Friday, 28 March 2014

Review: Dear Killer

Dear Killer

Publication Date:  April 1st 2014        
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

~An advance readers copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~




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.

Disclaimer: I always try to write a spoiler free review. In this case it's impossible to talk about it without some spoilers. Major spoilers and theories themselves, you have fair warning and are covered.

Dear Killer, where to I even start? Freaking hell. My head hurts.
I'll start by saying not everyone will love his book, i don't even know if I do love it, it's unethical, immoral and pushes a dozen of boundaries,  and most of the conversations seemed awkward and sometimes  unrealistic, but to put it simply.
It's fascinating.

And yes, I'm the type of person who likes reading about serial killers, because once you get past the initial disgust, the psychology is fascinating, and there are just so many factors, and even different types of murderers. The way profilers get into the heads of killers by the way they kill,  It's also safe, because you're safe behind reading.
So imagine Kit, who you could say is a sociopath, but she's a moral nihilist, who see's neither right nor wrong. I mentioned that she's also a victim, yes, I know, a serial killer a victim? It's bring you back to the 'Are serial killers born or made?'  It's what I loved about Sophie Jordan's Uninvited with the concept of telling someone they're going to be a murder, make them a murderer?.
It's a hard question to answer.
I say Kit's also a victim because of her mother. Our parents have a responsibility to mould us, to teach us, they raise us to be the person they want us to be. Kits mother was a serial killer, not as large or famous as the Perfect Killer, but she trained her young, moulded her into who she wanted to be so she could live out her kills vicariously through Kit's when now she couldn't kill herself. Her mother moulded Kit to become a murderer. She made her a murderer. She also created Diana.
Kit becomes "Diana" when she kills, she separates herself from them, Kit chooses which letters to fulfil,  and Diana kills. *<spoiler>So, we also have some Dissociative Identity Disorder tendencies, when her mother trained her that hard to the point until she snapped and created Diana. Because she was young, and impressionable, and Diana was her safety.
This is where the creepy and unsettling sets in with the justification of Kit's killing, not the way she justified her killings, but the way she justified the person's death. Yes, she killed them, methodically, in the beginning, indifferent, she's a moral nihilist. There's nothing right, nothing wrong. There are no morals, therefore murder is neither moralistically right or wrong there's no justification behind it, because there is no justification. Which, you have to wonder, this day and age when there are things happening everywhere, every day that we deem bad, and wrong, but morals or there lack of morals are deemed by your person and their person, only.  Morals don't really change, but society does. So, who's to say what's right or wrong? By leaving that letter that sealed the victims fate behind on the body as her signature, she leaves behind the victims justice.
You could argue Michael and Maggie were the start of Kit's *downfall, and they were, but she also got too close. To Alex. To the investigation. Serial killers emerge themselves into the crime scene or investigation. When it was just her sociopathic Mother, she didn't have to justify herself or the murders to anyone. Her mother understood. As she got in deeper with Alex and the investigation, little hints, reeling them in a little and steering them away, becoming friends with Alex and seeing the Perfect Killer through his eyes, changed something. But yes, as it was said at one point, they were living in a house of cards. <spoiler>Being around Alex made her vulnerable, Michaels letter for Maggie's death, made her take up a challenge, befriending Maggie, seeing that emptiness and recklessness in Michael made her angry, protective, made her care because Maggie was hers to take. When morally speaking, she shouldn't have even cared. A kill was a kill to her, nothing more, nothing less. She wasn't killing because she needed to, she wasn't killing because she had that compulsion, until Maggie. Until she chose to kill Michael, until she decided he should die. She never killed on who deserved to die,  neo-nihilism, nothing right, nothing wrong. It started to unhinge her, and she knew when she fulfilled that requested, when she ended it, when she <spoiler>finally killed Maggie, she knew that was the end. Her fate was entwined with Maggie's.  it would end.
There are books in this world that can make you laugh, that can make you cry and hurt, that can make you learn. Then there are ones that can make you think.  That can completely blow your mind.  I can count on one hand how many of the latter have affected me in that way, they are why I read, and Dear Killer is one of them.
*As well as spoilers, these are theories.

Rating: 5/5