check out:

The Reading Frenzy

Always With a Good Book

Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog

Books Are Life- Vita Libri

Kristen’s Book Jungle

GoodReads Rating: 4.07 out of 5 stars based on 6,146 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.53 out of 5 stars based on 524 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.00 out of 5 stars based on 5 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.53 out of 5 stars based on 48 ratings

Total Score 4.10 (updated 10/18/18)



#16-Taking Eve- 2013

First Line:

He was ready.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Venable, Seth Caleb, Mark Trevor, and Bonnie Duncan

Lee Zander:  A hired assassin that turns out to be Duncan’s father.

Margaret Douglas: Meets Jane McGuire at a special animal facility to save McGuire’s dog, Toby.  Margaret has a special ability to talk to animals.

Jim Doane: Kidnaps Duncan to force her to do a reconstruction on his dead son’s skull and to use her as bait to capture his son’s murderer, Lee Zander.

The Setting

Georgia and Colorado

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan’s mission is to bring closure to the families whose loved ones have vanished.  She knows their anguish—her own beloved daughter, Bonnie, was taken from her when Bonnie was just seven years old.  It is only recently that this mystery was resolved and Eve could begin her journey to peace.  Now, Jim Doane wants the same kind of answers that Eve always longed for.  His twenty-five-year old son may or may not be dead and he has only burned skull fragments as possible evidence.  But he cannot go to the police for answers without risking his own secrets and dark past, so instead he chooses a bold step to find the truth—a truth that takes Eve down a twisted path of madness and evil and into the darkest heart of her own history.  Doane needs Eve Duncan’s skills and he’ll do anything to get them.

Even if it means taking Eve.

From The Best Bad Reviews:

Iris Johansen seems to bring out the best in people, here is a review from Carla at Goodreads on Taking Eve:

So horrible I couldn’t get past the first 20 pages. We start off with a man going on a road trip with his son’s charred skull (to which he talks), shift to a premonition of something bad looming (i.e., foreshadowing for the oblivious reader) which is then ignored so as not to cut the story off before it begins, lead right into a woman who sees her dead daughter’s ghost, and now we’re ready for the action of the story which is apparently a web of conspiracy and revenge.

Nope… First we have to make a pit stop to visit another woman who can’t bear to lose her dog so she gets the help of a sociopath who has the ability to psychically control the flow of blood in another person’s body, but most importantly, has a private jet and can smuggle her and her dog to a secret island laboratory where they’ve figured out how to make dogs immortal. I’m surprised I managed to keep reading to the part where the psychic dog whisperer informs everyone that the dog told her he’d been injected with a slow acting poison and only has four hours to live unless all of his blood is replaced. I’m gobsmacked I read far enough to discover that the full body transfusion worked.

Looking for a review of Taking Eve?  Check out:

Heroes and Heartbreakers

Always With a Book

Keeper Bookshelf

Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews

Books Are Life- Vita Libri

GoodReads Rating: 4.02 out of 5 stars based on 6,953 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.24 out of 5 stars based on 813 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.00 out of 5 stars based on 5 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.57 out of 5 stars based on 35 ratings

Total Score 4.04 (updated 10/18/18)




#17-Hunting Eve- 2013

First Line:

It was Doane’s mountain.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Venable, Seth Caleb, Mark Trevor, Bonnie Duncan, Lee Zander, Kendra Michaels, Margaret Douglas and Jim Doane

The Setting

Georgia and Colorado

In the second book of Iris Johansen’s heart-stopping new Eve Duncan trilogy, the stakes get higher. Eve Duncan is on the run. Kidnapped by Jim Doane, a mysterious man who wants her to complete a sinister forensic sculpture, she now has no time to savor the victory of escaping from him. He’s back on her trail and closing in fast. Doane desperately needs Eve’s skill to reconstruct the skull of his son — a sick and twisted killer who still holds Doane in thrall from beyond the grave. The CIA has its own reasons for tracking Eve’s nemesis. And those closest to Eve — Joe Quinn and Jane MacGuire — are doing everything in their power to rescue her, while a hired gun named Lee Zander is on a personal mission to eliminate Doane.

