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One Kick: A Novel (Kick Lannigan Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 406 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"The Short Drop" by Matthew FitzSimmons
Meet the assassin The Washington Post calls "a doozy of a sociopath" in this debut thriller from Matthew FitzSimmons. Available on Kindle and in paperback.

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Editorial Reviews Review

Author One on One with Chelsea Cain and Cheryl Strayed

Chelsea Cain

Photo Credit: Laura Domela

Cheryl Strayed

Photo Credit: Joni Kabana

Best-selling thriller writer Chelsea Cain (author of the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series and the forthcoming thriller One Kick) and best-selling memoirist Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild, Tiny Beautiful Things, and Torch) might not seem like they have much in common. But these two Portland authors and longtime friends have influenced each other’s work in surprising ways. Here they talk about how they met, the tequila story they won’t tell us, and when they’ll let their kids read their books.

CC: We became friends in a public restroom. How many of your significant friendships have begun this way?

CS: You are my one and only! I recall you were wearing something drapey and dazzling that seemed to have been found in someone’s eccentric grandmother’s attic. You wear that look more fabulously than anyone I know, by the way. What was I wearing? I’d had a baby about fifteen minutes before we met, so it was probably a muumuu--an article of clothing which I also happen to know you manage to wear fabulously, while I end up looking like a rabbi in a Mardi Gras parade. It’s amazing I can bear to be your friend, given your insufferably excellent fashion sense.

CC: You were wearing lederhosen, a sequined half-shirt, and roller-skates and I was wearing goggles and a nun’s habit. Or was it the other way around? We struck up a conversation at the sink. A few years later you joined the writing group I was in and we realized that our kids went to the same “neo-humanist” preschool.

CS: They have never recovered from the outrage of the being prohibited from wearing clothes with superheroes on them, but they can still chant Baba Nam Kevalam like nobody’s business. The experience opened their precious little hearts to the oneness of humanity, but it turned them off from quinoa eternally.

CC: I was so worried that the Ananda Marga nuns would find out I wrote thrillers for a living and Eliza would be expelled! I mean, if Wonder Woman is too violent then I’m pretty sure my books aren’t good for world peace.

CC: When will you let your kids read your books?

CS: I get that question a lot and it’s funny you should ask because I imagine you do too, for entirely different reasons. I give different answers at different times, but mostly it boils down to this: I will let them read my books when I no longer have the power to let or not let them do anything. Our kids will come to our books when they are ready to come to them. My hunch is 28. What’s yours?

CC: Eliza knows that if she reads my thrillers before she’s 30 all the fairies will die. But if she breaks down before that, I hope she reads One Kick. This is the book for the people who tell me they’re too scared to read my other series. The protagonist, Kick Lannigan, has some issues. She was kidnapped as a kid and spent five years with her abductor before she was rescued. But she’s determined to write her own story, and she’s doing something positive - she’s rescuing kids. It’s empowering and essentially optimistic, and it teaches valuable lessons like how to scale the side of a house.

CS: I think our children are lucky to have our books. Wouldn’t it be astounding to have books our mothers wrote? It would be extraordinary to have such an intimate, interior view of who they were intellectually and creatively outside of who they were to us. Don’t you think? No doubt this sentiment is amplified by the fact that—like you—I lost my mom young to cancer. Speaking of which, what do you think your mom would think of your books?

CC: My mother had absolute faith that I would do something creative, so she would feel thrilled and probably a little smug. You and I have talked about our childhoods. Our mothers couldn’t have done more to raise a couple of writers if they’d been following a how-to guide.

CC: If you were a superhero what would your power be?

CS: It would be something terribly book-wormy and nerdy. I’d don a glittery cape and clutch a wand and these things would give me the ability to make people fall in love with books. I’d wave my wand and the whole world would buy One Kick, for example. That would be my first task.

CC: Red wine or white?

CS: I prefer both, double-fisted. But can we have some tequila too?

