2014 Book Reviews

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

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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 victimized 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…

WOW! What a book. Just… WOW!

Thank you to Jamie at Simon and Schuster for sending me this book to review.

This book is the story of Kick, kidnapped as a six year old by a very nasty man. At the age of 12, Kick is living with her “mum and dad” and has been trained to run if anyone ever enters the house. There are guns placed all over the house which she must memorise and places for her to hide should she ever need to. One night a neighbour knocks on the door and Kick’s whole world changes, soon the police are fighting their way in and Kick’s “mum” is killed. Her “dad” screams one word that makes Kick run like the wind and wipe the computers in the house. When Frank, a kind police-officer finds her he discovers who she really is, but he is distraught about the information that she has been trained to wipe. What Kick doesn’t realise is that information would of jailed a mass of pedophiles. But instead they are now walking free.

Years later Kick is now living with her brother, she moved out of her mums after her mum turned Kick’s tragic life into a career. Selling every detail of their lives for cash. One night she enters her flat to find Bishop sitting in her front room. He wants Kick to help him find a young boy recently missing, one of a few boys that have gone missing. With Kick’s knowledge of how these people work and move around from house to house to never get found Kick could be invaluable.

But Kick doesn’t trust anyone especially not Bishop, he seems to be holding back and is he really who he says he is? But Kick’s determination to help any child in need will always override any doubts she has about Bishop. Which means Kick has to go back deep into her dark past and open up old scars.

This book, from the very first sentence had me. It’s so dark, gritty, gripping and powerful. It never goes into graphic details (thankfully) instead your imagination is left to do the work for those parts.

This is one of those books that takes you full pelt on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, at points I was holding my breathe for whole chapters. I literally couldn’t put it down and found myself so wrapped up in the story that when I did finish I needed a lie down.

I absolutely loved Kick as a character, she had SO many issues which was understandable. She never went anywhere without an arsenal of weapons and a badass attitude. But one thing I loved more than anything was how much she would risk in order to help other children. But it was sort of bittersweet, as she felt she HAD to do it, because she was trained to wipe that information she feels nothing but guilt. But she had no idea what she was doing and I wish she wasn’t so hard on herself. As a mum I wanted to hold her and show her real love, not the love her kidnappers gave her or her absolute bitch of a mother.

I really liked Frank, he was the one who discovered Kick. Their relationship really meant something to Kick, although she never showed it, it was so obvious. Frank was such a good guy, I just love him.

I want to talk about Bishop but anything I say could spoil the book, so instead I will leave you to discover him for yourselves.

This book has absolutely horrified and thrilled me in equal measure. Utterly compelling from start to finish and written to rock your world. Superbly dark and intense and a book that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

I absolutely LOVED this book. Without a doubt I will be following this author with avid interest.

One Kick is available in paperback and on kindle. And you can pre-order for August 19th now!

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