Wednesday, January 20, 2016

YA Thriller Pick: Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct
by S.E. Green
Simon Pulse
257 pages
ISBN: 9781481402866

Dark and twisted, Killer Instinct is a compelling read for upper grades (high school) and YA.

Lane appears to be  an ordinary high school girl, albeit quiet, maybe too quiet. She likes to watch and listen and doesn't have a circle of friends or a social life. She does enjoy science club and taking aikido classes. She also loves studying serial killers. Gruesome, yet fascinating. It helps when your mother is a director with the FBI and when her job is actually brimming with grisly and sordid details of some of the most fascinating killers ever. Lane has looked over her mother's private papers and case files--secretly, of course. Her mother would never condone anyone outside the investigation seeing her files--let alone her young daughter!

When a serial killer starts practicing in her area, Lane can't wait to take him down. In Dexter-esque fashion, she wants to even the "taking care" of serial killers. Her first taste of justice is when she captures the "Weasel"--nicknamed by Lane for his short and pudgy frame and his capacity to rape and terrorize women. Lane doesn't kill him, she just scares him and makes him pay.

Lane leads a normal existence by day--school and part time at the local vet and shelter. At night, she secretly stalks her next "victims." 

As the hunt for the serial killer heats up, Lane discovers a dark family secret. One that will change her life. The Decapitator begins to taunt Lane and she can't resist a good thrill. Is she willing to gamble everything--including her life--for a thrill?

Some reviews don't believe or like the character of Lane. I think she's a great character--yes, she's detached, no, she doesn't show emotion, yes, she is awkward, yes, she does seem older and serious, but these are all traits of sociopaths. Can the reader empathize with her? If you can empathize with Dexter, you can certainly empathize with Lane. Is Lane a sweet girl with high school angst and mean girl tweets? Nope and nope. But that's what makes her awesome. She's who she is because of her past and her DNA.

Exciting and twisty, Killer Instinct is a real page turner. Think Dexter as a YA read. With more sex (Daisy).

Recommended grade 9-up. Profanity, violence, teen sex, rape, murder.

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

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