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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iris Johansen's Great, Maybe Best New Novel!
Iris Johansen never fails to provide a satisfying read; however, Deadlock, this month's release of an Indiana-Jones type adventure just might be her best!

Emily Hudson shines as an artifacts expert, who is sent all over the world by the U.N. to evaluate and save each country's historical treasures. She and her partner Joel had been sent to a small museum that...
Published on April 9, 2009 by Amazon Customer

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Really Don't Think You Should Come Along...(that's 80% of the book).
If you are looking for an action packed novel, filled with interesting characters....keep looking. "Deadlock" by Iris Johansen starts off strong with protagonist Emily Hudson, an archeologist sent into various war zones in order to protect ancient artifacts by the UN. Emily and her assistant Joel are captured by an evil group of men in the mountains of Afghanistan who are...
Published on April 7, 2009 by David Girod


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Really Don't Think You Should Come Along...(that's 80% of the book)., April 7, 2009
By 
David Girod (Westminster, Maryland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
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If you are looking for an action packed novel, filled with interesting characters....keep looking. "Deadlock" by Iris Johansen starts off strong with protagonist Emily Hudson, an archeologist sent into various war zones in order to protect ancient artifacts by the UN. Emily and her assistant Joel are captured by an evil group of men in the mountains of Afghanistan who are looking for an ancient Russian treasure known as Zelov's Hammer. Emily's only chance of survival lays in the hands of former CIA agent John Garrett, an expert at the spy game.

Johansen's novel involves Rasputin, the Russian Revolution, lost treasures, Greek Islands, and plenty of globe trotting adventure...which all just kind of lays there. The basic storyline revolving Zelov's Hammer and the key it holds to lost treasure is kind of blah, but could be an exciting tale if the characters were a little more colorful or better developed. Emily Hudson is about as engaging as drying paint, John Garrett is almost comical in his "James Bond meets John Rambo" mode. I guess we are supposed to take him seriously? The only character with any depth is the villain, Staunton. But his Euro-Evil schtick gets stale pretty quick and you never fully believe his obsession with the bland Emily to begin with.

I would venture to say a full 80% of "Deadlock" consists of one character trying to dissuade another character from "going along". Meaning that Garrett is supposed to go somewhere, and spends half a chapter telling Emily why it's not a good idea she "go along". Or Emily decides to go somewhere and spends half a chapter telling Irana why "she shouldn't come". Seriously, the protagonists bicker for most of the book about who should go where accompanied by whom. It's like those old "I Love Lucy" shows where Lucy wants to be in Ricky's show, and he refuses...but you just know Lucy is going to appear in the show. So eventually everyone goes everywhere with everybody...and you realize you've just spent 15 chapters reading the same thing over and over again. For God's sake....JUST LET THEM GO ALONG...and spare us the debate.

So in the spirit of the book let me advise you "You really shouldn't go along" with reading this novel.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save a tree, go to the library, May 10, 2009
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
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Deadlock by Iris Johansen

I am not going to re-cap this book in my own words like a good reviewer should. It has been done and done so very well by so many others. What I will say, is that I know this author could do so much better than what I've read here. I feel as if this were a "phone in" instead of an honest attempt at writing in the mystery/thriller category.

What we have here with Deadlock, is a book that, in my opinion, lacks suspense or thrills, romance or even believable dialogue. The pacing is slow; the relationships are flat and one dimensional, the beginning where we are expected to relive Emily's horror and nightmare abduction is bland and emotionless. The mystery and the history lessons that Ms Johansen treats us with, are tedious and endless. The relationship between Emily and John Garrett never resonates and one wonders why the attempt was made at all. Perhaps just to fill the requirement of in being romantic suspense.

Take my advice if you must buy this book wait and buy it in paperback or get it from the library...save a tree.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blunt Object, March 30, 2009
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
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The plot of this book is interesting, but one gets the impression the book itself was written at top speed. Not because of the action, but because the characters and relationships are underdeveloped. If you're like me, you "hear" the characters in your head when they are speaking, and all these characters "sound" the same. Same vocabularies and ways of speaking. There's a lot of angst, but it's all told--explained to and for the reader--rather than left to the imagination or slowly teased apart.

