Book Review – “What Doesn’t Kill You” by Iris Johansen (Catherine Ling series #2)

whatdoesntkillyou  Title:  What Doesn’t Kill You (Catherine Ling series #2)

Author:  Iris Johansen

ISBN:  9780312651299

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis (from  

In this breathtaking thriller, number-one bestselling author Iris Johansen showcases one of her most fascinating characters—pitted against one of the most ruthless killers…

 Abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong, Catherine Ling was schooled in the art of survival by the mysterious Hu Chang, a master assassin and poisoner. Now recruited by the CIA, Catherine finds herself caught between worlds when her mentor develops a formula that is extremely fatal, virtually untraceable—and highly coveted. On the hunt for this prize are a rogue operative, a band of criminals, and a man so evil he kills without remorse. Catherine will do anything to protect those she loves: Hu Chang and her son Luke. But she will have to use every deadly weapon, every double cross, every lethal lesson she ever learned—to prove that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

My thoughts:

I absolutely flew through this book.  This is sort of a series within a series.  What I mean by that is that this is a spin-off series  of the Iris Johansen Eve Duncan series.  We were first introduced to the character of Catherine Ling in the book Chasing the Night (2010), where Eve was working to find Catherine’s missing son, Luke!  And now . . . she has her own series which is very awesome.  Let’s be real, Catherine is a serious bad ass which is why I love her character so much.  She is a strong, empowered, ruthless, no nonsense CIA agent who doesn’t take no for an answer!  Go Catherine!

This book was dramatic, very fast-paced and really held your attention no matter what.  This book really gave the reader the very important background information and development of the character of Catherine, from her life as an orphan on the rough streets of Hong Kong, to the development of her relationship with Hu Chang, to her role in the CIA.  I hope that this character development means that there will be many more books in this series.

I have read the entire Eve Duncan series and really do love the series, but I do have to admit that it is nice to get away from the whole Eve/Bonnie storyline that frankly went on too long.  Catherine is almost entirely opposite from the more mild-mannered Eve Duncan.  There are many crossover characters between the two series which creates a wonderful connection for the reader!

I strongly recommend this Catherine Ling series . . . go get your hands on Chasing the Night (2010), then read this one and you are all set!

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Fiction, Iris Johansen, Mystery

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