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Emily Hudson is an archeologist who travels the world in search of priceless artifacts from war-torn countries and other hot spots. Her best friend and partner, Joel Levy, is always at her side—until one day, her entire crew is massacred and Joel and Emily are held captive. Victims of one of the most ruthless and evil human beings on earth. For two weeks they try to survive, until Emily is the unwitting instrument in Joel’s demise.
John Garrett has worked for the CIA, MI6, and whoever else needed his services. Now, the CIA comes calling with a desperate mission for him: save Emily Hudson. But their may be more to this job than they let him know. And soon, his connection to Emily has him questioning everything he thought to be true. Emily has vengeance on her mind. Will Garrett aid her in getting revenge? Can Emily help him get to the truth behind a bigger conspiracy? Or will they both die trying…With lightning-fast pacing, plot twists and shocking betrayals, Iris Johansen is at the top of her game in this latest thriller.
- Not a Thriller ... Maybe a Romantic
This was suppose to be a thriller and was anything but ... read more like a romantic novel which I hate. I was bored out of my mind....more info
- Great read!!!
Fantastic story, well paced, couldn't put it down - LOVED this one - another great book by Johansen!...more info
- Keeps you on the edge of your seat
Right from the start, Johansen keeps you on the edge of your seat in her latest thriller, and keeps the heat on until you don't think you can bear any more suspense, then twists it up just a littler higher.
Emily Hudson and her partner Joel Levy have been routed to a small museum in war-torn Afghanistan, where they are puzzled to find little worth their time. On their way back to "civilization," they are attacked and kidnapped by a ruthless band of men who say they are looking for a specific artifact, one of which they refuse to believe Emily has no knowledge.
Enter John Garrett, a former mercenary who worked for the CIA, MI6 and others. His task - find and rescue Emily Hudson.
I couldn't put this book down - it was pretty rough reading at times, very graphic, but Iris Johansen is a great writer and she keeps it between the lines. Don't miss this one!...more info
- okay for someone who is new to this genre
This thriller/romance is not my usual genre but I wanted to read something different and this was recommended. The book started out good, droned on, and ended up on less thrilling note for this reader.
I liked that the bad guy was really, really bad. I also liked that specifics were not detailed on the horrible deeds committed by the bad guy. The descriptions given were horrific enough. The hero was a bad guy turned good (?) type who immediately fell for the heroine. It's a stretch but okay. The hero has a few characters helping with the plan to track and kill the bad guy. The fact that a former nun turned nurse and a super duper tech guy suddenly become super commandos was a stretch too far for me.
The story starts in Afghanistan and goes all over ending up in Russia. Here the plot takes an interesting turn. The real mystery is over a treasure map for the Romanov's hidden jewels. Time is spent inventing a mystical figure, Zelov, who was pulling Rasputin's strings. I gave the author points for the plotline but deducted for flaws in painting the historical picture. I understand this is a work of fiction but if you are going to use historical events, they should be accurate. Although the Romanov bodies were first thrown down a mine shaft, they were later moved by first witness accounts. The leading theory is that they were later buried in a shallow grave in the surrounding forest. Perhaps the forest where the heroine and bad guy made their final stand? Granted there are several fringe theories about the bones discovered in 1989 but I am opposed to the author using outdated facts. There are several fascinating books written about the Romanovs. (The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II,The Rasputin Fileand Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson or Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra).
Also, the Ipatiev house was torn down in 1977 by Yeltin and construction of the Church on the Blood began in 1997. It is a place where the Orthodox faithful pilgrim and where young married couples lay flowers to pay homage and bring good luck - NOT the creepy fascination implied by this book. One of the reasons for the Romanov's demise was their devotion to the Orthodox Church and having the Church involved in the plot and a devout ex-nun as a character made this mischaracterization more annoying.
SPOILER: The ending left a bitter taste as it had the FBI guy misdirecting the public by blaming the villain's diabolical plan as a terrorist plot. A ploy the villain was using as well. It annoyed me but I guess some would argue that this really happens.
- I Really Don't Think You Should Come Along...(that's 80% of the book).
If you are looking for an action packed novel, filled with interesting characters....keep looking. "Deadlock" by Iris Johansen starts off strong with protagonist Emily Hudson, an archeologist sent into various war zones in order to protect ancient artifacts by the UN. Emily and her assistant Joel are captured by an evil group of men in the mountains of Afghanistan who are looking for an ancient Russian treasure known as Zelov's Hammer. Emily's only chance of survival lays in the hands of former CIA agent John Garrett, an expert at the spy game.
