The Survivor

( 31 )

Overview

Is it her next bestseller . . . Or her last words?

In The Chase, award-winning author Di Ann Mills introduced you to the world of Kariss Walker, the bestselling suspense author with a nose for trouble. In The Survivor, Kariss gets the chance to tell her most powerful story yet. But will it revitalize her writing career? Or bring it to a violent end?

Kariss meets Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a brutal childhood attack in which the assailant was ...

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The Survivor

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Overview

Is it her next bestseller . . . Or her last words?

In The Chase, award-winning author Di Ann Mills introduced you to the world of Kariss Walker, the bestselling suspense author with a nose for trouble. In The Survivor, Kariss gets the chance to tell her most powerful story yet. But will it revitalize her writing career? Or bring it to a violent end?

Kariss meets Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a brutal childhood attack in which the assailant was never found. Now Dr. Garrett wants her story written in a novel. Kariss wishes she could seek the advice of Special Agent Tigo Harris, but she broke off the relationship a few months prior and seeing him again would be too painful. She interviews Amy and conducts her own research, stepping unaware into danger.

Tigo misses Kariss and wants her back, but he understands why she broke off their relationship. Instead, he concentrates on solving a car bombing and bringing the killer to justice. As Kariss’s new story attracts an onslaught of danger that she never expected, can Tigo save the woman he loves and find out who wants her dead for writing about an unsolved cold case?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310333227
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Series: Crime Scene: HoustonSeries Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 511,410
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning author DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed suspense-filled novels. DiAnn's first book was published in 1998. She currently has more than fifty books published. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction riter's Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader's Choice awards. DiAnn won Christy Awards in 2010 and 2011.
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Read an Excerpt

The Survivor

Crime Scene: Houston
By DiAnn Mills

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2013 DiAnn Mills
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-33322-7


Chapter One

HOUSTON, TEXAS

JANUARY 16

10:00 A.M. WEDNESDAY

Miss Walker,

Twenty-three years ago, I survived a killer's brutal attempt on my life. My story must be told. Can you help me?

Amy Garrett, PhD

Freedom's Way Counseling

(832) 555-0189

Finding suspense story ideas could be grueling, but the concept that just landed in Kariss's in-box could be her next bestseller. She'd been approached by enough eccentrics to recognize someone looking for big bucks and a sensational slice of life. She felt sorry for most of them but always wanted to help, no matter how ludicrous their stories. Still, none of those people had ever had PhD after their name or a business phone number listed with their signature.

The email lured Kariss to the place where words and emotion blended in a feverish dance. Kariss herself had survived an attempt on her life the previous summer and knew the courage it took to tell anyone about the horror. She reread the message. Why would this woman seek her out? Why would she choose to tell her true story in a novel? Only one way to find out.

Kariss pressed the number into her phone.

"Freedom's Way Counseling. How may I direct your call?"

Hurdle number one—this was a legitimate business. And Dr. Garrett's name did seem vaguely familiar. Then again, as a former Channel 5 news anchor, Kariss knew quite a few names and faces.

"I'd like to speak to Dr. Amy Garrett. This is Kariss Walker." She waited while the call was being transferred.

"Dr. Garrett here. Kariss Walker?"

"Yes. I just received your email. Curiosity got the best of me."

"Thanks for responding so quickly. Are you currently online?"

"I am."

"Would you like to go to the website hyperlinked in my email? That will tell you a little about me."

Kariss clicked as instructed. Amy Garrett, founder of Freedom's Way, specialized in counseling women who'd been victims of violent crimes. She held doctorates in psychology and social science.

"Click on 'About Freedom's Way.' That says it best," Amy said.

The powerful words of the biography drew Kariss into Amy's world.

At the age of nine, I survived a brutal attempt on my life. I understand your pain and confusion, and I have felt the despair. Through caring counselors, I found healing. Now I want to offer you the same pathway to life.

Freedom's Way cares about you. We are committed to helping every woman who has ever been traumatized by a vicious crime. Your first step to healing is only a phone call away.

Don't let finances stop you from overcoming emotional pain, a sliding fee scale is available.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

—Matthew 11:28

Freedom's Way was a Christian counseling service.

