Book Review: Dear Killer

Learning her specialty trade from her mother from an early age, Kit Ward made her first kill when she was nine. Now an average looking seventeen-year-old high school student, Kit has made fifty kills and been dubbed by the London media as The Perfect Killer. Kit chooses her prey from letters left in a bathroom cubbyhole and leaves a letter with each of her victims. Based on the premise that one needs to keep their friends close and their enemies even closer, Kit’s mother who was an accomplished murderer in her day, invites Alex, the police investigator in charge of the Perfect Killer case home for dinner. While Kit understands the purpose of cultivating a friendly relationship with Alex, she is more then a little infatuated with him. As Kit and Alex become best friends, she continues to kill only much closer to home. Alex isn’t stupid and it is only a matter of time before Kit’s poor choices catch up with her and she will have to face the difficult choice of killing again or being caught.

Although the basic premise of this young adult book is strong, there are simply too many holes in the writing to make a credible story. Take the “mailbox” in a public restroom that apparently anyone in London who wants somebody killed knows about, for instance. How is it everyone but the police know about this not-so-secret location yet no one touches the massive cash payments left inside? Strangely, there seems to be no surveillance cameras in use anywhere that Kit goes and she is able to blithely cross cordoned off police zones with impunity. These and other problems erode the story’s believability as does Kit’s character. Though Kit believes herself to be incredibly smart, she repeatedly makes seriously bad choices that should be out of character with the methodical killer she’s supposed to be. While the moral dilemma Kit eventually faces is interesting, it is not enough to rescue what could have been a fine tale.

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