Live to See Tomorrow
Popular author Iris Johansen entices her fans with a new adventure novel starring Catherine Ling, who returns to Hong Kong to vacation with her 11-year-old son, Luke. Venable had chosen her, at the age of 14, to work for the CIA, taking her off the city’s streets she had known as home. Ling now reluctantly takes on a new assignment, attempting to rescue an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist believed to be kidnapped and taken hostage in the mountains of Tibet.
Erin Sullivan endures brutal torture during her imprisonment in a secluded castle fortress. Her torturer, Paul Kadmus, is an evil man who dreams of dominating society from a stronghold in the mythical Shangri La he calls Shambhala. Sullivan wears a necklace given to her in Tibet by someone whose name she will not reveal. Kadmus believes the man she's protecting is the one who holds the key to Shambhala. From her window, Sullivan watches a young village boy who comes to rescue her be shot and killed. She prays for strength to endure the upcoming night of torture.
"Not only does Johansen deliver a riveting plot line with much action, she fills her pages with steamy sex scenes, both real and imagined."
In Hong Kong, Ling discovers that her mentor, Hu Chang, plans to travel to Tibet to locate and rescue Sullivan if she is alive. His ability to concoct potions, both healing and deadly, will give him an edge in dealing with the madman keeping her. Reunited with Luke, Ling plans to get to know her son on a deeper level than what their relationship has been thus far. For years, Luke was held captive by a Russian man intent on destroying Ling herself. With the aid of the one and only Eve Duncan, she rescued him and now hopes to deepen their bond.
The castle Kadmus owns is a former Buddhist monastery, highly fortified by his 50 armed soldiers. Kadmus is a mercenary, drunk with ideas of total area domination. Venable believes that Sullivan has something that Kadmus wants and will do anything to her to get it. Therefore, a single-agent rescue may be the best plan for her safe return. Furious when he discovers that Ling has left during the night for Tibet, an enraged Hu Chang confronts Venable. He then summons, through telepathy, the one individual who can both aid and protect her: Richard Cameron. The mystery man will invade Ling’s conscience, guiding her in the dangerous mission. The plot thickens when the two meet. Through telepathy, Cameron injects himself into Ling’s plan.
Not only does Johansen deliver a riveting plot line with much action, she fills her pages with steamy sex scenes, both real and imagined. From their first encounter, both Cameron and Ling are fascinated by the other. Their desires and ambivalence drive the action into deeply personal territory.
Thinking that her son is safe in Hong Kong, Ling’s anger reaches a boiling point when Hu Chang arrives in Tibet. Luke trails him, a liability for Ling on her dangerous mission. The boy exhibits maturity beyond his 11 years during the unfolding events. The reader may raise an eyebrow at this point, reluctant to believe in his newly exposed protective character. However, his presence in Tibet only adds to the plot twists.
The final pages of LIVE TO SEE TOMORROW leave Johansen’s fans with hope that Catherine Ling, Richard Cameron, Hu Chang, and even Luke and Venable, will spring to life in her next thriller. With the Eve Duncan series winding down, Ling should keep readers busy turning pages for many years to come.
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on May 16, 2014