‘THE SURVIVOR,’ by DiAnn Mills


‘THE SURVIVOR,’ by DiAnn Mills. Review of the 2013 romantic suspense novel, book two in the Houston Crime Scene series. Text © Rissi JC

STORY: In the aftermath of nearly losing her life novelist Kariss Walker is more cautious. Or this is what she tells everyone. Months after being kidnapped and nearly losing her life, plus that of the man she gave her heart to, Kariss tries to move on. Part of that process is to end her relationship with FBI agent Tigo Harris. His act of lying doesn’t set well with Kariss and now she finds herself mistrusting him. Now, she is about to be pulled into writing a second suspense novel at the urging of Dr. Amy Garrett, a woman with her own shadowed past. In pursuit of giving Amy’s story closure, Kariss again finds herself in need of help, even if it means turning to Tigo.

The Survivor, by DiAnn Mills | Book Review

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; everything from the main plot to the chemistry between the leads, is alike the TV dramedy. Personally, I find the relationship between Kariss and Tigo one of the most interesting parts of the book. This theme has great personality and makes the character’s sparkle.

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Tigo and Kariss are both compelling protagonists. They’re exactly the kind of character’s a novel should introduce; humanly flawed but good. Tigo’s struggles are hard not to sympathize with, and in particular the moment when he’s confronted by God is probably one of the more “powerful” redemption scenes I’ve read. This is partially because it sneaks up on us; it’s more “quiet” than deeply emotional. Secondly the metaphor the author uses is 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! 

Throughout the entire 300-hundred some pages, the novel also keeps a tight, well-constructed mystery that immediately pull me into its story. It’s intriguing and compelling at the same time.   

Equally fun is some of the “minor details” of the story – like getting an “inside perspective” of the business of authors.

THE BAD: Although not “bad,” there is a time or two when a plot point could be better fleshed out; the prime example being some may find fault with Tigo’s spiritual awakening. I don’t personally, because there is more history to his journey than just a moment when God “bumps” him on the head. 

IN CONCLUSION: Reading The Survivor is 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.  

About the Book:

Author: DiAnn Mills
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2013
Series: Houston Crime Scene – Book 2
Genre: Christian Fiction; Suspense
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Rating: 5 out of 5

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

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


    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. :)


    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.

  1. 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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