Saturday, May 5, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You [Hardcover]

I've finished "What Doesn't Kill You" the 2nd book in her Catherine Ling series by Iris Johansen.

Product Description

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an explosive new thriller featuring Catherine Ling from Chasing The Night.

Catherine Ling was abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at age four. Schooled in the art of survival, she traded in the only commodity she had: information. As a teenager, she came under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Hu Chang — a skilled assassin and master poisoner. As a young woman, she was recruited by the CIA and now, she is known as one of their most effective operatives. Having lived life in the shadows, Catherine is aware of the wobbly moral compass of her existence and even more aware of just how expendable she is to those she deals with. When her old friend Hu Chang creates something so deadly, and completely untraceable, the chase is on to be the first to get it. With rogue operative John Gallo also on the hunt, Catherine finds herself pitted against a group so villainous and a man so evil that she may not survive the quest to protect those she cares about. Iris Johansen is at her page-turning best in this novel that takes you from the corridors of Langley to the alleyways of Hong Kong, and the darkest places of the human soul.

From the Back Cover:

It’s the deadliest poison known to man.

He’s the only one who knows its true power.

She’s the only one who can stop the evil.

The chase is on…


In this breathtaking thriller, number-one bestselling author Iris Johansen showcases one of her most fascinating characters — pitted against one of the most ruthless killers …

Abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong, Catherine Ling was schooled in the art of survival by the mysterious Hu Chang, a master assassin and poisoner. Now recruited by the CIA, Catherine finds herself caught between worlds when her mentor develops a formula that is extremely fatal, virtually untraceable — and highly coveted. On the hunt for this prize are a rogue operative, a band of criminals, and a man so evil he kills without remorse. Catherine will do anything to protect those she loves: Hu Chang and her son Luke. But she will have to use every deadly weapon, every double cross, every lethal lesson she ever learned — to prove that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…
Product Details
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (April 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312651236
ISBN-13: 978-0312651237

My Review:

CIA operative agent Catherine Ling was abandoned when she was a toddler on the streets of Hong Kong.  She became a master as a commodity trader selling information which allowed her to survive.  She first meets Hu Chang when she saves his life from the drug dealers of the time.  She became his student and learned how to create his potions and understood how deadly they could be.  By 17 she was a deadly assassin and was recruited by Venable from the CIA.  She has become one of their best agents.

Catherine has just returned from a mission in Peru and just wants to see her son Luke.  Luke was kidnapped when he was 2 years old and was forced to learn how to kill.  He was also tortured by his vile, evil and sadistic captor and used to hurt Catherine in a previous book (Chasing the Night).   As a result Luke doesn't interact well with other kids and has grown a hard shell.  He has a private tutor Sam and immerses himself in books and literature to escape.  He is friends with Kelly who Catherine saved (Chasing the Night) and she is very adept with numbers.  He has survival skills and learnt how to use guns and how to use them to kill.  He has taken an interest in Catherine and what she does for the CIA and recently has a fascination with Hu Chang and his medicines.

At the beginning of the book the CIA and Venable have to rescue Hu-Chang from a deadly man.  He was shot but managed to drink one of his own potions to heal.  He sleeps for three days and then is up and about.  He receives a phone call about a package delivered outside but Venable finds a dead agent.  Venable calls in Catherine to clean up the incident and take care of the situation.  She arrives in town and stays at Hu Chang's shop but once again she vows to help her powerful and magnetic friend.

Their target is Nardik who has a history with Hu Chang in the past.  He wants a deadly poison Pandora from Hu Chang and will use Catherine to steal it for him.  In order to control Catherine he threatens her by kidnapping Luke.

She gets help from an unexpected person John Gallo Eve Duncan's former lover and the father of her daughter Bonnie.  Wow was the sexual chemistry between them off the charts.

This was a very exciting and thrilling non stop action with some very evil and sadistic villains.


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