Author:  Katherine Ewell
Published: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Categories: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
External Links: Book DepositoryGoodreads

Summary: Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

Review: If you have a very interesting premise such as Dear Killer, executing the fine (believable) details are crucial. This is what I think the story lacked. The story is about a young girl, Kit, who kills people for a living. How in the world for a girl like her ended up doing something really wrong? I was so excited for the build-up and wanted the objective of the heroine to be convincing. For me it’s not about the subject of morality here but more on the character and how she’ll carry it on the story. Can I still identify with her even we have totally opposite stance? Giving the main character anti-hero personality is tricky for me. It’s a sort of make or break deal. It’s either I liked it or don’t.

And I don’t. The thing is the story was sort of flat and unbelievable. There were instances that didn’t make any sense. I get that it wanted to validate actions and events by giving some sort of explanations to things. But reading it and putting the pieces together didn’t make sense to me; in fact it made it more confusing. It was so unbelievably convenient for Kit that the restroom remained untouched because of some urban legend going on. If I were the police I’ll probably just going to ditch my superstition and try to find even the smallest evidence that will lead to the killer. I don’t think real police could be that dense when even let’s say few people knew about it (few people meaning there were still awareness to it) hence not pool proof. That should still raise some suspicious with the authority. I don’t think they won’t notice something so blatantly obvious  in the long run. And to be perfectly honest she wasn’t entirely careful to me.

I’m a tad confused with her principles. She said that nothing is wrong and nothing is right yet she obviously had some sort of ideals on which were wrong and which ones were right (even at the beginning). She tried to be so cool and level headed by trying to explain certain stuff but the thing is it had an opposite effect on me. Her evaluation on certain scenarios did come as weak and again, unbelievable. You know girl, villains love their secrecy, too. I think it was weird to compare your double life to that of a superhero; and while the people tried so hard to justify the murder it was too contrasting comparison to me. It just didn’t work.

It wasn’t completely terrible to me but it was really, really weak in some terms. Kit didn’t successfully portray the character that I think the story was grooming her for. She failed to me as the protagonist and her character as the serial killer. The story was trying to ineffectively blur the lines, key word here: ineffective. And while for me it did rouse questions but unfortunately it answered none.

Format: Advance Reader’s Copy
Preview Quote:  “Something had broken inside of me. It hurt. Before, my moral compass had been frozen at due north, completely neutral. But now the ice was beginning to crack, and things beginning to unwind and unravel. ” Kit (from Advance Reader’s Proof)