NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • He strikes without warning. He kills without mercy. He's only just begun.
As part of an elite K-9 search and rescue team, Sarah Patrick and her golden retriever, Monty, have a gift for finding what no one else can. But their latest assignment is not like the others. This time Sarah is being forced to take part in a deadly mission . . . by a man who knows enough about her past to ensure her cooperation.
Billionaire John Logan's top-secret venture has been sabotaged, its facilities destroyed, and its handpicked staff massacred. The sole survivor is being held for ransom. Logan knows that the only way to save the man—and the secrets he holds—is to find him as soon as possible.
Sarah is furious when she is strong-armed into joining Logan on his search. And once she takes the perilous assignment, not even Logan's promises that she and Monty will be safe may be enough to protect them. Because a killer is devising a sadistic vengeance . . . and he may soon find use for Sarah.
Two strong-minded women from Johansen's bestselling Killing Game make return appearances in her latest thriller, with their billing reversed: Irish-Apache search-and-rescue worker Sarah Patrick is the star, while her friend, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, takes a supporting role. The center-stage love story also features a twist. Eve's billionaire entrepreneur ex-lover, John Logan, falls for Sarah even while risking her life in his war with hyper-evil Martin Rudzak, who has already killed his own half-sister, Chen Li, rather than lose her to John. Johansen's roots lie in historical romance, but her thrillers ooze enough testosterone to suggest she also descends from the house of Robert Ludlum. Sarah and her fabulous canine partner, golden retriever Monty, slog into the aftermaths of a Turkish earthquake and a Taiwanese mudslide, and engage in a heartbreaking search for drowned teens in a lake near Sarah's Arizona cabin. They deal with bullets and bombs and collaborate to save a cruelly trapped wolf, dubbed Maggie, whose unlikely cross-species passion for Monty provides neat commentary on female-male attraction in general--and there's no need to be a dog-lover to revel in Sarah and Monty's empathetic closeness. On the downside, Johansen seems more interested in telling her story than in writing it. To create a sense of urgency, she relies heavily on the device of the two-word sentence and the one-sentence paragraph; parts of the book read like shorthand. Sarah and John globe trot, but there's scant sense of place, and minor characters like nasty Sen. Todd Madden are one-dimensional. Then again, the novel admirably eschews gush and wallpaper--in a postfeminist way, Sarah's ruggedness simply is. For better or for worse, Johansen pushes the gender boundary in popular fiction, offering up that rarity: a woman's novel for men. Major ad/promo.