Striking Back

Striking Back - Mark Nykanen Being a counselor/therapist for men who abuse their partners or children is difficult. The difficulty increases when the therapist is a woman, especially one with a history of abuse. Gwyn Sanders has first-hand knowledge of what it's like to live with an abusive male . . . her stepfather. Now that members of her therapy group are being targeted, the police are targeting Gwyn and reinvestigating her stepfather's death. Unfortunately for Gwyn, several of her therapy subjects feel that she may be the "cause" of their fellow member’s death and the group members become even more violent, verbally at first, as more members die horrible deaths. Fortunately, the police soon realize that Gwyn is not the killer nor is she instigating the murders. But the questions remain who is killing off these abusive men and why?

Mr. Nykanen has provided a captivating thriller in Striking Back. The characters are all too realistic with their quirks and flaws. Although the acts of these abusers are despicable and hated, it is easy to feel a small amount of sympathy for them as they suffer through the abuse of the killer. The burgeoning relationship between Gwyn and Hark provides a softer side against the ever-increasing violence against the members of the therapy group. The story is filled with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing "whodunit" to the very end. Striking Back isn't filled with blood, guts and gore although there is a certain amount of violence; it is quite simply an extremely well-crafted suspense thriller.