Release date: November 30th 2013
Publisher: Captiva Publishing
BOOK DESCRIPTION:I killed my first victim at thirteen years old – my age, not his. He was going to rape me, him and a couple of his friends. And so, I killed him. And then… I killed again. And again.
At seventeen, I’m killing four to six times a year – maybe more. Don’t stress out. I only go after the pedophiles and rapists. There are more out there than I could cover in a lifetime.
Saying I did this on my own would be selfish. Enforcing justice holds a glory all its own. But now, my lifelong friend and backup, Deegan, has been arrested. I have to decide if I want to give myself up and take his place or leave him with all the damning evidence. I don’t want to stop killing. But if I let him take the fall, I can’t kill anymore. And I need to keep doing that.
But the worst part of it all? I love him.
ReviewI must say, this was a pretty short read. And it was anything but quick and easy. I mean seriously. there were times I just had to stop and take a breather. There was no way I could have finished this all in one sitting even if I wanted to. Why's that? It was just so difficult to process some of the things these guys did. I mean, seriously. There were also quite a few moral implications that I had to spend some time accepting. I get that these people are bad. And I totally understand why Cassie would feel the need to kill them, especially because she keeps almost getting raped or killed. However... I don't know. I don't want to get into that now.
So, Cassie. This entire books is told from her POV, starting with her first kill at 13 years old. It was totally an accident. From there, it goes from 14 to 15 to 16 to 16 1/2 and then ends with 17. Throughout this short read, I couldn't get a hold of how I felt about her. Okay, let me rephrase. I wish I had known her from a bit before that first kill just so I'd have a better feel of how she changed, you know? That's always fun to see. But in this case, it's straight from one kill to the next, with little in between. So I could only really compare how she reacted to each kill. She's sickened and disgusted for the first few times, and yet, she continues. I admire her for wanting to the right thing. I guess my only hesitation is: Is that really the right thing? What if that first kill had gone a bit differently, you know?
Anyways, the only other main character is Deegan. He's there from the very beginning and Cassie had a crush on him back then. I'd consider him a bit of a static character because he's always there when she really needs him. And even though that's true, we don't see him very much. So I only have his words to go by, and they're basically the same over the course of the book. Which leads me to believe that he hasn't changed all that much. But I still liked him, because there needs to be a solid rock somewhere or another, right?
Of course, you're expecting it because you read the summary, right? But somehow, even knowing that she kills people, each kill is a surprise. It never happens the way you (or Cassie) expects. As far as storyline, the summary gives away everything except the last two chapters or so. But even expecting everything, I didn't see some of this coming. How many surprises can there be in such a short book? (It was 528 pages in my ebook) I didn't count them or anything, but there were quite a few, and I didn't see most of them coming. This is a quality I'm starting to appreciate in my reading. So even though it was difficult, it was certainly worthwhile.
Rating: 4 stars
Why: Still have a few mixed feelings about the morality and such. I don't know why this book decided to give me those mixed feelings, but it did. I loved it, but at the same time...
Recommendation: Definitely for mature readers. I can't think of a specific age, but if you can handle pedophiles, rapists, and gruesome murders... Go for it. This is some amazing dark contemporary.
ExcerptFor two days I waited for the police to show up at my door and take me away in shackles. How long I could handle beatings in prison, I didn’t know, but my guess was not long. Deegan couldn’t have been more right. I needed to get in shape. Fast.
Swinging on the tire swing on the large oak tree in my front lawn, I kicked at the dirt with my toe. Since watching Bobby slip under the water, I hadn’t slept well. Every time I closed my eyes and started to drift off, a cool breeze would replace my underwear and a bloodied Bobby would grab my crotch. I’d wake in a feverish sweat.
Just thinking about it made me uncomfortable. I pushed at the dirt harder.
“Hey, trouble.” Deegan stood before me, his build lean and cut, promising to be more as he grew.
I stopped swinging and squinted at him in the afternoon sunlight. Even his beautiful blonde hair and clear blue eyes couldn’t bring me out of my funk. “Hey, Deegan. Are you here to arrest me?”
He groaned and hopped over the short white picket fence my mom had made my dad build as a joke one year. A joke that had stuck. Deegan came around behind me and placed his hands at the small of my back. I caught my breath. He pushed.
