Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Favorite Author Iris Johansen Soars in New Series!

What Doesn't Kill You

  By Iris Johansen

The song, Stronger, had been going through my mind for several days when I chanced to pass a book section and saw What Doesn't Kill You...by Favorite Author Iris Johansen...I grabbed it and threw it on my personal TBR stack until this weekend I took some time for me and picked up this novel. I must say I was expecting an addition to the Eve Duncan series. Wow! I was surprised to be reading a totally new, I hope, series! The characters had been in the latest Trilogy but this novel is clearly a "Catherine Ling" showcase and I have to say that I loved her! Let's just say, you'll know the meaning when I say "kick-ass" when you meet Catherine...

"You let me sleep for a long time." Hu Chang lifted
his cup to his lips and gazed at her over the rim. "I
fear your softness is becoming more evident with
every passing hour. You will have to be more careful.
"I took a nap myself." She nibbled on a rice cake.
"And then I got hungry, or I would have been on my
way. I thought I might as well share." She smiled.
"Since it was your food after all. Sustenance. That's
a strange word. As strange as you, Hu Chang."
"Words are like bits of crystal, the more faceted,
the more beautiful. Speech should not be boring."
His gaze shifted to his bottles and vials on the
shelves. "Any more than those containers should
be boring. What I create is magical, their containers
should be equally deserving of admiration."
"You had one or two of those painted bottles in the
shop in Hong Kong, but none this fine."
"I save my rejects for Hong Kong. I keep the best
for my own pleasure...
"No. But nothing about trading information for
money is pretty. Your bottles are pretty. I like the
one that has the lotus flower on it. How did you
get the petals so thin and graceful?"
"Time ... and talent."
She made a rude noise.
"Now, if we're going to be together, you must
not do that disgusting thing again," he said.
"Even if I deserve it. It offends me, and we must
not offend each other."

Catherine is now a CIA Agent. When she was growing up in Hong Kong, she worked the streets and sold information, so that she would never become like her mother who had worked the streets for another reason...

A piece of information about a robbery at a local apothecary had led Catherine to the shop, thinking to sell that information to the owner. Instead, she was too late and she caught the individuals right in the middle. Without thinking, she stopped them, thus saving Hu Chang, although he later showed her how he'd plan to save himself.

She was in her teens at that time and a bond was forged, as they both left town and stayed at Hu Chang's laboratory. When he discovered she hadn't the talent to learn about drugs, and she continued to talk about selling information, he sent her to Venable in the CIA, who mentored her after having purchased information of value to him.

But the closeness continued for Catherine and Hu Chang, who had offered his theory that they may have been connected in some way in a previous life. For Catherine, he was as close to a father than she'd ever had.

Now, Hu Chang's experiments had gotten him in trouble. Not only had he created a potion that would bring about death, he had tested it and now one of the most ruthless men alive--called Lucifer by Hu Chang--was after it, and already had a target for using it!

I think by now you all know that I'm a sucker for great characters and all the major characters are fantastic! They are unique, play their respective roles perfectly and the dialogue blends superbly with those characters. I'm thoroughly impressed and hope that Johansen decides to run a concurrent series for Catherine, et.al., while still having them appear occasionally in Eve Duncan's life!

This book indeed places many people in danger that could result in death--including Catherine's son, who had already gone through a brutal kidnapping, and a candidate for the U.S. presidency.

"Gallo" who is quite open about seducing Catherine becomes jealous of Hu Chang's relationship, and vice versa, which makes an interesting bit of side play between the two with Catherine trying to get them to play nice--somewhat...

Action-packed, but still taking time to share about the characters kept me engrossed up to the final page! I know you will enjoy it as well! Iris Johansen Rocks!


Iris Johansen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pandora's Daughter, Stalemate, Killer Dreams, On the Run, and many more. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

Photos | Iris Johansen

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