Book review: What Doesn’t Kill Her by Carla Norton

Friday, June 26, 2015 Permalink

Eleven years ago 12yr old Reggie LeClaire was kidnapped by Daryl Wayne Flint and kept in his basement for four years. Her rescue was fortuitous, having been found in the trunk of Flint’s car after an accident. Flint suffered brain damage in the accident allowing him to be incarcerated in a mental institution rather than prison.

He’s festered away there for seven years, a model and placid patient until one day he kills a visitor, steals his ID and escapes.

Reggie’s now Reeve, a college student. She remains close to her sister and father but few in her life know of her history—something that changes after Flint’s escape and the police, FBI and media are suddenly interested in Flint’s former captive.

Her insight into Flint however, means she’s able to offer the FBI assistance and she agrees to work with retired agent, Milo Bender who she met nearly a decade before.

what doesn't kill her

It’s soon obvious that Flint is capable of more than anyone thought. Far from the brain-damaged pedophile he was originally believed to be, it becomes clear he’s an opportunistic killer who may not have been working alone.

Reeve’s required to draw on long hidden memories of her past to assist Bender and the FBI, but unbeknown to her Flint still sees her as the one who got away and refuses to back down from his unfinished business.

Norton introduces a little romance into Reeve’s very-cautious world via Milo’s son (JD) and her supportive father and sister balance out Reeve’s occasionally less-than-cautious actions.

The fast-paced What Doesn’t Kill Her is the second in this series by novelist and true crime writer, Carla Norton. She’s done a good job developing Reeve from someone whose natural instinct is to bunker down and hide; to someone who’s willing to fight back and—better still—fight for others who are in similar situations. I suspect the series will continue, with Reeve working with law enforcement to track down kidnappers and sex offenders.

What Doesn’t Kill Her by Carla Norton, published by St Martin’s Press (Minotaur Books) is a great psychological thriller and available from 30 June 2015.

Does this one appeal?

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher for review purposes.

Buy now from Booktopia or Amazon (International).

16 Comments
  • katypotaty
    June 27, 2015

    This actually sounds right up my alley – I’ll have to find a copy of this book, Deb!

    There’s something about victims helping track and capture their killers which I find deeply satisfying.

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2015

      Oh yes. Plus there are a few extra layers to this one!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    June 27, 2015

    Yes. This one appeals. She sounds like a decent heroine who grows during the story.

    • Debbish
      June 27, 2015

      Yes, she is. She (apparently) featured in the first book – assisting the police, but in this one her own abductor is on the loose. She’s a bit too devil-may-care sometimes but those around her rein that in. It’s almost like she feels an obligation to help catch offenders.

  • Stormi D Johnson
    June 27, 2015

    This sounds like a good one and is going on my ever growing list. 🙂

  • Emma
    June 27, 2015

    I like the sound of this – good one for the summer.

  • Jess
    June 27, 2015

    I like the sounds of this one too, great review definitely left us all wanting more 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2015

      It was a little hard to describe as there was a bit more to Flint (and his crimes) than met the eye… (Hint: he *may* have had a mentor!)

  • sprinklesandsprouts
    June 27, 2015

    Oooooh This sounds good! I have sent the link to my book club friends, this could be our next read 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2015

      Ah yes, it would be good for a book club!

  • Heather Duff (@hross42)
    June 28, 2015

    Mmm, sound like it could be worth a read! Thanks for sharing!

    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

  • bluekaren
    June 29, 2015

    I have been reading a lot of thrillers lately. This one is on my radar. Could it be read as a stand-alone?

    • Debbish
      June 30, 2015

      Oh yes, I hadn’t read the predecessor. I gather she gets involved in helping another victim of an abduction (or similar) but this one is more about her own history etc… I assume it was touched on in the first novel but not explored in any detail.

I'd love to hear your thoughts