Book Review: Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Star Rating: 3/5
Title: Dear Killer
Author: Katherine Ewell
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 359
Genre: Mystery, Thrillers and Young Adult
Purchase

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.

I’m aware that it has been an incredibly long time since I last read and reviewed a book. I have been in what feels like a year long reading slump, every time I picked up a book I would get bored so easily and would never have the desire to pick it up again. But, suddenly, I felt like reading again and I decided to try and start fresh with a book I hadn’t read at all and this is what I chose. Dear Killer has been on my shelf for 3 years now and I didn’t realise until I saw it in my purchase history just how long it had gone unread!

I actually hadn’t heard much about this book in reviews or on youtube – I just saw the title and was intrigued by it. I have mixed feelings about this book, hence a rating of three stars. This book has gotten me back into reading, the first time I picked it up I sat and read for hours, but I felt like it was long drawn out and could’ve cut out 100 pages easily. I found myself starting to get bored around the 250 mark and wanting something exciting to happen. I really liked the beginning of the book and I was intrigued by the premise of a killer who only killed those that had been requested by the public – something I had never really seen before.

I have to say, i was impressed by the fact that the author was just 17 years old – it definitely didn’t read that way and I wasn’t thinking that the writing was juvenile in any way, it was quite well written, i just felt as though it was very drawn out.

The main character, Kit, was a character that I surprisingly liked – despite her being a serial killer. She called herself “Diana” whenever she killed and she used it as a way to separate herself from the killings and to be able to deal with her crimes. I do wish the whole “Kit/Diana” concept had been explored more, it also seemed like a nod to multiple personality disorder but then it wasn’t explored in much depth so it was hard to say. I absolutely despised Kits mum, it also bugged me slightly that Kit called her “mom” despite the novel being set in England.

The character of Alex, the policeman, was one that I also wasn’t convinced by. I felt like his mannerisms and the way he spoke was quite flat – as though all of the characters in the novel had a similar personality, I guess this will change as the writer becomes more experienced.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, I just wish that the writer had cut it shorter and fleshed the characters out some more.

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