The Kendra Michaels series by New York Times bestselling author –Iris Johansen follows the exploits of a music therapist in the investigative world.
We first encounter Kendra Michaels in the 2012 novel – Close Your Eyes. This suspense thriller introduces Kendra as a once-blind woman who has extraordinary observation and analysis skills. She is thus much sought after by law enforcement agencies to lend a hand in hard-to-crack cases. And although Kendra doesn’t care much about helping out in investigative cases, her abilities make her an important asset.
Order of Kendra Michaels Series
|1||Close Your Eyes||2011|
|2||With Open Eyes||2012|
|4||The Naked Eye||2015|
Nonetheless, the first novel in the Kendra Michaels series exposes Kendra’s ties with the FBI. Apparently, Kendra had worked with them in the past. She had previously helped FBI agent Jeff, an ex boyfriend of hers, on a case. And in Close Your Eyes, she gets romantically involved with Adam Lynch who is investigating Jeff’s missing.
With the Kendra Michaels series, Iris Johansen continues to display her unique storytelling approach. Her featured character struggles to make an impact in a system that is filled with corruption and deceit. Kendra has to choose whether using her abilities to fight crime is more important than her life. Yet, while she can withstand the violence and manipulation – she might not be ready for the secrets and carnage that await her.
Kendra is dependable in instances when the police seem unresponsive. In With Open Eyes (a novella), she puts her skills to use again when her long-time friend – Janet Sanders – finds her fiancé killed in his apartment. This is the second time we meet Kendra, but unfortunately, the author adopts a short story version that leaves the plot hanging.
It is only through the third (and second actual full-length novel) work of the series do we get to see the extent of Kendra’s involvement in crime fighting. In Sight Unseen, Kendra Michaels is preoccupied with finding a serial killer who is out in the loose. Once again, she involves FBI agent and ex lover, Adam. This time however, she’s up against a killer who’s not only determined to taunt her, but also bent on killing her.
Even with her extraordinary skills, Kendra is no match for serial killer Eric Colby. The fourth installment in the series – The Naked Eye – picks up from where Sight Unseen ended. Kendra facilitated Eric’s conviction but the killer’s uncanny ability to scheme leaves Kendra Michaels unhinged. She is forced to deal with suspicions that she had a hand in the killing of a cop despite her claims that Eric’s the one behind it all. This time round, Kendra has to use her skills to catch Eric and clear her name in the process.
BEST KENDRA MICHAELS BOOKS
Sight Unseen: Iris Johansen’s books are renowned for their intense suspense and mystery. However, the Kendra Michaels series takes a bit of time to get the critical acclaim it deserves. But starting with Sight Unseen, Kendra attracts a huge following as readers start to associate with the challenges she faces in trying to balance her abilities and personal life.
The Naked Eye: The trend continues into The Naked Eye, where for the first time Kendra has to defend herself against claims that she might have committed a crime herself.
Night Watch: Yet it’s only through Night Watch (the fifth and final work in the series) does Iris Johansen bring out the best in Kendra. The featured character goes back to help the doctor who helped her recover her sight when his colleagues start up showing dead. Night Watch is Iris’ display of mystery and suspense at its best. But to get to understand Kendra better, it is only logical that one starts from the very beginning – with Close Your Eyes.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
Readers who enjoy Kendra Michaels are also apt to follow the “John Puller” series by David Baldacci. Like Kendra, John has advanced investigate skills. But unlike Kendra, John is a combat veteran who is not averse to violence, which he encountered during his stint in the military. Similarly, the “Harry Bosch” series by Michael Connelly is a good read for those that enjoy Kendra Michaels. Harry is also an investigative guru. In contrast to Kendra however, he has an intimate knowledge of how corrupt police work can get because he served as an LAPD officer for close to thirty years.