"Why fiction?" Kariss said.

"Can we meet to discuss this? I'm booked until three thirty this afternoon, but I have an hour window then. Are you available at three thirty?"

Kariss's mind spun in a flurry as she considered whether she wanted to get involved. The woman seemed overly aggressive, but intrigue won out. "I'd be happy to talk to you—to gather more information. I see your office isn't far from my home."

"I'd rather meet outside of my practice. How about the Starbucks across from Crystal Point Mall?"

"Perfect."

"Miss Walker, it's important we keep our discussion confidential."

"I plan to come alone."

"Good. But please don't tell anyone about this. I'll explain later."

Strange request, but maybe Dr. Garrett had approached other writers as well as Kariss. "Okay. See you then."

Kariss stared at the phone before placing it on her desk, and then she reread the doctor's email. Why had the woman contacted her? The answer would have to wait until three thirty. If Kariss could keep her inquisitive impulses at a manageable level until then.

She continued reading her other emails.

A writers' group wanted her to give a workshop on character and plot. They had no budget to pay a speaker, but she could bring books to sell. Kariss sighed and agreed.

Her nephew had sent his latest poem. At age ten, he was in love with a redheaded little girl who ignored him. Kariss took a peek at the poem and laughed.

Mom confirmed Sunday dinner after church.

Two spam messages. No one could use that much Viagra. She moved them to her Junk folder.

Kariss studied Dr. Garrett's words again. When she googled the woman's name, several sites popped up. Many churches and community organizations had hosted her as a keynote speaker. Kariss returned to Freedom's Way's website and continued reading.

There were testimonies from women who'd been given the tools to live again after being shaken by violence. Survivors. Warriors in their own right. By the third testimonial, Kariss had to reach for a tissue.

She moved on to Facebook. Amy Garrett's posts were faith based and compassionate. She recommended books and websites to help women achieve good emotional health. An upcoming Gulf Coast Christian Women's Conference, to be held at a large church in downtown Houston, featured Amy as the keynote speaker.

Dr. Amy Garrett was not only a survivor but a haven for abused women as well.

Unbidden memories about what had happened to Kariss while researching her previous novel surfaced in her mind. She'd made a few stupid decisions and nearly botched an FBI investigation. If not for her loving family, a good counselor, and her renewed faith, she'd probably be in need of Freedom's Way herself to work through her own nightmare of being a crime victim.

She'd meet with Dr. Garrett ... hear her story and ask questions.

* * *

11:00 A.M. WEDNESDAY

FBI Special Agent Santiago Harris, known as Tigo, realized he smelled like the thirteen-hour stakeout he was on. The pizza he'd eaten before dawn still lay sizzling in his stomach. But he was determined to help bring in the new self-proclaimed leader of the Houston gang called the Skulls, which had ties to a Mexican cartel.

Pablo Martinez had entered an apartment on the southeast side of town shortly after ten o'clock the night before with his girlfriend and another gang member. An informant had said that Martinez had stashed stolen assault rifles, handguns, and explosives at the apartment and would be using them on a rival gang. Although Martinez had slipped by the authorities in the past by way of the legal system, that was about to end. So Tigo and his team waited. All the FBI needed to make the arrest was for Martinez to set foot outside the apartment with the stolen arms. Of course, if they'd known how long this would take, they could have obtained a search warrant.

"Something about this bothers me." Tigo lifted his binoculars to the curtain-covered windows. "Are we the ones being set up?"

Ryan Steadman, his partner, yawned. "If I didn't know better, I'd swear they'd already left."

Tigo handed him the binoculars. "You have tomato sauce on your pasty-white cheek."

Ryan frowned and brushed his face.

"Makes me wonder what they're doing in there," Tigo said. "Building a compound? I'm going in."

"Are you crazy?"

"Do you have a better idea?"

"What are you going to do, deliver a pizza?"

Tigo reached for the empty box that lay on the truck floor by Ryan's feet. "Who can refuse pepperoni and extra cheese?"

"You're sure?"

"I've got things to do, and nailing Martinez is in my way." Tigo picked up his radio.