Johansen's novel involves Rasputin, the Russian Revolution, lost treasures, Greek Islands, and plenty of globe trotting adventure...which all just kind of lays there. The basic storyline revolving Zelov's Hammer and the key it holds to lost treasure is kind of blah, but could be an exciting tale if the characters were a little more colorful or better developed. Emily Hudson is about as engaging as drying paint, John Garrett is almost comical in his "James Bond meets John Rambo" mode. I guess we are supposed to take him seriously? The only character with any depth is the villain, Staunton. But his Euro-Evil schtick gets stale pretty quick and you never fully believe his obsession with the bland Emily to begin with.
I would venture to say a full 80% of "Deadlock" consists of one character trying to dissuade another character from "going along". Meaning that Garrett is supposed to go somewhere, and spends half a chapter telling Emily why it's not a good idea she "go along". Or Emily decides to go somewhere and spends half a chapter telling Irana why "she shouldn't come". Seriously, the protagonists bicker for most of the book about who should go where accompanied by whom. It's like those old "I Love Lucy" shows where Lucy wants to be in Ricky's show, and he refuses...but you just know Lucy is going to appear in the show. So eventually everyone goes everywhere with everybody...and you realize you've just spent 15 chapters reading the same thing over and over again. For God's sake....JUST LET THEM GO ALONG...and spare us the debate.
So in the spirit of the book let me advise you "You really shouldn't go along" with reading this novel.
- A dud by any name is still a dud
Deadlock is a romance shabbily disguised and promoted as a thriller. The dialogue is stilted, the characters are undeveloped, the plot is farfetched and tiresomely predictable. If you don't mind cookie cutter romances with a few guns thrown in then this may be a book for you. However, if you're hoping for anything close to the same calibur as Johansen's Eve Duncan books you're more than likely to be as sorely disappointed as I was....more info
- Fast paced thriller with an awkward romance novel feel.
I really wanted to like this book, but in the end it was just a little too strange for me to give a wholehearted recommendation.
The plot is far and away the strong point of this novel and in true Da Vinci Code fashion, the reader is drawn into a historic mystery regarding an artifact called Zelov's Hammer which is connected to Rasputin. Good stuff! The plot never really suffers until the end, when things are wrapped up a little too quickly, neatly and unsatisfactorily - in my not-so-humble opinion. Still, for plot alone this is a good read.
What is wrong with this book is the characters. I would have bet anything that the author was a man trying to write a romance novel. The main characters are in love and behave about like the stereotype of a caveman hitting his cavewoman girlfriend over the head with a club and dragging her back to his cave. It just didn't read like real people who were falling in love with each other and John Garrett was so emotionally stunted it was hard to imagine him being real sometimes.
I think the book would have been MUCH better if he had been more of a professional mercenary and less of a love-struck oaf.
Overall, this was a fast-paced and well-written book. I just could have lived without the awkward romance that was slowing the story down on a regular basis....more info
- Enthralling!! on the edge of your seat suspense
I used to enjoy Iris Johansen's books but when they focused mostly on Eve Duncan I lost interest, but I have to say this is like one of her older books. It is filled with suspense, adventure and minute by minute terror. I could not put it down.
Emily Hudson is an archeologist helping the UN save as many relics in war torn countries that they can. She has been doing this for a long time and she and her comrade, Joel Levy have had a few narrow escapes, but what awaits them this time is total terror and torture. Someone thinks she knows the whereabouts of a large treasure hidden by Rasputin and the Tzar Nicholas. Emily knows nothing and when you know nothing you can reveal nothing even to save your life.
John Garrett is an adventurer, sometimes he works for different agencies, and sometimes for himself. The last time he worked for the CIA they left him holding the bag. He is not interested in bailing Special Agent Ferguson out, since he was the one who chose to abandon Garrett the last time. But a photo of Emily in the paper catches his eye and something about her calls out to him. So against his better judgement he will try to save the two captured workers.
Staunton is a hired killer, hired to get the relic that Joel and Emily are supposed to have found in the old museum. He is a psychopath and fixates on Emily. When she is saved at the last minute by Garrett, instead of the terror ending, it has just begun. He is determined that nothing will stop him from finishing his job and only when Emily dies will it be completed.
The story is amazing and the terror is real. This is Iris Johansen's best type of story and she does it so well. Do not miss this one....more info
- A solid, if predictable read from Iris Johansen.
Deadlock is a very typical Iris Johansen book. It has a solid plot, pretty interesting characters and is very easy to read. If you are looking for a nice summer book that is enjoyable/light that doesn't make you think too hard then this is the books for you!
Other readers of suspense may disagree. But my problem is that I have read so many of this author's books that I can anticipate the general story line. Because of this I found it a pleasant read but not a totally engaging read. I put it down several times but was able to come back to it easily without having to re-read sections. I am not saying this book wasn't good, just unremarkable. Nothing in the book shocked or surprised me. It kinda reminded me of her book the Ugly Ducking (which I love and was done a lot better) where the heroine has to recover from some trauma and the big alpha hero comes to take care of her, there is danger, a mystery to solve and they overcome it all. In Deadlock, the heroine is an archeologist and the mystery has a little of the Da Vinci Code type hunt for clues but involves Rasputin and the Russian Court. In the author's previous book, the Ugly Ducking the heroine kicks some serious a##. But unfortunately the heroine in Deadlock is more unstable and less interesting. The heroes when I come to think of it are actually interchangeable.
