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Striking Back [Kindle Edition]

Mark Nykanen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Justice is coming.These men like to hurt women. Now it's payback time for an unknown murderer who's slaughtering the abusers in ways that mirror the ugly violence they forced upon the women in their lives. As the death count grows-and media interest explodes-innocent people could get caught in the killer's revenge.Los Angeles therapist Gwyn Sanders keeps her ugly family history to herself. More than twenty years ago, when she was still a teen, her violent stepfather died a grisly, mysterious death. Gwyn knows all the secrets but she's not talking about the past-she's too busy trying to change the future by breaking the cycle of domestic violence. The men she counsels aren't saints, but maybe she can change the mindset that makes their lives-and the lives of the people closest to them-so miserable. But when someone starts killing her controversial clients, Gwyn becomes LAPD's primary suspect. After all, there's the unsolved mystery of her stepfather's bizarre death. Maybe Gwyn has a hidden desire for justice that's far from therapeutic. Mark Nykanen is an Emmy-winning former NBC correspondent and the author of acclaimed thrillers HUSH, SEARCH ANGEL, THE BONE PARADE, PRIMITIVE and, writing as James Jaros, BURN DOWN THE SKY.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 513 KB
  • Print Length: 206 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611940169
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (May 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051IPXJY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific amateur sleuth-police procedural May 22, 2011
Format:Paperback
Over twenty years ago someone killed Gwyn Sander's abusive stepfather. The policed assumed the teen having had enough killed him, but whether it was a blue decision that justice was served there was no evidence to arrest let alone convict Gwyn or anyone for that matter.

For the last decade therapist Gwyn Sanders has run a spousal abusers group. However, she was unprepared for the savage murder by Alfred Croce of his wife who attended Gwyn's sessions. Not long afterward an avenger begins killing the male abusers whose wives belong to Gwyn's group. The culprit knows insider information as each murder is customized to mimic the victim's brutalization of women. The circumstantial evidence points to Gwyn with one theory being the Croce homicide triggered her dormant anger at violent men as she assumedly did to her stepfather.

This is a terrific amateur sleuth-police procedural as the beleaguered heroine refuses to be a victim again. Although the story line goes down the path anticipated, the key to making this a strong thriller is the diabolical villain who cleverly remains in plain sight and has the ability to change plans when needed. With an underlying plea to victims to get help, readers will relish Striking Back as Mark Nykanen provides a gripping whodunit.

Harriet Klausner
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a book difficult to lay down! August 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story is full of twists and turns, sometimes really unexpected. The main character is very believable, and discloses the past a little at a time as you begin to understand just why she reacts the way she does to the violent wife-beaters she is counseling. I appreciated a story that gives the details of the murders without overdoing it, leaving my mind open to envision what happened. The author kept me guessing right up to the end and kept me up all night to finish this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me guessing! July 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a real suspense thriller that kept me guessing until the end as I tried to figure out what Gwyn's involvement was in the investigation and how it all connected to her past. Gwyn is a therapist with some deranged clients that start getting violently murdered and she becomes the focus of police attention. The bad guys generally deserve what they are getting and I found myself siding with the killer more and more as I thought I knew who it was. Moody, fast-paced writing with a great lead character and something that I would definitely recommend to other readers!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Until the End September 17, 2011
By N
Format:Paperback
I loved the idea of men that had a history of battering and abusing women being punished by some vigilante, vendetta killer. All killed in accordance with the way in which they harmed their victims. How fence-walkingly exciting! Mark Nykanen does a nice job keeping us wondering exactly who the killer is. Although the police waste time suspecting Gwyn Sanders, we know it's not her. So who is it?

The questions keep popping up as the LAPD conduct their investigation, opening up an old, suspicious case involving the death of Gwyn's stepfather and Gwyn conducts her own, stumbling on accidental evidence along the way. Meanwhile, her love affair with the handsome Dr. Howard Harken ebbs and flows like the Pacific tides they like to surf on as they share a bed and each other's secrets. Is Harken the killer?

Could it be her mother or one of her group members? Maybe it's a fellow social worker? Or perhaps an abused ex of one of these maniacs striking back?

