#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen explores the darkest corners of the human heart as forensic sculptor Eve Duncan closes in on the killer who stole her daughter so many years ago.
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, 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 disappearanceno matter how devastating. With the help of CIA agent Catherine Ling, Quinn makes a shocking discovery that sheds new light on young Bonnie's abduction and puts him squarely in the crosshairs of danger. Eve's first love, John Gallo, a soldier supposedly killed in the line of duty, is very much aliveand very much a threat. Now, 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.
About the Author
Iris Johansen is the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Night, Blood Game, Eve, and Eight Days to Live, among others. She began writing after her children left home for college, and first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, she began writing suspense historical romance novels, and in 1996 she turned to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia.
Read an Excerpt
By Iris Johansen
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2011 Johansen Publishing LLLP
All rights reserved.
STOP ME. FIND ME. KILL ME.
Agony tore through him as John Gallo pushed through the brush, the branches scratching his face as he ran.
How long had he been on the run?
And why couldn't he stop?
Why couldn't he let the sheriff's men find him, shoot him? He knew these woods so well that it was easy to avoid capture. Whenever they had come near, instinct and self-preservation had kicked into high gear, and he had fled.
And those instincts were so good, he thought bitterly. They had been honed by all the battles, all the killings, all the ugliness of his life. Save yourself so that you can kill again.
But at least he had not stayed to kill his hunters. That was part of the reason why he had not exposed himself. He couldn't trust himself not to kill them. He was too well trained, too expert in the ways of destruction.
And then there was the madness.
There was no telling where that sickness would take him.
He was climbing, he realized. He was climbing the high hill where he'd done his last kill.
Paul Black. He'd broken his neck.
And Joe Quinn. If he was dead, that, too, could be laid at his door.
He broke free of the shrubs and trees and was standing on the edge of the cliff over the lake.
What was he doing there?
One step, and he would plunge over the precipice.
Maybe that damnable instinct would not kick in when he hit the lake below.
"It will, you know."
He stiffened, afraid to turn around to see who had spoken.
Madness. It was back, taunting him, torturing him.
"Look at me."
He slowly looked over his shoulder.
A little seven-year-old girl, with curly red-brown hair wearing a Bugs Bunny T-shirt.
The same T-shirt she had worn the day she had died.
The day he might have killed her.
The agony was overwhelming, searing through him, blocking everything but the sight of her and his own guilt.
His daughter, Bonnie ...
Milwaukee Airport Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"YOU'RE JANE MACGUIRE?"
Jane turned away from the baggage claim carousel to see the woman who had spoken walking toward her. It had to be Catherine Ling, she thought. Her adoptive mother, Eve, had described the CIA agent in detail, but the reality was even more stunning. Catherine Ling was part Asian, part Caucasian, and more exotic and magnetic than any woman Jane had seen except on the movie screen. She appeared be in her late twenties, tall, graceful, with high cheekbones, huge dark eyes slightly tilted at the corners, olive-gold skin, long dark hair pulled back in a chignon. But it was the aura of power and vitality that surrounded her that was the most impressive. As an artist, Jane's first impulse was to ask her to pose for her. The second was to squeeze every bit of information she could from her. "I'm Jane. You're Catherine Ling? How is Joe?"
"Is that your bag?" Catherine lifted Jane's suitcase off the carousel with easy strength. "Joe was no better when I left the hospital. But as far as I know, he's no worse. Eve doesn't want to leave him, so she asked me to pick you up. I've made reservations for you at a Hyatt near the hospital. We'll check you in, then I'll take you to the hospital."
Jane shook her head. "To hell with that. I'm going to the hospital to be with Eve. I should have been with her ever since Joe was admitted. It's been almost two days. Why the hell didn't she call me before this?"
"You were in London, and there wasn't much you could do. Joe was in surgery for a long time. Eve said she didn't want to talk to you until she could give you good news." She headed toward the exit. "That didn't happen, so she called you anyway. She thought you should be here."
