La Crimson Femme
Review: A Face to Die For by Iris Johansen
Mixing another treasure hunting into the Eve Duncan series, this one is a surprising one. I haven't been that enamoured with the Helen of Troy story because I didn't really buy into the "face that launched a thousand ships". Ms. Johansen's interpretation is mind-bending and I like it. I don't know how much of this is researched but it makes for a wonderful tale.
Riley is an enigmatic jack of all trades archeologist with a Lara Croft flair. Her need for Eve's special forensic skills is a bit of a stretch, but it makes for a good plot point. Most interestingly, Riley's need for Eve actually helps another subplot where Eve must battle her own monsters and try to come out of it alive.
The two opposing forces chasing after Riley and Eve partnering up together is well done. It may feel a little too pat but I'm going to allow for it because it makes for a great read. This story is a solid tale of hunting for a hidden treasure with booby traps, venomous snakes, and incredible ancient technology. Makes me want to build a hidden room in my house and have a secret passage! Secret desires aside, this adventure takes a long time to build-up to the climax. At times I felt it was overly long and the characters were too argumentative. This is a trademark of the Eve Duncan series which is why I have taken a bit of a break from the books. Too much forced conflict due to personality clashes gives me a headache.
What I found enjoyable is Riley's painstaking tracking and explaining of Helen aka Eleni. This is a wonderful myth brought to life. If it were true, I would be impressed and love it. There are so many amazing women in history tossed away or written poorly. I like this interpretation the best. This suspense is recommended to readers who enjoy adventure and treasure hunting.