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One Kick

Chelsea Cain

Kick Lannigan, 21, is a survivor. Abducted at age six in broad daylight, the police, the public, perhaps even her family assumed the worst had occurred. And then Kathleen Lannigan was found, alive, six years later. In the early months following her freedom, as Kick struggled with PTSD, her parents put her through a litany of therapies, but nothing helped until the detective who rescued her suggested Kick learn to fight.


Before she was thirteen, Kick learned marksmanship, martial arts, boxing, archery, and knife throwing. She excelled at every one, vowing she would never be victimised again. But when two children in the Portland area go missing in the same month, Kick goes into a tailspin. Then an enigmatic man Bishop approaches her with a proposition: he is convinced Kick's experiences and expertise can be used to help rescue the abductees. Little does Kick know the case will lead directly into her terrifying past.

I have been reading Chelsea Cain’s series featuring Archie and Gretchen and absolutely love it. However, I had a serious issue with the publishers and their release dates for the last in that series. The last book in the Archie/Gretchen series entitled Let Me Go was released late 2013. However as an avid Kindle reader, I didn’t want to get a big bulky book for my commute. I decided to wait for the Kindle version, and believe it or not I’m still waiting!!! I was so annoyed to learn that the Kindle version wouldn’t be released until over a year later?!? Because of that when I got the new Chelsea Cain book featuring a new character, I put it further down the list than usual out of principle! Of course after trying to convince myself that I was right, I relented and got started on the new one. All I can say is thank god I did.

The first thing you need to know about this latest release is that the characters are the furthest thing you can get from the ordinary. I don’t say this lightly and I know it’s a bold statement to make but it’s true. Kick Lannigan is the star of this latest book and she is possibly the most damaged, off the wall and disturbing character I have read in a long time. Of course I absolutely loved her and from the very start I knew this book would be different. Kick is actually a survivor, having been abducted at the age of 6 and found alive 6 years later. Now being in her early twenties we get to see a woman who has some serious issues (obviously) but which makes an absolutely compelling character to read about.

Now Kick is older she has spent her teenage years learning how to protect herself. However, her obsessive and compulsive traits mean that when two children go missing it’s like a trigger for her behaviour to turn a little wild and off key. Add to the mix another intriguing character, meet John Bishop. Initially he approaches Kick to ask for her help in locating the missing children. These two meeting is like putting lit matches in a Firework box, you never quite know what the outcome will be.

One thing to note is that this book will definitely not be everybody’s cup of tea. It’s a little like Marmite me thinks, you either love it or hate it. I absolutely loved it and read it in a matter of hours. The characters had my hairs standing on end, the crime scenes had me cringing in horror and the story, plot and pace were pure magic. I’m chomping at the bit to know when the second book will be released, although I may have to sulk (momentarily you understand) regarding the last Kindle release of CC’s which was a bit of a disaster! That aside a class read which I for one will be putting high on my list of reads from 2014!!!

Review by Katherine Everett, Best Crime Books

About Chelsea Cain:

Chelsea Cain is the New York Times bestselling author of the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, Kill You Twice, and Let Me Go. One Kick is the first in her Kick Lannigan thriller series.

Cain's book Heartsick was named one of the best 100 thrillers ever written by NPR, and Heartsick and Sweetheart were named among Stephen King's Top Ten Books of the Year. Her books have been featured on HBO's True Blood and on ABC's Castle. Cain lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.

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