Jane nodded jerkily. "That's what she said. She was so upset that she didn't realize how that sounded. I felt like I was flying to a deathbed." She took her suitcase from Catherine. "She didn't even tell me what happened with Joe, only about his wound. A knife thrust to the back that did serious organ damage." Her lips tightened. "A knife. Whose knife? I don't want to stress Eve out by asking questions. That means you're on the hot seat, Catherine. I want to know everything before I walk into that hospital."
Catherine nodded. "I thought that would be my job." She stopped before a silver Toyota. "Get in. I'll fill you in while I drive you to the hospital." She slipped into the driver's seat. "But I'm going to go through a drive-through McDonald's and get you a cup of coffee."
"You think I'll need the caffeine to get through this?"
Catherine gave her an appraising glance as she started the car. "I think you're probably a cool customer. But you love Eve and Joe. They raised you from the time you were ten. You have a right to be upset and need a little bolstering." She pulled out of the airport parking lot. "And if you don't, I do. You're going to be pissed at me."
"Am I?" Jane stiffened. "Why?"
"I'm partly the reason Joe was hurt."
"Then yes, I'll be pissed at you. I'll want to break your neck. Is Eve angry with you?"
"No, she says no one could have stopped Joe."
Jane slowly nodded. "She's right. No one could ever stop Joe from doing what he wanted to do. I knew that the first time I saw him. But it relieved me. I knew if Joe ever became my friend, it wouldn't be because Eve wanted him to do it. It would be because he wanted it himself. That was important to me. I was a ten-year-old Eve had picked up from the streets because we'd known the moment we'd come together that it was right we stay together. But Joe was a big part of her life even then. I didn't want to have to walk away."
"And you didn't have to do it," Catherine said. "You became a family." She smiled faintly. "A very strange family. Eve Duncan, a famous forensic sculptor, Joe Quinn, a police detective, and you, a kid from the streets."
"We learned to mesh," Jane said. "Eve was no problem. Joe was slower. But we both loved Eve, so we worked at it." She smiled. "And then as we got to know each other, it wasn't work any longer. Funny how love makes everything easier."
"Yeah, funny." Catherine pulled into the McDonald's drive-through. "Do you want anything besides coffee?"
She studied Catherine as she gave the coffee order. How much love had Catherine had in her life, she wondered. Eve had told her she'd been a street kid like Jane but had grown up in Hong Kong. She'd married a much older man, then been widowed. She had come into Eve's life when she'd asked Eve to help her find her son, who had been kidnapped by a Russian criminal wanting revenge on Catherine. Eve had helped her rescue him, and they had become close friends. There was no doubt in Eve's mind that Catherine adored her son, Luke. But Jane had gotten the impression that, other than Luke, Catherine's life had been her job as a CIA agent.
"You're looking at me as if you're trying to take me apart." Catherine's look was quizzical as she handed Jane her coffee. "Is it your artist's eye, or are you taking aim?"
"Maybe a little of both." Jane met her gaze. "I admit the first thing I thought when I saw you was that I'd like to paint you. But you'll definitely be on my list for extermination if you had anything to do with Joe lying in that hospital. Tell me what happened to him." She looked away, and added, "Let me start you on the path. It was about Bonnie, wasn't it?"
Catherine nodded. "It's not surprising that was your first guess. I imagine you've lived with Eve's obsession for finding Bonnie since you came to her."
"Guess?" Jane took a drink of her coffee. "Finding her daughter's murderer and her daughter's body has guided her life. It's guided all our lives. She's tried for many, many years to bring her Bonnie home." She looked out the window at the passing scene. "And Joe's been with her, trying desperately to understand, to help, to find Bonnie, so that Eve could be at peace. I can't tell you how many times she's come to what she thought was that final resolution and been disappointed. But she never gives up."
Catherine added quietly, "And Joe was getting tired, weary of worrying about her, wanting her to come to terms."
