Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chasing the Night-Iris Johansen

Chasing the Night
Iris Johansen
St. Martin’s, Oct 19 2010, $27.99
ISBN: 9780312651190

CIA Agent Catherine Ling rescues Kelly Winter from Bega, Columbia terrorist Munoz, who offers to exchange her life for that of his brother held in prison. Catherine is not in time to save Munoz’s sibling, but she frees the woman Munoz held as a hostage. Catherine demands Agent Venable uphold his part of the deal by having forensic sculptor Eve Duncan do an age progression on her now eleven year old son, abducted eight years ago by a gun for hire Russian.

Eve ponders whether to do the request. A few days later, Catherine comes to Eve’s home and begs the woman to do what she can to find her son. Both women understand personal tragedies and those traumas lacking closure forge a bond between them. Eve creates the age progression model, which Catherine plans to take to Russia. At the same time, Eve’s empathy reminds her that her daughter Bonnie’s killer is out there and someone is taunting the two women. However, the rescue mission takes an eerie spin as Catherine must decide between preventing another 9/11 catastrophe and rescuing her son.

Chasing the Night is a complex action-packed thriller, but ironically it is the bonding of the two women who share in common the loss of an offspring that makes this tale a fabulous tale. Their sisterly connection brings the soul to the story line as Eve and Catherine reach out to one another while their respective families have advised each to let it go, which neither can. Except for the taunting subplot that feels formulaic, this is a super Eve Duncan tale (see Eight Nights to Live) as she shares top billing (and loss) with another despondent woman.

Harriet Klausner

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