Book Review: Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Again, one of the definite ways to get me to read a book is to involve a serial killer, because the psychology is fascinating.

So when I heard about Dear Killer, I was really excited because I could finally get a book strictly about a teenager who is a serial killer.  In reality, there have been a few young people involved in serial murders, including the members of the Manson Family and now Miranda Barbour who claims to have taken up to 100 lives.  So it really isn’t as far fetched as some of the reviews I’ve read deem the narrative (although I can only suspend disbelief for so long. More on that later.)

First things first, I really wasn’t sure how this book was going to go when I found a clear typo on the third page. I mean how does this, “I didn’t chv death,” make it through editing? Does Kit not crave death or what? C’mon people.  The other thing I noticed is toward the end of the book, the narration slips briefly into the third person, referring to the first person narrator in third person, but then it quickly switched back.  Since this was the only time this happened, I believe that the narration must have originally been third person and that this instance was missed in the editing process as well, because there is no other instance of this in the novel.

Moving on…I’m glad that the narration was in first person because it really gave the reader more insight into Kit’s character.  I’ve read in some other reviews that people thought that Kit’s voice was too juvenile for someone who is supposed to be passed off as a serial killer, or for a young adult novel.  I’d like to pose that the voice used by Ewell was used specifically to highlight how young and impressionable Kit is supposed to be despite her upbringing as a murderer.  If anything it can also lend itself to her split-personality, Diana serving as an older and wiser voice, versus Kit who is the scared and intimidated teen who is in over her head. And, like with most mental disorders, there is a trigger for this disassociation: the murder of Michael.

Either way, I found this novel to have some very hard parts to believe and that was specifically surrounding Kit’s calling card, the letters that she left at the crime scene.  Really?  With all of the technology now, it is possible to match up handwriting to a suspect, and many of those people wouldn’t have gotten away based on circumstantial evidence.  In addition, there is no efficient way to get handprints and fingerprints off of paper is there? That is the part I had trouble believing.

Overall, I still enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to readers.

4 Bards.

fourbards

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books on my Spring 2014 TBR List

Click on the titles to read the synopsis, and then add them to your TBR!

1. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page

2. On the Fence by Kasie West

3. The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer

4. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

5. Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

6. A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

7. Nil by Lynne Matson

8. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

9. Tease by Amanda Maciel

10. End Times by Anna Schumacher

 

What are some of your books on your TBR list?  I’d love to have more to add to mine!

 

Waiting on Wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on: 
 
 
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. 
Rule Two—Be careful. 
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest. 
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible. 
Rule Five—The letters are the law. 
 
 Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known. 
But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m Excited For

1. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
– Mark my words, this book is one that you will need to be on the lookout for in 2014.

2. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
– Okay, so the top two books on this list clearly feature murder/killing as a main subject. I can’t help it, theyboth sound so awesome.

3.  Red Rising by Pierce Brown
– I have super high expectations for this one, so I hope it measures up!

4. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
– Historical Fiction! Early 20th Century is such a wealthy time period for stories, and this one just sounds brilliant.

5. End Times by Anna Schumacher
– This novel for some reason is giving off some of the same vibes that I got from Gated by Amy Christine Parker.  I have a feeling that this town the main character arrives in will seem like a cult, something that is always fascinating. I could also be completely off.

6. Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson
– I honestly have no idea what this book is really about, something sinister I gather, but it sounds really interesting. 

7. Alienated by Melissa Landers
– There seems to be more and more books about aliens and Earth, etc. It does give me the satisfaction of pretending that Doctor Who has influenced literature!

8. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
– Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres and this novel is set during the turbulent years of Nazi regime in Germany.

9. Nil by Lynne Matson
– I’m not 100% sure about this novel yet, because the synopsis really reminds me of “The Most Dangerous Game,” a short story by Richard Connell, and it also seems reminiscent of The Maze Runner by James Dashner.  Either way, it has my attention and I want to read it.

10. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
-Realistic Contemporary fiction is something I need to read more of, and this sounds like a sweet and endearing novel.

 

What debuts are you looking forward to?

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