Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

What Doesn’t Kill You by Iris Johansen

May 18th, 2012 by Debbie's World of Books

What Doesn't Kill You by Iris Johansen

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: April 17, 2012

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Series: Book #2 in the Catherine Ling series

Summary from Catherine Ling was abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at age four. Schooled in the art of survival, she traded in the only commodity she had: information. As a teenager, she came under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Hu Chang—a skilled assassin and master poisoner. As a young woman, she was recruited by the CIA and now, she is known as one of their most effective operatives. Having lived life in the shadows, Catherine is aware of the wobbly moral compass of her existence and even more aware of just how expendable she is to those she deals with.

When her old friend Hu Chang creates something so deadly, and completely untraceable, the chase is on to be the first to get it. With rogue operative John Gallo also on the hunt, Catherine finds herself pitted against a group so villainous and a man so evil that she may not survive the quest to protect those she cares about.

I somehow missed the release of this book so I was glad when I stumbled across it in my Internet wanderings through the book world.  I loved Catherine Ling when we first met her in Chasing the Night and then when we meet John Gallo in the Eve Duncan trilogy about Bonnie I became fascinated by the undeniable attraction between Catherine and John.  When I read this book was focusing on Catherine and that John Gallo was back I was over the moon!

Sadly I ended up with mixed feelings when I finished this book.  I thought the character building was great as we get to see more of Catherine’s background and how she met her mentor and friend, Hu Chang.  This book just makes you so much more amazed at how strong Catherine is and the ordeals she has had to overcome.  We also get to see more of her budding relationship with her son and having to deal with the aftereffects of him being raised by a mad man who did his best to turn him against Catherine.  Hu Chang is this complex character that it’s hard to decide if you want to love him or strangle him with the way he manipulates everyone around him.

What I didn’t care for so much was the actual story of Hu Chang’s kidnapping and the quest to bring down his kidnappers.  I felt like there was too much build up and the story kind of started dragging as the villain, Nardik, pretty spends his time fantasizing about torturing Catherine, his jealous assistant and pretty much every other person around him but nothing really interesting ever happens.  The ending wraps up so quickly and neatly that I kind of felt like “woah, what just happened?”.  Maybe it’s because if it had been any other author and not about Catherine I would have given up on the book but instead I sort of checked out part way through.

Overall I found this one disappointing especially since I had so looked forward to seeing more of Catherine.  If you are a new reader to Johansen’s books I definitely suggest you go with her Eve Duncan books instead.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Action, Books, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

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