Book Review: One Kick – Chelsea Cain

One Kick cover

Title: One Kick
Author: Chelsea Cain
ISBN: 9781476749785
Pages: 320
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre:  Suspense/Thriller
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5


Kick Lannigan has spent the last ten years of her life turning herself into a tough as nails woman, intent on being able to protect herself from anyone who might hurt her. When Kick was six years old, she was kidnapped and wasn’t found for five years. Now, a mysterious man named John Bishop approaches Kick to tell her about the abductions of two more children and asks for her help because she may be the only one able to save them. But John has his own agenda, and Kick must figure out what that is before it’s too late.

Snapshot Review:

An interesting novel with a complicated heroine, One Kick sets up a great foundation for a new series. Readers will be intrigued by Kick Lannigan, who sets up such a strong facade but is so broken underneath by her difficult experiences. Though the novel presents a few frustrations, fans of thriller and suspense novels will enjoy getting to know this unlikely heroine.

Full Review:

One Kick is a start to a new series by Chelsea Cain, and it features a complex main character in Kick Lannigan. Kick seems much older than her 21 years, more wizened and hardened than her tender age would indicate. That’s because of the horrors she experienced as a child; Cain doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of what Kick went through. She also shines a spotlight on the difficult role the media plays in abduction situations, and how reporters haven’t forgotten their love affair with her case. It’s part of the reason that Kick tries to keep a low profile.

From the beginning of One Kick it is very clear that Kick is suffering from PTSD. She’s never fully come to terms with her experiences, instead choosing to hide them in a dark corner of her mind, shut away and compartmentalized from the rest of her life. While she appears to be tough on the outside, this mental burden has made Kick more fragile than she realizes. This becomes all too evident when she must start facing her past and her carefully constructed walls come crashing down. It can be painful at times, seeing how conflicted Kick is, but Cain writes it well.

The story of One Kick is interesting; it moves more slowly than I would have imagined, which is surprising given the genre. This book is more about setting up the rest of the series than really being a self-contained novel in its own right, which can be frustrating. That being said, the series that it is setting up looks to be very, very interesting. I’m intrigued about where Cain might be taking Kick next and how she might finally begin to heal from her traumatic experiences through her new work.

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  1. I just finished this yesterday and had to finish writing my own review before reading yours.

    I love the complexity of Kick. The tough exterior she uses to hide her vulnerability was well done.

    I agree about it being very much a set the stage for the series book. I’ll definitely be watching for the next one.

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