Shadow Play (Eve Duncan, #19)by Iris Johansen

Published September 29th 2015 by St. Martin’s Press

5 Stars

Synopsis: Eve Duncan is the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands. When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won’t rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated…

My Review: 

This is the 19th Eve Duncan book and the stories keep pulling you in.

Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor, she gives a face to skulls of children who have been found murdered hoping that he killers will be caught and brought to justice, also bringing closure to their loved one. When she gets a phone call from a sheriff in California she agrees to work on the skull of a 9 year old because he is so compassionate about the case. Once she has the skull in her possession, it begins to speak to her as she works. Eve is taken aback at first as this has never happened before, but eventually, she and “Jenny” come to an understanding and they work together, first to create her face, and secondly to bring her murderer to justice. Jenny can’t remember much at first but she insists that Eve was meant to help her find out what happened to her.

The characters in this story is what pulls me to read each new book in the series. Eve and Joe have a relationship that has developed over the years. They have worked together, eventually married and continue to work together. They finish each other’s sentences and thoughts. Their love is very strong and they will do anything for each other, including putting their own lives in danger. Appearances or mentions are made of Jane, their adopted daughter, and Kendra Michaels who has helped them in previous adventures. Once again we meet Margaret, who is able to communicate with animals and she helps them out in meeting up with a coyote near the grave where Jenny’s skull was found. Sheriff Nalchez, the officer who originally reached out to Eve, has a storyline of his own and suspicions about him continue right until the end of the book.

The pace of this story is fast and it is riveting. It’s a page turner as Ms. Johansen adds layers of complexity with each new clue revealed. The twists and turns in this story keep the story interesting. The different threads in the story are nicely woven together into a satisfying conclusion. Many things in this book are rather hard to believe and probably wouldn’t happen in real life as other reviewers have stated, but that is why it is fiction. I very much enjoyed this story. Recommended for suspense readers who enjoy paranormal activity.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.