Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review and Hardcover GIVEAWAY: Dear Killer, by Katherine Ewell, ends 9/10

I didn't understand. This was a bicycle crash. Maybe a few scrapes, but no real harm done. Why was there so much anger? Sure, the housewife was yelling and irritated, but she was already on her feet, and a few other people were helping the girl in yellow disentangle herself from the handlebars. No one helped Michael. They all saw the same thing I did, and they were afraid. As they should be. 

Because I was afraid too. And I was a serial killer. I was not often afraid. 

Some of the ratings for this book on Goodreads were not too kind to it, but I actually found the book quite fascinating. The author was also only 17 years old when she wrote Dear Killer, and was one of fifty finalists (out of 5,000 entries) in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. I've only seen one episode of the TV show Dexter, but this novel has been compared to that show, and it's definitely an interesting read.

Official synopsis:
Dear Killer book review and giveaway
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.

Katherine Ewell’s
Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

Kit's mother trained her to be a serial killer ever since she was a child (starting with self-defense lessons); her father travels a lot for business and is mostly absent, and when he's away, her mother entertains herself by going to parties with other men and mentoring Kit. Kit has recently picked up the moniker of the "Perfect Killer," and her mother decides they should befriend Alex, the detective working the case; eventually, though, that may turn out to be a bad decision.

It was interesting to get into Kit's mind in this book. She kills because that's how she was brought up; she doesn't crave it, per say, but she gets a certain satisfaction in carrying out the bad wishes that people write to her about in the letters. Her world gets shaken up one day when the letter is from someone she knows, and doesn't necessarily agree with the person he wants her to kill; she then has to decide if she should still go through with the murder or not. 

It would also be interesting to analyze whether Kit is schizophrenic, to an extent - when she kills, it's as "Diana," a persona she made up for herself. My other theory is this: although she repeatedly says throughout the book that she doesn't feel guilt over the murders, she's made up "Diana" to distance herself from that guilt (and she starts to unravel throughout the book, so that could be possible). 

I'd recommend this novel for anyone who likes mystery stories or a good thriller - it's not your typical "whodunit" book since it's written in 1st person POV (point of view) from Kit's perspective, a teenage murderess. 

4 stars out of 5.
You can purchase this book here.


Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on Thursday, September 10th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be emailed on September 11th and have 24 hours to respond, or else an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would love to read this book because I love books about serial killers (I usually refer to them as my murder books). I used to work at a bookstore and I have so many true crime books anyone walking in and checking out my book shelf might think I'm a little unusual.

  2. A teenage murderess - that's definitely unique! This book sounds really interesting and I'm so impressed the author was only 17!

    1. I know, right?! I majored in Creative Writing in college and still haven't written a full-length book, ha.

  3. I can't believe the author was only 17! Wow!

  4. What a book! I'm also impressed that it was written by a 17 year old, but the mom trained her as a killer! :-0 yikes!!! :( Sounds like it will keep the reader involved for sure!

    1. Yep! I think the author said her inspiration was Dexter, too.

  5. That is very impressive - looking forward to giving this book a look

  6. This book sounds seriously freaky! So impressed that the author was only 17.

  7. I would read this book because this is the kind of genre I love.

  8. How awesome for this 17-year-old to write a book...not a title or story I'd think of when thinking of a 17-year-old but starting out early as a writer can only mean good things!

  9. This kind of sounds like that show Dexter. Sounds like an interesting read to say the least!

    1. I was just going to say that Aly..... I don't read a lot, but this one I could find the time for....

  10. this book sounds very interesting. i like reading murder/crime books and this sounds like it gives a new spin on the genre.

  11. it looks very interesting and I love thrillers

  12. It sounds quite intriguing! I'm always up for a good read.

  13. I don't have time to read for myself with 2 special needs kids BUT I want to win for my sis-in-law for Christmas


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