Looking for a review of Hunting Eve?  Check out:

The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog

Books are Life- Vita Libri

Always With a Book

Gizmo’s Reviews

So Many Reads

La Petit Muse

GoodReads Rating: 4.08 out of 5 stars based on 5,375 ratings

Amazon Rating: 4.45 out of 5 stars based on 768 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.67 out of 5 stars based on 3 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.53 out of 5 stars based on 34 ratings

Total Score 4.12  (updated 11/1/18)




#18-Silencing Eve- 2013

First Line:



Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Venable, Seth Caleb, Mark Trevor, Bonnie Duncan, Lee Zander, Margaret Douglas, Catharine Ling, John Gallo and Jim Doane

The Setting

Georgia and Colorado

Is she dead or alive? That is the question on everybody’s lips. Eve appears to have been killed — that’s what everyone attending her funeral thinks, at least. But not even some of her top-brass colleagues know for sure whether her death is a hoax — a way to ensnare her brutal captor, Jim Doane, once or for all. But even if Eve really is still alive, how much longer can this charade continue before she falls into even greater danger? CIA agent Catherine Ling will waste no time trying to find out. Years ago, Eve risked everything to help Catherine find her missing son. Now Catherine, along with Eve’s beloved Joe Quinn and Jane MacGuire, will go to the ends of the earth to save her…

Looking for a review of Silencing Eve?  Check out:

Always With a Good Book

Books Are Life- Vita Libri

The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog

Gizmo’s Reviews

GoodReads Rating: 4.09 out of 5 stars based on 5,277 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.52 out of 5 stars based on 955 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 3.83 out of 5 stars based on 6 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.82 out of 5 stars based on 30 ratings

Total Score 4.15 (updated 11/1/18)




Shadow_Play#19-Shadow Play – 2015

My Review of Shadow Play

First Line:

Walsh watched the detectives and forensic team milling around the open grave, their flashlight beams lighting the darkness.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Bonnie Duncan, and Margaret Douglas

The Setting

Georgia and California

Eve Duncan is 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 nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up 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 help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won’t rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated…

Looking for a review of Shadow Play?  Check out:

Pure Textuality

Urban Book Reviews

Jathan & Heather

Books and Lesser Evils


GoodReads Rating: 4.08 out of 5 stars based on 3,888 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.59 out of 5 stars based on 513 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.75 out of 5 stars based on 5 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 4.02 out of 5 stars based on 22 ratings

Total Score 4.14 (updated 11/1/18)



Hide_Away#20-Hide Away – 2016

My Review of Hide Away

First Line:

She was alone.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, Jock Gavin, Cara Delaney, and Seth Caleb

The Setting


Iris Johansen’s beloved forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is back and now the stakes are higher than ever. Dramatic changes are on the horizon for Eve and Joe Quinn and their relationship may never be the same. Faced with the task of protecting Cara Delaney, a young girl with ruthless enemies who want to see her dead, Eve takes her away to the remote Scottish Highlands where they join Jane MacGuire in search of a hidden treasure. But nowhere is far enough away to protect Cara from danger. With enemies closing in from all sides, Hide Away is a high-octane thriller that fans will not want to miss.

I can’t be scared any longer, Eve. All my life I’ve been afraid, and I can’t live like-” She reached out and touched Eve’s hand. “I have to face it, Eve. I can’t hide away from it. Will you help me?

Looking for a review of Hide Away?  Check out:

Wild Heart Reviews

Just Reviews


Urban Book Reviews


Carrie’s Book Reviews

Jathan & Heather

Sunday Gatherings

GoodReads Rating: 4.00 out of 5 stars based on 3,221 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.48 out of 5 stars based on 542 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.60 out of 5 stars based on 5 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.53 out of 5 stars based on 15 ratings

Total Score 4.07 (updated 11/1/18)


Night_Day_#21-Night and Day – 2016

My Review of Night and Day

First Line:

“I don’t like to lose Eve.”

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan risked it all to protect Cara Delaney from the enemies who want her dead. The journey has led them from California to a remote mountain in the Scottish highlands–and earned Eve the distinction of becoming their next target. When, despite all precautions, Cara is taken, Eve must hunt down the very people who want to kill her in order to save the young girl. At a time in her life when she has more at stake than ever before, she unhesitatingly puts it all on the line in a pulse-pounding mission of rescue and survival.

Full of danger, intrigue and heart, Night and Day is a breathtaking, high-energy adventure that’s sure to keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.

“Then I’ll believe you.” His smile brightened, lighting his face with that warmth and radiance that Cara called the shining. “And if it does, you might be able to convince me that night is day and day is night. I’ll look forward to that, too.” 

Looking for a review of Night and Day?  Check out:

Carries Book Reviews


Jathan & Heather

Always With A Book

GoodReads Rating: 4.12 out of 5 stars based on 3,207 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.56 out of 5 stars based on 519 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.01 out of 5 stars based on 7 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.53 out of 5 stars based on 15 ratings

Total Score 4.18 (updated 11/1/18)


mind_game#22-Mind Game – 2017

My Review of Mind Game

First Line:

The woman’s face might be beautiful, but it was also the stuff of nightmares.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jane McGuire, and Seth Caleb

Michael: Eve and Joe’s young son

The Setting


Mind Game takes Jane MacGuire back to Scotland where she continues her search for the treasure she’s been chasing for years. But now she’s being plagued by dreams of a girl in danger. Who is this girl, and what is she trying to tell Jane? And will Jane figure it out before it’s too late—for her and the mysterious young woman? Things are further complicated when Seth Caleb comes back into Jane’s life. This time he’s the one in trouble, and Jane will find herself pulled unexpectedly into his world as she fights to save him.