"A shower is at the top of my list," Ryan said.

"Mine too. Along with arresting anyone I can find who's involved with gangs. You know my personal war." Tigo smoothed out the dent in the empty pizza box caused by Ryan's size 11 foot. "This gang business has me in a bad mood."

"Or maybe it's because Kariss hasn't returned your phone calls."

Tigo scowled. "She has her life, and I have mine. We're over. And that's not what I'm talking about. I have an arrest to make."

"Then explain why you can't say her name."

"Cover me. Martinez is mine."

"I'll be sure to write that on your epitaph." Ryan gestured toward the second-story apartment. "Nothing is stirring. Maybe they got high and are sleeping it off."

Tigo chuckled. "That would make our job easier." He opened the door to his pickup and radioed backup of his intent.

"Hold on." Ryan pointed to three small children who were playing at the other end of the walkway near Martinez's apartment. "Let's get those kids out of there." He spoke into his own radio, and seconds later, the kids disappeared.

Stealing up the exterior metal steps to the apartment gave Tigo a few moments to scan the area. Martinez could have men posted inside another apartment. His fingers rested on his Glock, which was positioned under the pizza box. Uneasiness dripped into his brain. Thirteen hours in a one-bedroom apartment didn't make sense. No one in or out. No gunfire. No visitors. Only quiet.

Ryan covered Tigo from the bottom of the steps, and two other agents stood on opposite ends of the building.

Tigo knocked on the door. "Pizza delivery." He counted to ten and repeated the knock and announcement. He dropped the pizza box on the landing.

Ryan joined him, and they nodded the go-ahead to each other.

"FBI! Open up!" Tigo turned the doorknob. Unlocked. A chill swept up his arms. Glock raised, he swung open the door. Three mutilated bodies lay across a sofa and chair. Their throats slit.

Chapter Two

3:25 P.M. WEDNESDAY

Kariss scanned the coffee shop for a woman who resembled the photo of Dr. Amy Garrett she'd seen on the website. This first meeting would help Kariss decide if the writing project was a good fit and if the two women could work together. Skepticism had wiggled into her thoughts since the call. The more she researched the story online, the more the project looked like a nonfiction book. And Kariss was a novelist.

"Ms. Walker?"

At the sound of her name, Kariss turned toward a corner café table, where the owner of Freedom's Way waved. She was an attractive blonde and wore a gray suit with a vivid green scarf. Excitement bubbled through Kariss at the thought of writing another suspense novel, but it warred with her feelings about working with a psychologist. What if the famed doctor saw a crack in Kariss's character? Or pointed out some weird aspect of Kariss's personality that indicated she needed to be on medication or hospitalized? As if Kariss didn't already recognize a few quirks. Creative people always had them.

Amy rose from her chair and shook Kariss's hand. She was a good six inches shorter than Kariss. The petite woman's wide-set blue eyes brimmed with intelligence and something else, possibly curiosity. Good, they were on even ground.

"Shall we order and then chat?" Dr. Garrett said. "I'll buy since I suggested the meeting."

A take-charge woman. Kariss relaxed just enough to smile and agree—this one time at least. As long as a latte didn't obligate her to spend four hundred pages with a story that didn't work.

"Dr. Garrett, I've looked forward to meeting you all day. I'm flattered to be in the company of a woman who has helped so many other women achieve emotional independence."

Amy shrugged. "It's who I am, but thank you. I've been excited too. Please, call me Amy."

"And I'm Kariss."

"I hope this is the beginning of something grand. This project is special, actually a dream. I wish we had more than an hour to talk, but I have a heavy client load today." She glanced around. "Is this table okay? I prefer facing the door."

"Sure. It's fine." Odd that Amy appeared to be nervous.

"Do you have a watch so we can keep track of the time?" Amy said. "Oh, you're not wearing one. And I left mine on my desk."

Kariss shook her head. "I can't wear one. Too much electricity in me. The watch always goes wild." She pulled out her iPhone and set it on the table between them. "I'll keep track."

"Thanks," Amy said. "I've never met a real author."

Kariss laughed. "I've never had coffee with a woman who held two doctorates."

Amy used organic sugar in her soy latte, while Kariss sipped on a mocha latte with no whipped cream.

"I'd love an oatmeal-raisin cookie," Amy said after taking a drink.

"Yum. That sounds good. A warm oatmeal cookie. But they're huge."

"We could split it."

Kariss agreed. After purchasing the cookie, she bit into a juicy raisin while Amy reached for a small bottle of hand sanitizer and used it, twice. Time to get the show on the road. "I'm—"

Amy raised her hand. "First of all, let me tell you I read lips. I'm going deaf. Not there yet, but it's inevitable."

Counseling, speaking events, conferences, and media appearances had to be difficult with a hearing impairment. Kariss's admiration for Amy grew. "How do you manage communication in so many different settings?"

"It's not a problem unless I can't see the person I'm talking to. For phone calls, I have a special tool that writes out the words for me, so that works pretty well. However, I prefer text or email rather than voice messages. Faster." She laughed. "So no clandestine meetings in the dead of night, okay? Seriously, I do appreciate your willingness to discuss a potential novel."

"I'm intrigued with your story, what little I know of it," Kariss said. "I have a number of questions. The first that springs to mind is why me for this project?"

"You're a bestselling author."

"I'm not the only one."

"But you're a bestselling author who's become a Christian. Nearly shipwrecked your career with that announcement last year."

Although Amy received a gold star for doing her homework, Kariss was a long way from accepting the task of writing the story or allowing accolades to affect her judgment. "I also changed genres from women's fiction to suspense. Have you talked to other writers?" Kariss said, turning the focus away from herself.

"Not yet. I very much admire how your research for your latest book eventually led to solving the child's murder."

"My impulsive nature nearly got me killed." Kariss's pulse raced as she was hit by a barrage of memories—always the blood. "I intend to never risk my life gathering research again."

"Are you doing okay with the trauma?"

Kariss felt the psychoanalysis to the tips of her hot-pink toes. The nightmares had lessened but were still there. "I'm good. Just wiser. Took a self-defense course. So tell me why your story should be told in a novel, using a character to experience your tragedy. In my opinion, nonfiction has the potential to help many suffering women take a positive step toward healing. They'd be impressed by knowing your full story."

"To inspire them." Amy leaned closer. "To show my clients they can be survivors. Fiction reaches a wider, even different, audience."

"I understand," Kariss said. Amy had put some thought into this project.

"And a novel is a nonthreatening environment," she said. "An abused woman would feel safe within the confines of a fictional story and hopefully feel inspired to change her current situation. But she may not read a nonfiction book for fear the wrong people would find out."

Kariss nodded. Point taken. "Biographies are fact, and novels are filled with emotion. That's why readers keep turning pages. They're involved with the characters. In your case, many could identify with the story line."

"Another reason for my story to be fiction. You and I have fought the demons of terror. We also care about those who've been victims of violent crimes." Amy smiled. "I researched you before I wrote the email."

"I guess you did."

"Your days of TV reporting proved your passion for helping others. And it shows in your novels as well." Amy appeared to study her. "Too many of my clients don't know how to escape their abuse or roll up their sleeves and get to work."

To Kariss, Amy's words sounded artificially noble, even rehearsed, but why? What motivated the woman? Kariss sat back in her chair and nibbled on her portion of the cookie.

"So you think a novel is a better choice to accomplish this?"

"I do." Amy's confident tone and subject change indicated the matter was settled. She took a bite of her cookie and smiled. "This is so much better warmed."

"It's been twenty-three years since your attack. How long have you been considering having your experience written into a novel?"

Amy took a sip of her latte, her fingers circling around the cup. "A few years."

"Why tell your story now?"

For a moment, pain flickered in the woman's face. "It's the only way."

"Only way for what?" It had to be more than a means to help her clients. "Is your assailant still in prison?"

Amy didn't even blink. "He wasn't apprehended. Understand that my attack occurred before it was popular to use DNA in investigations. In short, he got away with it. Kariss, I want my story written as a suspense novel."

"If a fictional book of your story is released, he could see similarities."

"I doubt he'd read it."

"But what if he does?"

"If he happens to pick it up, I'll be okay, because I don't want my name on it."

Did she not want her name on the project because she was afraid he'd see it? "You don't worry that he's been following your life?"

"Not in the least."

"Did your attack occur in the Houston area?"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Survivor by DiAnn Mills Copyright © 2013 by DiAnn Mills. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

4 Star

(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2013

    DiAnn Mills has written a wonderful suspense story sure to keep

    DiAnn Mills has written a wonderful suspense story sure to keep you reading until the very end. All too often about 2/3 of the way through the story I feel as though I am done reading, bored, ready to move on. I want it wrapped up already. Not in this case, I was engaged all the way to the end, and I had no clue who the culprit was, either. Well done!




    I appreciated the fact that Kariss wouldn't consider getting back into a relationship with Tigo unless he came to the point of a personal relationship with God. His story to conversion was well told, not too easy or overly dramatic. 




    Having not read the first book in the series, The Chase, made me hesitate to jump in with this one, but it was not a problem at all. What needed to be explained was well enough for me to follow the story, but I  don't think it would have felt bogged down by explanations of previous exploits either. 




    I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a suspense filled mystery!




    I received this ebook from Netgalley and Zondervan for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own. Thank you Zondervan.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    One of the things I love about DiAnn Mills' stories is the compl

    One of the things I love about DiAnn Mills' stories is the complexities of her characters. There are only two main characters in The Survivor - Kariss Walker and Tigo Harris - but every other character involved in this intense suspense novel has just as many facets to their stories as Kariss and Tigo. I also love that even the relationships are tense. There isn't a slow spot in this book.

    I also love that DiAnn touched on one tough topic in this novel: a fallen pastor. I always prefer novels with something to say about our world, and The Survivor does not disappoint.

    I highly recommend The Survivor. It's full of action, suspense, and tension. It'll keep you turning pages and wondering just how the story will end.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2013

    Great follow up to The Chase. Love the characters, the danger,

    Great follow up to The Chase. Love the characters, the danger, the suspense, and the plot as it gives twists and turns in the story. An edge of your seat, page turner with romance thrown in for an excellent read!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Is it her next best seller....or her last words? Sometimes for

    Is it her next best seller....or her last words?

    Sometimes for a writer, the most difficult task if often coming up with the idea for your next book. Kariss Walker now has to chose which one of her true life tales she will breath life into. When she receives an email from Dr. Amy Garrett who wishes to bring her own tale to light, Kariss is more than intrigued. When she agrees to meet with Amy, she finds that Amy was brutally attacked as a child and the criminal was never caught. She wants Kariss to use her story in her next book in the hopes it may help other women see themselves through the eyes of her fictional character. She doesn't want her name mentioned in the book for obvious reasons and doesn't want any monetary compensation for her efforts either. Kariss believes that there may be more behind her story that just what she is willing to tell. Unfortunately she can't use her reliable source in the Houston police department Tigo Harris, due to a split in their relationship. Now all she can do it hope that she will find the true to the story without putting her own life in danger.

    Special Agent Tigo Harris is trying hard to stay focused on his work, but he can't seem to keep Kariss off of his mind. He pours himself further into his work trying to solve a car bombing that has taken the life of the wife and daughter of Jonathan Yeat, a man with a ministry that puts ex-cons to work. As of lately he has had to lay off many of those employees and a few have made personal threats. Tigo believes this is an open and shut case with the killer simply being a distraught employee whose taking it out on a wealthy man and his family. But is this case really as simple as it seems or is there a connection with the latest book Kariss is working on?

    In the latest suspense novel, The Survivor by DiAnn Mills, once again the opportunity to work together in unexpected ways to help solve a cold case brings Kariss and Tigo together. While each of them are dealing with their own issues even though they try to keep their relationship in the past, those old feelings are resurfacing once again. Kariss is trying to keep her faith strong in light of wishing things were different between her and Tigo. They both use their work to keep their minds focused some place else, but ultimately it will take act of God to bring them back together.

    I received The Survivor by DiAnn Mills compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Zondervan Publishing for my honest review. This is the second book in the Crime Scene Houston Series, the first being the Chase which I had previously reviewed. While the characters remained the same, I felt it lacked the chemistry and spark that the first novel had. Each chapter toggles back and forth between the two until they finally merge later in the book. I am sure that after watching the Hunger Games this year, I am not the only reader to confuse the names of Kariss with Katniss either. The suspense is engaging and for those of you that love solving crimes, this will be one you will enjoy. You can read this as a stand alone as DiAnn gives the reader a bit of inside information in this one to help you understand the motivation of the main characters. There is also a discussion guide included at the end that is wonderful for book clubs. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    DiAnn Mills¿ code words for her books are ¿Expect an Adventure.¿

    DiAnn Mills’ code words for her books are “Expect an Adventure.” Well, she’s pulled off another dynamic, compelling read that literally had me reading throughout the day, anticipating the next move of each character, romantic circumstance, and life-threatening dangerous episodes. Her characters are realistic to the roles they play, the romance is an on-again, off-again situation because of painful secrets and the aspect of being unequally yoked, and the danger is palpable with attempted kidnapping and car bombings.

    With a best-selling suspense author, Kariss Walker, searching for the truth as the main character, DiAnn doesn’t disappoint with lack of action, suspense, and romance. I found this to be a very creative method that made the novel read so well. The multilevel suspense action between the threats to the Kariss and Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a childhood assault, which is still a cold case, is the juice that keeps you reading! A killer desperate to do anything to keep his crime a cold case. Loved the suspenseful twists!

    The Christian aspect of the story is subtle, yet very important to the story line.

    This book was provided by the author in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2013

    This book kept me on the edge of my seat. If I had not had to st

    This book kept me on the edge of my seat. If I had not had to stop reading I wouldn't have. The plot is very interesting and the characters suck you in completely. It has what I love to read, mystery, suspense, romance and everyday problems we have in this world. I love the Christian perspective of a relationship instead of today's world view. I enjoy DiAnn's books and look forward to the next book. She really gets to the heart of the story and into your heart.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    DiAnn Mills in her new book, "The Survivor" Book Two i

    DiAnn Mills in her new book, "The Survivor" Book Two in the Crime Scene: Houston series published by Zondervan gives us a new adventure with Kariss Walker and Tigo Harris.

    From the back cover: Is it her next bestseller . . . Or her last words? In The Chase, award-winning author DiAnn Mills introduced you to the world of Kariss Walker, the bestselling suspense author with a nose for trouble. In The Survivor, Kariss gets the chance to tell her most powerful story yet. But will it revitalize her writing career? Or bring it to a violent end?

    Kariss meets Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a brutal childhood attack in which the assailant was never found. Now Dr. Garrett wants her story written in a novel. Kariss wishes she could seek the advice of Special Agent Tigo Harris, but she broke off the relationship a few months prior and seeing him again would be too painful. She interviews Amy and conducts her own research, stepping unaware into danger.

    Tigo misses Kariss and wants her back, but he understands why she broke off their relationship. Instead, he concentrates on solving a car bombing and bringing the killer to justice. As Kariss's new story attracts an onslaught of danger that she never expected, can Tigo save the woman he loves and find out who wants her dead for writing about an unsolved cold case?

    A Cold Case is a case that could not be solved when the actual events occurred. So all the files are boxed up and put in storage not under closed but under inactive. Kariss is looking for a new storyline to use for her new suspense novel when she receives an email from Dr. Garrett. Dr. Garrett survived a brutal attack when she was young and wants her story told, anonymously, to help other young women who may have had a similar situation. Kariss begins her investigation which begins a whole new set of danger for her that she was unprepared for. Meanwhile Tigo is investigating a car bombing but it seems that both cases may be related. "The Survivor" is a thriller in that the lives of both Walker and Harris are put in deadly danger through the course of these investigations. I think this is Ms. Mills best work yet and her characters are well-defined. Once the action gets going Ms. Mills revs up the thriller quotient considerably which will have you reading and flipping pages as fast as you can. Don't start this book late at night because it will be very difficult to put it down or stop thinking about it. I recommend this book highly and am greatly looking forward to the next book in the series.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2013

    This is the first book I have ever read by DiAnn Mills, but I ha

    This is the first book I have ever read by DiAnn Mills, but I have to say it won't be my last.

