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.
When I first received an ARC of Dear Killer, I didn’t really know what it was about. I actually thought that it was going to be very similar to Find Me by Romily Bernard. You know, I thought that there was going to be this big murder and the main character was going to solve it and there were going to be a bunch of suspense and action scenes. I wasn’t prepared for the main character in Dear Killer to be a serial killer. It wasn’t a plot that I was very interested in, so I was a little nervous. It just didn’t work for me. It was just…….a little awkward to read about.
I had several issues with Dear Killer, but my main issue was with the main character, Kit. As a serial killer, she lacked emotion, and that was very difficult for me to process. I didn’t enjoy the serial killer route. It really made me want to distance myself from Kit. It was also really creepy to read about her. I also didn’t like how we were pretty much always in Kit’s head. There wasn’t a ton of dialogue. It seemed more like reading about her thoughts and plans with a little bit of dialogue.
I don’t just want to put the issue on Kit, because the supporting characters were also very weird and creepy. I want to bring some attention to Kit’s parents, especially to her mom. I had a lot of issues reading about a serial killer who got married and had a kid simply to turn that child into a serial killer. Kit’s mom was very uncomfortable to read about. I also had to skip several scenes because of the child abuse that was portrayed. When I say child abuse, I’m not really talking about physical abuse. But, obviously, there is some serious abuse in turning your child into a serial killer.
Another thing that was very uncomfortable to read about where the killing scenes. Since I DNF’d this book, I only read one of those scenes. Let me tell you, though, that was enough for me. It was a short scene, but it was gory and not really necessary. I didn’t like it. And I know that there’s at least one more killing in Dear Killer.
There were several holes in Dear Killer. It didn’t make any sense to me that all of these people knew where to deliver a letter to Kit but the police never knew about it. If the drop off spot was known to that many people the information would have eventually leaked. Not everyone would have kept that secret. Another thing was some of the criminal investigation stuff that Kit knew about. She knew how to hide fingerprints and a whole bunch of other stuff. Maybe it’s because I went in to this book knowing that Katherine Ewell is only 18, but it felt a little juvenile to me. The final thing that bugged was that it was sent in London. I don’t think that Ewell is located in London. I could be wrong. That made it a little awkward that Dear Killer is set in London. I kind of wish that Ewell would have stuck with more familiar territory.
I find it very hard to recommend this book, because it was just way too difficult for me. I didn’t enjoy it. I found it too heavy and intense. It’s also not really a book that I would recommend to any kids that I know. Actually, it’s not something that I would recommend to any kid. I found it to be a bit of a concerning topic, which is not something that I say very often. So this is pretty much a read at your own risk type of book.
Publication Date: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Teaser Quote: Rule one.
Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
That is the most important guideline, and the hardest one for most people to understand – but I have understood it my entire life, from the moment I laid my hands on that first victim’s neck to this very moment as I think about the blood under my fingernails and the body I have so recently left behind. Nothing is right and nothing is wrong. For some people a thing may be right, and for others it may be wrong. There is no greater truth to morality – it is merely an opinion.
I don’t crave death. I’ve heard of serial killers who love it, who live for the moment when their victim stops breathing, who thrive on it. I am not like that. I kiss as a matter of habit and as a consequence of the way I was raised. I could walk away from the killing and never look back.
But I won’t walk away, not now. My faith in my new way of life has been tested. I have doubted myself. But I have overcome my doubt.
My name is Kit, but most people know m e as the Perfect Killer.
I kill on order. I am everyone’s assassin. I belong to no one but the grim reaper herself. (ARC pages 1-2)