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Henry Kistle, a child-killing monster, is hiding out in
Bloomberg, Illinois. The local sheriffs are watching him and have
contacted Atlantic detective Joe Quinn, forensic sculptor Eve
Duncan's lover. Quinn is determined to bring Kistle to justice,
since Kistle is one of the men who is suspected of murdering Eve's
young daughter, Bonnie. He believes Eve will never be whole without
the closure of knowing exactly what happened to Bonnie, since the
little girl's body was never found. However, as Quinn leaves to
hunt down Kistle, he asks Eve's adopted adult daughter, Jane, to
help him keep his quest secret until he knows for sure that Kistle
is connected to the murder.

Quinn would be even more concerned if he realized that Eve often
sees and speaks with the ghost of Bonnie. However, she keeps her
conversations with her daughter to herself, and even scoffs at
herself. It's hard for a realist like Eve to believe in ghosts.
After killing a Bloomberg sheriff, Kistle calls Eve on the
victim’s cell phone. He taunts her by telling her that Bonnie
knew him well, describing Bonnie's outfit on the day she
disappeared. Kistle also gloats that talking to Eve is making him
feel excited and alive.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, the hunt is on for the sheriff's killer,
who escapes into the forest. The search draws a man from Eve's past
--- Colonel Luis Montalvo, who forged quite a passionate bond with
her in Columbia. At the time, Eve refused to act on her attraction
to Montalvo, although she acknowledged it. Now, Montalvo hopes to
find Bonnie's kidnapper, in a desperate bid to win her heart with
his actions, despite her relationship with Quinn. Quinn hates
Montalvo, but the colonel can pull strings to get the FBI involved
in the investigation, so he must tolerate him.

Everyone is amazed when Montalvo's contact, CIA agent Venable,
insists on bringing a clairvoyant, Listener Megan Blair (who
starred in Iris Johansen's PANDORA'S DAUGHTER), into the picture.
With a little boy missing in the Bloomberg area, Venable believes
that Megan can tell if he was murdered, which would force the FBI
to be involved. Eve believes Megan is a fake until she sees her in
action. No one watching the Listener as she hears the child's cries
for mercy could disbelieve that Megan was listening to a youngster
being tormented to death. And if Megan can hear the echoes of a
past murder, what does that mean for Eve's conversations with her
daughter's ghost?

QUICKSAND is a fast-paced read that is nearly impossible to put
down. The characters are believable and the emotion is intense as a
deadly cat-and-mouse game is set into action. Both men who love Eve
Duncan are desperate to capture the evil monster --- even as he is
intent on luring Eve to him with hints of news about Bonnie that
any mother would be unable to resist. FAIR WARNING TO READERS: Do
not start this book at bedtime, because you won't be able to go to
sleep until you reach the conclusion.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon ( on January 23, 2011

by Iris Johansen

  • Publication Date: April 22, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 0312368062
  • ISBN-13: 9780739490754