Jane looked back at her. "Yes, how do you know? Joe wouldn't complain."
"Joe and I are a lot alike," Catherine said. "And I had to examine all facets of Eve's problem before I made a move to ask her to help me find my son, Luke. I didn't want to make a mistake."
"I promised her I'd pay her back for helping return my son to me," Catherine said. "She wouldn't accept anything, but I couldn't let it go. I knew the only gift she would think worthwhile would be for me to find her daughter's killer." Her lips twisted. "So that was what I had to give her. Whether or not it might destroy the life she had with Joe."
"You found him?" Jane's eyes widened. "You actually found Bonnie's killer?"
"I found two possibilities. Paul Black, who was already on Eve's search list."
"She told me about him."
"But I was betting on a new stallion in the race. One that would be much more troublesome. Naturally, I had to pull him front and center."
Catherine's eyes were fixed on the towers of St. Joseph's Hospital, which had come into view. "John Gallo. He was Bonnie's father."
Jane stiffened. "What? But Eve told me he was dead."
Catherine shook her head. "A cover-up by the military. Eve will explain everything later. I'm just giving you the bare bones. But there was evidence Gallo was in Atlanta the month Bonnie was kidnapped. So I gave Eve all my information and threw in my opinion."
"And she went after John Gallo," Jane whispered.
"And Paul Black," Catherine said. "But she felt terribly guilty about risking Joe again. So she tried to leave him out of it."
"She should have known that wouldn't work," Jane said. She knew how guilty Eve felt about involving Joe, but she could no more stop hunting for Bonnie's killer than Joe could abandon Eve and stop protecting her. Both were facts of life. "Gallo hurt Joe?"
Catherine shook her head. "Paul Black. And Gallo killed Black."
"Not so good. Before he died, Black told Eve that Gallo had killed Bonnie."
"And she actually believed the bastard?"
"She told me that she would swear Black was telling the truth. And Gallo took off and disappeared. Neither the police nor I have been able to find him."
"But what would make him kill his own little girl?"
"He was suffering from bouts of schizophrenia and violent delusions caused by years of mistreatment in a prison in North Korea."
"My God." Jane shook her head. "That must have been a terrible nightmare for Eve. How can you imagine a man who gave you a child could kill it?"
Catherine's lips tightened. "Well, I handed Gallo to her and made her imagine it." She pulled into a parking spot in the lot of St. Joseph's Hospital. "And then I helped Joe try to find him whether Eve wanted him along or not." She turned off the ignition. "Are you still blaming Joe and not me?"
Jane gazed at her a moment. "You're blaming yourself enough. You don't need any help." She got out of the car. "Where can I find her?"
"ICU. The visiting hours are very short, but Eve can watch him through the glass. If she's not in the waiting room, she'll probably be in the hall at ICU."
"Are you coming with me?"
Catherine shook her head. "Eve needs family. I'll check you in at the Hyatt and take your suitcase up to your room. Give me a call when you're ready to leave the hospital."
"Thanks." Jane turned to walk away.
"How did you feel about Bonnie?" Catherine asked suddenly. "I know it's none of my business, but I'm curious. You said that the search for her killer ruled your lives. That must have been difficult for an adopted kid to accept."
Jane shook her head. "I knew what was important to Eve when I came to her. I wasn't her child, I was her friend. That was enough for me. How could I ask for more?"
"Some kids would have been more demanding."
Jane lifted her brows. "You?"
Catherine shook her head. "But then I probably wouldn't have accepted any relationship when I was your age. I was an independent young demon. I suppose I still am."
"Eve is always the exception," Jane said. "You obviously have a close relationship with her now."
Catherine smiled as she started to back out of the parking place. "You're right. You and I are more alike than I would have believed. Eve is the sun we all revolve around."
Jane watched her drive out of the parking lot before she started to walk across the parking lot toward the front entrance. She could feel the tension increase with every step. She was going to Joe, who might well be dying. She was going to Eve, who could lose the man who made her life worth living.
