The Survivor by DiAnn Mills

Thursday, March 21, 2013

About the Book:
Author: DiAnn Mills
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2013
Series: Houston Crime Scene - Book 2
Genre: Christian Fiction; Suspense
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: Ever since she nearly lost her life following up on research for her first suspense novel, Kariss Walker has become more cautious. Or that is what she tells everyone. Months after being kidnapped and nearly losing her life – plus that of the man she has given her heart to, Kariss is trying to move on. Part of that process was ending her relationship with FBI agent Tigo Harris. His lying to her about his past didn’t set well with Kariss and now she finds herself mistrusting him coupled with his lack of faith in God. Now, she is about to be pulled into writing a second suspense novel at the urging of Dr. Amy Garrett – a woman whose past is shadowed by a near-death experience. In pursuit of giving Amy’s story closure, Kariss again finds herself in need of help – even if it means turning to Tigo.

The Good: In the opening pages of this book, and anyone with a cursory knowledge of book one (The Chase) will immediately find themselves in the familiar territory of Castle. Fans of the ABC crime drama should love this one in particular as the vibes of that show are evident from the main plot to the chemistry between the leads – a chemistry that was insanely likable! Personally, I found that to be one of the most interesting parts of the book. This theme had great personality and made the character’s sparkle.

Tigo and Kariss were both compelling protagonists. They are exactly the kind of character’s a novel should introduce; humanly flawed but commendable. Tigo’s struggles are hard not to sympathize with, and in particular the moment when he is confronted by God is probably one of the more “powerful” redemption scenes I’ve read – partially because it sneaks up on us and is over barely before it begins; more “quiet” than deeply emotional. Secondly the metaphor the author chose was hard-hitting. Then there is the spunky, loveable heroine Kariss. Not only does her personality help ground this mystery novel, she also has an awesome name!  Because of that, her heroine stands apart even more from the norm.

Throughout the entire 300-hundred some pages, the novel also keeps a tight, well-constructed mystery that immediately caught me up in its story – and is one I’ve no idea when it took me over a week to read through! It was intriguing and compelling at the same time.   
Equally fun are some of the "minor details" of the story - like getting an "inside perspective" of the business of authors.

The Bad: Although not “bad,” there was a time or two when a plot point could have been better fleshed out – the prime example being some may find fault with Tigo’s spiritual awakening. I did not personally, because there is more history to his journey than just a moment when God “bumped” him on the head.  

In Conclusion: Reading The Survivor was the first contemporary/suspense novel I’ve read by Mills and what a pleasant surprise. Chocked full of adrenaline rushes and great chemistry, it’s surprising that, before now, I’ve not! Much like Dani Pettrey or Lynette Eason, I now have added DiAnn Mills to my list of favorite suspense writers – she weaves a great one.   

Synopsis: 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 a viper’s pit of 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 who wants her dead for writing about an unsolved cold-case?
- Goodreads 

With thanks to Booksneeze and the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes


  1. Great review. Cool cover. I'm a Castle freak so I would probably like these.

    1. It was a really good read, Juju! The humor may not be the "same" as Castle but I noticed the similarities. And it was fun. :)


  2. Sounds great! I love mystery/suspense novels. Maybe a little too much. ;)

    1. *high five*

      Love this genre also, Kellie. :)

      Hey, did you ever read Dani Pettrey's novels? Hers are really good - especially where the characters are concerned. :)

      Enjoy if you read this one.

  3. I've heard some good things about DiAnn's writing, but haven't had the time to check out The Chase from the library. :) Glad you liked it!

    1. This was the first contemporary/suspense I'd read by DiAnn, Rosie. It was worth the wait! So good. Unfortunately, I only got a few chapters into The Chase prior to needing to read this one though I got the "gist" of the book/characters and enjoyed this one regardless. :)

      Hope you like it if/when you read the books.


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