MYSTERY

Smokescreen

Grand Central. (Eve Duncan, Bk. 26). Jul. 2019. 432p. ISBN 9781538713082. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781538762974. THRILLER
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Johansen is back with another fast-paced “Eve Duncan” mystery (after Dark Tribute).This time, forensic sculptor Eve is reconstructing the skulls from a schoolhouse massacre in a small village in Africa. She came at the request of Jill Cassidy, a journalist who has been reporting on events in the village, but Eve soon realizes that there’s more to the story. Jill has sinister reasons for inviting Eve in on the project, and the disturbing backstory is heavy with threats of violence. While this installment is a part of a long-running series, it can be read as a stand-alone. The extended dialog that carries the narrative leads to strong characterization; readers will be able to understand the twisted motives and are not spared any detail, from the frightening to the mundane, as every element advances the plot to a heart-pounding conclusion.
VERDICT A thriller with underlying political themes, this novel is sure to appeal to Eve Duncan enthusiasts as well as new readers of the series. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.]

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