What Doesn’t Kill You

Iris Johansen. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-65123-7
Catherine Ling, an enormously talented CIA agent introduced in the Eve Duncan novel Chasing the Night (2010), takes center stage in bestseller Johansen’s grandiose yet agreeable thriller. As a teenage orphan fending for herself in Hong Kong’s underworld, Catherine was rescued from murderous thugs by Hu Chang, an enigmatic and reclusive apothecary, with whom she formed a bond. Chang has powerful contacts who value his wizardry with exotic herbs and chemicals that can miraculously heal, prolong life, or, of course, do harm. Now Chang has concocted a tincture so potent and undetectable that Hugh Nardik, a weapons dealer and assassin, wants to steal Chang’s drug to further his monstrous aims. To pressure Catherine into helping obtain the drug, Nardik plans to kidnap her son. The ensuing intrigue spans the globe and involves superhuman characters from earlier Johansen novels with long histories together. The author’s trademark dry wit bolsters the bombastic story line. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012
Release date: 04/17/2012
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