CC: I am tempted to tell the story about that time I ordered a tray of tequila at the end of a party and someone ended up vomiting in someone else’s gift bag… But I’m saving that anecdote to sell to The Daily Mail.

CS: Hiking boots or high heels?

CC: Converse.

CS: The Midwest or the Pacific Northwest?

CC: The Pacific Northwest. If only it had lightning bugs it would be perfect. Besides, I can’t leave - all my books are set here. But you and I were both born in the Midwest, and like all good Midwestern girls we listen to Greg Brown. He signed an album for my sixteenth birthday and he wrote in your journal on your 21st birthday. Can you share what he wrote?

CS: He wrote an excerpt of an E.E. Cummings poem: "for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes” I’m hoping he was hitting on me. What did he write on your album?

CC: He wrote, “Chelsea: Happy Sweet Sixteenth! - Greg Brown.”

CC: We both write about monsters in our books. You call your backpack “Monster” in Wild, and Kick’s dog in named “Monster” in One Kick. I didn’t even make the connection until I was done writing, but I’m sure that it’s subconscious larceny. Are you mad at me?

CS: My lawyers are drawing up documents as we speak. But really, I love that Kick’s dog is named Monster! When I got to that part in your book it made me smile. Both Kick and I had a Monster who helped get us through.

CC: You gave yourself the last name “Strayed” - if you were to create a new last name for yourself today, what would it be?

CS: If I had to re-name myself I’d ask you for advice. You did, after all, come up with title of Wild. It was perfect from the moment you said it. Do you remember the other titles we considered as we brainstormed? I recall one was The Nature of Love, which would have been a disaster. What would you name yourself if you changed your name? When I was a kid I always wished I had a nickname. I tried to get people to call me Coco, but no one would do it. I think Coco would work great for you, in case you’re looking for something new.

CC: I will change my name to Coco Cain if you change yours to Cheryl Found.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Cain has a new publisher and a new series, and even those fans most devoted to the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell novels will find plenty to race their pulses when they encounter Kick Lannigan, a woman on a mission. Part Lisbeth Salander and part Susan Ward, the punky reporter from the Sheridan-Lowell novels, Kick is a 21-year-old martial-arts expert who was abducted from her Seattle home at age six and rescued five years later, but not before being forced to star in a series of kiddie-porn videos still the rage on the underground Internet. Now Kick is obsessed with tracking other abducted children, especially two who have gone missing in the last three weeks. She reluctantly joins forces with John Bishop, a shady vigilante of sorts, who believes Kick knows more than she thinks she does about where the missing kids might be. Always a master at ratcheting up tension, Cain keeps the narrative in overdrive from beginning to end, slowly releasing tidbits of information from Kick’s repressed memories of her abduction (and the weird father-daughter relationship that developed between her and the now-jailed predator who took her), while allowing the psycho behind the recent crimes to circle ever closer to Kick and her friend James, also an abuse victim. The subject matter is uncomfortable, even stomach-churning at times, but Cain manages to deal sensitively with her material while still allowing Kick’s character to emerge with multifaceted humanity—and even snatches of humor. Above all, though, this is an edge-of-the-chair thriller, and Cain negotiates the twists and turns with finesse while keeping her foot firmly on the gas pedal. Excruciating yet always compelling.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Cain’s best-selling credentials are impeccable: her books have made multiple trips to the NYT best-seller list, been translated into 24 languages, and been named to NPR’s top 100 thrillers of all time. Her new series won’t do anything to diminish that record. --Bill Ott

