The Search

Iris Johansen, Author
Iris Johansen, Author Bantam Books $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-553-80091-3
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000
Release date: 06/01/2000
Compact Disc - 978-0-553-71202-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-52723-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7887-4852-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages
Hardcover - 978-1-58724-052-2
Paperback - 978-1-56895-190-4
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-0-307-41854-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 308 pages - 978-0-553-58948-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-553-58954-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-03231-6
Hardcover - 436 pages - 978-0-340-79489-0
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Two strong-minded women from Johansen's bestselling Killing Game make return appearances in her latest thriller, with their billing reversed: Irish-Apache search-and-rescue worker Sarah Patrick is the star, while her friend, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, takes a supporting role. The center-stage love story also features a twist. Eve's billionaire entrepreneur ex-lover, John Logan, falls for Sarah even while risking her life in his war with hyper-evil Martin Rudzak, who has already killed his own half-sister, Chen Li, rather than lose her to John. Johansen's roots lie in historical romance, but her thrillers ooze enough testosterone to suggest she also descends from the house of Robert Ludlum. Sarah and her fabulous canine partner, golden retriever Monty, slog into the aftermaths of a Turkish earthquake and a Taiwanese mudslide, and engage in a heartbreaking search for drowned teens in a lake near Sarah's Arizona cabin. They deal with bullets and bombs and collaborate to save a cruelly trapped wolf, dubbed Maggie, whose unlikely cross-species passion for Monty provides neat commentary on female-male attraction in general--and there's no need to be a dog-lover to revel in Sarah and Monty's empathetic closeness. On the downside, Johansen seems more interested in telling her story than in writing it. To create a sense of urgency, she relies heavily on the device of the two-word sentence and the one-sentence paragraph; parts of the book read like shorthand. Sarah and John globe trot, but there's scant sense of place, and minor characters like nasty Sen. Todd Madden are one-dimensional. Then again, the novel admirably eschews gush and wallpaper--in a postfeminist way, Sarah's ruggedness simply is. For better or for worse, Johansen pushes the gender boundary in popular fiction, offering up that rarity: a woman's novel for men. Major ad/promo. (June)
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