How did she feel about the search for Bonnie? Jane had said all the right things, and they had all been true. What she hadn't told Catherine was the agony she felt when Eve and Joe were put in danger by that search. She could accept it. But she couldn't stop wishing that the search would end.
And she couldn't stop wishing that Eve would release Bonnie.
Or, dear God, that Bonnie would release Eve.
* * *
EVE WALKED SLOWLY DOWN the corridor toward the ICU.
Soon she would be able to see Joe again. He'd be pale and drawn, his features appearing as cleanly carved and beautiful as the visage on a tomb. It would scare her to death as it always did.
But it scared her more not to see him and to imagine him slipping away with her not by his side.
That was where she should always be. Next to Joe.
If God would let him stay with her. And if Joe still wanted her if he did come back. The memory of that last day at the lake house was suddenly before her. His eyes looking down at her as she sat in the swing.
"I can't be easy. It's not my nature. But it's my nature to love you."
And it was her nature to love Joe.
Please be better, Joe. Be awake. At least, have more color.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Duncan." The ICU nurse was coming out of the unit. "May I get you anything?"
"Yes, permission to go sit with him."
She shook her head. "Not yet." She hesitated. "But the doctor said that maybe we should let you go to him soon."
She stiffened, her heart leaping. "He's better."
The nurse shook her head. "I shouldn't have said anything," she said quickly. "Dr. Jarlin will talk to you."
Fear surged through her. "You talk to me, dammit. He's worse?"
The nurse was looking at Eve with that same sympathy and kindness that had struck terror in her heart since she'd brought Joe to the hospital. "Dr. Jarlin will talk to you. I'll call him and tell him that you're concerned." She hurried back toward the nurses' station.
Concerned? She was sick with fear.
Joe was dying, and they weren't going to be able to save him. That was why they were going to let Eve go to him. To say good-bye.
She couldn't say good-bye. He had to stay with her.
She leaned her head on the plate-glass window and closed her eyes. She felt the tears running down her cheeks as the agony flowed through her.
Look at him. Surely she'd be able to know, to sense some change. Maybe they were wrong. Doctors didn't know everything.
She took a deep breath and opened her eyes. She stiffened in shock.
Through the years she had often had visions and dreams of her daughter. Then she had come to believe they weren't visions at all. It didn't matter. Real or not, having Bonnie come to her had made life worth living and let her come alive in so many ways.
But now something was different.
Bonnie, in her Bugs Bunny T-shirt, her red-brown hair shining in the lights of the ICU, as she stood by Joe's bed, looking down at him.
Her expression ... Love. Perfect love.
Why was she here?
The fear became terror.
To take him away, to ease the transition from this life to the next?
Her daughter looked across the room at Eve standing behind the glass.
She smiled luminously. But then turned back again to gaze down at Joe with that same expression of love.
What did that smile mean? Could she help him to live?
Or could she only help him to die?
Eve's palms pressed against the cold glass as tension and sorrow tore through her.
* * *
Calling him ...
But he didn't want to leave the darkness. There was comfort here and yet also a strange excitement and anticipation.
Excerpted from Quinn by Iris Johansen. Copyright © 2011 Johansen Publishing LLLP. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have followed her books for years and loved them. That is why I was so disappointed that she left her readers hanging so suddenly.. She should know by now that a "cheap" trick like this to sell another book is beneath her.. I will read Bonnie just to see how she ends all this (if she really does end it there). But I will be much more cautious in buying any further books...
I loved reading this wonderful book! This is my second favourite one written by Iris Johansen. It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours.
I am not a huge fan of super natural and was glad this book did not have much in it. However, the ending of this book was terrible. It was like she got tired of writing and stopped. It reminds me of a two part movie. I would have bought Bonnie no matter what, but now I will question waiting on future books. I suggest waiting until Bonnie comes out to read this book. Otherwise you will be disappointed and left hanging.
Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan stays with her lover FBI Agent Joe Quinn as he struggles to survive stab wounds in the intensive care unit of the hospital following a confrontation with killer Paul Black who remains on the loose (see Eve). While Eve holds Joe's hands, she reflects back to when they first met years ago on a child killer case in which her seven years old daughter Bonnie was abducted and assumed dead by all except her. Obsessed over bringing Bonnie home dead or alive, she risked her life then and has many times since. Eve's adoptive now adult child Jane flies in from London; Catherine Ling meets her at the Milwaukee Airport where she explains how her search for her son began the events that have Joe in ICU. Black insisted that Bonnie's biological dad John Gallo killed his offspring; which Gallo never denied as he is unsure though he wants to believe he would not harm his child. Gallo remains free seeking proof in the Bayou that he did not murder Bonnie while Catherine Ling pursues him. The second exciting Duncan personal suspense thriller rotates the related but not quite linked exhilarating subplots as if the well written book contained novellas since much remains nebulous with the audience anticipating the upcoming Bonnie tale to tie the saga together. Fast-paced even when sitting in a hospital room, fans will relish the middle novel as the key players converge in what so far is a great saga. Harriet Klausner
Iris - you are better than this. Great book but a the biggest plot is to put more money in your account. For the cost you could have combined all three books to get to what will hopefully be the ending of the search for Bonnie.
At first I thought my nook lost the ending of the book and then realized, "Yes, this is where it ends". How disappointing. Why not just put the last two books together and be done with it? I feel like this is just a money grab by the publisher and author.
Disjointed, confusing, boring, totally unbelievable. If this is an example of future books, I will no longer purchase this writer and I use that term loosely. This was no more than an excuse to pad bank accounts. Shame on you!
I have read a dozen Iris Johansen books,and love each and everyone of them. The Eve Duncan Series are by far the best though. Anyone who is a fan will completely agree. I can not wait for July and October for Quinn and Bonnie to come out, they are going to be amazing!!!!!!!
First of all for those of you who stated that they loved these books; you are insane. This Author is totally off her rockers. The story line is so unbelievable. I have read all of the Eve Duncan's and thought that some of the old ones were better written. I'm so sick of Eve, I've never felt this way about any character. Who the hell is this person that everyone has to protect her. I mean you would think she's the second coming. Iris is so repetitious. She definitly loves the command word NOW! and really do people drink this much coffee. Coffee was referenced 23 times in this book. Ugh!!!! Again we have the weak Navy seal. Lady please make up you mind: is Eve strong or weak. I'm so glad I'm at the end of this series, and hand to the sky if she writes anymore about Eve, I will leave the book on the shelf. This series has gone on way too long. To upbeat this a little. I love John Gallo's character. OMG!!! I better not say that too loud or she'll get stuck in a rut and write 14 books about him. I mean you're not James Patterson. I recommend that if you haven't started this series don't. I have Bonnie to go and I'm dreading it, but atleast I can say that I'm finally done with Eve!!!! Oh wait I'm going to read other authors before I start on Bonnie, as I'm so aggitated when I'm done with these books. I'm an avid reader and love to be part of the Characters, but you cannot with these books, because Eve consumes the universe. Good luck to you poor suckers! Wait I fell for it also. Iris really could have made this one book, GREED!!!!!! NUT CASE!!!!!!
Will not download. Hope it will load by tomorrow or I want my money back!!
Crazy price for a Nook book! Hopefully this is a misprint! Keep trying B&N.
Johansen's fast moving prose initially offsets the melodrama. The melodrama then becomes tedious and you begin to wonder why she is dragging it out. You find out at the end, that she has no intention of pleasing her readers and only wants to sell another book. There is absolutely no reason to read this book. Even if you are a fan of the 'Eve Duncan' continuing story, this book offers absolutely nothing to the story line.