That being said, I did find a couple of the characters that the author introduces extremely intriguing, especially the engmatic but courageous Irana and the hottie 'nerd' Pauley which I wouldn't mind having their own stories and would definitely read a book with each as the main character. Maybe that was my difficulty, I really wasn't as intrigued by the 2 main characters, they were almost stock characters from previous books, and then not as good.
In short, Deadlock was an enjoyable book to relax with. A solid, if predictable read from Iris Johansen.
- Interesting Title
Another exciting Johansen - a thriller with a romantic undertone. Lots of intrigue, plot twists, engaging characters combined with an historic perspective. The good guys remain good and the bad guys are consistently vile. I kept wanting to put it down, but had to keep going despite waiting chores and commitments. A good read for those into suspense....more info
- Departure from the norm
This is not a standard mystery nor is it a standard romance nor is it a standard "James Bond" spy story. While it contains elements of each, it is not enough of one type to be identified with ease. Some will enjoy the variety other will find it distracting. Overall, this is a readable book but one with a different feel than the author we know.
Thinking about the plot will decrease your enjoyment of the story. The torture while not overly graphic is definite. Overall, we like this author for her Eve Duncan forensics stories. Taking stock characters from previous books might be a good idea but she has to breathe life into them. This book succeeds and fails. It succeeds as a lite easy read but fails in being really enjoyable and memorable.
- superb thriller
She goes to the hot spots of the world under the aegis of the United Nations to find the country's historical treasures and bring them out; she returns them when hostilities cease. Currently archeologist Emily Hudson is in Afghanistan seeking artifacts in a remote hard to get to village in the shadow of Hindu Kush. She and her best friend and associate Joel Levy find nothing worth saving, but as they depart they find two of their crewmembers dead.
Joel and Emily are taken hostage by a deadly mercenary Staunton who has killed the rest of her team. He and his associates seek Zeliv's Hammer and rejects Emily's claim she never saw anything remotely like what he describes. Staunton tortures Joel until he dies; the terrorist expected Emily to break and provide him the answer he demands of her, but she remains in denial.
Meanwhile her disappearance has led to an international media tsunami. CIA Administrator Ferguson blackmails freelance operative John Garret to find and rescue Emily. He arrives in time to prevent her from being raped and brings her to his haven to recuperate. However, as she heals Emily knows she has one last mission to kill Staunton, but the malevolent monster has his own plan to recapture his meal ticket starting with killing a friend of Garrett that personalizes their battle as far as the American agent is concerned.
Iris Johanson novels denote bestseller and her exhilarating over the top of the Pamir Mountains is another sure shot. The story line is filled with action but it is the strong cast and the geography that make DEADLOCK a stunning thriller. The support characters add depth with two strong enough for their own tales. Garret and Emily are drawn to one another but before they can explore their attraction, they must deal with Staunton and his unmerciful mercenary horde.
- Oh yeah I like this author.
It only took me one day to read this book because I could not and would not put it down. Thanks once again Iris I can count on you....more info
- good but predictable
This is a good but very predictable book. It does start off with a bang, and keeps up the suspense and intrigue, but everyone is too "pat" the bad guy really dispictable, the good guy entirely too sexy and a little "bad."
It was a fast and enjoyable , but if predictable read.
- Iris Johansen's Great, Maybe Best New Novel!
Iris Johansen never fails to provide a satisfying read; however, Deadlock, this month's release of an Indiana-Jones type adventure just might be her best!
Emily Hudson shines as an artifacts expert, who is sent all over the world by the U.N. to evaluate and save each country's historical treasures. She and her partner Joel had been sent to a small museum that had little of real value, but they worked with their team to package and load everything, working hard and fast to get out before the weather turned even worse. However, as they were leaving, Emily and Joel discovered their first truck, along the road, the men murdered. As they got out to investigate, both were captured!
Held captive, Emily was told what they wanted--a hammer! She knew the total inventory of this small inventory and knew they had not packed a hammer, especially one that was supposed to be of value; however, Staunton would not believe her and soon began intensive, horrifying torture of Joel, until he was dead. Staunton decided Emily would be given to his partner for torturing and was thrown into Shafir's tent, only to be rescued by a man she thought of as the Angel of Death!
John Garrett was a mercenary who occasionally agreed to take missions for the CIA. It had taken his seeing Emily's picture to convince him to go after her! But it was her anger and hate of Staunton, and later his own when Staunton killed Garrett's friend, that started a hunt not only for the mysterious hammer for which Joel had died, but to track down Staunton and those that had backed him financially!
