Saturday, March 29, 2014 06:00

Review 246. Katherine Ewell – Dear killer.

16179216Title: Dear Killer.
Author: Katherine Ewell.
Pages: 368.
Publication date: April 1st 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Sort: Stand-alone (BETTER)
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
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.
Rating:

You guys.. Sometimes I read books that make me wonder how they get published. I hate being mean, but this book was just plain horrible. Let me tell you that I went back four times to take certain sentences away and this is the best curse-free, less snarky review I could come up with. There is no way to enlighten it with some positivism, because there was not a single thing I enjoyed. If you don’t like rants, you better skip this. 

Kit grew up as ‘assassin’ and takes over when her mother is done with the job. I believe she was 9 when she started to learn this trade and she is now a 17-year-old girl. The problem with this book is that it’s filled with plot holes, unbelievable situations and a very unlikable main character.

Let’s talk about the rules first. Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. Combined with Rule Five—The letters are the law. Kit is not supposed to play for God. She receives the letters in a mailbox that has been hidden in a toilet wall for years. Unrealistic concept aside (will return to this later), Kit isn’t allowed to judge. They ask, she kills. The only thing for me is, I could NEVER EVER live with myself despite these rules. If these requests would have made sense, perhaps I could understand it, but the letters are too ridiculous for words.

”Dear killer,
my family has hit hard times. I love my husband. I really do. But I want you to kill him. I’m not doing this because I hate him. I’m doing this because I love my children. He has life insurance that could create a better life for us – don’t you see? And I don’t think he’d really be mad if he knew I was writing this letter.”


Let me get this straight. You want your husband to be killed, so you can use the money? So instead of fixing this together like a normal family, you rather lose him for life insurance? None of the other letters were any better, especially the case this book is all about. Kit is supposed to kill Maggie, because she “broke my heart” until you find out that this Michael is harassing her and this girl is scared of him. Well, there is of course a reason that Kit is able to do this and it’s just.. I’m going to quote it. There is no other way to show you how hilarious this is.

”They need a monster under their stairs.” She smiled. ‘The world is full of chaos. And it’s that chaos that joins people together. Scared people are more cohesive than people who aren’t scared. It’s so clear – right there, in the way they old on to each other. They need me. Because the people here in London start feeling so safe. And every once in a while they need a murder – just a tiny fragment of chaos – to remind them that they aren’t safe, to remind them that they need each other, to remind them that in the end it’s human relationships that matter.
computer-facepalm

Oh yes, Kit, you are a life safer! Than you SO much for making everyone’s miserable life better by scaring them with your perfect murders. Thank you SO much for taking innocent lives to help us remember we need each other. You are an Angel, I wonder where you freaking halo is.

Rule Two—Be careful. HAHA. Please allow me to laugh out loud, because if there is one thing Kit sucks at, it’s being careful. Her mother invites the “young, attractive” guy who leads the search for this Perfect Killer. Of course it’s only a reason to introduce another lame person to the story. He is not only TOO young to ever get such an important task, but he has to be gorgeous too. Well, he is not the brightest in the bunch, that’s for sure. It’s great for him that despite his obvious stupidity, he is allowed to find the killer. Back to the rule. So, Kit becomes best friends with this Alex and she hands him all kinds of information she actually couldn’t know as outsider. For him, that’s only a reason to give her inside information and he even allows her on a crime scene. Are you kidding me? Not very professional.

owl-facepalm
Not only is she allowed to give him information which could lead to herself in the end, she is also found next to a body in school. Her ‘wailing’ and ‘desperate crying’ immediately get her of the hook as murderer. An innocent, cute girl like her isn’t possible capable of doing it, right? Or what about that time where she wants to murder a famous singer, but she can't and she get's of the hook, because "she's a good girl." Uh, okidoki.

Okay, to return to the unrealistic concept of the mailbox. I quote again, because I can’t find the worlds to explain this idea myself.

”None who had their requests filled, even those tracked down and interrogated by the police, ever confessed the location of my mailbox. The mailbox set a strange spell of silence over them. The police didn’t know of that secret place, and I was glad of it.”

How is it possible that people know about this mailbox in the first place? There is never explained how this all started. And it’s not a ‘strange spell.' Would you tell the location to that box if you are interrogated – which could possible mean that you confess you have written a letter and committed a crime?

