Kidnapped at age six and rescued five years later, Kit (Kick) Lannigan’s life has been fodder for the news and for celebrity magazines. But at twenty-one, Kick now has a mission in life: to save missing children and to somehow finally feel safe.

She is trained as a marksman, a lock picker, an escape artist, and a bomb maker, skills she gleaned from her captors. Her mixed feelings about the couple whom she called Dad and Mom are further complicated by the less-than-loving feelings she has for her biological mother, Paula, who has fashioned herself into the Kidnapped Mom to market her book and to further her personal causes.

But now Kick, accompanied by a former weapons dealer, John Bishop, is searching for two new missing children…and trying to track down answers about her past, answers that could lead them to the victims. The pursuit takes them from Seattle and Portland to San Diego, uncovering clues along the way.

Kick’s toughness masks her vulnerabilities, which made her a credible character with a damaged past. John Bishop’s coldness seems to be his mask, but soon I found myself warming up to him as well. Living in the apartment below Kick’s is James, a young man who was also held captive for years and who Kick knows from back then. Now, years later, they have reunited and feel like brother and sister. The author brings her ability to create great characterizations to this new novel, the beginning of a series (I hope!), and the settings came alive for me in her trademark fashion.

One Kick: A Novel (Kick Lannigan) is a page-turning novel from the author of the Gretchen Lowell series, and I could not stop reading until the final denouement. What will Kick do to reach her goals? Will she find the answers she seeks, or will she end up with more questions? Who can she trust, and why is John Bishop working so hard to find the answers along with her? Finally, what gutsy move will she make to bring the predators out of their hiding places?

The conclusion left me with more questions about the mysterious John Bishop, and hints of more to come that left me feeling a great sense of satisfaction. Five stars.


  1. I never read Chelsea Cain because I am afraid it will be too gory for me and I will feel squeamish about the subject matter, but perhaps I will give this book a try. Thanks for an informative review.


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