“The Ugly Duckling”
Published by “A Bantam Book” in 1996
This is the first thriller by Iris Johansen that I’ve read. She is an American author of crime fiction and romance novels. Johansen began writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. She had seventeen consecutive New York Times bestsellers as of November 2006. While Iris Johansen's style has evolved over the years, the same skill that made her "one of the leading authors of romance fiction" has helped establish her reputation in a broader field. As Catherine Coulter noted, "Iris Johansen is a bestselling author for the best reason -- she's a wonderful storyteller." The Ugly Duckling is captivating from the beginning and nothing like the fairy tale for which it is named. It is a tale of betrayal, survival and exacting revenge. The main character of the book is Nell Calder. She was born plain of face, and her mother let her know in no uncertain terms that this ugly duckling would never turn into a swan. Flash to the present day, and Nell, despite her mousiness, is married to a handsome executive on the rise and has a wonderful little daughter. Nevertheless, she is never not self-conscious about her lack of dazzle. Her world revolves around her four-year-old daughter, Jill, and not around her husband Richard. At a big social-business affair on a Greek island, the party is attacked by masked assailants. What she didn’t realize was that she was at the center of that nastiness. She miraculously survives an assassination attempt, while everyone else at a party is murdered, including her young daughter and husband. After the murder, the man, who has killed Nell’s family,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document