To Catch a Killer
Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father's identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother's best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother's killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she's secretly doing on her own.Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she's close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it's too late.

To Catch a Killer Details

TitleTo Catch a Killer
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2017
PublisherTor Teen
ISBN0765381915
ISBN-139780765381910
Number of pages320 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary, Mystery Thriller, Crime, Fiction, Teen, Realistic Fiction, Murder Mystery

To Catch a Killer Review

  • Maureen
    February 11, 2017
    *I was sent an advanced copy of this book for review from the publisher, all opinions are my own!*Possibly more like 3.5/5 starsThis was a fun and FAST read. There came a point that I seriously couldn't put it down, the second night I MADE myself put it down because otherwise I would have been dead at work. Erin was such an interesting main character and I loved reading about her. The plot was SO intriguing and I loved following the mystery throughout. Her friends were also so fun and I loved th *I was sent an advanced copy of this book for review from the publisher, all opinions are my own!*Possibly more like 3.5/5 starsThis was a fun and FAST read. There came a point that I seriously couldn't put it down, the second night I MADE myself put it down because otherwise I would have been dead at work. Erin was such an interesting main character and I loved reading about her. The plot was SO intriguing and I loved following the mystery throughout. Her friends were also so fun and I loved the side characters. I personally felt like they were well fleshed out and had very distinct personalities of their own. I could picture them and even their voices so well in my head when I was reading about them.The insta-love was a little too much (I will add a spoilery thought here later when I'm at a computer because SERIOUSLY) and I definitely knew who the perpetrator was from chapter 3? 4? Super early on. It was very predictable in that sense, but I loved seeing how everything came together and happened. Overall, fun characters and interesting plot (though predictable) but it had too much insta-love for me. Besides those two main things, solid read!
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  • Brandon
    March 3, 2017
    ONE STAR .Yup. Point. Five. Star.Had to give it a rating......if anything but.Here are SEVEN reasons why:1) We have a 90 mph slam dunk INSTALOVE. Sorry, I'm getting rid of that shit, can't deal. 2) The main character is somehow smarter than every single adult character in this book, including the fucking police.....(cue eye roll). 3) Boring plot. Literally everyone I know has said this was a fast read.......hells nuh-uh!Holy shit I had to plod through this one. Seriously. Almost 5 DAYS TO FINIS ONE STAR .Yup. Point. Five. Star.Had to give it a rating......if anything but.Here are SEVEN reasons why:1) We have a 90 mph slam dunk INSTALOVE. Sorry, I'm getting rid of that shit, can't deal. 2) The main character is somehow smarter than every single adult character in this book, including the fucking police.....(cue eye roll). 3) Boring plot. Literally everyone I know has said this was a fast read.......hells nuh-uh!Holy shit I had to plod through this one. Seriously. Almost 5 DAYS TO FINISH.. No PLOT STRUCTURE WHAT-SO-EVER. 4) Love interest's name: JOURNEY. Wait, what? Yes. JOURNEY .Sigh.5) Let me talk about how this girl's friends are the ONLY SMART PEOPLE in the whole damn book. Actually, nah, I'm good. I don't want to. 6) To say that the twist was weak is a fucking understatement, because I found out who the killer was fifty pages into the book. Fucking fifty. Like, mkay, sure but to go through an entire book of eye rolling and sighing.....BRUh, it ain't worth it.7) All cheese and a barely structured plot with the lame cliche characters and tropes galore. I didn't like it. You might. I've read enough mystery/thrillers to know what I expect out of that genre and this book didn't do it for me. At. ALL.We have the 'sketchy' red-herring guy who the MC clearly 'knows' is innocent. They have this certain special connection blah blah. Her two friends are clearly smarter than the MC, and somehow, conveniently, the MC has all the resources she needs to track and find the killer. **Pretty sure if she found the behavior of a certain someone fifty pages in, the story would have been over by then but, alas, not meant to be. ;.(Can't believe I stuck though it. zero fucking stars.0.5 STAR. Only because of the cover.That stupid, stupid cover. Dammit.
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  • Jen
    February 1, 2017
    I'm always up for a mystery, so I was excited to try To Catch a Killer. And there's so much about this book to like. First, Erin was a great main character -- smart and relatable. She hasn't had an easy life -- after the death of her mother she's been raised by her mom's best friend, and the fact that her mom's murder remains unsolved has cast a shadow over her life.Along with her friends, Lysa and Spam, Erin runs an investigation business where she delves into cases of cheating boyfriends, etc. I'm always up for a mystery, so I was excited to try To Catch a Killer. And there's so much about this book to like. First, Erin was a great main character -- smart and relatable. She hasn't had an easy life -- after the death of her mother she's been raised by her mom's best friend, and the fact that her mom's murder remains unsolved has cast a shadow over her life.Along with her friends, Lysa and Spam, Erin runs an investigation business where she delves into cases of cheating boyfriends, etc. She's also secretly trying to solve her mother's murder. And when her beloved biology teacher and she discovers the body, she's plunged into yet another dangerous mystery. Anyone else getting a Veronica Mars vibe?I loved that this book featured a lot of forensic science. If you're a fan of shows like CSI, this story will be right up your alley. I loved the friendship between Lysa, Erin and Spam. And I loved the relationship between Erin and her "aunt" Rachel, who took Erin in after her mom's death and provides a great, supportive adult present. I also thought the mystery in this was well-crafted, with a lot of red herrings. The only thing that gave me pause was that Erin had a LOT of convenient sources of inside information -- a high school biology teacher who knows all about forensics, a best friend whose father is a lawyer, an uncle who's an FBI agent, her aunt's best friend who is a police officer, a part-time job at the police department. While I do understand that it's hard to get a teen detective access to information, this much access strained credulity a little bit.Still, this book is engaging and fun, with a main character I loved and a mystery that kept me guessing. If you're a mystery fan or a Veronica fan, definitely give this a try. I'll be giving away a copy on Freebie Friday, so please stop by! Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin The FTC would like you to know that the publisher provided me a free advance copy of this book, that free books can be enjoyable or not, and other readers may disagree with my opinion.
