Cira. A name, a woman, an obsession. Someone is killing women who resemble this beautiful actress who died over 2,000 years ago during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and every clue ends up in a blind alley. Iris Johansen brings back forensic sculptor Eve Duncan for a non-stop thriller as the path of a serial killer leads right to her front door.
When I discovered Iris Johansen several years ago, I quickly read all of her books and was particularly fascinated by the ones involving Eve Duncan. She had lost her seven-year-old daughter to a serial killer and the child's body was never recovered. As a result, she had almost unbearable difficulty dealing with the tragedy. So Eve dedicated her life to "bringing home" unidentified victims by recreating their likeness through sculpture. Each person who she is able to give back to his or her family brings a little more closure to Eve's own grief.
From captivating descriptions of the culture and times prior to the devastation of Mount Vesuvius, to the delightful characterization of Eve's adopted daughter, Jane, Johansen once again comes up with just the right combination of story, suspense, romance and values.
Oh, for a teenager like Jane! Eve and her husband, Detective Joe Quinn, adopted the streetwise little handful seven years ago and she has grown into a beautiful young woman who appreciates everything and doesn't wallow in the misery of her lost childhood. Of course, with her sense of responsibility, there is also a need for independence, and Jane does not hesitate to make decisions based on her own strong moral code --- even if it will cause her parents to fret a bit.
With customary ease, Johansen takes an obsessive killer, dedicated police, a mysterious champion, various archeologists and dramatic settings, and molds them all together to "bring home" another bestseller.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on April 1, 2005