Away from him, then close, the motion brought a heady rush at sharing another moment with him when before we barely registered on each other’s radars. Well, me on his. On the other hand, I couldn’t catch enough of him in glimpses, smiles, waves, pretty much stalking him without being creepy about it.
“I told you, we won’t get caught. I heard Dad talking it out with some officers after they did an investigation. I guess the other guys with Bobby that day are being pretty close-mouthed about what
happened leading up to the disappearance.” He pushed me again and I flew higher into the air. “They must have rinsed the blood away because there hasn’t been any discussion of foul play or anything.”
“Foul play? I’m one of those terrible villains on a Disney Channel show. Ugh.” My hair trailed behind me, unbound for a short time while I let it dry after my shower.
Deegan fell silent. I glanced over my shoulder at his serious expression. “What?”
“This wasn’t your fault. Do you understand? There’s no way you’re the ‘bad’ guy or whatever you’re thinking. He did this. It was an accident. That’s it.” He pushed me forward on the swing. “You’re so pretty. I just thought you should know that.” His goofy grin returned, confusing the joy his words brought me. “So, remember the promise I made you?”
“No. You’ve already done so much for me, Deegan. I should do something for you.” And I meant it. He’d saved me from Bobby’s raping. Had he not heard the plan in the locker room or followed up on it, I’d be hurting more that day than I was. “Thanks for putting my underwear in the backpack.” I had to say it, no matter how embarrassing it was. Finding them amongst my books had made me groan. Deegan had touched my underwear. I cleared my throat. “Anyway, I owe you.”
He stopped the swing with a hand to the rope above me. “No. Do you know how many guys go free after the crap that guy almost pulled? More than I can count. My dad comes home and whispers about it with Mom. This one guy hurt a bunch of kids – little kids – the same way Bobby wanted to hurt you and he got off because the police didn’t get him his lawyer the minute he wanted one. The judge claimed his rights were violated.” He paused to swallow and I’m betting to control the moisture in his eyes. “As if his rights were more important than those kids he violated.”
I reached up and touched my fingers to the back of his hand. “I’m sorry. That’s terrible.” And it was. I couldn’t imagine what he was saying and yet, because of the incident by the river, I could. “So what did you promise me?”
“Remember the ring?” He looked around as if people were sneaking up to listen to our conversation. He lowered his voice. “You wanted to take it.”
“I didn’t want it, though. I just…” How could I justify stealing from a dead boy? My chin dropped to my chest. Deegan had seen so much of my shame, how could he ever feel about me the way I felt about him?
“I know. It’s called a trophy. You can’t help it sometimes. At least that’s what I’ve heard. But it’s evidence against you. I have a better idea. One we can do together.” He winked at me. I couldn’t help but grin back. Anything that I could do with Deegan just sounded too good to pass up.
Running up to the house, I called up to Mom that we’d be back in a bit. She loved Deegan, knew his family. She waved goodbye.
Deegan waited with his hands in his pockets. “Ready, Cass?”
“Where are we going?” I wanted to hold his hand, or have him wrap his arm around me. Something. But he didn’t. We just walked together, side by side.
He peeked at me from the corner of his eyes. “My cousin’s shop. He owes me a favor.” We walked a few steps, and then he turned, walking backward, facing me. “You might be too scared though.”
Too scared? Seriously? “Is this the cousin who has the tattoo shop?”
“You might scream.” Deegan’s wink was going to drive me nuts. He didn’t answer my question, but I had a feeling it was Sal’s place he was taking me to. Sal had started tattooing in high school with temporary inks and then had moved on to open his shop after training. My dad called his shop a “sin store”.
I laughed. “Maybe a little. But you’ll save me, right?”
“You bet.” And while it seemed like we were joking, the moment adjusted to the fluttering in my tummy, up into my chest. Because his eyes weren’t laughing and his smile had softened. I think I fell even harder for him.
There are people who know a lot about a little, we’ll call them experts. Then there are people, like Bonnie, who don’t specialize, but rather gather information like pebbles in their pockets and drop them like Hansel & Gretel in the stories they write.
The question is, do you want to follow them back?
Certified as a Radiologic Technologist, Bonnie prefers a touch of medical in her storylines. Don’t be surprised if romance somehow runs through a hospital or comes in contact with a paramedic. It’s just how she rolls. And you know there's nothing more romantic than an 18 gauge needle poking your vein!
She and her Hubs delight in dirt biking, snowboarding, fishing, cooking, eating, spending time together and more with their adorable children.
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