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Striking Back Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 206 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $1.99 What's this?
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Product Details

  • File Size: 688 KB
  • Print Length: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (May 7, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051IPXJY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #844,934 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Nykanen is the author of five novels that have focussed on a variety of subjects: sculpture, murder, adoption, art therapy, counseling spousal abusers, and climate change. 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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By N on September 17, 2011
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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Author Mark Nykanen clearly can write - he has a fine ear for sentence construction and the "musicality" of language. Here and there his writing reminded me of work by authors whom I admire greatly, like Martin Cruz Smith. However, Nykanen's just not in that league. For every elegant turn of phrase there's another that lands with a thud, or a leaden simile, or some small turn of phrase that left me scratching my head, like "the silence that ensued could have been the cool yammer of cold steel." Huh?

But my real problem with this book was one of plausibility. I struggled through the first half, often cringing as one or another character failed to act in credible way. I then put the book down for several weeks, returning to it only because I hate to leave a novel unfinished. The second half proved more engaging, but the plausibility issue persisted. I had to force myself to read the last thirty or so pages, which is precisely when I shouldn't have been able to tear myself away. And the final, post-denouement chapter is w-a-y too long, which speaks to the number of loose threads the author needed to address.

However, it must be noted that the author has real talent, and this is a far cry from some of the self-published thrillers available for Kindle (which range from excellent to execrable). It's more like a project from a talented writer that somehow went-off track in its early stages and never managed to recover.
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