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  • Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
    February 26, 2017
    I liked the characters, the plot was pretty good and although in some moments it's easy to read by others it becomes a little heavy, on the other hand this isn't what mainly annoys me , actually was that I end up being quite predictable and I'm a little disappointed about because I think the most important thing in a crime and mystery book is to surprise you and leave you speechless, but that hasn't happened.PS: The cover is incredible, I really love it and it goes well with the plot of the book I liked the characters, the plot was pretty good and although in some moments it's easy to read by others it becomes a little heavy, on the other hand this isn't what mainly annoys me , actually was that I end up being quite predictable and I'm a little disappointed about because I think the most important thing in a crime and mystery book is to surprise you and leave you speechless, but that hasn't happened.PS: The cover is incredible, I really love it and it goes well with the plot of the book3.5 / 5 Stars
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  • Meli
    January 23, 2017
    Es un libro entretenido y dinámico, con un regustito a Pretty Little Liars.Va bien para un público muy joven, de preferencia no demasiado experimentado en el genero. Sobre todo porque quién es el verdadero asesino es obvio desde el minuto cero y las pistas que van dejando no son nada sutiles. Además, es la típica novela en la que te la pasas gritando "¡Pero por qué no vas con la policía, nenaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!". Porque es lo lógico, pero sino no habría novela (eso no quita que no sea i Es un libro entretenido y dinámico, con un regustito a Pretty Little Liars.Va bien para un público muy joven, de preferencia no demasiado experimentado en el genero. Sobre todo porque quién es el verdadero asesino es obvio desde el minuto cero y las pistas que van dejando no son nada sutiles. Además, es la típica novela en la que te la pasas gritando "¡Pero por qué no vas con la policía, nenaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!". Porque es lo lógico, pero sino no habría novela (eso no quita que no sea irritante). Sin embargo, no está mal. Entretiene y es original.
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  • Kate Watson
    March 18, 2016
    I haven't read a mystery/thriller novel in years, and this was the perfect book to remind me how enjoyable they are. Erin has known tragedy her whole life, but instead of it sinking her into despair, it has made her smart. A lot of things made this book enjoyable, including Erin's friends, Spam, Lysa, and Journey (I found myself wanting more of Spam and Lysa sleuthing, in fact), and the parts with her uncle Victor, but Erin's smarts topped the list. The scenes where she uses forensic science to I haven't read a mystery/thriller novel in years, and this was the perfect book to remind me how enjoyable they are. Erin has known tragedy her whole life, but instead of it sinking her into despair, it has made her smart. A lot of things made this book enjoyable, including Erin's friends, Spam, Lysa, and Journey (I found myself wanting more of Spam and Lysa sleuthing, in fact), and the parts with her uncle Victor, but Erin's smarts topped the list. The scenes where she uses forensic science to get answers to the mysteries she's embroiled in are made totally plausible and totally engaging by Scarborough's clever writing. And the mystery is wrapped up with a very satisfying ending. If you enjoy YA mysteries, pick this one up!
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  • Kate
    January 13, 2017
    A really fun YA thriller, especially for a My Favorite Murder podcast fan like me.
  • Amber
    February 25, 2017
    Fast paced, but it ends on a unfinished cliffhanger.
  • Eileen (BookCatPin)
    January 31, 2017
    To Catch a Killer left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the overall story but I wasn't impressed with the mystery. It left more to be desired. However, as a hardcore crime show fan I was crazy excited about the forensic aspect in the book.My main problem with To Catch a Killer was the lack of suspense to the story. I was expecting something gritty and dramatic but what I got was a little plain. Almost anticlimactic. Don't get me wrong, the story kept me guessing till the end but there just wasn To Catch a Killer left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the overall story but I wasn't impressed with the mystery. It left more to be desired. However, as a hardcore crime show fan I was crazy excited about the forensic aspect in the book.My main problem with To Catch a Killer was the lack of suspense to the story. I was expecting something gritty and dramatic but what I got was a little plain. Almost anticlimactic. Don't get me wrong, the story kept me guessing till the end but there just wasn't any real twists or turns. The clues were very in-your-face and too easy. I feel like the overall storyline wasn't developed enough. Some of the facts and ideas weren't incorporated into the story and only came up when needed or when it's convenient. (view spoiler)[Why exactly did the killer carry that piece of string with him the night he killed Ms. Peters? He's kept it safe for fourteen years yet he somehow carelessly drops it in the most convenient spot? (hide spoiler)] Maybe I watch too many crime shows but a lot of my predictions came true. Nothing surprised me. (view spoiler)[I totally called the principal's shoes... (hide spoiler)] A major point of the story was left unresolved but the possibility presented definitely peaked my interest. I'll be looking forward to book two for some answers. Now what I love the most about this book was the forensics. It was thrilling and stimulating to read about the procedures and experiments Erin conducted. You can tell Ms. Scarborough did her research. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter were super insightful. I confess that I rated this book a little higher because of all the forensic talk~Erin was a likable character. I sympathized with her need to know but I did not enjoy seeing how lovesick she was for the school's golden boy Journey. Especially after he gets entangled in her investigation. Barely any time passed before they're into each other. There wasn't enough development to their relationship to convince me of their romance. And the way Erin fretted over her feelings for him irked me. We're in the middle of solving a murder, maybe two, and all you can think about is your crush/boyfriend? *cue eye roll*There's a case of awesome friendship in To Catch a Killer. Erin's best friends, Spam and Lysa were essential to her (investigation). Without them she wouldn't have been able to solve anything or even stayed alive. They're smart, quick and resourceful but most of all they cared deeply for Erin. The way they always stood by her makes them total keepers.Don't go into To Catch a Killer expecting a dramatic murder mystery because you will be disappointed. But if procedural dramas are your thing then this book will be a fun read with useful forensic facts and a bonus of amazing friendship rep.
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  • Paula Phillips
    March 19, 2017
    Erin Blake's name is famous in the way where when people hear it especially the police; they are transported back to the murder that rocked the small town where a mother was killed, and her toddler was left with the dead body for three days before discovery. Nobody knew who killed her mother and why Erin was left unharmed. Erin went on to live with her mom's best friend Rachel, and for the next fourteen years, she was unharmed. During her time with Rachel, Erin found a love for crime and forensi Erin Blake's name is famous in the way where when people hear it especially the police; they are transported back to the murder that rocked the small town where a mother was killed, and her toddler was left with the dead body for three days before discovery. Nobody knew who killed her mother and why Erin was left unharmed. Erin went on to live with her mom's best friend Rachel, and for the next fourteen years, she was unharmed. During her time with Rachel, Erin found a love for crime and forensics and helped with her two best friends to start a side PI Business called Cheaters Anonymous. At her high school, Erin had a favorite teacher who was currently helping her test DNA and evidently discovers who her father is. When Erin's teacher shows up dead, and Erin discovers the body, she is hauled down to the police station, and from then her past will be dredged up including her mother's murder. Erin wasn't alone that night at her teacher's house as her biology teacher was helping another student with a DNA project - Journey Michaels. To Catch a Killer moves along fast at first with Erin and Journey being the two main suspects but hits a slow patch when the pair alongside Erin's friends decide to solve the murder themselves. In doing so though, will they be able to solve the cold case of who killed Erin's mother and who is Erin's father? I have to admit that I was a little disappointed at the way the last two questions were touched on in To Catch a Killer as I was hoping for a bit more information rather than the novel focusing on the current murder of the Biology teacher which was clearly connected. Also, the way the police system was viewed in To Catch a Killer makes me hope that some of the stations and police aren't as clouded in judgment and views and that these days they look outside of the box for suspects as not all cases are clear-cut and black and white. Overall though if you are looking for a good YA suspense with teen detectives like Nancy Drew or Veronica Mars, then Erin Blake is your girl.
