book cover of And Then You Die
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And Then You Die

(1997)
A novel by

 
 
The Barnes & Noble Review
Let me preface this review by saying that the cover of And Then You Die... gives no indication of the enormous sweep of this fast, lean read. On the cover, a young woman runs in terror down the twilit streets of a white-picket-fence community. But as short as this novel is-a trim 278 pages-it packs the wallop of a mini-epic. Iris Johansen is no prose artist. She is an expert storyteller, pure and simple. And Then You Die... is a page-turner of a novel, and would make a terrific movie. From its opening moments, it is pure action and suspense, with the romantic aspects of the story arising naturally as the thrills increase.


Bess Grady is used to the horrors of war. She is familiar with the monsters that some human beings become when it comes to international games of power. Bess is an international photojournalist who thought her worst nightmare occurred when she photographed the aftermath of a massacre while on assignment in Croatia. But when she accepts a much lighter assignment from 'Traveler' magazine, a worse nightmare awaits her.


She takes her older sister, Dr. Emily Grady Corelli, along with her on a jaunt down to a small out-of-the-way Mexican village. When they arrive, the town of Tenajo is eerily silent. As they wander the empty streets, the two sisters begin to find one corpse after another. Soon, it becomes apparent that every single human being in Tenajo has died suddenly. Emily, using her medical expertise, assumes this may be an outbreak of something like cholera. Bess, meanwhile, rescues the one lone survivor, a baby. Butwhen Bess sees government troops heading down to the village, she forces her older sister to take the baby and hide. Bess has seen other places where local governments have done terrible things to their own people. As Emily runs off with the baby they've named Josie, Bess is overtaken by a man called Kaldak, who proceeds to knock her unconscious.


When Bess awakes, she is in a hospital room under some restraint. A man called Esteban interrogates her. Kaldak shows up, too, and Bess now is terrified that both her sister and the baby have been killed. She is sure that these men are involved in the killings of all the people in Tenajo. Yet, Kaldak helps her find the baby Josie in the hospital, and the two of them escape. But can she trust him?


Then, Bess slowly begins to learn the secrets of what may have been a truly evil experiment upon the population of Tenajo, and to find out the real reason she is still alive. This will set her on a path of terror that will take her back to the United States, and to the darkest moments of her life.


Having summed up the plot here, I have to tell you that this describes only a third of the novel. If I were to reveal anything else of the story of And Then You Die...,it would destroy half the fun of Johansen's tale. Events, facts, and secret conspiracies unravel. With each twist of the tale, another follows close behind. The action goes from Croatia, to Mexico, to Atlanta, to New Orleans, to Wyoming, and many points in between. There's a mutating virus, the CIA, hired assassins, and one truly evil mastermind.


Those looking for one of Johansen's all-out romances may initially be discouraged, since the romance doesn't rear its head until the last third of the book. However, this is definitely a novel for romance readers who love Harrison Ford movies and also love strong heroines who aren't merely part of the scenery. Kaldak, who might be the hero or might very well be Bess's worst nightmare, is fascinating and mysterious. Bess Grady is a terrific heroine to follow over the course of this novel, and the action never lets up. Some of the background details are a bit rushed, but this keeps Johansen's storytelling foot on the accelerator.


And Then You Die... is like taking off on an aircraft carrier jet. It doesn't just soar, it zooms.-Jessi Rose Lucas


Genre: Mystery

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Used availability for Iris Johansen's And Then You Die

Hardback Editions

April 2009 : USA Library Binding
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 1-4395-6166-4 / 978-1-4395-6166-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Paw Prints
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1999 : USA Library Binding
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-613-23680-7 / 978-0-613-23680-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 1998 : USA Hardback
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-7862-1310-8 / 978-0-7862-1310-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


March 1998 : UK Hardback
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-340-69522-6 / 978-0-340-69522-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 1997 : USA Hardback
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Title: And Then You Die...
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-553-10616-3 / 978-0-553-10616-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


1998 : USA Hardback
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Title: And Then You Die... (Large Print Edition)
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 1-56865-727-7 / 978-1-56865-727-1 (USA edition)
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon   


Paperback Editions

September 1998 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: And Then You Die: A Novel
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-553-57998-3 / 978-0-553-57998-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


August 1998 : UK Paperback
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-340-69523-4 / 978-0-340-69523-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Coronet
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

May 2012 : USA Audio edition
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


May 2012 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


December 1999 : USA Audio edition
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio
Availability: Amazon   


December 1997 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: And Then You Die...
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-553-47886-9 / 978-0-553-47886-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


1998 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: And Then You Die
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-7887-1975-0 / 978-0-7887-1975-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books.
Availability: Amazon   


1998 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: And Then You Die (Unabridged)
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 1-4025-1075-6 / 978-1-4025-1075-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


1997 : USA Audio CD
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Title: And Then You Die...
Author(s): Iris Johansen
ISBN: 0-7887-4472-0 / 978-1-4193-9844-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: RecordedBooks
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

August 2003 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: And Then You Die: A Novel
Author(s): Iris Johansen
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA