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What Doesn't Kill You: A Novel
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What Doesn't Kill You: A Novel (Catherine Ling #2)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  3,396 ratings  ·  339 reviews
It’s the deadliest poison known to man.
He’s the only one who knows its true power.
She’s the only one who can stop the evil.

The chase is on. . . .

Number-one bestselling author Iris Johansen showcases one of her most fascinating characters yet, pitted against one of the most ruthless killers, in a novel that will make you forget to breathe. . . .

Catherine Ling was abandoned...more
Audio CD, 12 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Brilliance Audio
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
My review in less than thirty words (starting now):

*Too much talking and conversations
*Too little action
*The characters were intriguing and complicated relationships appeal to me
*Better for an audiobook read

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur magazine.
Alex is The Romance Fox
Since meeting Catherine Ling in Chasing the Night, where Eve Duncan helps her find her lost son , I was hoping for her own book and I am totally so happy that she has….
 photo 1797420_773867762623839_7745974961418551679_n_zps8e5bb628.jpg

A beautiful and dangerous CIA operative, who was recruited by Venables, the crafty CIA head from the Eve Duncan series, when she was living by her wits in the streets of Hong Kong, she has finally been reunited with her long lost son.

Soon, she’s on a dangerous mission to save her friend an...more
Sorry. I wanted to love this spin off from the Eve Duncan novels, but I really didn't like it. The writing was too theatrical. The emotion was exaggerated. I hated how every man wanted to bed Catherine. The CIA and the evil ruthless villains in this book want a deadly poison created by Catherine's old friend Hu Chang, an experienced apothecary. Perhaps I don't like rich villains who seek world domination. I couldn't buy into the story. I thought it and the villains were silly and way over the to...more
I could no longer stand this book at page 364. I had quit several times, but kept hoping it would get better. It did not.

The dialogue is stilted, as if it came through a computer program. Everyone speaks very correct and proper English, even though their native languages are Chinese, Russian, etc.

The story is fantastic with everyone being the most beautiful or brilliant or the greatest practitioner of herbal medicine; one character has total recall developed while he was being tortured as a capt...more
What Doesn't Kill You is a definite nail-biter! The suspense in incredible! I was left breathless throughout! Recruited by the CIA, Catherine will do anything to protect those she loves... Hu Chang and her son Luke. Through flashback we witness what she did in the past and we understand the cruelty that she'd endured and what she did in order to escape captivity. No child should be sold into slavery as a prostitute and made to live the life she did. There is a lot of "Kick Butt" action that will...more
Catherine Ling needs help, it seems her long time friend and once mentor Hu Chang has gotten himself into a heap of trouble and in the sights of some very bad characters, but it’s who the CIA sends to help her that’s not sitting too well. John Gallo is the one man she can’t seem to forget ever since they met on the case involving his and Eve Duncan’s daughter.
John Gallo knows what he wants but Catherine is an enigma and he knows he can’t push her or she’ll run and he only wants her running towar...more
♆ BookAddict ♨ ✒ La Crimson Femme❇ ♐
Kick ass heroine who is a spy for the CIA and is part Asian? What is not to enjoy? Ms. Johansen's latest book is better. For a while, her Eve Duncan books were bogged down with a mother in denial for so bloody long. It was depressing and just morbid. In this book, Eve is barely mentioned and it is a relief.

We have a better protagonist - Catherine Ling. She's the one who helped Eve enjoy closure of Bonnie's death. This time, Catherine's loved one is under attack. Enigmatic Hu Chang is being hunte...more
I've enjoyed all the Eve Duncan books, but this one was specifically about Catherine Ling, a fascinating character who only played as a secondary character in the other books. The other books hinted about her relationship with Hu Chang, a father figure to Catherine, who had an amazing ability to create medicines and poisons. This book centers around this relationship and a deadly poison Hu Chang has invented an untraceable poison that kills a person and makes their death appear as a heart attack...more
Tom Tischler
Catherine Ling is abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at the
age of 4 and she lives by the only commodity that she has to
offer the sale of information. As a teenager a mysterious man
known as Hu Chang takes her in and raises her. Hu Chang is a
skilled assassin and a master poisoner. As a young woman Catherine
is recruited by the CIA and becomes one of their most effective
operatives. Her old friend Hu Chang creates a poision that is
so deadly and completely untraceable once in your system. Now

Catherine Ling is a CIA agent recruited from the streets of Hong Kong. Surviving by gathering and selling information, she meets Hu Chang, an Erstwhile apothecary i.e. an assassin and dealer in poisons. He has gotten himself mixed up with a very bad man who wants to use one of his potions. This particular poison is completely undetectable -- the perfect murder weapon. The CIA comes to his rescue because they want the formula. Catherine is determined to make sure Hu Chang is safe even if it mean...more
Excellent book. The sexual tension between Gallo and Catherine is off the charts. I am starting to think think that they are going to be Johansen's new super couple because she has left this book that can go in so many directions with sequels it blows my mind.
As for this story it was well written with a cool twist. You also got to know Catherine Ling so much better and respect her more as a woman and a warrior then you did when she was in the fringes of the Eve Duncan books. I am looking forwar...more
Charlotte Sepulveda
Iris Johansen brings Cathrine Ling back into action along with John Gallo and we finally get to meet Hu Change. This story rivets you from the moment you open the book. You want Catherine to be successful in helping her friend but does Hu Change want her help? Old adversaries come back to get Hu Change to give them a unmentionable item and does he refuse of does he give in to his foes? What doesn't kill you brings you into a friendship, love and passion that may or may not be fated for Catherine...more
I have read most of the books by this author about Eve Duncan and her search for her missing daughter. I've enjoyed many of them including a previous book which featured Eve helping Catherine Ling find her missing son. This book features Eve and takes her to Hong Kong where she grew up on the streets. I just couldn't get into the story so didn't finish it. Think I am just tired of these stories.

This book by Iris Johannsen stars one of the characters from her Eve Duncan forensic thrillers. I have read and anxiously looked forward to each new novel in this series, & have never been disappointed. I am sure there will be future novels featuring Catherine Ling--I can't wait!
Monica Williams
Catherine Ling who has remained something of an enigma through the Eve Duncan series gets her own stand alone title which explores her back story and her relationship with the enigmatic Hu Chang. Its an entertaining fast paced thriller, perfect for someone who is just looking for a fun read.
Although the story was good, I just can't get into the characters. I also have a problem with the way she writes [too much dialog ]. A normal person would quit reading her books when they feel the way I do, but I keep hoping for one that will captivate me as her earlier ones did.
For fans of the Eve Duncan books, this was a great continuation of Catherine's story. It delves deeper into her past and explains some of who she is. And.... John Gallo, need I say more. Good book, and I think it sets the stage for more from Catherine and John.
The end of the Eve Duncan era has ended and the Catherine Ling era has officially begun. I loved all the books in the Eve Duncan series and am looking forward to what the future holds for Catherine Ling. I love the interaction between her and John.
Great book. Has created a new spinoff series without Eve and Bonnie. Keeps your interest throughout. Lots of action.

Catherine Ling was abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at age four. Schooled in the art of survival, she traded in the only commodity she had: information. As a teenager, she came under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Hu Chang—a skilled assassin and master poisoner. As a young woman, she was recruited by the CIA and now, she is known as one of their most effective...more
Catherine Ling: CIA agent extraordinaire who sometimes listens to her long-suffering boss Venable, occasional ally of Eve Duncan, guilt-ridden mother of Luke who has been rescued from his horrific imprisonment and, friend and sometimes student of the enigmatic Hu Chang. Catherine is still gingerly testing out the nearly ruptured bonds between Luke and herself when she is thrust into a mad race to discover one of Hu Chang's earthshaking secrets that nearly costs him his life. Unwillingly allied w...more
Robin Priddy
Catherine Ling grew up on the streets of Hong Kong. Her mother was a prostitute and she overdosed when Catherine was five years old, leaving her alone. Catherine vowed to never become like her mother. Catherine learned to listen to what went on around her and she traded in information. When Catherine gets word that a local gang is going to rob a local storekeeper, she races there to warn him hoping he will reward her with payment. But she gets there to late. Two members of the gang are already...more
Camille Turner
I read a few Eve Duncan mysteries and since the mystery was being solved in the books EVE, QUINN & BONNIE, I read them for closure. I vowed after reading the last one (and trying to read the collab novels with her son)that I would not read another Iris Johansen book. Well, I got sucked in again. The main character Catherine was introduced in an earlier Eve Duncan novel. She has a colored past so I started reading thinking, this book would be better than the last few I read by this author. Un...more
Kathy Martin
Once I got used to the characters in this one I couldn't put the book down. What took me a while was that the main characters - Catherine Ling and Hu Chang - both had sort of strange reactions. I almost had a feeling that they were autistic because of the lack of emotion. Catherine had been on her own in Hong Kong since she was a young child. Her mother was a prostitute who died when Catherine was only four. Another prostitute took her in but there didn't seem to be any emotional attachment. Cat...more
Title: What Doesn’t Kill You (Catherine Ling series #2)