The last thing I want to rant about is Kit, an infuriating girl. 17 year old and I must believe she is such a perfect killer that nobody can find her.. Okay. I can look past that, seeing this is a book. (Although saying that they can't trace back to you because 'the dark carpet will hide the blood stains' doesn't make it more realistic) What I can’t ignore is how annoying she is. Becoming friends with your victim is never a good idea, but finding out that this girl is innocent and then still want to continue with the murder? Practically handing your identity to Alex? All the conversations in her head and how she tries to talk everything right? Just.. no. I was so relived when I reached the ending. Ugh.

author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

40 comments:

  1. Okay, so I read most of this, not all, because I REALLY want to read it still. But. aaaaaaagh. NOOOOO. Almost everyone has said it was horrible!! DANG. This is like one of my highly anticipated reads for the year, and the stuff you're pointing out?? I feel like it'll give me a migraine. Bleh. Who kills people for life insurance?? I mean, maybe this is just a black comedy?? Stilll, yikes.

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    1. It's always a shame when a highly anticipated book ends up being so disappointing. I do hope you'll enjoy it a little more than I did!

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  2. Wow this really sounds awful...like more awful that I thought it would be. I knew just from the synopsis that it wasn't something I wanted to read, because I just didn't think that any reason the author came up with for her being a serial killer would really be justified. But it sounds like there is way more than that in this book that just doesn't make sense. Sorry, Mel! Wish there was a way to get those couple hours of your life back! :D

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    1. I think the justification could have been so much better. Even if she would have said that she liked the thrill of kiling..

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  3. Kit sounds seriously stupid. I've been seeing back-to-back negative reviews for this one and I'm seriously turned off now. This sounds like some of those cheap detective movies where the stupid suspect leaves behind the most obvious clues! How can you be okay with killing a guy so that his wife can get the money!? This is just sad. ;( Sorry it didn't work out for you, but this was a lovely and totally true rant to read, Mel!

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    1. She was practically walking around with a sticker on her head saying 'I'm the perfect killer'

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  4. Ooh review and rating twinzies! (not to mention name twinzies looool) This book was such a fail and I agree with everything you said there--the mailbox thing never made any sense to me. How could the police just not know about it? Idiots.

    Great review, Mel! <33

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    1. It's because of the name :D Just read your review and yes, we agree on everything!

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  5. I just read another review that mentioned that this book was filled with 'unbelievable situations'. But I wasn't aware as to how unrealistic it was. But DAMN. Those quotes have definitely put me off reading this one!

    It's such a pity too because I loved the Dexter-like concept, that cover and tagline had me intrigued for sure. Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy it, Mel.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

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    1. It could have turned out so good :) Unfortunately.. not.

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  6. AISH. KEBABS. I've seen many people not liking this one, so I'm not really surprised now to see that you didn't either, but I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it :( It's such a shame, because it seems to have such a unique premise! But I think the things you pointed out would make me want to fall of my tree trunk, er, chair, like owl :\ but *cheesy grin*.
    Thanks for providing an honest review for all of us, Mel!! :)

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  7. I didn't hate it as much you did but I agree with everything you have just said. It was basically weak on top of being unbelievable. *roll eyes*

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  8. Oh I loved your rant Mel, it definitely sounds implausible and ugh the crying and screaming? Oh you poor innocent killer. I'm really interested in the thought of this book, but it sounds like it would frustrate the hell out of me. Thanks for your review!

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  9. Wait…what? She tells the police information on how to capture her?! What the heck? That's just plain foolish!

    And even though the concept sounds really intriguing, it’s a shame that it’s so unbelievable. I can definitely see where you’re coming from though in terms of how easy it would be to track this person down.
            I mean... how can you be sure someone's not telling the police where the mailbox is? If "no one knows" where the mailbox is, HOW THE HECK DID THEY FIND IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    Anyhow, thanks so much for sharing Mel. I think I'm going to take your advice and give this one a pass! So sorry this one didn’t work for you. :( :( :( Hopefully your next read is better! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Yep, she does. Clever move huh..? My next reads have been so much better, but it was almost impossible to be worse :p

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  10. I'm not one of those people that is bothered by unrealistic things in books, but everything I've heard about Dear Killer takes unrealisticness to the extreme. This was a maybe book for me but after all the reviews I've seen I'm going to pass on it. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more!

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    1. I don't really mind unrealistic, because like I point out, it's a story after all. But this was just.. TOO much.

