Wednesday, May 04, 2011

day 09 - the calm before the storm

You know, I never thought myself as an avid reader, or a bookworm back when I was a student. I thought "Hey, I just like to read to pass my time". But then again, who am I kidding? I love books since I was a kid. My parents taught me how to read even before they send me to the kindergarten. I have more interest in books more than the idiot box. I love the smell of a new book and the way a worn-out book looks.

I love books. There's no other way to put it. And that is why I'm not complaining about this meme. In fact, I love it! I love how I have to dig up my library (or virtual library, thanks to Goodreads) to comply with the list. Going through all the books I've read, it's a joy only known to me. I found comfort and happiness in it. And you, you have to bear with me for the next 21 posts.

Day 09 - A book you thought you wouldn't like but end up loving

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.  ~Thomas Helm

Iris Johansen's The Face of Deception

Synopsis (as usual, taken from Goodreads):
After losing her beloved child to a serial killer, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan survives by focusing on her career. The best in her field at rebuilding faces from bare skull bones, Eve specializes in identifying missing children.

When billionaire John Logan requests her help in identifying an adult skull, Eve--already swamped with work--tells Logan that she isn't interested. But when he volunteers to donate a large sum of money to a charity for missing children in exchange for her time, Eve reluctantly agrees.

Logan neglects to tell her that there are powerful, desperate people who are determined to keep the skull's true identity a secret at any cost. Eve's gut instincts tell her that Logan is holding back vital information: Does the billionaire really believe that he's uncovered new insight into the Kennedy assassination? Or does the skull tie him to a mysterious murder?
When I first got my hand on this book, I was a bit skeptical. I've read Iris Johansen's works. Mostly they're about romance, with steamy not-your-average romp in the sheet (or out of it) scenes. Can she write a good suspense/thriller/mystery novel? Do I really want to read this? I did, eventually, but with not very high hopes. Or expectations. I did expect, though, a mediocre read.

And I am glad, to this day, that I was wrong. Totally wrong.

This is a well-written book. Well-plotted. And the characters are strong. Especially the character of Eve Duncan. That woman is my definition of a smart and cool woman. She's not easily bullied and she's got guts. Her character is developed really well through out the book. By the end of the book, I think I know Eve really well. 

The Face of Deception is another good mystery novel. This is as close as you can get to a forensic anthropologist. I am always fascinated by the work of a forensic anthropologist. How they're able to construct face from a bare skull, how they're able to recognize/identify any damage or defects to the face or the skull. They must have really good instincts, no?

This is actually the first book from the Eve Duncan forensic thrillers. I am yet to read any other book in this series so I cannot comment on how the other book in the series fares. But as far as I know, this first book got me hooked.


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