Evil Without a Face
by Jordan Dane
Review by Beth Slater
Avon Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061474125
Date: 01 February 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Evil without a Face is a book told in multiple person point-of-view, which is difficult to describe. We begin the story from the perspective of a teenager who is packing – she's IMing a friend online and preparing to leave without letting her mother know. This is Nikki Archer, and she lives in Alaska.
Next we are introduced to a man hiding out in a hotel – he receives a phone call from a woman crying, which he screens…then she calls back. He picks up, and arranges a meet. We meet Jessica Beckett, a quick-thinking bounty hunter who uses what little information she has to pick up skips to keep herself in rent money, even if it's not the big jobs. She can use brawn when she has to, but prefers to use her brain – it hurts less. She has recently hired on a summer intern by the name of Seth Harper who is computer savvy, which comes in completely handy in this upcoming case.
Speaking of the upcoming case, we also need Samantha Cooper, Jess' good friend and local Chicago cop. Sam and Jess have been friends since childhood, although that friendship has been tested a lot. Especially recently – Jess has become obsessed with a local criminal who, unfortunately, is also a police informant. It has reached the point where it could affect Sam's desire to transfer to homicide – meaning that some calls are going to have to be made soon – and Sam is avoiding that subject as much as possible.
We're not done! Back in Alaska, Nikki's disappearance has been noticed and the searches have begun. Her uncle, Payton Archer, is a former pro-football player with friends in the law-enforcement field. Payton and his friend Joe follow the leads, and manage to talk their way into following Nikki's path, which eventually gets them to Chicago and in touch with Sam.
All of this has led up to the organization of Russians who abduct young woman from across the globe and use or sell them in the sex or slave trade. The girls get trapped in a complicated computer system through international websites that include chat rooms and blogs that are more than difficult to trace and scrambled and these women have no chance of flight.
I have to admit to being put off by the child sex trade aspect at first – but it was offset by Jess' bounty hunter skills. Her introduction was awesome. And the distaste for the sex trade did carry through most of the book, although I guess that could be a character point in my favor, but I did come to realize that Dane kept to her limits – if you are someone for whom this topic is too much – Dane comes close, but doesn't quite cross the line. Don't mistake me – this isn't a cozy – the action continues all the way through the book. I found it an interesting read. Not an absolute favorite – but I will probably check out the next in her Sweet Justice thriller series to see what happens.