Review: Smokescreen by Iris Johansen
Catching up on this series, I am left a bit floundering. Bonnie's long running arc is completed. Cara's feature is completed. Jane's arc is up and down. Michael seems to be always vague and illusive. This series is really about Eve so I shouldn't be surprised. Still, this one felt a little bit like one of the earlier books with the crazy drug lord. Same feel to it and same kind of grey "Company" man working the issue. This book can be read as a standalone.
When I started to read this book, I immediately started to do more research on Congo and Egypt. I find Ms. Johansen's writing which incorporates interesting "what if" scenarios about historical figures and events to be creative. This one is about a war torn country with a dark past and a darker present. Whilst the concept and execution of it is superb, I found myself not really liking the characters. Novak for me was a bit too flat. He is this white in shining armour that didn't have much of a personality to me. Jill, the reporter constantly rubbed my fur the wrong direction. Even Eve found Jill to be a bit too much for most of the book.
My issue with Jill is that she is so determined to do things that are not smart. It is as if she thinks if she is not there, it won't be done right. Yet in most cases, she has neither the training nor ability to carry out what needs to be done. She is a major liability and she doesn't see it that way. It isn't her manipulations or "ends justifies the means" attitude that bothered me. It is her constant falling into the "Too stupid to live" category that bugged me. Seriously, she thinks she can do better than a former SEAL, a man trained by the CIA and a CIA agent. Her ego is so large I am surprised she can hold her head up. People around her have to waste time to ensure she sees the light. And even then, when she knows she is being unreasonable... she still wants to do it. No one died and made her god.
Eve does her usual excellent job and her supporting cast of her husband Quinn and her son Michael are just as good. Jill pulls Eve into an extremely dangerous situation and it is a miracle things worked out. I did find the tidbit about Cleopatra to be interesting. I am also intrigued about DNA falsification. This story is a fast read as we race to the end to see if Jill gets the story she wants and the ending she hopes for. This suspense is recommended to readers who like a little romance thrown into their dangerous shenanigans.