    Wow. What a fantastic author. This book will keep you up at night both with wanting to read more and with heart pumping fright. I know a suspense book is good if I want to get to the end because I need closure and The Survivor is such a book.

    I did not read the first book in the series and did not feel at all lost, you can read this book and still enjoy it. But after reading this book I want to read the first and see what did happen with the characters earlier.

    DiAnn has two crimes that need to be solved and I kept thinking there has to be a connection, but what is it? Oh, you'll have to read to find out. And there are so many suspects but I was so excited when it clicked in my head who I thought was behind the attacks.

    Okay, I don't want to say too much so I will stop with that. I highly recommend this book. I have heard wonderful things about DiAnn and now I know why.

    A copy of this book was given to me from the publisher through the BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review.


    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Protagonist, Kariss Walker, writes suspense novels based on cold

    Protagonist, Kariss Walker, writes suspense novels based on cold cases. Amy Garrett, a childhood survivor of violence, wants her story told as if a work of fiction with the hope of drawing out the perpetrator and thereby solving the crime. As soon as the ladies agree on the project, horrible things begin to happen to Kariss.

    I enjoyed renewing my acquaintance with Tigo, the handsome FBI Agent and Kariss' love interest. He holds Buzz Lightyear in high regard. (It's things like this that make a character come to life.) Tigo struggles with his faith in God, and because Kariss does not want to be unevenly yolked, she decides to stop the romance. The story opens as they've not seen one another for two months. The reader cannot help but root for Tigo to find God, accept Christ, and restore his relationship with Kariss.

    Some cons: Amy is losing her hearing and doesn't like using the telephone; yet it seems, she's always on the phone! Amy's brother proves to be a distraction--at least for me. The undercover work should have been left out.

    This work is a sequel to <i>The Chase,</i>
    and I suggest you read them in order.

    Discussion questions are included.

    Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Zondervan for my copy.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    When I finished reading the first book in the Crime Scene: Hous


    When I finished reading the first book in the Crime Scene: Houston Series -- The Chase, I longed for The Survivor, which was not yet in bookstores. The Survivor was worth the wait. I've read many of DiAnn Mills' books and each one is better than the last. The Survivor offers the reader a plate full of suspense, romance, family issues, fallen leaders, and drizzled with soul searching to please everyone's palate.
    Between The Chase and The Survivor, Kariss Walker, a writer, ended her relationship with the very handsome Tigo
    Harris, an FBI agent. While he is trying to resolve a case that doesn't make sense, she is offering her services of writing a book based from an unsolved case a doctor experienced as a child decades ago. Are both cases interrelated? Will these cases bring Kariss and Tigo back together? This is a must read book to discover the intriguing answers and so much more. Although this was not an easy book to lay aside, the author made it easy in the way she wrote it like a diary with the dates and times of each scene. The most fun aspect of this book was when DiAnn Mills allowed the killer to express his thoughts in a couple of time frame slots of her book. The reader doesn't know at the time who he was but one receives insight as to his past and how he thinks. That was superbly written. When the author finally gave one particular clue, I was certain that I knew the killer. So I stopped reading and reviewed in my mind about the character's previous comments and actions. It was at that point that I put aside everything else and spent the weekend reading the rest of this novel. I love a mind blowing suspense and this book was a delightful delicacy all the way to the end. Definitely before and more-so after I realized who the killer was, I was still on pins and needles as to how this story would end.
    One does not have to read The Chase first but I recommended it. Only because when you finish it, then you are ready to dive into The Survivor. Yet, The Survivor is a stand alone book since DiAnn Mills wove enough of The Chase's highlights into this book to refresh our memories about the character's past. I'm looking forward to reading the next suspenseful book by DiAnn Mills. Perhaps The Chase and The Survivor will make it to the Hollywood screen. Until then, enjoy!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    THE SURVIVOR by DiAnn Mills is an exciting inspirational suspens

