Never thought the day would come that I would rate an Iris Johansen book a one star. Especially as I have liked both the main characters - Jane and Seth aka Caleb. Jane is the now successful artist and adopted daughter of Eve Duncan. She has featured in her own book a couple of times in this series. Those were good. Caleb is a complicated man with a psychic background that makes people uncomfortable. He is the dangerous "hunter" you don't want after you. Their relationship has been complicated over the years. I guess this is supposed to be their happily ever after.
I didn't hate this book. I did not like or enjoy it. It took me 5 days to read this book. 5 days of starting, stopping and missing deadlines for other books and reviews because I had to force myself to finish this book. This should have probably been a DNF. I couldn't stay engaged because somehow, this intelligent, empathic and artistic character, Jane, turns into a whiny self absorbed shrew. I am not sure if Ms. Johansen is being replaced in the background or if she is bored with this series. These characters which were created with such love and caring, in the past couple of books, they are no longer the same as I fondly remember. I am not sure why these women, Lisa, Eve, Jane all think that they must be the one to save everyone. What exactly is their qualification? Military? Law Enforcement? Assassin? Er, forensic sculpture, painter/artist and who knows what. The sheer arrogance they display in their heroine complex and their incessant complaining would drive me to drink and then slap them upside the head.
I don't recognize the Jane in this book and it is disappointing. Her appalling behaviour and her mixed signals to Caleb are disappointing and distract from the plot of the book. This is not to say that Caleb is any better. He is still at least good at his job. His inability to be direct and communicate with Jane is frustrating. One of my pet peeves is contrived conflict through miscommunication. It isn't as if they are speaking two different languages. Jane and Caleb cannot seem to have an honest discussion. They go around in circles and I want off this dull merry-go-round of harping. I honestly have no idea why Jane is so conflicted about Caleb and her inability to articulate it should have Caleb dropping her and finding a more worthy female.
Throughout this story, Jane is constantly denying that she is a focal point of a madman's plot. Because...she is no one special. She isn't gorgeous... she is just a plain jane. After the first couple of times, I have to agree. She is nothing special and I don't understand why anyone wants her to the degree that the crazy villain and Caleb want her. She is a dime a dozen if her actions are taken into account. Move on!
The premise of this story was a bit all over the place for me. Hopefully the next book in this series will be better. If not, perhaps a bit of a break from this series is in order for me. For readers who like drama, unnecessary conflict and then a passionate happily ever after, this book is for you.