Building on her series featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, bestselling suspense writer Iris Johansen takes a slightly different tangent with her latest thriller, The Search. The search and rescue team of Sarah Patrick and her golden retriever, Monty, first appeared in The Killing Game, where they helped Eve track down a kidnapped child and a maniacal killer. Now, John Logan, the billionaire who wooed Eve only to lose her to Joe Quinn, needs to utilize Sarah and Monty's talents in a quest of his own.
Although it has it rewards, the rescue work Sarah and Monty do demands a hefty emotional toll from them both. Sarah is highly protective of Monty, and when Logan first approaches her with what's obviously a very dangerous mission, Sarah is quick to say no. But Logan brings his powerful resources to bear and more or less forces Sarah to agree to the mission or face the loss of her job, her peace of mind, and Monty. The task at hand involves finding and rescuing a highly valued scientist who has been kidnapped and is being held somewhere in Colombia. But the man who took the scientist is a ruthless and heartless killer whose primary objective is carrying out his sadistic revenge on Logan.
Sarah, none too happy about being coerced into helping Logan, becomes even less inclined toward him when Monty is wounded in the rescue attempt. Logan is wounded too, and after their mission has been accomplished, the threesome end up back at Sarah's isolated cabin. Sarah does everything she can to make Logan leave but finds it hard to be too insistent given his wounds. Besides, when Logan pays his debt to her for completing the mission, it is something Sarah could never have anticipated, an act that leaves her stunned, confused, and indebted. As for Logan, he refuses to leave Sarah alone because he knows that his nemesis, Rudzak, saw her and Monty in Colombia. And because of the nature of his relationship with Rudzak and the secret history they share, Logan knows the psycho will eventually come after Sarah.
Holed up together and fighting a wide array of emotions, Sarah and Logan discover a spark of passion between them. Though they both try to resist, eventually the spark ignites a full-fledged conflagration that leaves both of them stunned, puzzled, and forever changed. By the time the inevitable confrontation with Rudzak occurs, Logan will be forced to risk both his life and his heart in hopes of keeping Sarah and Monty safe. And Sarah must risk everything she holds dear if she ever hopes to find a happiness she is only now beginning to realize.
Fans of Johansen's previous books in this series, The Face of Deception and The Killing Game, will enjoy brief though hair-raising appearances by Eve, Joe Quinn, and Jane -- the spunky, street-wise child Eve adopted in the last book. Also filling out the character roster is an intriguing love interest for Monty: an injured gray wolf named Maggie. But the best parts of Johansen's latest effort are her characteristically explosive mix of chilling terror and heated passion and her gift for weaving a tale of intrigue where seeing isn't necessarily believing.
Goodreads Rating: 4.15/5