Monday, August 17, 2009

Deadlock by Iris Johansen

I tried to have a snappy eye catching title for this post and just couldn't come up with anything this morning but that doesn't mean "Deadlock" didn't catch me from page one and kept me turning pages until the end.  This was one of Ms. Johansen's best efforts outside of the Eve Duncan series.
Emily Hudson is an archeologist who works for the U.N. to retrieve relics and art treasures from threatened world locations like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and South Africa.
John Garrett is a mysterious mercenary with ties to MI6 and the CIA.
Staunton is also a mercenary but he isn't so discriminating in his employers or how he gets the job done.
As always a good story is not made on 2 or 3 characters alone.  Ms. Johansen has filled the supporting cast with a wonderful if not completely drawn batch of friends and cohorts in crime.
Irana is a former nun turned doctor who Garret rescued and setup in her own hospital.
Dardon is Garrett's mysterious side kick and can get any kind of transportation anytime, anywhere.
Pauley is a computer genius with a penchant for adventure.
Ferguson is the CIA agent with an agenda.

The story starts in Afghanistan at a little abandoned museum where Emily and her friend and co-worker Joel Levy are sifting through leftovers.  They are attacked leaving the area by a band of bandits who don't want what is in the truck but what they might know about a relic called the Zelov Hammer. Their kidnapping makes international news From this point the story races across the world and the page with only short romantic stops along the way. 
I loved this book because for the first time in a while I didn't want to put it down.  The story was the star.  Relationships and sex were second.  Emily and Garrett would escape a harrowing situation and then have raucus sex and on to the next race for the Hammer.  I am sure if I had a hunk like Garrett saving me I would want to thank him in the most intimate way possible.  Don't misunderstand, Emily is no shrinking violet and in the end she saves herself which I liked most.  She was strong and smart and not perfect.  Garret was strong and maybe not quite as smart as Emily which made him perfect to me....hehehehe.
I have seen some reviews where readers thought the plot was improbable or the story jumped around too much.  I didn't have a problem with either of those issues.  I did have a problem that the main characters, too often, predicted what another character was feeling or thinking.  It got really annoying.  Why have dialog if you already know what I am thinking and feeling.  Other than that I thought "Deadlock" was an exciting, fast paced and thoroughly entertaining read!  Check it out at the Library or pick it up at your favorite bookstore. You can also download it to your kindle!