Published: Auguast 19, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
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
I remember reading a book by Chelsea Cain many years ago and really enjoying it, so I'm not sure why I haven't read any more by her. When I saw 'One Kick' I thought it might be a great crossover novel, and it would be, but with some reservations. 'One Kick' is not for the faint of heart. The subject matter - abducted children - is harrowing for many people, but the sub-topic, which I am not going to identify, is even more controversial. If you are not a fan of disturbing subject matter, then 'One Kick' is not for you.
Having said that, I was absolutely riveted from page one. Kick Lannigan was a fascinating protagonist. I found it impossible to imagine how I would behave had I gone through what she had, and I admired her immensely. She chose to fight her demons and use her skills to help others. I think I might have just curled up in a corner and given up. Ms Cain does not go into a lot of explicit detail, but manages to infer some pretty unbelievable situations that had me feeling like I needed a shower.
'One Kick' is tense and riveting, and Ms Cain's writing style is such that I, for one, could not put the book down. I was propelled along by a sense of urgency that I shared with Kick and Bishop. There is no time to waste, they have to solve the kidnappings or it will be too late. This was a fascinating and horrifying look into a subject that I suspect most of us would like to brush under the carpet and try to forget about. A must read thriller for those with strong stomachs.