Cons: Familiar set-up
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In Margot Harrison’s The Killer in Me Nina does everything she can to stay awake–because when she dreams, she sees through the eyes of a serial killer. She convinces her friend Warren to help her save someone the killer is targeting; Warren doesn’t believe what she’s saying, but he certainly believes in her, and so he allows himself to be drawn into her increasingly unstable world.
The basic premise is one I’ve seen a lot of lately: a woman sees a killer’s actions in visions or dreams and feels compelled to act against him. At that point it’s all about the window-dressing, and I really liked how Harrison pulled it off. One of my more favorite details is the fact that there is no convenient ‘hunting ground’ to which the serial killer is linked. He’s well aware of the types of things that might trip him up.
Nina has taken to calling her mysterious serial killer “the Thief in the Night,” or just “The Thief”. He sneaks into houses late at night, kills, and hides the bodies. Then he goes home to his family, where he not only acts like a normal person, but seems to genuinely love his family.
Warren goes back and forth on whether Nina’s just nuts. Then they find out this isn’t an isolated ability–a mysterious ability to watch another’s life while dreaming has happened before in her family. This is the only apparently super-normal thing going on in the world that the characters are aware of, but it’s a staple of thrillers to occasionally add in an unusual ability that gives our hero an edge while also giving them a weakness at the same time. One nice thing that got side-stepped in this tale was that the cops were not involved, and she was not some psychic working with the police. It was a nice variation on the theme.
I like the characters in this one. In particular I like the serial killer, who isn’t entirely predictable and doesn’t stick to your average serial killer script.
Book provided free by publisher for review
Expected publication date: July 12, 2016