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20 March 2010 @ 05:37 pm
Book Review: "The Search" by Iris Johansen  
Paperback: 311 pagesBook cover for The Search. Woman searches in forest with dog.
Publisher: Bantam Books (2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553582127
ISBN-13:
978-0553582123
 

Synopsis from back cover:
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.

My Review:
Overall, Johansen does a great job keeping readers engaged in the story. Sarah Patrick is a strong female character, though she does have trouble receiving help. Johansen using backstory to explain this problem rather than just having it be a statement of feminist views.

At times, the betrayals are hard to follow, and the characters who seem to know everything have oddly not done anything about it. Logan and Galen are both driven to protect Sarah, yet they don't tell her who the betrayer is. They do justify this by saying that Sarah wouldn't have been able to look the person in the eye without raising suspicion.The bit about the injured wolf, Maggie, also seems very far fetched. Not to mention none of the characters seem to realize how interacting and feeding a wolf could cause it to associate humans with good things, which Sarah has wanted to avoid.

The romance may seem to come out of nowhere as well, but that's usually expected in books these days.

It's also quite interesting how all the male characters are addressed by their last name rather than their first name, while all female characters are called by their first names.

In the end, Johansen weaves together a gripping story that will keep readers reading despite the flaws. It has successfully kept me reading at least both times I've read it.

Overal rating: 4/5 for suspenseful action but some unbelievable side plots.

x-posted here.