Author: Iris Johansen

ISBN: 9780312651299

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis (from

In this breathtaking thriller, number-one bestselling author Iris Johansen showcases one of her most fascinating characters—pitted against one of the most ruthless killers…

Abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong, Catherine Ling was schooled in the art of survival by the mysterious Hu Chang, a master assassin and poisoner. Now recruited by the CIA, Cat...more
Catherine Ling first made her appearance in an Eve Duncan book and stayed an active player ever since but was so compelling she deserved her own story. This is the first but should not be the last of those stories. This book focuses on her relationship with Hu Chang, a master pharmacologist, who has been the single biggest influence on her life. When he is attacked and the CIA is brought in to save him, the CIA and Venable, bring in Catherine. And then Venable brings John Gallo because Hu Chang...more
This book has just confirmed that I'm done with Iris Johansen. I'd hoped that a non-Bonnie book would work better for me, but no, it just annoyed me even more. All her dialogue is interchangeable between the characters: remove any personal history references and then try to identify the unattributed quote. You can't tell Gallo from Joe or even Hu Chang, or Eve from Catherine or Jane. To an extent you can even ignore gender. They all speak and act the same way, with the only real difference appea...more
I used to like Johansen, but the books have been getting more and more farfetched.
CIA agent Catherine Ling must help her mentor, a master poisoner, get out of a jam. She is working with a rogue ex spec ops guy, John Gallo.
Most of the problem with this book is it is just foreplay, bad foreplay. Johansen keeps telling us these two are hot and heavy for each other, but I didn't feel the magnetism. I didn't feel the connection at all.
Disappointed in the story, the relationship.
Not sure I'll be read...more
Elizabeth Noah Astle
Catherine Ling is in other books by Iris Johansen. In the book Catherine is trying to help her long time friend and mentor Hu Chang. Hu Chang has developed another one of his magic potions. This potion has gotten in the hands of a very bad person, Nardik. Catherine teams up with John Gallo to help save Hu Chang and his potion, while trying to keep the sexual tension between the two of them under wraps. In the meantime, Catherine is trying to build up her relationship with her son, Luke who she h...more
I keep picking up Iris Johansen's books because the flyleaf makes them looks so interesting. I do think that Catherine Ling and Ho Cheng are 2 of her better characters, but they are never really fleshed out. I find Catherine and her son, Luke, too robotic and Gallo is just a caricature. I finished reading this because I have the flu and couldn't get to the library, otherwise, it might have wound up on my "don't want to finish" shelf.
I rarely take the time to write a review but this book was so bad and I couldn't let it go without writing something. The lead character is incredibly unlikable. Everything about her is uber-superlative. She's intelligent, beautiful, street-smart (on her own on the streets since age 4 but still maintains her moral compass!), skilled in self-defensive (can take on several gang members with nary a scratch), young, etc, etc. But honestly, almost every time she speaks she is a huge b*tch. She's nice...more
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Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great su...more
More about Iris Johansen...
The Killing Game (Eve Duncan, #2) The Face Of Deception (Eve Duncan, #1) The Search (Eve Duncan, #3) Eve (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #1) Body of Lies (Eve Duncan, #4)

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“find Nardik, and we’ll find Hu Chang.” “It will be okay, Catherine,” he said quietly. “I know you’re” 0 likes
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