Would I recommend this book? Maybe if you just want a quick read on vacation and can't find anything else, and it's definitely a big improvement over Dark Summer, her last book, but it's still a mediocre one compared to her Eve Duncan forensics books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the Worst Heroine Ever, August 25, 2009
This review is from: Deadlock (Kindle Edition)
As the audio version of Deadlock progressed, I realized I was listening to one of the most poorly crafted books I had ever heard or read. The heroine was unquestionably written as the most miserably developed character I've ever experienced. The supporting characters are hardly better, and the plot is ludicrous. It is astounding this work was published. I continued to listen to the book and finished it only to see how bad it could be, and I was not disappointed. The heroine, written so insufferably, carped from disk to disk about everything. At once a trembling, lost waif who morphs into Xena, Warrior Princess, arguing all the way with everyone, I wondered finally what sort of self-loathing the author had about women that translated itself into the characters in the book. Unquestionably, this effort is the bottom level of pop literature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Departure from the norm, April 13, 2009
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
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This is not a standard mystery nor is it a standard romance nor is it a standard "James Bond" spy story. While it contains elements of each, it is not enough of one type to be identified with ease. Some will enjoy the variety other will find it distracting. Overall, this is a readable book but one with a different feel than the author we know.
Thinking about the plot will decrease your enjoyment of the story. The torture while not overly graphic is definite. Overall, we like this author for her Eve Duncan forensics stories. Taking stock characters from previous books might be a good idea but she has to breathe life into them. This book succeeds and fails. It succeeds as a lite easy read but fails in being really enjoyable and memorable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars And then, they burned his eyes out., May 30, 2009
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
Look, I know that's a spoiler. Because there is a character that gets his eyes burnt out - but here's the thing - there is also one who says move over, you're doing that wrong. I know! Because if you're going to burn someone's eyes out, you want to do it in the very best way possible. I am pretty sure Deadlock burned my eyes out, but I think it could have been done better.

I love Iris Johansen, and it makes me sad to give her a one star review, but not as sad as paying for this book would have made me. There's been this move lately to take the bad guy as over the top sadistic as possible but couple it with non stop capability. It's like the Terminator of evil. I want to make one of those stilted programmable youtube reviews of this book where lego-like people repeat things in monotone. "I will kill you. And everyone you know. And then you will be raped. But not the nice rape. A bad rape. Because I am bad." And the heroine goes "Yes. I know. You are very bad. But I will stop you. I will stop you alone. Because I must protect them. They protect me. We protect each other. You will die." The body counts end up roughly even, but the good guys don't gloat about all the killing, they just do it.

I just didn't care about anyone in this book. The saint is too saintly, the hero and heroine too murky, the bad guys too over the top crazy bad, the stakes kind of laughable. Everyone deploys buckets of money in a race for a legend about hidden billions. Well, hidden in what form? Where? Seems there are easier ways for super extra bad guys to make their cash. The initial set up doesn't even make any sense. There's a clue hidden in a museum in a war zone, so they empty the village around the war zone and send a woman in after the clue so they can take her hostage and get the clue from her. Why not just walk in and grab it? (Oh, hey, if I were a super evil bad guy....)

But the real capper to give this one star instead of the two it was hovering at comes near the end. One of the super ultra bad guys feels a need to tell our heroine that he doesn't even like to have sex with women (note the qualifier, not just have sex, but sex with women) yet she arouses him. Yes! He's not just the most overblown bad guy ever, to add to his evilness he's gay. And to add to her specialness, she turns him to the straight side, even if his kink is deeper than the Marquis de Sade's. Luckily, she's not interested in him. Whew!

