Review - What Doesn't Kill Her by Carla Norton

What Doesn't Kill Her by Carla Norton
Series: Reeve LeClaire #2
St. Martin's Press - Minotaur
Publication Date:  June 30, 2015
Date Read:  June 27, 2015

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.

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I just love a well written mystery that keeps me guessing.  This book grabbed my attention from the very first page and I found myself reading "just one more chapter" until I had had finished the book.  I didn't even realize that this was the second book in the series until I was almost done with the book.  To be honest, I don't think that I would have ever known if it wasn't on Goodreads because there was never a moment in the book where I felt like I was missing something.  

This isn't one of those mysteries where the reader wonders who committed the crime.  The criminal is apparent from the very beginning of the book.  The question is how are they going to catch him and just how many crimes has he committed.  The story is told from several points of view but the largest portion of the book is told from Reeve's point of view.  Reeve was kidnapped as a preteen and spend four years of her life in captivity.  She is moving on with her live until she learns that man who put her through hell has just escaped from his psychiatric unit where he was a prisoner.  Reeve knows this criminal probably better than anyone so she decides to do what she can to help capture him.

The character in this book were varied.  The parts of the story that were told from Flint's point of view were rather disturbing.  Flint wasn't the only unpleasant character in this story.  His mother was equally horrible.  I even disliked Agent Blakenship for most of the story.  While I wouldn't want to make friends with these individuals, their characters really added a lot to the story and gave me someone to root against.  There were some very likeable characters in this book as well.  Reeve is a survivor who doesn't give up easily.  Milo Bender is probably my favorite character in the book because he is truly a nice guy and a great Agent.

The pacing of the story was very well done.  There were enough surprises that I felt compelled to see what would happen next.  While I would hope that some of things that happen in this book wouldn't happen in reality, the plot always felt very realistic.  You wouldn't want it to happen but it isn't outside the realm of possibilities.  I liked the way that the point of view changed in this story.  Each point of very was very clear and had its own distinct voice.  Each point of view brought an extra layer to the story being told and really had a impact on the overall flow of the book.

I would highly recommend this book to mystery fans.  This is the first book by Carla Norton that I have had a chance to read but I will definitely being more in the future.  I am really curious about the first book in this series and hope to start on that one very soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

About the Author

Carla Norton is a novelist, journalist, and true crime writer. Her debut fiction, THE EDGE OF NORMAL, won a Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Unpublished Mystery in 2012, was internationally released in 2013, and was a Thriller Award finalist in 2014. The sequel, WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER, is being released in 2015. (The book’s title is HUNTED in the U.K.) Carla has also written two books of true crime, including PERFECT VICTIM, which was put on the reading list for the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit and became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. This sounds like a good one! I love these kinds of thrilling page turners. Norton is new to me but I'll definitely be looking for this book. Great review!

    1. Thanks, Katherine! This is the first book by Carla Norton that I have read but I will definitely be reading more. I love it when a book completely grabs me and becomes hard to put down.

  2. Ooh this looks really interesting. I haven't read anything by Carla Norton before but maybe I should give this one a go. Great review!

    1. Thanks! Carla Norton is a new author for me as well but one that I plan to watch now that I have read this book. I hope you get a chance to enjoy this one.


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