Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
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.
Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell was disturbingly addicting, completely ingenious, and so skin crawlingly good. I was drawn to this story about a girl who grew up to be a serial killer by her own mother. And I was even more fascinated to know her every thought and feeling. It was such an exciting and stimulating YA novel that had protagonist/antagonistic type of main character who didn’t have definite morals.
I was smitten with Kit Ward, not because of her perfect way of killing (though that is impressive in of itself) but because of her character. She had this cold calculating even frightening voice and her thoughts and feelings were dark and downright sinister. However, she was complex, layered and sometimes hard to define. It seemed like she was heartless and had no remorse due to her unconventional upbringing, yet she was not without emotion or even the slightest of guilts. We are privy to her malicious thoughts and justifications of killing, her confessions of enjoying it, her cocky way of knowing that she was indeed the best, along with her doubts of right vs. wrong and of her first flickers of feeling like a monster.
Ewell does an outstanding job of blurring the lines of good and evil and right and wrong. She allowed me to feel some sort of connection, sympathy, or empathy towards Kit that I cannot explain. This may be due to knowing how she grew up, the way she discovered friendship, and how there seemed to be two sides to Kit. I wanted Kit to change her mind, for her guilt to grow, for her to break down and be the teenaged girl she should have grown up to be and at the same time I wanted her to be caught and face the consequences and justice for all the people she killed. Kit really confused me because I felt for her, I really did. She felt so sure of what she was doing and why and then she would question so many things and I pitied her and was sadden by what she has become. I didn’t exactly consider her as evil because she was innocent in how she was stripped of being a regular girl, but she was definitely guilty for the murders she committed.
Dear Killer had a slow steady pace that continually picked up little by little the further we delve into Kit’s mind and how she unraveled without her truly realizing it. This slowness works because of Kit’s detached and disconnect to her murders and how this changes along the way. The murders were described well enough and will surely make stomachs churn, but they are not brutally graphic. It was just enough to induce some kind of bothersome reaction. These murders were called perfect throughout the book and while some were believable, some were questionable at best. However, this really did not take away from my enjoyment at all.
Overall, Dear Killer was so incredibly written from the in-depth development of Kit’s mind, body and soul to the descriptions of her murders. This novel was engrossing and hypnotic. It left me with unresolved feelings and thoughts in my mind that will continue to haunt me, but it ultimately left me enamored.
*Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review
"My name is Kit, but most people know me as the Perfect Killer. I kill on order. I am everyone's assassin. I belong to no one but the grim reaper herself."
"Do you remember what I said about not enjoying murder? That was a lie."
"It's hard to feel alone when you're me, when you can imagine the throbbing of blood through each of them and you know the way each of them breaks, like dolls lined up on a shelf."
"'You still don't understand. Silly Boy." I stopped in front of him and kneeling again. 'You see, ' I murmured, 'I'm the Perfect Killer.' He was at last afraid."