Product Details

  • File Size: 3747 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edition (August 19, 2014)
  • Publication Date: August 19, 2014
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,213 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, let me say I am a huge Chelsea Cain fan, and I have read all and loved most of the Gretchen/Archie novels. I was very excited to read the first novel in her new series, and loved that she had what sounded like such a strong female lead. At best, the book was disappointing, at worst it was actually disturbing.
Spoilers ahead***
At first, I was disappointed by the similarities between her character Kick and Archie. Both had suffered traumatic events that made them incapable of having normal relationships. Both still harbored weird and unhealthy feelings/relationships for their 'abuser.' I was disappointed because Cain didn't deviate from her standard writing MO. But by the end of the book, my disappointment had actually turned into disgust. See, Archie was a grown man who was tortured by a female serial killer who he had been having a CONSENSUAL sexual relationship with (prior to discovering she was the serial killer he had been hunting for). Archie's weird fascination and obsession with this woman is 'almost' understandable- it must haunt him that he enjoyed an ongoing sexual relationship with someone who turned out to be so twisted. Plus, she actually 'saved' him by getting him medical attention while he was clinging to life versus completely killing him as she had done with other victims. He had to wonder, why did she save me?

Kick's obsession with the man who had kidnapped her as a child, brain washed her, and acted as her 'dad' seemed, in the beginning of the book, somewhat understandable.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I loved the Archie/Gretchen books and was looking forward to this one, but it was really pretty bad. Kick tells the reader REPEATEDLY how she is so deadly in terms of fighting and knowing about guns. Throughout the book she'll note how another character's gun is wrong for her or some other type of gun would be better. She also knows how to fight, pick locks, make bombs, etc. and is quite the tough little cookie. Unfortunately, that toughness is never shown - she fights Bishop and loses, ends up unconscious (and would be dead if Bishop hadn't saved her). Scales a house when she could have gone through the front door. I also don't understand why Bishop needs her and her "expertise" -- a lot of it just seems like common sense on how one would hide a kidnapped child. She even gets outwitted by her mother and she never explains who someone goes from child molestee until age 14 to computer genius in fewer than 10 years. I didn't care about the mysterious Mr. Bishop who seemed like the ultimate fictitious character -- handsome man with lots of money and toys and no job with a mysterious past and not findable on the Internet. Perhaps if Kick were a little smarter she would know to avoid people like that (and he did tell her he used to sell weapons -- guns among them).
No thanks - I liked both Archie and Gretchen and found them to be real characters -- neither of these people did I like or find believable.
PLEASE get this from a library and see if you like it before you buy it!
3 Comments 114 of 125 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am generally willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of a good story. This book, however, is pretty much a waste. The story line was in no way reflective of how truly dark pedophelia is, and of how horribly damaged a five or six year old would be after years of abuse and captivity. This will be a series. Just give it a pass.
Comment 86 of 96 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read every Chelsea Cain book and been a huge fan, which is why I was soooo disappointed in Kick. First of all - the title should have been "Kick - Part 1". Forget "setup for a sequel". Spoiler alert - but the book just ends! And not satisfyingly so. It was like watching Season 1 of "The Killing". - it left you feeling cheated and as if you just wasted a huge amount of time for nothing. The plot line (what there was of it) was so disjointed and - honestly, boring. And the heroine - I'm am a big fan of ass kicking female leads - but Kit was so unlikable for the entire first half of the book that I almost gave up on reading it. In hindsight, I should have gone with my instinct. And then (again - spoiler alert) to not go with the what could have been a saving grace for the ending (albeit an obvious one) of uniting Kit with the 3 legged dog Really? Well, maybe Chelsea Cain is saving that for the "sequel" but unfortunately, I will never know. The book left me so dissatisfied that I will not be coming back - August 2015!!! - for the sequel. As former President Bush so ineloquently put it: "Fool me once, shame on me..." What a disappointment.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a terrible waste of money. Kick is a paranoid loser. A shame to read this after the wonderful Archie series. Please tell me there will not be a second with this sick character
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting premise, but story line does not flow. Plot lines are introduced without being developed
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Format: Hardcover
i'm a big fan of the Archie series and so waited for this book with excitement. In fairness i only read the first 72 pages before deciding that life was too short to waste time on this. Did she write it at 16 and just pull it out of the back of her closet?
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