Thursday, June 30, 2011

review: The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin

pub date: originally 1998 (republished 2009?)
publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
pages: 240
appeals: mystery, suspense, realistic fiction, contemporary
content: there is violence off page and some references to sex

Wow. I loved this book.

I began by listening to the audio in my car. By the middle of the fourth disc (it was only five discs long) I couldn't deal with the suspense any longer. Each time I turned on my car (which is where I was listening to it) my heart rate would speed up, my stress levels would rise, and I'm sure my blood pressure did, too. So I got the book from the library and read it during my lunch break on Friday. The suspense was killing me.

What I loved about this book:

1) the characters. They were so well drawn! David, his cousin, his parents, his aunt and uncle. They all frustrated me at different times and for different reasons, but I totally understood why they behaved they way they did. I felt empathy for them, even when I really didn't want to. And I really, really, liked David.

2) the story. I don't do horror, but wow do I love suspense. Especially when it's so well done. Like I wrote above, I was freaking out while listening. I was so worried for David--the possibilities of what would happen with him kept running through my mind and they just got worse and worse. Which is why I finally just read it.

3) the end. That is all I will say on that.

4) it's retro! Okay, so it was only written in the later 90s and I don't think that really qualifies as retro, but I loved the mention of CDs (no digital!) and his VCR and only being able to call on land lines.

After being accused and acquitted in the death of his girlfriend, seventeen-year-old David is sent to live with his aunt, uncle, and young cousin to avoid the media frenzy. But all is not well at his relatives' house. His aunt and uncle are not speaking, and twelve-year-old Lily seems intent on making David's life a torment. And then there's the issue of his older cousin Kathy's mysterious death some years back. As things grow more and more tense, David starts to wonder - is there something else that his family is trying to hide from?


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Shooting Stars Mag said...

Nice review. I heard about this awhile ago. It sounds really really good. I like books that keep you guessing.


Tigerbill said...

I didn't,t read the book but enjoyed the review.