Author: Kelly Charron
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Age Group: Young Adult
Review copy provided through Netgalley.
The daughter of a local police detective, fifteen-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.
But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects.
Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.
Written in a mature YA voice. Some graphic content.
Let me start by saying that something was up with the formatting of the review copy I got through Netgalley. Some pages appeared twice throughout the book, others simply vanished, making me jump from one paragraph to the other and missing vital info. Maybe because of that I couldn’t give it a five star rating – I did enjoy it, but the missing pages were frustrating, and they made me feel like I missed vital parts of the book.
Either way, back to the story. Ryann is fifteen years old, and she wants to commit a murder. More than wanting to, she actually goes ahead with it. This starts a game of cat and mouse between Ryann and her father, a police detective, and the rest of the police squad. But Ryann has spent most her life studying from the Greats, so she knows how to cover up her tracks, and how to make it difficult for the police to catch her.
This is an unique plot, and the story worked well. Ryann is a believable character, despite her many, many flaws, and I could even understand why she acted the way she did – I would never condone murder, of course, but Ryann didn’t do it out of the blue. She’s an incredibly intriguing protagonist, the kind that haunts you longer after you finished reading. For someone so far removed from what society considers “normal”, it’s creepy how relatable Ryann is.
She did make some fatal flaws, and errors that made her look amateurish – but what can you expect from a fifteen-year-old? I also liked her diverse cast of friends. Interesting to read a slasher book from the POV of the killer.
If you enjoyed a thrilling, creepy YA thriller, I recommend Pretty Wicked.