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  • Kelly
    February 7, 2017
    Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!Every now and again, I love reading a mystery/thriller much like this one. They tend to be full of tense, edge of your seat action, and honestly make you guess at what's going on throughout the novel, leading up to this spectacular twist of a conclusion that you never see coming. I read so many thrillers throughout the year, and I can't resist a new one when I see it.To Catch a Killer was on my list of must rea Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!Every now and again, I love reading a mystery/thriller much like this one. They tend to be full of tense, edge of your seat action, and honestly make you guess at what's going on throughout the novel, leading up to this spectacular twist of a conclusion that you never see coming. I read so many thrillers throughout the year, and I can't resist a new one when I see it.To Catch a Killer was on my list of must read books the second I heard about it, and I was so lucky to get a copy from Tor Teen for review (thank you!). When I sat down with this book, I didn't even bother to pace myself while reading it (I like to draw out my reading time sometimes when I read thrillers, because it helps build suspense) - I kind of just started the book and then got lost in it. I read half of it before going to sleep one night, and then finished it as soon as I woke up. It was such a fun book - fast paced and full of clues and all kinds of plot twists that I just couldn't wait to discover. "I didn't just think about my mother's killer, I obsessed over him. Is he tall? Short? Mean? Nice? Old? Young? He could be any man walking down the street." Erin Blake is a common household name. When she was young, her mother was killed, and she was locked in the house, alone with her mother, until she was found. Unfortunately, they never caught her mother's killer. Because of this, Erin is known by everyone, and people immediately think of the tragedy that she suffered when she was young as soon as they meet her.Living with her mother's best friend, Rachel, Erin has grown up without a father and knowing only the basics about her mother - Rachel doesn't like to talk about her mother, and Erin has no other family. But she does have her best friends - Lysa and Spam - and together the three of them do and talk about everything together.However, when Erin is at her teacher's house one night, she comes upon an unfortunate encounter - her teacher has been murdered, and Erin is the one to discover her body. The only other person at the scene is a basketball player at school, Journey. "Now come the questions, hard and fast. They'll expect me to have answers. But all I have are more questions.Beginning with, who killed Miss P?" Miss P was Erin's favorite teacher - a teacher who was helping her to uncover some information that she didn't feel anyone else would help her with. However, now Miss P is gone, and Erin is one of the suspects of her murder, along with Journey. At first, when Journey sees Erin after that night, he's none too happy - after all, Erin pretty much told the police he was there, and now everyone things Journey killed her. But did he?Eventually, Erin confronts Journey, learning his side of the story. Much to their dismay, when Erin and Journey decide to team up, Erin's friends Spam and Lysa aren't too happy - they feel as if Erin is making rash decisions, especially due to the fact that Erin has had a crush on Journey for years.As more and more things pop up, including encounters that almost leave Erin dead, she has to try to put the pieces together and find out who the real killer is, and quickly, before the next time when she might not be too lucky.This book was a really great thriller, and although crime thrillers aren't typically my thing, I think this book may have changed my mind about feeling that way. It had me trying to piece together the things that were going on to figure out who the killer was.Unfortunately, there were a lot of hints, and I guessed at who it was quite early in the novel - if you pay careful attention, you might be able to guess as well, but if you don't read into things as much as I tend to, then you might be in the dark. While I knew exactly who the killer was before I even reached the middle of the book, I still found this to be quite the enjoyable read, and I loved watching Erin, Journey, Spam, and Lysa try to gather evidence and solve the murder the best they could.While I liked Erin's character and I thought that her sassy yet smart attitude brought a lot to this book, there was one instance where I found her a little unsettled. Erin spends a lot of time up in her attic, where she has some things that were her mother's - and at one point in the book, her friends discover a chalk outline on the floor - something that made them all a little uneasy. The weird part was, after that section in the book, the outline isn't talked about again, and during that chapter, Erin's character seemed a little bit off from the rest of the book, but then she was fine. It's hard to explain without giving too much away and ruining the story, but I thought that was kind of...strange. It just seemed out of place and made Erin seem unreliable. But then again, she has dealt with a lot in her life, including the death of her mother and not knowing the identity of her father, so of course she's going to be grieving in different ways.This was definitely a well rounded book - with the whole murder investigation going on, there is still time for Spam, Lysa, and Erin to spend time together, and we learn about some neat things that they have going on, such as Cheater Check, a service they provide to the girls at school where they investigate their boyfriends (and the hair or lipstick on their clothes) to make sure they're faithful. It's interesting, and really nice to see a main character (and supporting characters) that have plenty of talent and skills that allow them to do this sort of thing. I love strong and driven characters in books, and this one definitely has them.I loved the ending of this book, too. It all gets wrapped up neatly, so there's no loose ends hanging around. There's closure (subtle closure, maybe, but still closure), and I loved that. It made the story feel complete.Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you, Tor Teen!
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  • Rachel's Book Reviews
    January 26, 2017
    This book is a disgrace to murder mysteries everywhere.Well, To Catch a Killer wasn’t the worst mystery I’ve ever read…. But it’s definitely up there in the top five. It was SO BORING.It doesn’t give the perp right away, but it might as well have. I still saw the end coming from a thousand miles away. It failed to wow me with Erin, or Journey. It kind of makes me sob.BECAUSE JOURNEY IS AN AWESOME NAME.WHY. WhY SuCh An AwEsOmE nAme? With such a boring story?! Ugh.It just plods along. And it’s com This book is a disgrace to murder mysteries everywhere.Well, To Catch a Killer wasn’t the worst mystery I’ve ever read…. But it’s definitely up there in the top five. It was SO BORING.It doesn’t give the perp right away, but it might as well have. I still saw the end coming from a thousand miles away. It failed to wow me with Erin, or Journey. It kind of makes me sob.BECAUSE JOURNEY IS AN AWESOME NAME.WHY. WhY SuCh An AwEsOmE nAme? With such a boring story?! Ugh.It just plods along. And it’s completely idiotic, because she thinks Journey is the killer…but then there’s something that ties it to her mother’s murder.Um…. He would have been an infant when her mother died. Yet everyone treated him as a legit suspect.UM. BABIES CAN’T STAB PEOPLE REPEATEDLY.The whole book made police look like fools, who only did a haphazard job of investigating anyway.Attempted murder with a car? Sure, let’s just dust the car handle for finger prints. Not anything else. Let’s have a novice-investigator-teenage-girl find all the things because we are too stupid to do it ourselves. WE, the PoLiCe are BAFFLED by crime. Crime? We don’t know what that is!It was all just too convenient, all the time. DUES EX MACHINA STRIKES AGAIN. *shakes fist*It was almost laughable because she thought she was so good at forensics, yet she kept asking her uncle to tell her how it’s done.So then, a pathetic masquerade comes off the page. You can tell that those moments solely exist for the reader.I don’t mean to be so harsh, but there simply weren’t any good elements to it. It got one and half stars simply for not being the worst. Them’s the breaks.*FTC Disclaimer* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way effected my review.
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  • Dark Faerie Tales
    February 6, 2017
    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: A great mystery with realistic characters, cute romance and good suspense. It was slightly predictable, but I still really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to mystery/thriller fans!Opening Sentence: I sooth my four head against the icy car window and breathe out of path of fog.The Review:When Erin was two years old her mother was brutally murdered, but for some strange reason Erin was left alive! Her story hit national news and sadly her m Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: A great mystery with realistic characters, cute romance and good suspense. It was slightly predictable, but I still really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to mystery/thriller fans!Opening Sentence: I sooth my four head against the icy car window and breathe out of path of fog.The Review:When Erin was two years old her mother was brutally murdered, but for some strange reason Erin was left alive! Her story hit national news and sadly her mothers killer was never found! The identity of Erin’s father is unknown so her mothers best friend raised her as her own.Despite having a tragic past, Erin has grown up as a rather normal teenager but her mothers unsolved murder is never far from her mind! It has been fourteen years and Erin has developed some forensic skills that she plans to use to solve her mothers case. But tragedy strikes again when Erin discovers the body of her beloved biology teacher. Could it be the same person who killed her mother? Erin is determined to find out and she enlists the help of Journey Michaels, a boy she has crushed on for years, who also happens to be a suspect in the murder!Erin was a wonderful MC that was very easy to develop a connection with! I think the reason why is despite having an interesting history, Erin was very normal! Sure, she was a little obsessed with solving mysteries but besides that she lived a normal teenage life. She had some great friends, a crush on a cute boy, and a loving parent! She was smart, kind, resourceful and fun. Overall, I thought she was a great character!I loved Journey! He is one of those guys you can’t help but crush on! He is the star basketball player, very popular but also totally down to earth! The romance was totally insta-like but honestly it worked for me because it totally reminded me of what my high school relationships were like. We would flirt all awkwardly and then all of a sudden we were boyfriend/girlfriend! The relationship between Journey and Erin was very similar but to me it felt realistic and perfect for the story!To Catch a Killer is a fun mystery filled with suspense and great characters! I don’t really read a lot of mysteries due to the fact that it’s so hard to surprise me but I’m glad I read this one. I will be honest, the killer was very predictable to me, but I still found this to be a very enjoyable read! I love how the author incorporated science and forensics into the story. It gave it a unique twist! If you are a YA mystery/thriller fan, I definitely think you should pick this one up!Notable Scene:There’s a quick jolt of recognition. I wasn’t expecting to see him here like this, and I definitely hope he doesn’t see me.Journey Michaels jaw tightens. His gaze sweeps the room, looking for who or what brought this down on his head. For the second time today, he looks directly at me, only this time instead of sizzle, his expression reveals an anger so hot it could melt tungsten.I expect him to look different to me now. I mean, if he’s a killer he should look different. Right? I can’t help it, though–I still fill a tug. There’s something about a Journey Michaels that draws me to him.I bury my face in Rachel shoulder and she strokes my hair.“Hey, it’s OK to cry, you know. This is one of those times.”Rachel means well but she never totally gets it.FTC Advisory: Tor Teen/Macmillan provided me with a copy of To Catch a Killer. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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  • Lori
    February 16, 2017
    I feel really bad about DNFing this but I just am not even really interested in the rest of this book. I read the first 145 pages and I'm just not engaged, I'm not connected to the characters at all, and everything so far seems to keep working out nice and smoothly for the characters. Every time there's a hitch or complication, the MC just happens to know someone or have something that solves that little problem. She knows someone who works at the police station, the FBI, as a lawyer, in technol I feel really bad about DNFing this but I just am not even really interested in the rest of this book. I read the first 145 pages and I'm just not engaged, I'm not connected to the characters at all, and everything so far seems to keep working out nice and smoothly for the characters. Every time there's a hitch or complication, the MC just happens to know someone or have something that solves that little problem. She knows someone who works at the police station, the FBI, as a lawyer, in technology, etc... Plus, I had a sort of feeling of who had done it and when I skimmed through to the end, I saw I was right. I'm almost never right. If you like mysteries, you still might like this one. There's some forensics stuff that's kind of interesting and a couple of friendships that I liked but otherwise, I wasn't very impressed.
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  • Alexa
    January 22, 2017
    I really don't often go out of my way to read thrillers or mysteries since it's not necessarily always my cup of tea. However, I decided to give TO CATCH A KILLER a shot simply because I thought the forensics angle was interesting. It was definitely engaging, and I was glued to the story till the end. I also liked the bits of forensics that were included, since I'm only familiar with forensics on a crime show basis. But there were also definitely things that made me roll my eyes a bit, and also I really don't often go out of my way to read thrillers or mysteries since it's not necessarily always my cup of tea. However, I decided to give TO CATCH A KILLER a shot simply because I thought the forensics angle was interesting. It was definitely engaging, and I was glued to the story till the end. I also liked the bits of forensics that were included, since I'm only familiar with forensics on a crime show basis. But there were also definitely things that made me roll my eyes a bit, and also made it hard to truly suspend my belief completely.
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  • Chelsea
    March 26, 2017
    To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I was completely drawn in by what this story was about and mystery/thrillers/suspense are probably my favorite type of story. To Catch a Killer lived up to the expectations I had for it.I am going to point out that the names were not a favorite of mine: Spam and Journey. All though, Spam's name turned out to actually be Samantha but still, wasn't really a fan of those names. That being said, Spam reminded me a To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I was completely drawn in by what this story was about and mystery/thrillers/suspense are probably my favorite type of story. To Catch a Killer lived up to the expectations I had for it.I am going to point out that the names were not a favorite of mine: Spam and Journey. All though, Spam's name turned out to actually be Samantha but still, wasn't really a fan of those names. That being said, Spam reminded me a lot about myself. She's fiesty and spirited, with a lot of determination. Erin was the same way, but I don't think she was as spirited as Spam, but Erin was also a lot like me. She again was very determined, and she had a knack and love for forensics. They were probably my two favorite characters.I also really liked Victor, and liked how he paid attention to Erin which I feel isn't typically common in YA books. Parents/Adults are either very absent in the story or they just don't believe or understand the teenager. Rachel was a character that I was going back and forth with whether I liked her or not, solely based on her decisions throughout the story, but I ended up liking her. And I loved Journey. He was just really sweet and nice, and just someone I find hard not to like.I liked the romance. I didn't think it was rushed, and I felt like it was in the story a nice amount without taking over the story. I think that Journey and Erin are such a great couple, and I think that they were cute together.The plot was fantastic. It kept me on my seat because it was action-packed and nicely-paced. I will say that almost roughly 1/4 into the story, I had figured out who the killer was. It wasn't really a shocker to me based on actions and mannerisms. There was also another thing that Erin was trying to figure out which about her life in the story, and I kinda assumed that "the potential at the end" was what she was looking for before it was mentioned.So, my final thoughts are that this is a wonderful mystery that will keep you ensnared because it contains a great plot and great characters. I also would love to have the final question (regarding the "potential" mentioned above answered. I am satisfied where this story left off, but if Sheryl Scarborough writes a sequal in the future, I will definitely read it!
