Book Review: One Kick

In One Kick, author Chelsea Cain does not hold back in unleashing a thrilling novel full of suspense.

Meet Kick. She is tough, she is determined; she will not let you mess around with her. She was the young girl you saw on missing person’s posters. After being rescued by Frank and his team at the FBI it is a difficult adjustment being back in the real world. Her mother has sold her soul for the almighty dollar as a missing child’s mother. We don’t hear much about the father; perhaps for good reason. Every so often Frank appears in the story to check up on Kick. She lives independently in an apartment, one level above James, a kidnapped child who also spent time with her with her “mom” and “dad.” Trained as a marksman, escape artist and bomb maker, Kick discovered that arm to arm combat helped deal with her anxiety of being out of captivity. A panic diary is still nearby.

However troubles surface when another child goes missing in circumstances similar to Kick’s. A man named Bishop arrives unannounced at Kick’s door asking her to assist her in the case. Whilst initially very reluctant, Kick eventually succeeds and the mystery hunting begins.

For the most part I enjoy Chelsea Cain’s style. It was the first time any of her books had found their way into my hands. She creates strong character personalities through action. There aren’t length descriptions of what their favourite show is or how they handle fear. You eventually just discover it. Small snippets of the traumatic past are given to better help us understand the tough yet frail psyche of our protagonist. Monster the dog was also a nice touch.

However it sometimes felt ironic to hear about all the amazing talents which were never used. When Kick is climbing up a wall to get into a house where a missing child is alleged to be, Bishop comes in through the front door quizzing her on why she didn’t try the easy option first. If the talents were there than Kick very seldom applied them.

In the build up to the showdown with the perpetrator Bishop and Kick discover some incredibly valuable leads which take them all over the place, including an encounter with Mel, the paedophile who kidnapped Kick. After this the book gets very vicious with some unfortunate encounters and a thrilling ending. Don’t expect conventional crime novel thinking here. Cain unleashes an ending few could envision.

I liked the book and hope to read it again as I feel like I missed out a lot. Plus books change when you read them a second time.

Author: NZ Booklovers

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