Author: Carla Norton
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Reeve LeClaire is a college student, dammit, not Daryl Wayne Flint’s victim. Not anymore–not when Reeve is finally recovering a life of her own after four years of captivity.
Flint is safely locked up in Olshaker Psychiatric Hospital, where he belongs. He is walking the grounds of the forensic unit, performing his strange but apparently harmless rituals. It seems that he is still suffering the effects of the head injury he suffered in the car crash that freed Reeve seven years ago. Post-concussive syndrome, they call it.
For all that Flint seems like a model patient, he has long been planning his next move. When the moment arrives, he gets clean away from the hospital before the alarm even sounds. And Reeve is shocked out of her new life by her worst nightmare: Her kidnapper has escaped. Less than 24 hours later, Flint kills someone from his past–and Reeve’s blocked memories jolt back into consciousness. As much as she would like to forget him, she knows this criminal better than anyone else. When Flint evades capture, baffling authorities and leaving a bloody trail from the psychiatric lock-up to the forests of Washington state, Reeve suddenly realizes that she is the only one who can stop him.
Reeve is an irresistibly brave and believable heroine in Carla Norton’s heart-stopping new thriller, What Doesn’t Kill Her, about a young woman who learns to fight back.
Review: This chilling, psychological thriller veers close to the edge of sanity and beyond, pitting the mind of a sociopath against the most vulnerable yet determined of all hunters–his prey. Seven years ago, Reeve LeClaire had escaped from four years of torture and fear…leaving the dark basement of Daryl Wayne Flint’s home, returning to the light and life she’d been torn from years before.
The author takes you into the calculating mind of the killer while, at the same time, gives you insight into the thought processes of the victim, Reeve–allowing you to see the story unfolding from both sides. It’s almost fatalistic–like watching bumper cars–as you see near misses and points where he’s almost given up only to see Reeve do something that brings him back again. Very interesting style that I haven’t seen before in one of these types of dual-minded novels.
I enjoyed the push and pull of the investigation, the spark of romantic interest between Reeve and Milo’s son J.D., and Reeve’s ingenuity as she followed her instincts honed by years spent with this sick individual–invaluable sociopath training that was gained in a way NO ONE would ever wish, even on their worst enemy. The book was intricately plotted, the characters trajectories well developed and concise, and the suspense was edgy and taut. The chilling isolation of the snowy Northwestern environment surrounded the crimes and the criminal like a newly laid cover of snow; wet, cold and dark–and added much to the overall spookiness of the book’s vibe.
I was engrossed from start to finish. I have read more interesting sociopaths before, but never enjoyed a younger investigator more. Ms Norton’s strength lies in the emotions I developed for Reeve’s character and my interest in what she does next. I’ll be reading the one before and the one that follows just to find out more about this interesting, complex character. Thanks!