    THE SURVIVOR by DiAnn Mills is an exciting inspirational suspense/mystery set in present day Houston,Texas. #2 in the &quot;Crime Scene: Houston&quot;,but can be read as a stand alone. See, &quot;The Chase&quot;. An edge of your seat suspense from the first page to the last. Follow, Kariss Walker,suspense author,Dr. Amy Garrett,a previous victim who wants her story told,and Tigo Harris,Special Agent on a journey of murder,danger,faith,healing,mystery,and love. Filled with suspense,and trouble. With dynamic characters,non-stop action,and a gut-wrenching plot you will not go wrong with &quot;The Survivor&quot;. Ms. Mills is an excellent storyteller who pulls the reader into her stories and holds them there page after page. I would recommend &quot;The Survivor&quot; to any reader who enjoys suspense,mystery and romance. While, this is an inspirational title,it is not a &quot;preachy&quot; read. I enjoy Ms. Mills stories and this was not a disappointment. If you have never read one of her stories I would recommend you pick this one up you will not regret reading &quot;The Survivor&quot;. Received for and honest review from the publisher.
    RATING: 4.5
    HEAT RATING: SWEET
    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addicton Reviews

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    Diann Mills writes a good suspense novel. This book has mystery

    Diann Mills writes a good suspense novel. This book has mystery and romance as well. I would recommend reading the first book in the series &quot;The Case&quot; first, this one picks up where that left off. The characters are so real and likeable, I was frustrated that two of the main characters kept putting themselves in harm's way! I kept asking myself &quot;what is wrong with these two?&quot;

    Overall a gripping yet entertaining novel. I enjoy her books so much! 5 out of 5 stars!

    I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2013

    With The Survivor, DiAnn has written an action packed "who

    With The Survivor, DiAnn has written an action packed &quot;who done it&quot; that kept me turning the pages. Her characters were so well developed that I hated for the hero and heroine's story to end. The story combines mystery, danger, romance, and problems found in personal relationships and takes you along for the ride in search of answers and personal growth of the characters. Enjoyed reading this book and I will definitely be watching for her next one.

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  • Posted March 7, 2013

    If you like your Christian fiction/Christian romance to have a l

    If you like your Christian fiction/Christian romance to have a litte (or a lot) suspense, then The Survivor is for you. DiAnn picks up were we left Kariss and Tigo in The Chase. Does their relationship stand a chance? With lack of communication and Tigo's lack of a relationship with God? In The Survivor, we meet Dr Amy Garrett, a survivor of a horrific attack as a child, and we meet the Yeat family, a family dealing with their own tragedy. DiAnn weaves many plots, keeps your mind jumping, trying to pull the thread that will tie it all up for Tigo and his partner at the FBI AND keep Kariss and Amy alive - AND, maybe, a relationship for Kariss and Tigo? You'll have to read on and see!!

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  • Posted February 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When Amy Garrett approaches Kariss Walker to write her story Kar

    When Amy Garrett approaches Kariss Walker to write her story Kariss is intrigued. When Amy was 9 years old she was abducted from her bedroom and left in a field to die. She survived the horrific assault and is now ready to tell her story. But the killer is still out there and he for one is not willing to be caught.

    Kariss and FBI Special Agent Santiago(Tigo) Harris are no longer dating. Kariss saw no future for their relationship when Tigo does not share her faith in a Savior and also neglected to share a major event in his life with her. Both are hurting and their relationship seems impossible. When a case that Tigo is working on and Kariss' book subject cross paths Tigo once again finds himself trying to protect the woman that he has come to care for.

    At the same time that I found myself frustrated with Kariss and Amy's behavior I also found the story gripping and exciting. Kariss and Amy frustrated me with their constantly putting themselves in danger. Neglecting to listen to the advice of professionals to keep them protected both of the women thumbed their noses at their own safety. Of course that frustration led to part of the excitement of the book, but I found myself thinking &quot;Oh good grief did you NOT learn from the last incident?&quot; I also found Kariss' constantly saying she can take care of herself because she knows self-defense and carries a gun rather irritating. Just because a person is equipped does not mean that they cannot be taken by surprise. That aside I did enjoy the story and hope that there will be more in the series.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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