Iris Johansen has done it again. She reeled me into this book and I couldn't put it down and even knowing the next book, Bonnie, was coming out so we wouldn't find out who her murderer is yet I still wanted to scream at the end. She certainly knows how to keep a reader hanging and desperately seeking the next book. If you read my review of Chasing the Night and Eve you know that despite not having read all of the Eve Duncan books from the beginning I am still in love with this series. Eve and Catherine Ling are both such strong female characters and you can't help but bond with them and fall in love with them. I admit I was not a huge Joe fan and preferred John Gallo so I did not rush out to get Quinn when it was released. Big mistake!I loved that this book takes you back to when Joe first meets Eve and how he ends up falling for her. Having that background and seeing more of the type of guy he is made me actually like him a lot more. So now I feel like I can accept him more and really root for he and Eve to make it through together.The action is pretty non-stop throughout the book and there are a lot of twists and turns. My only complaint is the attraction between Catherine and John. Like I mention above I love both characters and actually think they would work really well together BUT I wish in the past books there wasn't the exploration of Catherine and Joe's feelings for each other and the possibility of them falling for each other if it weren't for Eve. Because of that and now the attraction with John it almost seems a little creepy that Christine always seems to end up having a thing for the guys Eve was in love with. Maybe that is supposed to emphasize how alike the two women are but it just didn't work for me. Still I loved this book and cannot wait to start reading Bonnie!
Quinn is the second of Iris Johansen¿s trilogy about Eve¿s search for her daughter Bonnie and it is full of hard hitting action and a thriller that you¿ll not soon forget. In this story we learn about Joe Quinn right from the moment he met Eve after the disappearance of Bonnie, she takes you deep into the psyche of a distraught woman fighting between hope and despair that her daughter would still be found alive and knowing it¿s unlikely. She also gives us clues to the mystery and brings us ever closer to the final detail that will solve this crime and she shows us how one of the greatest love stories on paper began and was nurtured to the extent we see it today. She does this with her no-nonsense dialogue filled with emotion that her readers will feel from the wrecked Eve to the determined Joe and all the other characters as well. Her characters are old friends to many of us, so much so that we have formed a sotto friendship with them, but have no fear if this is your first foray into this series she also gives you enough background to feel secure in your knowledge. Her main protagonists Eve and Joe are enigmatic and complicated people who through all the trials in their life together have grown into a life-force that no one can break and the romance although far from new still grows in depths that many of her fans will aspire to.So come along on this second journey to finally find the answers behind Bonnie Duncan¿s disappearance learn along with all her fans what really happened and know that in just a few months with the release of Bonnie we will finally have all the answers. Even though this reads well on it¿s own, I suggest that you read Eve first where the author tells us the story behind Eve Duncan, where she came from and how she got to be the woman she is today, then go back even farther and start the whole series you won¿t be sorry you did.
I didn't think it was going to be alot of new angles to Eve and Quinn relationship. When Cathrine found out that Bonnie's fother was still alive and he was in Gorgia around the same time Bonnie went missing.
I've been reading the Eve Duncan series for awhile and this book wasn't the best out of the series. I am so sick of everyone trying to protect Eve as if she was this fragile person who shouldn't or couldn't make up her own mind and decisions! I understand Joe Quinn better but he is way too possesive and arrogant for my taste. This story flipped back and forth too much from past to present and the ending was very abrupt. I'm glad I bought the triology (Eve, Quinn, Bonnie) together or I would've been mad at the ending and very impatiently waiting for Bonnie. I honestly like Catherine and John Gallo way more than Eve and Quinn. I believe the author needs to make up her mind if Eve should be meek and needy versus song and independent.
This book was longwinded. It became a chore to read but the ending picked up the pace very nicely. This long and drawn out trilogy could have easily been contained within one book so I suspect a shameless money-grab by author and publisher resulting in a three-book borefest. Stephanie Clanahan
This is an excellent read! It kept me turning those pages and left me on the edge of my seat wanting more! Lived this series!
if you aren't famiiar with this series, I don't think this book would make sense and I wish it was a bit longer but otherwise another great book from one of my favorite authors!