Mind Game: Iris Johansen
There are many who prey on the weaknesses or needs of others trying to manipulate their feelings, actions and responses. A series of deliberate actions or responses that are planned for psychological effect on another and in this case to control the feelings of someone, the outcome of situations or just to have power over another individual. Some for sport or amusement but within this novel you will meet Seth Caleb, Teresa Romano, Lisa his smart and devious 19-year-old sister and the return of Cara who now lives with Eve Duncan and Joe Quinn as author Iris Johansen manages to create many different meanings within this novel of the term MIND GAME! But, whose idea will be the most devious and how do manipulation, persuasion and create a novel that has one focus who can alert situations and prey on someone’s thoughts and mind in order to change their course of action and prove who never loses and always win in the art of creating the most deadly and perfect MIND GAME! Iris Johansen at her best!
Dreams can often seem real as lucid dreams are when the dreamer feels as is he or she is reliving an event or experiencing whatever they are envisioning while asleep. Jane MacGuire has been hoping to help find Cira’s treasure and her tomb in order to bring closure to her and MacDuff the laird who has her in his tight grasp hoping she will be the link to find the gold. Jane relives the many times she connected with Cira and the author will bring Cira to life, her son Marcus and his dog as we take a trip to Scotland and go into the highlands along with Jane but not before we join her as a young girl named Lisa connects with her in a most dangerous and unusual way. As she connects with these young girls in her dreams she reflects on what she learns and hears with Eve Duncan her adopted mother in the morning. Hoping to do as Eve does put a name to the voice she decides on Lisa. As she explains more about the dream and that the girl is being held captive by someone named Santara, Jane feels that she is the only one that can get her released and to safety but when she learns the truth behind her identity things will change and someone that she is attracted to but wants to control her comes back into her life and chaos is the word that ensues the events that follow.
While MacDuff, Jock and their team are getting ready to once again put up the lights and go into the mist to find the treasure Seth Caleb arrives after Jane leaves Eve and Jo’s house, says goodbye to little brother Michael and winds up back in the camp to try and help in any way that she can. Caleb has special powers of persuasion and can use his blood talent to save lives or destroy them as Jane knows. When the truth comes out and she learns that Lisa is his sister and only wants to protect him they forge a strange alliance to recapture her before Teresa Romano has her silenced. Santara is her capture and he does many things to inflict pain on Lisa but she is strong, strong willed, impetus and refuses to be controlled no matter what the cost. With a touch of the dark and supernatural and the use of telepathy and more, Jane forges ahead with Caleb to try and figure out how to save Lisa because time is running out. In order to figure out where she is Jane manages to draw pictures at each stage of her nightly meetings with her trying to find Lisa Ridondo, Caleb’s sister’s location hoping that her drawings will spark some insight as to where she might be held. Google Earth is a valuable tool and Jane’s artwork is impeccable and using both she hopes to figure out where she is but that’s the easy part the hard part is how to get her out.
Caleb insists although Lisa refutes his idea to come along and get her by creating a plan using some of MacDuff’s team and guards to get Lisa out using Jane as bait. What they plan and the scene is filled with tension and finding Lisa injured and weak angers Caleb. Bringing her back to the camp their first encounter is anything but what you would expect from a brother and sister who have been apart for many years. Teresa and Gino Romano were sick, sadistic and when Caleb lived with them tortured him until he finally get sent away to live with his uncle and all that remained was Lisa whose life was filled with torment and abuse. How she stated strong is a credit to her will to overcome any obstacles and when she and Caleb go out it and she insists on getting her way you will be amazed at how he handles it. Jane and Lisa seem to bond and Jane becomes very protective of Lisa and soon they are practically like older and young sister. Lisa is outspoken and just wants to help out at the camp making all of their meals even better than a gourmet restaurant often over an open fire and then helping with the bookkeeping and other written materials that MacDuff needed to be done. Lisa is willful and when the team along with Jane goes into the mist to get the treasure she insists on being a part of it and here is where things get even more dangerous.
Going into the mist was quite tense as MacDuff turns on the lights and they actually work but not for long. In the end what happens will astound readers as author Iris Johansen places everyone inside a specific cave and what they find will change the course and direction of their lives and bring closure to the mystery surrounding the treasure but the mystery concerning Lisa, Caleb and their past still exists and show does the danger.
As you hear the voices of both Caleb and Lisa when they finally reunite you realize that he might have met his own match and that she will willful and relentless when it comes to protecting her brother even though he strives to distance himself from her for her own good. Lisa is the bait and Caleb is the prize and Teresa has her own plan to lure him into her den but will Caleb fall for her wiles as the author shares their past and why she wants him back for herself. Using him for her own pleasure when he was just a teen and when Caleb finally escaped the brutal violence he was subjected to we understand his reluctance to trust anyone and why he needs his freedom to do things his own way. We learn that they want his blood gift and how he uses it to kill and to save lives as Lisa has the same talent but needs to have to hone in and cultivated before really coming into her own. Things change when Eve, Joe, Michael and Cara arrive at the camp and Eve springs her surprise. But, first danger is all around as the do not realize that Santara and his men have the camp under their own watchful eyes and that both Jane and Lisa’s phones are bugged and when they finally succeed in finding the treasure and are headed back to camp and the others to the bank where they will place the treasure and more, Jane decides to go with another group and winds up as Teresa’s captive. Caleb learns that someone overheard her give the name of the man who told him what he needed to know about the Romano’s and she became the prime target and Ben Kamel the next victim. Lisa and Cara seem to bond and help taking care of Michael while Cara plays her music and soothes everyone’s nerves with her sound, Lisa dazzles everyone with her cooking but both girls are wise and each one strong willed, tough and will be persistent in getting what they both want.
When Seth takes the bait and winds up going after Jane, Joe and Jock come up with the backup plan to help save her but Lisa insists on coming along. Why does Joe give in and what role will she play when all of the players are in one place and the final scene takes place?
Jane is held captive and drugged. Santara is doing Teresa’s bidding and Caleb has arrived to prove his feelings for Jane to Teresa but she won’t give up until he’s hers and Jane is gone. The final scenes will make your heart palpitate and race as Jane, Caleb, Teresa and Santara face their final showdown. Who wins? Will Caleb fight to keep Jane alive or will he lose to Teresa? The ending will surprise you as Lisa becomes part of the action but when facing danger can she handled what is expected or in store for her? Within this novel there are many who manipulate, lie, destroy, create scenarios that will bring them to their objectives and goals but only one will win the deadliest MIND GAME but who! Caleb, Jane, Teresa, Santara, Lisa each having his/her own goal and each fighting to win something even if it costs someone else!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine