Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.
Because she might be one herself.
Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return… in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim…
S. E. Green or Shannon Greenland is the author of the award winning Middle Grade spy series, The Specialists, which was an ALA top pick and a National Reader’s Choice Recipient. Killer Instinct marks her debut into the world of thrillers. It’s due out in hardcover 5.6.14 under her pseudonym, S. E. Green.
Killer Instinct by S.E. Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’m not even sure what to say about this book… I’m not even sure what I actually honestly think about it yet there are so many conflicts in my head.
To be blunt… the story is a total mindf&%k. TOTAL.
A little bit about the book: Lane is a high school student, though maybe not your typical one. With parents who work for the FBI she’s fascinated with serial killers. I’m not talking just a little bit of curiosity either. Her parents both work for the FBI and repeatedly work on certain types of cases. She’s grown up knowing a lot more about all the bad in the world than many other kids. When a serial killer starts taking an interest in her, she can’t help but be intrigued.
But that’s not all that’s going on in her life. Lane has a fascination with violence and justice … and she hates the unfairness of people getting around the law and decides to offer up her own brand of justice to those that she feels are deserving.
And… that’s pretty much all I can tell you without the chance of giving things away.
Here’s where I’m supposed to tell you what I thought and this is where I’m going to struggle. My first visceral reaction to this would probably be WTF. But after thinking about it for a bit, I can say that while I didn’t love it, I honestly didn’t hate it. I was intrigued by the character of Lane. She is so uniquely done. She was hard for me to get a grip on, and I think that was intentional. I mean, I think I have to guess that it was based on the way we’re supposed to think of her. Her emotions never really hit the surface and so it makes it easy to understand her fascination with serial killers and also providing this sense of justice upon people. I don’t think it’s that she’s emotionally stunted I just think that the things in her past have kind of modified how she deals with things. And I think this is why I struggled a bit with her. It’s common knowledge if you’re a reader of my reviews, that I NEED to bond with the main characters, I need to like them and connect with them and understand their actions. This absolutely didn’t happen here. Not only does this character not bond with her friends and family on an emotional level, she doesn’t bond with readers that way either. And that’s why I think it was intentional on Green’s part and for that I have to give her major kudos.
Green actually gives you quite an interesting mystery here with twists and turns that you most likely won’t see coming. If you’re like me you will suspect everyone though and in a sea of thrillers where you have to guess who is doing what, I am also giving props to her for me never seeing the ending of this book coming.
There were a few things that I just didn’t understand. I feel like this was almost two separate stories… the story where this serial killer is reaching out to Lane and the story where she provides vigilante justice. I’m not sure I see why they connect and I feel like the vigilante part isn’t really explored like it should have been. I also didn’t really get some of the characters… Her sister, Zach and his brother the doctor… It simply seemed that they were there to show Lane’s disconnect to people and relationships, and I’m not sure they were done well enough to have a true impact on the story and therefore by the end they really felt completely unnecessary.
I don’t know what to tell you guys. I think if you’re looking for something that is different… characters you won’t necessarily bond with but will be intrigued by you will want to pick this up. When you finish – come leave me a message because I absolutely want to see what your reaction to this book is.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.