You don't really know until the end and that's where the story falls short, the who and the why are somewhat anticlimactic. There is a lot of build up to it and when it finally comes down to who it's not too surprising, which would be fine if the why was gasp worthy. That being said, I don't actually know why. It's kind of left to one's imagination that the vigilante vendetta killer is pretty bent and at the point of having nothing left to lose, which isn't very exciting. It's disappointing in that it doesn't match the pace of the rest of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really good! July 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've owned my kindle for about seven months and have been reading voraciously - mostly murder mysteries. Most are a very straight formula. Not this one. Lots of twists and turns. Good guys and bad guys - but who's who?? This one kept me guessing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great who dunnit! July 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
The author weaves a tangled web of intrigue and suspense as a therapist becomes the chief suspect in the murder investigation of some of her very complicated clients by the LAPD. It becomes apparent that the domestic bullies are being killed off in some kind of systematic order by a serial killer. I liked this because the victims to a large extent deserve their comeuppance and you become involved in a two-sided affair with Gwyn (the therapist) at the centre as the plot unfurls. Her history and the death of her stepfather lead the police to believe she is a vigilante murderer. But is it her or one of another series of suspects? Well, that would spoil the book for you. Wouldn't it? My only criticism would be that it is rather pricey for an ebook. Not that I was disappointed. Just wish I'd bought the paperback instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! July 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Striking Back" held my attention and I kept sneaking in a few pages whenever I could during my work day. I couldn't wait to find out who was behind the murders, and what the story was behind Gwyn.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A+, fast and well packed shipping; as described.
Published 16 months ago by DANA W. VAN VALIN
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Great read hard to put down. Lots of suspense and full of firsthand character. I would recommend to everyone who loves to read
Published 16 months ago by Kellee Bavo
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great Suspense-Thriller Read
Being a counselor/therapist for men who abuse their partners or children is difficult. The difficulty increases when the therapist is a woman, especially one with a history of... Read more
Published 23 months ago by The Book Diva Reads
4.0 out of 5 stars Striking Back - A Review
Mark Nykanen has created a thriller that until the last page could have any number of results - and that is what held this reader's attention from the first page. Read more
Published on April 4, 2012 by Upstate New York Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately unsatisfying
Author Mark Nykanen clearly can write - he has a fine ear for sentence construction and the "musicality" of language. Read more
Published on April 1, 2012 by Marcus Andrews
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't review because the book won't open
Well this is the 6th book in a row I have attempted to purchase, and none of the 6 will even open. Every book I open says "Error Opening Content An error occurred while opening the... Read more
Published on March 3, 2012 by Dieter
3.0 out of 5 stars Dragged on too much and too much tedious detail
Just as the title states, this book dragged on and on in too many parts and there was too much tedious detail, particularly in parts that had nothing to do with the main story. Read more
Published on January 23, 2012 by Shelly Olmstead
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, boring, boring
Reading this book is a very tedious experience. The reveals are long and slow in coming. Characters and actions are dull. Repetitive dialog. Read more
Published on September 13, 2011 by M. Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars So Many Plausible Suspects
I really enjoyed reading Mark Nykanen's Striking Back. I love mysteries and what separates this book from the rest of the serial killer pack is that it is not easy to guess the... Read more
Published on August 19, 2011 by Bichon Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fast Read
This is a fast paced murder thriller that has you guessing until the end. Theres a lot of suspects but with each new dead body the list gets shortened. Read more
Published on August 1, 2011 by Ann Humphrey
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More About the Author

Mark Nykanen is the author of six novels that have focussed on a variety of subjects: sculpture, murder, adoption, art therapy, environmentalism, counseling spousal abusers, and post-apocalyptic North America in the latter part of this century. The last tale noted is "Burn Down the Sky," written under the pseudonym James Jaros. It is the first in a series that he's writing for HarperCollins about the collapse of natural systems triggered by climate change. The sequel, "Carry the Flame," will be published in July, 2012. His novels have been widely praised in national magazines and newspapers, both in North America and abroad; Europe's largest newspaper called Nykanen "The new master of the psycho-sexual thriller." Translation rights for his books have sold to seven countries, including France, Russia, and Germany, where "The Bone Parade" ("Totenstarre") was a bestseller. His novel, "Primitive," was a number one Kindle bestseller. Nykanen is also a journalist of note. His many awards in print, radio, and television include four national Emmys for investigative reporting as a correspondent for NBC News, and a duPont-Columbia award for "excellence in journalism" from Columbia University. As the writer of "The Silent Shame," a network documentary on the sexual abuse of children, he won an Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He was also the reporter for that documentary, which was lauded by scores of critics, including "The Chicago Tribune," which hailed it as "a landmark in broadcast journalism." Nykanen now blogs on climate change, providing summaries and links to the most important news he finds on the subject.

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