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  • Jana
    February 1, 2017
    To Catch a Killer, Sheryl Scarborough’s debut novel, is a YA mystery with a strong reliance on forensics, science, and actual detective work. Her heroine, Erin Blake, has honed her talent for investigation by helping her schoolmates determine whether their significant others are cheating on them – a passion which began with her mother’s unsolved murder, when Erin was just a toddler. As motivations go, it’s hard to beat “avenging a dead parent and bringing the perpetrator to justice,” and Erin To Catch a Killer, Sheryl Scarborough’s debut novel, is a YA mystery with a strong reliance on forensics, science, and actual detective work. Her heroine, Erin Blake, has honed her talent for investigation by helping her schoolmates determine whether their significant others are cheating on them – a passion which began with her mother’s unsolved murder, when Erin was just a toddler. As motivations go, it’s hard to beat “avenging a dead parent and bringing the perpetrator to justice,” and Erin pursues that goal to the point of obsession. But when her biology teacher/mentor Ms. Peters is brutally murdered after agreeing to help Erin narrow down the identity of her father, Erin becomes convinced that her mother’s killer has struck again, and it’s only a matter of time before her own life is in danger.Luckily, she isn’t alone in her investigation: her childhood best friends Spam and Lysa are her “Cheater Check” partners, and each brings a unique set of skills. Spam is the computer whiz, Lysa provides legal/psychological information overheard from her parents, and Erin specializes in DNA samples and chromatography. With a town full of potential suspects, including Erin’s crush Journey Michaels and even the chief of police, they have their work cut out for them. I definitely appreciated that Erin relies on her friends for help, since it kept her more interesting and relatable than a lone wolf character that can do anything and everything on her own. The inclusion of her uncle Victor, an FBI agent who encourages her interest in forensic science, was a nice touch.As with many YA books, there’s a clear divide between trustworthy and untrustworthy adults, and most of them fall into the untrustworthy category. There are valid reasons why Erin would be reluctant to share information with people who could be the target of her investigations into both Ms. Peter’s murder and her mother’s cold case, but there are also times when the plot could have been sped along by confiding in an obviously trustworthy adult. Still, the resolution was exciting, and the ending hints at further installments in an interesting way. Readers are sure to be compelled to finish To Catch a Killer in a single night, and hopefully they won’t have to wait too long between this first novel and more of Erin Blake’s adventures. Recommended for mature YA readers who enjoy detailed descriptions of science and smart detective work.I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Cross-posted at Amazon.
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  • Zoe
    February 21, 2017
    2.5 stars There’s always right and wrong. And then there’s what your gut tells you to do. My gut has never steered me wrong. To Catch a Killer was an entertaining and engrossing story (as most mysteries are), but even the fast pace of the story can't cover up the fact that the reveal itself was extremely predictable and the plot overall was very unrealistic.When Erin Blake was a toddler, her mother was murdered. Now sixteen, Erin has made it her mission to discover what exactly happened 2.5 stars There’s always right and wrong. And then there’s what your gut tells you to do. My gut has never steered me wrong. To Catch a Killer was an entertaining and engrossing story (as most mysteries are), but even the fast pace of the story can't cover up the fact that the reveal itself was extremely predictable and the plot overall was very unrealistic.When Erin Blake was a toddler, her mother was murdered. Now sixteen, Erin has made it her mission to discover what exactly happened to her mother with the help of her biology teacher Miss P. But when Miss P is found murdered, Erin realizes that whoever killed her mother might still out there... Basic eyewitness testimony is only accurate about half the time. Science has a much better track record than that. As an aspiring attorney, I found myself intrigued by the use of forensic chemistry to solve the murder. Sheryl Scarborough clearly did a lot of research on the subject, and it shows. In that manner the story almost feels like an episode of CSI or Bones.While the forensic aspect was fascinating, the mystery was not quite as engrossing. The culprit was extremely easy to guess and I wasn't surprised whatsoever at the reveal. While some red herrings were scattered throughout the story, they were rather ineffective.Additionally, there were aspects of the story that felt rather unrealistic. Frankly, it's hard to believe that a biology teacher would help a student solve a murder investigation like Miss P did with Erin.While To Catch a Killer is entertaining and engrossing, the bad elements outweigh the good. If you're looking for a quality YA mystery I'd highly recommend Dangerous Girls, The Westing Game, or Damage Done instead. I don’t know why terrible things happen to good people, but sometimes they just do.
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  • Sophia
    February 14, 2017
    Audio Edition Review Teen girl forensics investigator solving the murder of her beloved teacher? Oh yeah, had to listen to this one. This was my first encounter with author and narrator. I loved how the author caught the feel of a YA contemporary with a compelling murder mystery and narrator nailed it with the teen scene.The story opens with Erin Blake discovering the grisly murder of her biology teacher. Erin and her teacher were working on a project personal to Erin- finding Erin's father thro Audio Edition Review Teen girl forensics investigator solving the murder of her beloved teacher? Oh yeah, had to listen to this one. This was my first encounter with author and narrator. I loved how the author caught the feel of a YA contemporary with a compelling murder mystery and narrator nailed it with the teen scene.The story opens with Erin Blake discovering the grisly murder of her biology teacher. Erin and her teacher were working on a project personal to Erin- finding Erin's father through DNA testing. Erin's guardian ruses to talk about the unsolved murder in the past of Erin's mother or help Erin figure out who her dad is. Erin loves Rachel, her guardian and her mom's best friend, but she hates the blank slate that is her past. But now, her need for answers might have gotten her teacher killed.The police think they have their prime suspect in another kid who was there that night and Erin helped point the finger at him. However, Erin is not convinced of Journey Matthews' guilt and not just because she had a crush on him. So with the help of her best friends and even Journey and the knowledge she gains from her FBI forensics pathologist uncle, she decides to solve Ms P's murder. Clues start pointing toward the fact that her mother's killer might still be around and not want her digging into things.I was engaged with this story from the beginning. The author did a good job of blending typical teenage life of getting along with parents, family and high school with a murder mystery. Erin's forensics' hobby and amateur detecting with her friends make for a fresh take on things. She's a bright girl and I loved how she still has room to mature and grow throughout the story. She's a tad arrogant about her knowledge in that she knows better than the adults and her friends, but the story is written in such a way that the adults are mostly oblivious too. That's brings me to a couple niggles about the story. I'm not fond of that take on adults especially since most of these were professionals in the field, but I guess it allowed for some liberties so that Erin could do her thing. And the other thing was there was a scene in the latter half that, while fascinating as it took step by step the process of matching DNA in a home-made sort of way, the scene dragged as a result.As I said, Erin is a complex character and I loved that. She's the narrator and the story hinges on her. The author did a great job of making her personable, strong, but vulnerable. And the story has many layers. Erin has a troubling past with being a three year old found with her mother's body, no other family so now living with her mom's best friend as guardian. Erin is something of a novelty to the other kids and the small town and between that and Rachel's refusal to allow her to talk about her feelings on the past, she is near the breaking point when the new trouble starts. Her friendship is fun in that she has strong ties to two other girls and the three must figure out how to work through their issues even while staying true through the tough moments. First crush and first love is a sweet and fun addition as Erin gets to share the case with Journey, the cute popular guy at school while learning Journey is more than a pretty face and has his own issues.As to Christy Romano's narration, she was a solid match for this story. I felt she enhanced what was already a great book with her take on Erin and the rest of the cast. She caught just the right tone with a Young Adult story and one with such a gritty mystery attached. I would definitely listen to more of her work.All in all, this was a fantastic story. I did not want to pause it for real life. I can heartily recommend it to those who enjoy Young Adult contemporary blended with a gritty mystery.My thanks to Audible for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 2017
    ARC provided by Baker and Taylor. Interesting, but ultimately too YA for middle school. It got kind of slow and high school whiny, and I knew right from the start who the murderer was, even if I didn't know exactly why. For high school, I would probably buy it, but there needed to be more chase scenes and explosions in order to keep middle school readers interested.
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  • Madison
    December 15, 2016
    Update: Feb 2017I'm putting this down for a little while. When I previously read a sample this book seemed hugely promising. Now it seems silly and I'm not connecting with characters at all. Hopefully it's just me and I will enjoy it more at another time.------------------------------------To Catch A Killer lands the reader right in the middle of the action from the very first page. To Catch A Killer promises to be an exciting and suspense-filled murder mystery, with a touch of romance, a strong Update: Feb 2017I'm putting this down for a little while. When I previously read a sample this book seemed hugely promising. Now it seems silly and I'm not connecting with characters at all. Hopefully it's just me and I will enjoy it more at another time.------------------------------------To Catch A Killer lands the reader right in the middle of the action from the very first page. To Catch A Killer promises to be an exciting and suspense-filled murder mystery, with a touch of romance, a strong friendship, and likeable main character.I was fortunate to receive a sample copy of the first 80 pages of To Catch A Killer. This book was already on my radar as a must-read YA mystery-thriller, and now that I have started reading I don't want to stop.Erin will always be known as the girl who was found next to her mother's dead body. As a toddler, her world changed and she has grown to accept that as she grew up with her mother's best friend as her guardian. But Erin has always wanted to know what happened to her mother. The killer was never found and Erin was never given answers. It has fueled her interest in forensic science and police procedure. Erin's life is thrown into chaos when she discovers the body of her beloved science teacher, who was helping Erin find answers about her never-identified father. Erin sees classmate Journey Michaels fleeing the scene, but it is Erin herself who is the prime suspect. Erin determines to do some investigating for herself and is shocked to find a link between her teacher's death and her mother's murder.I steamed through these first few chapters and now desperately want the remainder of the book. What happens next??? I loved how the intrigue starts right away. I loved the little snapshot flashbacks, filling out the scenes that lead up to current events, exactly like someone would relive in the moment. They give the story life and grounding. Some YA mystery novels feel contrived or ridiculous, because really, would the teens be in that situation? But not To Catch A Killer. The characters are smart, and the situation is more than believable, it is totally compelling. Tell me more!!!!Erin is an instantly likeable character. Something about her voice makes her very relatable. Erin and her friends Spam and Lysa have already dabbled in detective work, combining their forensic skills (Erin, learnt from studying her mother's case, and her uncle's work as a forensic investigator), computer and hacking skills (Spam, a by-product of working in her father's computer store) and profiling (Lysa, learnt from her psychologist mother and lawyer father) to help out classmates. How cool is that? Erin even has her own secret lab hidden in the attic. So they are well-equipped to do a little investigating of their own.I can't wait to read the entirety of this novel, I can't wait to find out what happens next and what Erin will uncover.The publishers provided advanced reader sample chapters of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    February 24, 2017
    This was a 3.5 star read. I absolutely love crime and forensic shows so I had high hopes for this. Sadly, I think this fell a little short if being a truly awesome thriller. Why? It needed more suspense. Most if the story felt like teens who happen to be really good at certain things like all manner of tech or criminal law knowledge. I never felt the threat they were supposed to be under. I just wanted a bit more than what I got.Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.co This was a 3.5 star read. I absolutely love crime and forensic shows so I had high hopes for this. Sadly, I think this fell a little short if being a truly awesome thriller. Why? It needed more suspense. Most if the story felt like teens who happen to be really good at certain things like all manner of tech or criminal law knowledge. I never felt the threat they were supposed to be under. I just wanted a bit more than what I got.Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...I have been hooked on thrillers lately. I want to read all of them. I found this story while scrolling through my OverDrive app and thought it looked interesting. I’m sad to say this story left me wanting more.Erin Blake gets a certain type of response when people hear her name. Her mother was murdered when she was just a toddler. In fact, she lived with her mother’s dead body for three days before she was found. Growing up with that type of… history… means people know who she is. Now a teenager, all Erin wants to do is find her mother’s killer and discover who her dad is. Both are mysteries that haunt Erin everyday. All of that takes a backseat when Erin is thrust into the police spotlight as one of Erin’s teachers is discovered murdered in her own home. Some of the clues point to Erin as the killer. Erin has the forensic knowledge and tools to set out to find the real killer and maybe even solve some cold cases along the way.I fancy myself a hardcore crime show junkie. It is a guilty pleasure I indulge in every chance I get. I think that is why this book appealed to me. Sadly, it did not live up to the hype I had built in my head. I felt there was very little mystery and/or suspense so I was sort of bored as the story progressed. Call me crazy but those are two key factors a writer needs to make a good thriller, right? Thought so. They were sorely lacking and as a result it felt like a ho-hum whodunit. The way the teens stumbled upon the clues felt like I was reading a Scooby-Doo mystery – far too easy and right in front of their faces. A lot of the facts and discoveries that were key elements to the murder felt as if they were only mentioned when it was convenient to keep the story moving. They were never talked about before that specific point in time. There were so many red herrings that it almost gave me whiplash. In the end, it felt predictable and not surprising at all. I did like the forensics in this story but I don’t think it was enough to keep it afloat.While the plot itself felt a little underdeveloped, I liked the cast of characters. At times I felt there were too many characters. I did get confused as to who was who but they all filled a role within the story. While Erin did have her girl squad, there was the dreaded romance sprinkled throughout. This was not instalove but pretty darn close. While Erin is being looked at for murder and trying to solve crimes, she feels it is the perfect time to go all ga-ga over the cute and popular boy from school. Seriously? Romance had zero place in this story. There was no way I was going to board that ship.While I stayed with this story until the end, it left me wanting so much more. It fell flat because of the items I pointed out above. I felt no thrill or suspense during this entire book. If there is a sequel, I may pass on it. It had so much potential and it sort of breaks my heart that it flopped the way it did. Do not go into this expecting a thrilling page turning mystery because that will never happen. If you want to learn about procedural forensics, then you will enjoy this book.
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  • Lisa (Lost in Literature)
    February 27, 2017
    3.5 stars!Since the loss of her mother, an unsolved murder, Erin has been living with her mother's best friend... yet she's never forgotten her mother. She's also never let the unsolved case go. She's eager to find her mother's killer, and has been secretly "investigating" different aspects of it unbeknownst to anyone. You see, Erin is very much into forensics. Her uncle is an author who was written several books on the subject, and Erin can't help but love the subject as well. She also has a bi 3.5 stars!Since the loss of her mother, an unsolved murder, Erin has been living with her mother's best friend... yet she's never forgotten her mother. She's also never let the unsolved case go. She's eager to find her mother's killer, and has been secretly "investigating" different aspects of it unbeknownst to anyone. You see, Erin is very much into forensics. Her uncle is an author who was written several books on the subject, and Erin can't help but love the subject as well. She also has a bit of a side business with her besties, Spam and Lysa, where she investigates cheating boyfriends for classmates and the like. When Erin's favorite forensics teacher ends up murdered, Erin adds this murder to her list of unsolved cases. She's bound to find her mother's killer AND her teacher's killer, whether it puts her life in danger or not.All kinds of forensic fun going on here!! I loved how deeply this story went into the forensic aspects. From working in the court system for so many years, I love seeing the stuff that occurs BEFORE coming to trial. This was so entertaining to me, and I could totally see myself doing some of the things Erin was. (Trust me, I'm nowhere near as ballsy as she is, though.) From hiding evidence that may be useful in the future, to raising fingerprints off of different surfaces, Erin is a young Sherlock Holmes! I love how invested Erin was with all of this, unwilling to give up without answers.My one slight issue, I have to say, was the way this story all wrapped up. Though I didn't really know who the culprit was, per say, I did have my suspensions, which turned out to be correct. I'm rarely able to pick out whodunit until the ending, so when I'm able to guess it correctly early-on, it's a bit of a disappointment to me. Like, it must have been a VERY easy guess for me to get it right. That being said, I'm thinking others who are known for guessing who's at fault early on will probably know right away and may not enjoy this story as much as I did. I also felt the ending came together a little too easily, and had a bit of a Scooby Doo vibe to it.Overall, I really did enjoy this story. The forensic info mixed with the fun story left me flipping pages quickly and eager to see how it would all wrap up. It definitely felt like a young adult read, versus the adult mysteries I normally read, as it was never really scary or left me shivering in my boots. It was more fun, mysterious, and the anticipation kept it all going for me.  (Thanks to Tor Teen for the review copy!)Find this review and others like it at Lost in Literature!
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  • Nina O'Daniels
    March 2, 2017
    3.5Erin’s life has never been a secret in her small town of Iron Rain. She’s the girl who spent three days as a toddler next to her mother’s murdered body. Her mother’s best friend, Rachel has been taking care of her ever since. She is loving but overprotective, and Erin has to hide her curiosity of her mother’s death and her mom in general. Rachel puts all of those conversations on hold. Erin’s obsession with her mother’s murder escalated the day she found her Uncle Victor’s forensic science bo 3.5Erin’s life has never been a secret in her small town of Iron Rain. She’s the girl who spent three days as a toddler next to her mother’s murdered body. Her mother’s best friend, Rachel has been taking care of her ever since. She is loving but overprotective, and Erin has to hide her curiosity of her mother’s death and her mom in general. Rachel puts all of those conversations on hold. Erin’s obsession with her mother’s murder escalated the day she found her Uncle Victor’s forensic science books. He’s an FBI agent and her idol. She was hooked and became a detective in training with her two friends, Spam (hacker extraordinaire) and Lysa (lots of law knowledge) helping solve innocuous “crimes” for their friends at school. When Erin drives to her biology teacher’s house late one night, she discovers her teacher in a pool of blood at her front door. In her periphery, she sees Journey Michael’s van leaving the scene, and when the police show up, she tells them everything she knows. Well, almost everything. She doesn’t tell them Journey is one of the most popular boys at school and her longtime crush. She doesn’t mention that she thinks her teacher’s murderer and her moms might be the same. Or, about the strip of fabric she found that matches the shirt her mom was wearing when she died. Nor the real reason she was at her teacher's house. When Erin and Journey are scrutinized by the police, people she has known all her life, it makes her investigation harder to hide. As she and her friends continue to investigate, it’s clear that the killer is watching them. Erin finds a mysterious footprint in her house and is almost killed by Journey’s van. Rachel’s overprotective nature kicks into high gear, and soon Uncle Victor is at their house. Having an FBI agent in living with them is Erin’s dream, and it doesn't take long for her Uncle Victor to find out her secrets. Together, with the help of her friends and Uncle Victor, the puzzle pieces come together. This is a solid mystery with a great pace. Although there were lots of red herrings, I had some pretty good guesses as to who the killer was early on in the book. Scarborough did a good job of making me doubt myself a few times, but ultimately, I was correct. Because of Erin’s forensic knowledge, the story could have been laden with heavy forensic details, but it had just enough to be interesting and mostly believable. The author leaves a few unanswered questions at the end, but it has enough closure to make readers happy.
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  • ElphabaNewlin
    March 3, 2017
    As someone who is a fan of crime procedurals, I was hoping that TO CATCH A KILLER by Sheryl Scarborough would be up my alley. It has pretty much everything that I could want in a story of it's kind: a girl with a traumatic past, some neat forensic sciencey stuff, and a mystery to find a killer before someone else takes the fall for it. You know, your usual CSI kind of stuff. I took a chance and didn't quite get the results I was hoping for.Erin is notorious for being the only survivor of a bruta As someone who is a fan of crime procedurals, I was hoping that TO CATCH A KILLER by Sheryl Scarborough would be up my alley. It has pretty much everything that I could want in a story of it's kind: a girl with a traumatic past, some neat forensic sciencey stuff, and a mystery to find a killer before someone else takes the fall for it. You know, your usual CSI kind of stuff. I took a chance and didn't quite get the results I was hoping for.Erin is notorious for being the only survivor of a brutal murder. When she was a toddler her mother was killed, and Erin spent a couple of days with her body before they were found. Now a teenager, she is being raised by her mother's best friend Rachel, and has taken an interest in forensics. She had been working with her biology teacher, Miss Peters, and was hoping to match some DNA to investigate some questions of her past. But then Miss Peters is murdered. Erin is convinced that she was killed by the same person who killed her Mom, and wants to solve it before an innocent person, namely her crush, Journey, can be accused. With the help of her friends Spam and Lysa, Journey himself, and Rachel's brother Victor, Erin hopes to solve the biggest mystery of her life.Meh. This all sounds fine on paper, but I had a hard time connecting with really any of the characters in this book. None of them felt very well defined and real to me, and never felt like actual teenagers, but what we think teenagers are. Take Spam, for example, who is pretty quirky and counter culture, a gamer who has an edgy sense of style and a sarcastic sense of humor. It's like she's been designed and manufactured to be the cool and spitfire best friend, but never quite hits the mark in feeling genuine. I also had pegged who the killer was pretty early on, like within the first couple of chapters. Erin herself was fine, she had some pretty good laugh out loud moments, and I can't say that her interest in the movie NATURAL BORN KILLERS was untrue to teenagedom because I loved that movie when I was her age. But overall I wasn't very invested in her or her story. The closest I got was less about who killed her Mom, and more about who her Dad was (though, again, I figured it out right away). I also feel like if she was a toddler and had to endure being next to her murdered mother for as long as she was, she would be a little bit more messed up than the mild PTSD symptoms she sometimes alluded to. I did like the forensic science stuff thrown in, as it was interesting and a cool way to introduce the readers to how this stuff works in real life. Sadly, this didn't quite hit the right tune for me.
