Eight Days to Live
An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller
By Iris Johansen
Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2010), 620 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - June 7, 2010
This is another thriller by Iris Johansen that focuses on the adventures of highly unusual but very interesting characters: Jane MacGuire, Eve Duncan, Joe Quinn, Jock Gavin, John MacDuff, and Seth Caleb, with a small but significant part by Venable. Jane is a beautiful and intelligent waif raised by Eve and Joe, who is now a successful artist. She has strange dreams from time to time where information is revealed to her. Eve is a well-known forensic sculptor who is able to flesh out skulls and show through the reconstruction what the dead person looked like. Joe is an ex-Seal who is now a cop. Jock was a brainwashed young man who was trained to kill and did so for some years until he was rescued by Jane and MacDuff. MacDuff is the Laired of a large Scottish estate, an ex-commando, who is loved by his employees. Seth Caleb is a murderer with an unusual ability to hypnotize people to do what he wants them to do and an ability to kill people by just using his mind. Venable is CIA.
Jane MacGuire paints a picture called "Guilt." The portrait is the result of one of her dreams. When her picture is publicized, a religious group that offers human sacrifices called Sang Noir - a perversion of sang-froid, which means coolness of mind, so Sang Noir is a black mind - decides that it must kill her in a religious ceremony on April 1. Venable of CIA hears about the intended murder from an informant who disappears. Jane is determined to find the informant to learn why she is marked for murder. She enlists Seth Caleb. Caleb, Eve, Joe, Jock and MacDuff do all they can to protect her.
The story is filled with suspense. True to her style, Iris Johansen portrays all the women in the tale as self-willed, determined people, unafraid of formidable men like MacDuff, Jock, Joe, and Seth Caleb.
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.