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Stalemate (Eve Duncan) Mass Market Paperback – December 26, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews
Book 11 of 21 in the Eve Duncan and Friends Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the latest Eve Duncan forensics thriller from bestseller Johansen (Killer Dreams), the Atlanta-based forensic sculptor with an international reputation finds herself attracted, not always convincingly, to a sleazy manipulator. Duncan, who specializes in reconstructing facial features from skulls, has buried herself in her work since the disappearance and presumed death of her seven-year-old daughter, Bonnie, years earlier. That still-open wound is probed with sadistic skill by Luis Montalvo, a shady Colombian arms dealer, who offers to solve the mystery of what happened to Bonnie if Duncan agrees to attempt a reconstruction from a skull Montalvo believes was his late wife's. Despite the misgivings of her former husband, an FBI agent, Duncan accepts, and soon finds herself dodging bullets in a war between Montalvo and a drug lord rival in the Colombian jungle. Despite a shortage of the sort of meaty science that, say, a Kathy Reichs thriller typically provides, Johansen's faithful audience should be satisfied. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is a complicated woman. She has survived her years in the school of hard knocks, although not without scars. And she has suffered the worst event a parent can, losing a child to abduction. Now she helps other stricken parents by reconstructing skulls so that victims can be identified. In this, she is one of the best. In addition to her work, she has Joe, a wonderfully understanding man with many military and government connections. But all this abruptly changes when Eve gets a phone call from Montalvo, a drug lord in South America in need of her services. Eve initially refuses to make the journey, but after he promises to use all his resources to find her daughter's killer and her body, this scarily single-minded and stubborn woman agrees to go, despite knowing that she will most likely be killed. Eve is then simultaneously repelled by and attracted to Montalvo. Johansen strikes again, creating both a nonstop thriller and a character study about an individual who has long seen the world in black and white, and now perceives only shades of gray. Maria Hatton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Eve Duncan (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (December 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553586548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553586541
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mrs. J. L. Wilson on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I cant believe the turn the author has taken with this book.Eve Duncan was my favourite Iris Johansen character.I have loved all her other books.To me this book did not portray Eve and Joe to be the same characters as we know and love.Idon`t think I will be able to read another Iris Johansen book if this continues. And I have read them all.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this series from Ms. Johansen because her heroine is a strong woman. However, this book goes totally over the top and is so unrealistic that I would not recommend anyone to read it. Imagine a man/woman going into the hills and jungles of Columbia to deal with drug and gun dealers, some of the most feared criminals in the hemisphere. She not only does that but by doing so puts her family and Joe (in one book he's her husband and in another book he's a live-in boyfriend, so I'm not sure what their relationship is) in real danger. She also feels that she really can do this without anybody's assistance except one person (a character from another book.) Now after doing all that she becomes attracted to a head of one of these organizations and it looks like the series is taking a turn for her to connect with this guy. Joe, oh, he's only the guy that saved her life a few times and has stood by her for years. Sorry, if this is where the series is going, this is the last Eve Duncan book I am reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read every book that Johansen has written to date. One of the things I liked most about them was the relationships and committment to one another of her main characters. In this book it seems that suddenly Eve is mesmerized by this bad guy Montalvo and make no mistake, he is bad. He kills without compunction and sells arms to any and all takers. By giving into his demands, Eve put not only Joe at risk but also her mother and Jane as well as herself. He doesn't have anything in common with Eve. He knew where and who killed his wife. He knew where her body was and didn't need a reconstruction to identify her and "bring" her home. He wanted it to prove to his father-in-law that he was dealing with a sadistic killer even worse than the two of them were. Eve ran off with John Logan for months in an earlier book and Joe forgave her as he really loves her but if she gets involved with this Montalvo character, I for one won't read anymore books with her in it as a main character. I have never particularly liked her as I think she uses peoples love for her and manipulates them, not just Joe but also Jane. He gave up a lot for Eve and has been stedfast and pulled her chestnuts out of the fire more than once. Jane has also been there for her and never questioned her love but then she puts both in a position to be killed by this guy or someone trying to get to her by using them and almost succeeds in getting Joe killed. I am with some of the other readers, Johansen needs to bring Bonnie home and let Eve marry Joe and start being a bit more likeable. So far she won't commit to him and in this book was obviously thinking of shoving him out. More Montalvo in the future? No thanks. He isn't someone I admire nor is his young assassin in training. He would have killed Joe without blinking an eye. I hope this is the last we see of either of them.
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Format: Hardcover
I like Iris Johansen's books. I'm in the process of finishing all of her suspense collection. Writing is okay, characters are good & I find myself looking for the recurring characters. Johansen has a way of making the reader feel as if these recurring characters are old friends. One thing about her writing that really bugs me though is the over usage of some phrasing - almost makes me wonder if she has a saved list of these, that she just pastes in as needed: "She moistened her lips" "His lips tightened" "Her hands clinched into fists at her sides". Kinda drives ya nuts after reading several of the books. Also, fillers such as making & drinking coffee & taking showers, seem redundant.
Books are a quick & easy read, nothing too deep, & easy to figure plots. Descriptions of romance are well done, and Johansen keeps me turning those pages.
I liked Stalemate. I really like Eve & Joe, but if Joe really is Eve's soulmate & best friend, she didn't treat him as such in this book. I'd like to see Montalvo return & make good on his promise to Eve. I ALSO would like to see him become involved with someone other than Eve. I'm routing for my Eve & Joe!
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Format: Hardcover
I am so tired of this Eve Duncan character. Please Ms. Johansen, write about someone else for a change. I have read all of your books and have never really understood why you picked this character to serialize. To me she is not a sympathetic character - meaning I don't really like her - not that you shouldn't feel sorry for her because her daughter has been presumably killed. She (the character) hasn't really committed to her husband/boyfriend (Joe)(Montalvo is the second "other man") and she whines and complains all the time. Let her find her daughter's remains for heavens sake and get on with her life. Maybe then if you feel like you must continue to write about her she will grow and become more interesting. I am really bored with this series and will most likely not buy another book with Eve as the main character in it.
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