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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 5 star ratings
2 reviews

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3.8 out of 5
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    This one kept me turning the pages!

    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.
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    Flat Protagonist

    3.5 stars What Doesn't Kill Her is the second book in Carla Norton's Reeve LeClaire series. Although it can stand alone, I am one of those obsessive-compulsive readers who just has to read a series in order, so I picked up Edge of Normal first. My decision to do so both helped and harmed my opinion of What Doesn't Kill Her. On the positive side, Norton's writing has become more polished, making this one of the rare series in which the second book is stronger than the first. On the negative side, What Doesn't Kill Her exacerbated the major flaw with Edge of Normal: protagonist Reeve LeClaire is a two-dimensional character whose only interesting feature is that she survived four years of captivity at the hands of a sexual sadist. This experience defines her, which may well be an accurate portrayal of the real victims of such abuse; however, a fictional character needs more to retain my interest, particularly across multiple books. As Dr. Ezra Lerner, Reeve's psychiatrist, observes at the end of Edge of Normal, Reeve's experience makes her uniquely well-suited to help other survivors, but What Doesn't Kill Her simply dumps her back into her own trauma. My sense is that Norton has created, and is using, the Reeve LeClaire series as a sort of public service announcement directed at readers who may themselves be the victims of sexual violence, a sense heightened by Norton's decision to close each book with an express exhortation that, "[i]f you or someone you know needs help, please act as quickly as possible" by calling 911 or one of the other organizations she helpfully lists. I would never tell a real victim to "move on," but if this series wants to survive, that's what Reeve needs to do. I received a free copy of What Doesn't Kill Her through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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