Skip to main content

Bibliophile reviews The Search by Iris Johansen

Year of publication: 2000
Genre: Romantic thriller (with brief and mild descriptions of sex; some paranormal elements)
Setting & time: USA (mostly), S-America, Taiwan

Story: Rich and powerful John Logan forces dog trainer Sarah and her trusty search dog Monty to help him find a missing person. Unlike a previous book where the person was dead, this one is alive and has been kidnapped by Logan's arch-enemy, his former brother in law who could never forgive Logan for taking his sister away from him. There is also the small matter of having been sent to prison in a Thailand hell-hole for 15 years by Logan. (If you think this is a spoiler, think again – this all comes out early on in the story). The man is wreaking systematic revenge on Logan by destroying people and places he cares for, and once he discovers that Sarah is helping Logan, he incorporates her into his plans for total revenge.

Here is where the SPOILERS start.

Review: Reading this book feels like reading a story written to be serialised in a magazine rather than a novel. It is episodic in nature and each episode ends neatly with a mini-climax, after which another episode begins that has a slightly bigger mini-climax, all building up to the big one, and unfortunately they don't always connect well, which is why it reminds me of a serial. This is not to say that Johansen doesn't know how to write a thrilling and entertaining story. She does. But knowing that Sarah and Logan were side-characters in a previous book makes me wonder if maybe this book was written more to fulfil the wishes of readers or editors who wanted more of them rather than the author herself wanting to, because I get the feeling she doesn't quite know what to do with the characters. For example, the scene where they all of a sudden discover each other sexually and jump into bed together because a crude remark made by her estranged former lover makes them fall in lust, is not convincing at all. Apart from a couple of lustful thoughts fleetingly described earlier, there is hardly any build-up to this event, and afterwards they are suddenly in love (although trying not to be), which is even less likely considering she still thinks he is untrustworthy and selfish. The side-romance is allowed much more build-up and is a lot more entertaining.

The thriller elements are much better done than the romance and make for a good yarn. The paranormal element is interesting and done in such a way that a sceptic can interpret it logically and a believer can take it as it is written.

Rating: An entertaining thriller. 2+ stars.

Comments

John Ottinger said…
I thought you might be interested in the New Notions 5 Reading Challenge.
Bibliophile said…
Sounds interesting. My first 52 books challenge was partly about something similar, although I kept a literary slant on it and tried to read as many new genres as I could.

Popular posts from this blog

How to make a simple origami bookmark

Here are some instructions on how to make a simple origami (paper folding) bookmark:

Take a square of paper. It can be patterned origami paper, gift paper or even office paper, just as long as it’s easy to fold. The square should not be much bigger than 10 cm/4 inches across, unless you intend to use the mark for a big book. The images show what the paper should look like after you follow each step of the instructions. The two sides of the paper are shown in different colours to make things easier, and the edges and fold lines are shown as black lines.


Fold the paper in half diagonally (corner to corner), and then unfold. Repeat with the other two corners. This is to find the middle and to make the rest of the folding easier. If the paper is thick or stiff it can help to reverse the folds.



Fold three of the corners in so that they meet in the middle. You now have a piece of paper resembling an open envelope. For the next two steps, ignore the flap.



Fold the square diagonally in two. You…

List love: A growing list of recommended books with elderly protagonists or significant elderly characters

I think it's about time I posted this, as I have been working on it for a couple of months.
I feel there isn’t enough fiction written about the elderly, or at least about the elderly as protagonists. The elderly in fiction tend to be supporting characters, often wise elders (such as  Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books) or cranky old neighbour types (e.g. the faculty of Unseen University in the Discworld series) or helpless oldsters (any number of books, especially children’s books) for the protagonist to either help or abuse (depending on whether they’re a hero or not).
Terry Pratchett has written several of my favourite elderly protagonists and they always kick ass in one way or another, so you will see several of his books on this list, either as listed items or ‘also’ mentions.
Without further ado: Here is a list of books with elderly protagonists or significant, important elderly characters. I leave it up to you to decide if you’re interested or not, but I certainly enjoyed…