Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thriller Pick: Killer Instinct (A Naturals novel)

Killer Instinct
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
384 pages
ISBN: 9781423105122

Available November 4, 2014
(Cover shown is book one; image of Killer Instinct not yet available on May 21, 2014)

The Naturals is group of teens that possess the uncanny ability to figure out criminal behaviors and patterns. Their presence is a secret and they are kept at a sort of "safe" house by the FBI. The kids have different gifts but work together to solve cold cases. When a new serial killer appears on the scene, the kids are dying (I know, put intended) to get their hands on the case file. Their new "house mother" has no intention of letting the kids in on the case; if it were up to her, their group would be disbanded immediately.

Dean, in particular, has the most interest in the new case. The killer is copying what Dean's own father did to his victims. Cassis and the others vow to help Dean overcome the memory of his father and find the killer. With Lia, Cassie and Michael in his corner, will Dean ever hope for a future and forget the past?

Agent Sterling has secrets of her own, and Cassie makes it her business to find out what they are. Working with the methodical precision of Sherlock Holmes, Cassie begins profiling the agent to understand what makes her tick and why she arrives at their house. Surely the FBI has better things to do other than babysit a few teenagers. What is the real motivation behind Sterling's appearance?

The dynamic between the teens who share a house is at times argumentative but mostly is a tightly woven bond  between explosive personalities who share the common goal of getting the bad guy (or girl).

Barnes manages to keep the banter quick and light even when characters are discussing the MO of a serial killer. Killer Instinct is a cross between "CSI," "Veronica Mars," and "Dexter." Fans of mystery and crime thrillers will love this novel.

Recommended grade 9-up. Mature subject matter.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the arc from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit, I'm a sucker for shows like CSI, NCIS, Dexter, Rizzoli and Isles, etc. Which in turn means, that my favorite genre to read is anything thriller/suspense/medical mystery/detective work and this sounds like a real page turner! I am currently reading a book by D.M. Annechino called "Hypocrisy”, which is a medical thriller, but has all of the elements of a "page turner"; suspense, plot twists, great characters and murder. His website,, has more info about the book along with some other great titles he's put out, might be worth a look if you're in to these kinds of books! Thanks for the great recommendation; I'll be checking out "Killer Instinct" next.