Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Release Day Review: Dear Killer

Dear Killer
By Katherine Ewell
Expected publication April 1, 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books

Kit is the perfect killer - actually, she's the Perfect Killer, London's most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper. And she got to be that way by abiding by a very specific set of rules. Now, however, her identity has been thrown in question and she starts to bend the rules a bit. Will continue her perfect streak? Or is she about to lose it all?

One of the things I inherited from my lovely mom is an appreciation of thrillers and serial killers. That sounds awfully morbid, but it's true - my mother very rarely reads a book that doesn't feature a fictional serial killer (she's not so interested in real ones). Thankfully, she must not be the only reader out there who appreciates this kind of tale, so she's always been flush with reading material. I spotted this e-galley and thought of her, figuring I'd give it a shot.

What I didn't know before I started reading was that this manuscript apparently won a novel in progress award. I don't suppose that should impact my reading of the book, particularly since I didn't know that until after finishing it, but it's caused me some confusion.

You see, I just cannot with this book. I cannot even focus on things that might be good about it (though there probably aren't that many) because I find the entire premise of this so completely implausible. Yes, I get that it's fiction - it doesn't have to really be all that believable. But seriously - a teenager with over 50 kills under her belt and the detectives have literally no leads? A mother who starts training her 9-year-old in the art of killing without detection? A secret mailbox where apparently the entire city of London just knows they can drop off a letter naming someone they want killed and it might actually happen? A young detective taking lead on the investigation of such a prolific killer? A serial killer who lives by a strict set of rules but decides to break them just once and doesn't think this will cause any problems?

I mean, seriously. If I were the gif type of person, I'd put the "Nopetupus" right here because JUST NO. I'm no detective or law enforcement officer, but even I've watched enough flipping movies to know that the crap the law does in this book is not even close to accurate (and the movies don't even get everything right, so that should give you some idea how far off-base this stuff is). I just could not buy into the idea that there could be a teenage serial killer of this level. And, for being the "perfect" killer, she's awfully sloppy, inserting herself into the investigation, befriending a victim, etc. IT JUST DOES NOT WORK, BOOK.

I wanted to like this book, because, as I said, I appreciate a good serial killer novel. But there is so much NOPE about this that I can't even tell you if there's anything good (maybe the discussion of moral nihilism, but even that could have been expanded more).

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.

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