The hunt for the hammer--Zelov's hammer--takes readers back to an earlier time in Russia, when Zelov had been a behind-the-scenes advisor to Rasputin who advised Tsar Nicholas. Zelov believed he would one day rule and/or be a god and professed that his hammer had magical powers. However, when he found the royal court was no longer listening to him, he worked to have them all murdered--after he had learned how the Tsar had created a path/map to his great riches.
With the CIA and MI6 "blackmailed" into staying in the background with backup help, John Garrett and Emily led the search. Revenge drove them first, but love for each other became a problem as each fought to protect the other from harm. A thoroughly enjoyable ongoing intrigue between the two overlays everything and everybody during the rest of the story.
If you have not read Johansen before, I recommend that this be your first! Deadlock's historical artifact emphasis brings the usual treasure-hunting to play, but somehow this type of adventure never grows stale, at least not when written by this fantastic author! You just might be adding her to your "favorite authors" list, like I did many years ago!
G. A. Bixler
For Amazon Vine
- Good read..
The book has a slow start, but then it's getting better until you just keep turning the pages. Johansen us shows again why she is one of the master story teller. It's a good story, I can't say much without giving away the plot and ruin it for you!
I also like the book format, paper back with text size large enough that you won't strain your eyes. It is perfect book to kill 3 hrs on a cross country flight!...more info
- A great "Summer Beach Book"....
This book would make an excellent "summer beach read" or to take with you on vacation. It moves well and holds your interest without taking alot of concentration.
Iris Johansen has always written about strong women and this book is no exception. Emily Hudson is an archaeologist who with her assistant Joel Levy go into war torn countries to rescue art & artifacts from their museums before they become rubble.
There are the usual CIA Agents, bad guys and paid off officials...there is also a good guy. Well I suppose I should qualify that - a bad guy turned good guy - in John Garret. Garrett amassed a fortune as a smuggler and other less honorable jobs...but has used that wealth to make a difference in his own small way.
The plot centers around the story of the Romanovs and Rasputin - this information seems to be well researched and then expanded to fit her telling of it. This along with Emily's constant struggle with her need for vengeance versus the need to follow this to this top makes Deadlock an entertaining book.
I think my real criticism of this book is that the character development could have been better and that there is too much romance, not enough tension. But on a whole it is a fun read with some really good moments and great locales....more info
- Couldn't put it down...
I sorely disagree with the other's on this post. This book was amazing from start to finish. I could not put it down and literally read it all in one night, which is rare for me. I found the characters compelling and was sad when the book ended because I felt a bond with the book and wanted more....more info
- Whatever happened to Iris Johansen?
I used to love her writing - I've been reading her since her category romance days (Second Chance at Love, etc.). But this book felt rushed, no character or plot development. I was highly disappointed. I think Ms. Johansen just fell off my auto-buy list....more info
- not a classic, buts lots of tension and thrills ... and some romance
I really enjoy the novels of Iris Johansen, and I thought this was very good. It has an interesting plot about a UN artifacts hunter who is the victim of an elaborate conspiracy -- sort of a female Indiana Jones meets DaVinci Code story. I like that the female characters are smart and courageous, the hero is capable, and the villain is truly frightening. I also appreciated that, though the story was plenty scary, the gore was minimal. I wasn't turned off by the romance, but I thought that the ending was definitely anticlimactic. Suddenly it was over, when other authors might have made the final chase more drawn out and horrific....more info
- Adequate Read
Author Iris Johansen mixes normally mixes a good dose of romance with suspense and mystery, not unexpected given her romance background. However, in Deadlock, her main characters Emily Hudson (artifact specialist) and John Garrett (former smuggler and more) though well defined early on, are lost in a maze of plot twists and turns around the Romanov family, Rasputin, the church, etc. that drags on for about 60 pages too long. In addition, secondary characters, while quite intriguing in premise, read in a flat manner because they are not given time to develop, in the apparent attempt to make the plot comlex but instead making it too laborous to worry about following. If you are a Johansen fan, you will enjoy the first two-thirds of the book, but you may find yourself wanting to skim at the end, as I felt like doing, to just get the book finished. Johansen, is to be commended for trying to add layers of plot to her writing but honestly, if she had focused on a more straight-forward story with just a few twists around the villains, this book would have been more enjoyable and more plausible and a five star read for fans. ...more info
This romantic suspense was OK, but nothing to write home about. The author has a tendency to make characters say or do the same things over and over again and it get's tedious. About the twentieth time the heroine "shivered" as she remembered her former captor, I was ready to pull my hair out. Also the hero was a bit too pushy and alpha male, and the heroine a bit too stupid to live at times. Plot was a bit convoluted as well-not recommended....more info
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