by Margot Harrison
Published: July 12th 2016
Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in an abandoned mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert.
Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf—the deserts of New Mexico.
But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she’s had a disturbing connection her whole life. To anyone else, Dylan Shadwell is exactly what he appears to be: a young veteran committed to his girlfriend and her young daughter. As Nina spends more time with him, she begins to doubt the truth she once held as certain: Dylan Shadwell is the Thief. She even starts to wonder . . . what if there is no Thief?
Before you read this review, do me a favor. Lock your doors. Close the blinds. Grab a bat for protection. Install a panic room. Ok, seriously, if you don't feel completely creeped out within the first 10% of this book, I applaud you. As a horror junkie, especially psychological thrillers, it takes A LOT to give me the heebee jeebees. The Killer in Me totally did, over and over again.
What kind of girl invents a psychopath?
Nina fears sleep for she finds herself in the mind of a serial killing sociopath when she closes her eyes. She self medicates to try to fix this but quickly finds that is not a long term solution. Here she engages her long time friend (and love interest), Warren, in a road trip to find the man who haunts her dreams. On this road trip, she meets the alleged killer, Dylan, and starts to question if her mind is reliable. As the audience, you'll also start to question if there really is a connection or if it's her mind creating false memories to fill in gaps (this is an actual psychological occurrence). Around page 180, you're going to have whiplash. Consider yourself warned.
Author Heidi Heilig put together an outfit inspired by the cover and story of The Killer in Me. The aesthetic, not the murder parts (ok, maybe the murder parts with that shovel).
Happy book birthday to THE KILLER IN ME! Creepy & thrilling: a road trip to catch a serial killer, i am THERE. pic.twitter.com/VEV3OUDRQo— heidi heilig (@heidiheilig) July 12, 2016
There's a lot that happens in this book, which I realized as I was trying to describe the plot and characters to someone else. The story is told through the multiple perspectives of Nina, Warren, and a bit of Dylan, who I enjoyed for each of the parts they played. One thing I found especially enjoyable is that there were certain characterizations that were created not to further the plot or even to build up the main characters. For example, Margot does an appropriate job of setting up Nina's adopted mom as lesbian. This fact simply is and does not add or take away from Nina's character.
The pacing in this book is akin to a psychological thriller movie. Slow build, but once you hit halfway through, there's a major twist and the action just keeps on going. The pacing is the one thing I took issue with in this book. The book could stand to lose 50 pages or at least get to the action a little faster because it did drag a little at the beginning.
The Killer in Me is out now and you'll want to add it to your TBR for a little summer horror that's different than anything else on the shelf.