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  11. haha I rated the book slightly higher than you, but completely agree with everything you've said. The police not finding out about the letterbox is the most ridiculous thing ever. WTF POLICE. DO YOUR DAMNED JOB.
    And that singer who just let her go- what even?!
    The whole book is just so unrealistic -_-

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    1. I was really wondering what a bunch of losers they had hired to play for cops, haha.

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  12. Oh dear. :( This is the second 1-star review I've seen - as well as the second review I've seen in general. That definitely doesn't bode well. What a shame! I couldn't grab this one from EW fast enough. Looks like I'll be passing on this one.

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    1. You should always give it a shot! :) You might like it.

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  13. Aw man. I was actually really looking forward to this one, but it sounds terrible! I honestly just sat and shook my head the whole way through your review because the book sounds completely ridiculous! So no one ever revealed where the letterbox was or how they found out about it in the first place? That sounds like a major plot hole. Also, EXTREMELY HOT cop guy letting her into a crime scene? Oh, yeah. He totally wouldn't be fired for doing that or revealing classified information *facepalm*
    Thank you for the warning, Mel. I'm definitely passing on this one.

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    1. That's how I was reading the book too, with an occasional facepalm.

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  14. Haha so although I agree with you - the plot holes are abundant, nothing is really believable, Kit acts pretty stupid, and the reasons people have to kill someone where mind-boggling - I still liked this one. I think I took everything at face value, so it didn't bother me as much. Although that artist letting Kit leave from her dressing room was the hardest for me to ignore. But although I couldn't understand it, I was fascinated by the moral nihilism viewpoint and just the general unusualness of this book. But again, I can see how it would drive someone mad! Sorry this wasn't for you Mel but thanks for the entertaining review ;)

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    1. I did like her viewpoint, but I wish it sounded more plausible. Like.. if she would admit that she just loved the feeling of killing someone, that would have been an interesting concept!

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  15. First, I love your blog design, it's so cute and charming!

    I was super attracted to the synopsis, but now I'm having second thoughts. I don't think I'll enjoy that at all. I like my mystery/detective/thriller books to make sense, not make me want to slap my forehead in annoyance. But thank you for the honest review! I had fun reading it :)

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    1. Thanks Goldie, I'm also very happy with it!

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  16. I don't think I've seen an +ve reviews of this yet, only ones that sound as frustrated as you! It's a shame because it sounds like it has potential, but it also sounds highly unbelievable!

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  17. Oh man, Mel! This one wasn't really on my radar, but I did definitely have higher hopes for it than this. Now it could be that maybe there are people out there who end up really loving this book... but I can tell I wouldn't be one of them. I just know that I would come to the same conclusions you did. Bummer, I hope your next read is better and a palate-cleanser!

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    1. I definitely could see people loving this book! If you can look past those things or if you like Kit, it would add to the enjoyment of the book :)

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  18. This sounds so bad I feel like I want to read it just to see how bad it is! Fortunately for me I don't have time for that! I know that you are trying to be fair to the book, and it's great that you included quotes from the book as examples for your opinions. I normally love to read glowing happy reviews - it just makes me feel better about books - but your review was so fun, I enjoyed reading it! :)

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    1. Glowing reviews are always the best indeed, but sometimes you got to be honest..

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  19. You're not the only one who doesn't like this one either from what I saw. Frankly, all the reviews I've read about this book makes me sick, especially Kit's ridiculous morals. Just, ugh.
    Great review Mel! (:

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  20. Huh, I've read a couple of really positive reviews for this one, but I think I'm more convinced by you! I can't stand stupid characters, and when you're dealing with some things the story just has to be believable. I really don't get the idea that none of the people asking for the murders would ever crack, that's just not realistic. Oh well. It sounded interesting! Great review, Mel!

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  21. Yup, you're not the only one who has thrown this book to the trash bin. So many friends of mine have agreed that this really is not only not worth your money, but your time as well. Ugh. Everything about it just screams juvenile and silly. And those letters? really? How can I take Kit seriously when she kills people for silly reasons? >.> This one is just absolutely not for me!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

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  22. There is absolutely nothing about what you described that makes me want to give this a chance. I haven't read a positive review for this yet, so I definitely don't think you're alone! The plot holes would be enough for me to be annoyed, but having a killer think she's doing the world a favour by providing them with morsels of fear? What kind of twistedness is that??

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  23. A toilet....? Haha. I'll be reading this sometime soon. Sounds like you had some definitie issues with it. Though a lot of people are murdered by people they do know, so that to me is realistic. I'm curious to see what I'll think.

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