Just skip this one. I really wish I had.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Whatever happened to Iris Johansen?, April 23, 2009
By 
Mkhmn (Decatur, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
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I used to love her writing - I've been reading her since her category romance days (Second Chance at Love, etc.). But this book felt rushed, no character or plot development. I was highly disappointed. I think Ms. Johansen just fell off my auto-buy list.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I could barely finish this book, I hated the heroine so much., July 7, 2009
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
I've read books by Iris Johansen before and found them to be a generally good read. But this book, was such a waste of my time. The heroine was pushy and opinionated and had no concern for anyone, in her quest for revenge. The beginning of the book touts her as intelligent, but her actions were that of a stupid woman. She insisted on having her way, even when a supposedly intelligent compassionate person would have realized she was endangering others. She was constantly surprised and amazed that the bad guy and his associates did bad things. At one point she goes after the villain with a gun and is disgusted and amazed that he came with an AK47. She then thinks, that she should not have been surprised that he took unfair advantage, by having a more powerful gun than she thougt to bring. This woman is too stupid to live and should have been put out of her misery in the second chapter. I can only assume that Ms. Johansen wrote this book with an audience of thirteen year old's in mind. They think a heroine who constantly wants her way, no matter what, is wonderful. Adult women, expect adult women, to act like adult women, not like a moronic, silly, clueless, spoiled and recalcitrant child. Ms. Johansen, the next time you contemplate creating a woman this dense, JUST SAY NO!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iris Johansen's Great, Maybe Best New Novel!, April 9, 2009
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Iris Johansen never fails to provide a satisfying read; however, Deadlock, this month's release of an Indiana-Jones type adventure just might be her best!

Emily Hudson shines as an artifacts expert, who is sent all over the world by the U.N. to evaluate and save each country's historical treasures. She and her partner Joel had been sent to a small museum that had little of real value, but they worked with their team to package and load everything, working hard and fast to get out before the weather turned even worse. However, as they were leaving, Emily and Joel discovered their first truck, along the road, the men murdered. As they got out to investigate, both were captured!

Held captive, Emily was told what they wanted--a hammer! She knew the total inventory of this small inventory and knew they had not packed a hammer, especially one that was supposed to be of value; however, Staunton would not believe her and soon began intensive, horrifying torture of Joel, until he was dead. Staunton decided Emily would be given to his partner for torturing and was thrown into Shafir's tent, only to be rescued by a man she thought of as the Angel of Death!

John Garrett was a mercenary who occasionally agreed to take missions for the CIA. It had taken his seeing Emily's picture to convince him to go after her! But it was her anger and hate of Staunton, and later his own when Staunton killed Garrett's friend, that started a hunt not only for the mysterious hammer for which Joel had died, but to track down Staunton and those that had backed him financially!

The hunt for the hammer--Zelov's hammer--takes readers back to an earlier time in Russia, when Zelov had been a behind-the-scenes advisor to Rasputin who advised Tsar Nicholas. Zelov believed he would one day rule and/or be a god and professed that his hammer had magical powers. However, when he found the royal court was no longer listening to him, he worked to have them all murdered--after he had learned how the Tsar had created a path/map to his great riches.

With the CIA and MI6 "blackmailed" into staying in the background with backup help, John Garrett and Emily led the search. Revenge drove them first, but love for each other became a problem as each fought to protect the other from harm. A thoroughly enjoyable ongoing intrigue between the two overlays everything and everybody during the rest of the story.

If you have not read Johansen before, I recommend that this be your first! Deadlock's historical artifact emphasis brings the usual treasure-hunting to play, but somehow this type of adventure never grows stale, at least not when written by this fantastic author! You just might be adding her to your "favorite authors" list, like I did many years ago!

G. A. Bixler
For Amazon Vine
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A dud by any name is still a dud, April 10, 2009
This review is from: Deadlock (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Deadlock is a romance shabbily disguised and promoted as a thriller. The dialogue is stilted, the characters are undeveloped, the plot is farfetched and tiresomely predictable. If you don't mind cookie cutter romances with a few guns thrown in then this may be a book for you. However, if you're hoping for anything close to the same calibur as Johansen's Eve Duncan books you're more than likely to be as sorely disappointed as I was.
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Deadlock
Deadlock by Iris Johansen (Mass Market Paperback - October 20, 2009)
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