What Doesn't Kill Her
Carla Norton caught readers’ attention with last year’s debut The Edge of Normal, which introduced her most unusual protagonist, Reeve LeClaire.

Norton’s back with its sequel, What Doesn’t Kill Her, and Auntie M is happy to report it’s every bit as well done as her first.

Reeve has put some semblance of normalcy back into her life after her years as Darryl Flint’s kidnap victim. She still has some locked memories of her time as his captive, but now she has roommates and is attending college, while Flint languishes in the psychiatric hospital where he’s been held since the car accident that freed Reeve and gave Flint his head injury.

He spends his days in apparently harmless rituals of his own making, until the day he puts his long-held plan into action: Flint manages to escape, killing on his first day out, and bringing Reeve to Washington State to aid in his capture.

Staying with former FBI agent Milo Bender and his family, Reeve and Bender will try their best to figure out Flint’s next move before he can kill again, but not before he manages to damage those close to Reeve.

With some chapters told from Flint’s point of view, the reader possess more information that Reeve or Bender, which ratchets up the suspense. And Norton has done her homework on psychopathic subcategories, educating readers on the scent of fear.

The pacing picks up as the manhunt does and Flint seems destined to elude authorities, with a blocked memory Reeve has holding the key to his capture.

Skillfully done, you’ll be rooting for Reeve and be as surprised as Auntie M at the final ending twist.