Friday, 31 January 2014

Review: No One to Trust by Iris Johansen

No One to Trust by Iris Johansen
Release Date: August 26th, 2003
Publisher: Bantam
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Goodreads Summary

He is the most terrifying of killers: ruthless, cunning, charismatic. And he has the means to get whatever he wants. And what Rico Chavez wants most is Elena Kyler--and he wants her dead. Trained as an assassin, Elena didn’t need anyone to survive. But now she finds herself on the run from one dangerous man and turning for help to another.

Sean Galen was a man without illusions. He knew it was only desperation that caused Elena to accept his help--a mother’s desperation to save her young son from a psychopath father who would raise their son in his own chilling image. And yet he was determined to get this woman who had never been able to trust anyone or anything in her whole life to accept him as her ally. But both Galen and Elena know that Chavez’s power and wealth mean there is no place they can be safe and no one they can trust--not even each other. Already Chavez’s assassins and connections to those in the highest positions of power have turned this into a war with no rules.

With two shocking acts of brutal violence, Chavez shows he will stop at nothing and that nothing will stop him. Soon a trail of horrifying murders will follow Galen and Elena across country to a last stand and a shattering showdown. For Chavez is a master of control and he wants more than just to take Elena’s life. He wants her alive long enough to see him destroy every reason she has for living. He wants her to turn against everything and everyone she ever believed in. He wants her to commit the ultimate act of betrayal. And by the time he is through, he wants her to beg him to take the only thing she’ll have left to give: her life.

No One to Trust was surprisingly good. I was a little worried about giving Johansen a second chance after having most of my alarms set off when I read the The Killing Game. This book, while set in the same universe, was so much better in so many ways. 

For starters the female lead was incredibly likable in a way Eve perhaps wasn’t. The way Elena grew up hardened her. She was not a female lead to pity but one to admire. I was fascinated by how strong she was. She was kick ass in a way that I, as a reader, haven’t come across often. She was willing to do whatever it took to keep her child safe but she wasn’t ruthless, she just did what she had to survive. It wasn’t the bad ass in her that was willing to walk over anyone but the mother in her that would do anything she had to in order to protect her son. She was vulnerable but she tried to overcome her faults. Most importantly, in spite of her kickassedness, she wasn’t afraid to ask for help when she needed it, after making sure the person was trustworthy of course.

Sean was very interesting. I was surprised by how easily he developed feelings for Elena but I loved how he never pushed her. He made his feelings very clear but he also made it clear that he didn’t expect anything in return. He knew she would walk over him if she had to to protect her son. It’s very easy to admire a lead who respects the female lead and doesn’t view her as an object to protect. Instead he views her as a person who is more than capable of killing him but he wants to take care of her because no one else has.

The romance between the two, despite the fact that it came out of nowhere (not necessarily insta.. but just.. yeah), was very well done. Elena is bound to have intimacy issues, and yes they weren’t cured in one go. It took her a while to finally let go and they had to work to get to the point. She didn’t just wake up ‘cured’. One of the things I really loved was how their hotness was not in fact emphasized. Sean’s handsomeness was mentioned in passing but the focus was clearly on their personalities so it was easy to see why they would fall in love with one another and it was easy to admire the romance. 

The secondary characters were a definite plus which is why I was disappointed by some of the twists this book took. Another drawback for me as a reader was the fact that it was set in the same world as the Eve Duncan series. I usually wouldn’t mind so much but seeing that I don’t feel any tenderness towards the characters in that series, it becomes somewhat of an issue.

The suspense itself was nicely developed and the book kind of just flew by in a way that didn’t feel rushed.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a quick entertaining read to help them cool off. 


  1. I cannot get into anything written by Iris Johansen, it just don't like her writing style.

    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. Yeah for me she's mostly brain candy so I am not a huge fan or anything.


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