“You played all those mind games with me and I never knew where I was at.” She met his eyes. “Or where you were going to take me. I still don’t know. But I am choosing to take a chance on you.”

Looking for a review of Mind Game?  Check out:

Artistic Bent

GoodReads Rating: 4.05 out of 5 stars based on 2,091 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.57 out of 5 stars based on 218 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.33 out of 5 stars based on 6 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.67 out of 5 stars based on 18 ratings

Total Score 4.10 (updated 11/1/18)


#23-Shattered Mirror – 2018

My Review of Shattered Mirror

First Line:

The lights in the lake cottage sent out a cozy glow that lit the banks of the lake and made the house of death appear welcoming.


Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jock Gavin, Michael, and Cara Delaney

The Setting

Georgia, and New Orleans

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is once again thrown into a deadly game of intrigue when she receives a cryptic package containing a skull and a two sided mirror. Eve is determined to reconstruct the skull and uncover the mystery of the person’s identity, and when she does, the face of a beautiful woman begins to emerge. But who is she?

As Eve gets closer and closer to finding the answer, she becomes swept up in a lethal chase that spans continents and threatens to destroy the family that she has worked so hard to bring together. Eve and her team must work quickly to discover who is behind the murder – and maybe even prevent more loss of life. But how do you fight a killer who is willing to destroy anyone as a means to an end?

Glass. Shattered mirror pieces spread all over the interior of the box. No intact mirror reflecting their faces. Jagged splinters. Total destruction.

Looking for a review of Shattered Mirror?  Check out:

Shawna’s Blog of Doom

Sunday Gatherings

Mystery Sequels

Urban Book Reviews

Just Reviews

GoodReads Rating: 4.12 out of 5 stars based on 2,000 ratings

Amazon Rating-US: 4.67 out of 5 stars based on 220 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.20 out of 5 stars based on 5 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.73 out of 5 stars based on 11 ratings

Total Score 4.17 (updated 11/1/18)

#24-Dark Tribute – 2019

My review of Dark Tribute

First Line:

The white lace gown Cara Delaney was wearing tonight was all wrong, John Svardak thought.

Despite her tragic childhood, violin prodigy Cara Delaney has finally found peace in her career as a professional musician and stability in her relationship with her guardians, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and ex-Navy SEAL Joe Quinn. If only Jock Gavin, Cara’s lifelong friend and a man with his own twisted history, would even talk to her, everything would be perfect.

But the carefully constructed life Cara has built for herself is suddenly threatened when she is kidnapped by a mysterious man from her grandfather’s past, setting off a violent chain of events that puts everyone Cara loves in danger. Will Cara become a tribute to her family’s dark past, or will she be able to keep herself and her loved ones alive?

Looking for a review of Dark Tribute?  Check out:

Mystery Sequels

#24-Smoke Screen – 2019

My review of Smoke Screen

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan journeys to Africa to help families torn apart by a violent attack deep in the jungle–but she may be putting herself in more danger than she knows.

A journalist shows up on Eve Duncan’s doorstep with a plea for help. Jill Cassidy has just come from a small African village with a heart wrenching story: half the villagers–many of them children–have been killed in a horrific attack by guerilla soldiers, the bodies burned beyond recognition. Now, the families desperately need Eve’s help to get closure and begin to heal.

But when Eve arrives in the remote jungle, she begins to suspect that Jill’s plea may have been a cover story for a deeper, more sinister plot. Isolated and unsure who she can trust, Eve finds herself stranded in an unstable country where violence threatens to break out again at any moment and with only her own instincts to rely on if she hopes to get home to her family alive . . .

Looking for a review of Smoke Screen?  Check out:

Roses Are Blue

Living My Best Book Life

#25-The Persuasion – 2020

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and ex-Navy Seal Joe Quinn are about to give Seth Caleb their trust for the most important duty of his life: keeping their daughter, Jane MacGuire, safe at any cost. Because Jane’s talent as an artist has brought her to the attention of a madman.

Seth, Jane’s longtime ally and fierce protector, is determined to keep her out of danger, but that becomes nearly impossible when Jane is forced to take matters into her own hands and confronts the man who wants her for himself…and wants Seth Caleb dead.

As Jane and Seth chase down their blood-thirsty adversary, they finally commit to one another — in the culmination of the love story that fans have been waiting for. As the two come face-to-face with danger, one thing is made clear: it will take both of them working together to confront and defeat this evil.

Looking for a review of The Persuasion?  Check out:

Living My Best Book Life

5 thoughts on “Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan Series

  1. I have just started to read Iris Johansen’s books and I am hooked, they are real page turners.

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