I received this book for free from Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough
Published by Tor Teen on February 7th, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, YA
Source: Tor Teen
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Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father's identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother's best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.
Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother's killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she's secretly doing on her own.
Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she's close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it's too late.
This book has an unfortunate cover given that its insides are so different. To Catch a Killer as pitched as being great for fans of Veronica Mars yet this cover screams cheesy mystery. Luckily, To Catch a Killer is a well-written mystery that is fun to follow along and hella engaging. It is one of those books you are going to stay up reading saying just ONE MORE CHAPTER (spoiler alert, its never one more chapter, its usually the entire fucking book.)
Sometimes I’ll read mysteries and wonder how the MCs have the resources and ability to solve the big case just based on educated guesses but To Catch A Killer throws in forensics into the mix and everything is GREAT. EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE. I totally guessed the murderer a couple pages in but the ride was well worth it and I just loved watching the MC put clues together in ways that made sense and were grounded in facts and evidence she had gathered.
Erin made this book 100x better. I loved her determination, intelligence and strength. I loved that even though adults around her didn’t agree, she didn’t give up and pushed to discover the truth in smart ways (AKA not all by herself.)
Erin could have been a better friend to her friend sometimes but even she realizes that and I was glad for that. Plus she has friends who actually call her out on her shit and push her to not make stupid decisions (although sometimes they are completely wrong and she is completely right.) One of my favorite things to see in books is quality friendships and we were definitely awarded with those
We were also given a romance I haven’t entirely made up my mind about. It isn’t that these two characters don’t have chemistry. I just feel like the romance needed to be a lot slower (but I am into slow-burn so thats just me.) Everybody was cute but I like cute better when I get it with an itsy-bitsy bit of angst.
The plot is the most important part of a mystery book and To Catch a Killer aced in that department. I was hooked and intrigued and just wanted to know all the answers. I was also reading this at 3:00 in the morning and almost had a heart-attack when someone came upstairs to go to the bathroom.
So why was this lovely book not rewarded with a higher rating you ask? Well. The answer is simple. I was not entirely satisfied with the ending. The ending was not bad. It was very good until a thing and some things just leave really bad tastes in my mouth. Basically, don’t look at my 3.5 stars rating and think that To Catch a Killer is mediocre. IT ISN’T. ITS A VERY FUN BOOK. SO read it and we can talk afterwards about the ending. Okay. BYEEEEE.
3.5 Hot Espressos