Sunday, September 10, 2017
Book Review: 'What Doesn't Kill Her' by Carla Norton
Twenty-three year old Reeve LeClaire is tired of being portrayed as a victim, although it is understandable that people see her that way. When she was twelve, a mentally disturbed and sadistic felon, Daryl Wayne Flint, snatched her and kept her imprisoned in a basement for four years, where he abused, tortured, and mutilated her. Flint was finally apprehended, but instead of going to prison, he is sent to the forensic unit of Olshaker Psychiatric Hospital in the state of Washington. Seven years pass. Reeve, a college student living in San Francisco, is trying to put the past behind her. She has no idea that her former captor has a getaway strategy and remains as obsessed with her as ever.
Carla Norton's "What Doesn't Kill Her" is a carefully plotted and mesmerizing thriller that features a despicable, narcissistic, and thoroughly loathsome villain. One would think that Reeve would stay far away from the investigation that ensues when Flint manages to escape. On the contrary, she and retired FBI agent Milo Bender join forces to stop Flint, since they know how his sick mind operates. The investigators handling the case are not nearly as familiar with Flint's twisted thought processes.
Daryl Flint is ruthless; he has no qualms about eliminating anyone whom he dislikes or considers a threat. Norton spends a great deal of time with the slimy and sickening Flint. Some readers might prefer not to be in his repulsive company for quite so long. Reeve and Milo soon discover that Flint is out of control and remains a dangerous and elusive adversary. The heroine recklessly puts herself in harm's way, since she is determined to prevent Flint from hurting others the way he hurt her. "What Doesn't Kill Her" is a dark, menacing, and suspenseful novel about a woman's decision to go on the offensive rather than live in fear for the rest of her life.
Editor's note: This review was written by Eleanor Bukowsky and has been reposted with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right