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Monday, July 20, 2015

One Kick An Engrossing Stomach-Turner

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

You may—or may not—have noticed the plethora of reviews I've been posting lately.  I'm trying super hard to catch up.  Not doing too bad of a job, either.  Only one more review after this one and I will have finished reviewing all the books I've read up to April of this year.  Can I get a woot, woot?  Yeah, I know that still leaves four months of reading (44 books + whatever I finish in the meantime) to deal with, but I'm proud of myself nonetheless.  

I am, however, feeling a little overtaxed, so I'm going to skip out on writing my own plot summary of One Kick by Chelsea Cain.  The back cover copy sums the novel up very nicely, while holding enough back to keep things interesting.  I couldn't have done a better job, anyway, so here you go:
From the author of the critically acclaimed Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell thrillers, here is a heart-stopping ride that Cheryl Strayed (author of #1 New York Times bestseller Wild) called “deeply intelligent and grippingly suspenseful…a wickedly brilliant masterpiece.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Kick Lannigan has taught herself to be dangerous. She can pick any lock, fire any weapon, throw any knife, and aim a punch at her opponent’s trachea. She has also taught herself to be safe. So when enigmatic John Bishop shows up asking her to help him rescue missing kids, Kick has every reason to be wary. He appears to have access to limitless money, high-level contacts, and details of Kick’s background long kept sealed by the court. Yet everything he tells her about himself seems to be a lie.                                                                                                                           Headstrong by nature, suspicious by circumstance, and a smart-ass by self-determination, Kick can’t help but see the writing on the wall: together, she and Bishop could make an unstoppable team, willing to do whatever it takes—legal or not—to see justice served…if they don’t kill each other first. For Kick, whose interest in child abduction is deeply personal, it’s a gamble worth taking.                                                                                                                                                 Critically acclaimed as “excruciating…compelling” (Booklist, starred review) and “a propulsive new thriller” (People), One Kick is an engrossing, entertaining new novel you won’t want to miss.
It's tough to resist a summary that intriguing, don't you think?  I certainly couldn't.  Even though the novel concerns child endangerment/abuse through abduction, isolation, and exploitation—subjects which always turn my stomach—I kept reading.  Why?  Believe me, I asked myself that more than once.  The answer is simple: Kick Lannigan is a fascinating character.  After her own traumatic childhood, the now 21-year-old promised herself she would never be vulnerable again.  And she isn't.  She's tough, she's shrewd, she's cool under pressure.  Yet, she makes mistakes.  She's not one of those slick kick butt heroines whose methods and decisions are always spot-on.  No, Kick is very real.  Because of her painful childhood as well as her devotion to those who need protection (her brother, James; her blind/deaf dog; the kids she tracks down with Bishop), she's a sympathetic character.  You can't help rooting for her, even if her tactics are not always admirable.

Besides Kick, the novel's compelling because it's suspenseful, action-packed, and just all-around engrossing.  I couldn't put it down, even though it's seriously disturbing.  Now I'm kinda regretting that I read it, seeing as how the sequel, Kick Back, is coming out in January 2016.  I have no self-control because darn it, I'm going to read it, I'm excited to read it.  I'm just not sure my stomach will be able to handle another wild ride with Kick Lannigan ...

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, sexual content, depictions of child abuse, and other disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. I don't really mind disturbing issues/subjects in novels. A Strong heroine in a suspenseful novel? This sounds like a nice read. Great review! :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  2. Did I tell you that my mystery group is reading this book for our September read? I told someone that. Anyway, it's on my list for August. And I'm looking forward to it, as well as excited about the second book coming out early next year. I've not ever read a book by Chelsea Cain. Her previous series did not appeal to me, but I know several who liked it very much. Did you read any of those books? Well, I'm happy to hear your thoughts. I think it will be well-liked, by our stronger stomached members anyway (of which I am one). Look for a 'mystery book club' review of it after the first Wednesday in September. And 'woot, woot' for your reviews and catching up!!!


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