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  • Caitlin Christensen
    March 9, 2017
    There isn’t anything I love more than a book that hooks you from page one and doesn’t let go. That’s how I felt about How to Catch a Killer. Even though thrillers and mysteries aren’t really my usual cup o’ tea, when I was approached about reading and reviewing this book I just felt like I should say yes. I’m really glad that I did… I should start by saying that the only reason this isn’t getting an even higher rating from me is because I saw the ending coming about 100 miles away. No, seriously There isn’t anything I love more than a book that hooks you from page one and doesn’t let go. That’s how I felt about How to Catch a Killer. Even though thrillers and mysteries aren’t really my usual cup o’ tea, when I was approached about reading and reviewing this book I just felt like I should say yes. I’m really glad that I did… I should start by saying that the only reason this isn’t getting an even higher rating from me is because I saw the ending coming about 100 miles away. No, seriously, I told my husband who the killer was about 3 chapters in, and I was spot on. If that hadn’t felt so obvious to me, I would have probably given this book a full 5 stars, because it really is such a fast and fun read. I LOVED all of the forensic details, I thought Erin was a great narrator, and the mystery was solid fun (just not as mysterious as I would have liked). The chemistry between Erin and Journey was very well-balanced, and I felt like they had a slow build up to a really great romance. As for the other supporting characters… Victor was probably the only one that I truly LOVED. He was amazing, and I wish he had been a part of the story from the beginning (though, in a way, through his writing, he was). I’m so glad that he was able to join in the hunt for the killer, because he’s hilarious and wonderful and I just adored him to pieces. This book truly has a very old-school mystery-novel vibe that I actually really loved. It was thrilling without being nightmare-inducing and quirky in all the right places. I felt like I really was back reading a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys mystery. It jolted me right out of a reading slump because it was so fun, and I would definitely read a sequel if there is one! Rating: 4/5 stars Find me and my reviews on www.thebookshire.com and on instagram
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  • Peternelle
    March 27, 2017
    Very enjoyable mystery with fun forensic elements and a vulnerable, relatable protagonist who has overcome real tragedy in her life.
  • Mary
    March 13, 2017
    Really good YA book, I throughly enjoyed it. There wasn't really anything about this book that I didn't like. The mystery was good and I would have never guessed the ending. Recommend!
  • Book Swoon
    February 13, 2017
    Forensic intrigue, a fast-paced plot, and a Veronica Mars—esque protagonist make for a great read in Sheryl Scarborough's young adult debut TO CATCH A KILLER.TO CATCH A KILLER is about a teenage girl who uses forensic science to solve the cold-case of her mother's murder. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—ifueling her determination to uncover the mystery behind it."Erin Blake has one of those names. A name Forensic intrigue, a fast-paced plot, and a Veronica Mars—esque protagonist make for a great read in Sheryl Scarborough's young adult debut TO CATCH A KILLER.TO CATCH A KILLER is about a teenage girl who uses forensic science to solve the cold-case of her mother's murder. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—ifueling her determination to uncover the mystery behind it."Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime."Erin is an easy protagonist to follow with a neat Nancy Drew/ Veronica Mars vibe about her that I really liked. She's smart and witty with a knack for forensic science and detective work. She is inspired by her biology teacher and her uncle, an FBI agent, both who are secretly mentoring her. Teens can easily relate to her as she's just trying to have a normal life while navigating the norms of High School, including two crazy best friends and a secret crush, while trying to solve the cold-case of her mother's death."Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher."The plot takes off with Erin at the center of a murder once again, only this time it happens to be her favorite teacher. Suspicion leads her to the fact she may be getting too close to the discovery of her mother's killer, as clues she uncovered with the help of her biology teacher are unraveling. Has her mother's killer struck again?"Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation."Get ready for a fun mix of forensics, detective work, and romance as murder leads Erin straight into the arms of her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michael and danger as looming questions about her past won't be silenced until they are answered.TO CATCH A KILLER crafted an entertaining mystery with just the right amount of suspense while wrapping it up with a great teen-Sherlockian vibe.Set within a high school atmosphere, including two very fun BFF's and a swoony high school crush, To Catch a Killer ended up being a fun and fast read. The ending left me satisfied and hoping for more cases for Sheryl Scarborough's young sleuth to solve.
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  • Amy
    February 16, 2017
    GRADE: A-4.5 starsErin Blake is that girl. You know the one. The toddler who walked around in the blood of her murdered mother for three days until she was found hungry and crying, because she couldn't wake her mommy. Now she's a teenager with a penchant for forensics, hoping to solve the identity of her father, and maybe her mother's killer. When her science teacher is murdered in a similar manner, Erin finds the body. Her amateur detective work makes her a suspect. With the help of her friends GRADE: A-4.5 starsErin Blake is that girl. You know the one. The toddler who walked around in the blood of her murdered mother for three days until she was found hungry and crying, because she couldn't wake her mommy. Now she's a teenager with a penchant for forensics, hoping to solve the identity of her father, and maybe her mother's killer. When her science teacher is murdered in a similar manner, Erin finds the body. Her amateur detective work makes her a suspect. With the help of her friends, she may just solve the mystery of both murders.TO CATCH A KILLER is one of those special books that's fun to read. Though the subject matter was serious, Erin's engaging, often humorous voice made Sheryl Scarborough's debut novel an enjoyable page turner. I pegged the killer(s) nearly at the beginning, it didn't detract of my enjoyment and interest in discovering the whys. Scarborough did a fantastic job showing how Erin's knowledge of basic forensic techniques could be plausible by describing enough of the methods to explain without being so technical I zoned out.I loved the characters unique, multidimensional personalities and backstories. Erin was a particular smart, strong, believable protagonist. Some readers might be frustrated with a few convenient coincidences, but I enjoyed the story and characters so much I bumped my rating up to five. The ending of TO CATCH A KILLER left open the possibility of a sequel. Which I will be excited to preorder.
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