What I liked: In No Easy Target, the heroine, Margaret Douglas, appeared in a previous Eve Duncan book but I don’t hold that against her. She’s a very typical lead in a Johansen story. She’s mysterious, has an unusual talent, and her backstory is tragic. In addition, Margaret is smart, resourceful, strong, and never gives up on any task she sets for herself or any situation she gets dragged into.
The hero is also a familiar type I find in Ms Johansen’s books. He’s alpha, strong, dedicated to his purpose, and finds himself drawn to the heroine and sympathetic to her. Of course, in this case, John Lassiter knows he’s going to have to use Margaret to get what he wants, with or without her cooperation. It starts off without her agreement but Margaret ends up convinced she must finally deal with her past, no matter the cost.
Yes, I am talking in circles because saying just one small thing could ruin No Easy Target for readers. I know exactly what I’m getting when I read an Iris Johansen book and it is somewhat formulaic, but the characters and sense of self is what draws me in every time. The interactions between the characters, including the secondary ones just feels so well fleshed out. It’s like Ms Johansen knows the characters so well when she writes them, that she can slowly develop them during the book and it feels real to me.
In No Easy Target, Margaret is running from a bad guy, Nico, who had previously held her captive on an island due to her “unique” talent. Margaret’s been trying to stay under the radar but is finally tracked down by John Lassiter, who wants to use her for his own reasons. He needs Margaret’s help in rescuing a friend from Nico’s island. Simple, right? Not exactly, since Margaret doesn’t want to be anywhere near Nico and John just can’t abandon his friend. John finds himself drawn to Margaret even though he doesn’t want to be. Essentially, he is choosing his friend’s life over Margaret’s safety.
What I didn’t like: In some instances, Ms Johansen’s resolution of a story can seem too coincidental. Everything is guns blazing, seat of your pants suspense and then it’s just over. I never know what to expect the closer I get to the end of one of her stories, which could be a good thing, I guess.
I sincerely enjoyed a glance back at some characters from previous books and to see how their situations and lives are going. Even though I know what to expect from Ms Johansen’s books, I continue to eagerly buy each one so I can get lost with the characters.
I was provided an ARC of No Easy Target by NetGalley for an honest review.
Yes, the Kindle edition and the Nook book prices are high at $14.99. In Amazon's case the hardcover is actually cheaper than the e-book at $14.63. So, depending on your book budget, the option is up to you.