I love Iris Johansen. I am hunting for her old Loveswepts because I enjoy each and every one of her books. She's capable, within a few paragraphs, to pull you into a story and make difficult people come alive in such a way that you care for them.
Not here. These people remain distant and in a way cold. Bess, the heroine, is constantly demanding unreasonable things and getting her way. She's hurt by the whole situation, but that doesn't make her unreasonableness right, and there's just not enough depth to make it realistic. Kaldak, the hero, works on the intellectual level, but not on the emotional one. The supporting characters are, at least for Johansen, formulaic.
I really liked the idea for a thriller, it is an excellent plot, but it would need more meat on those bones to "pull you in", to make you feel and believe. I wasn't afraid for the heroine, I didn't share her sudden need to go to bed with the hero, I didn't hate the villain (although he was truly bad).
I hope Iris Johansen will get better with her next book, both her last two thrillers and her romances were good (although I would have preferred more relationship in the thrillers, I regretted her switch from romance) - I am definitely going to wait for the paperback with her next novel, this quality is not worth the money for a hardcover.