To Catch a Killer (Erin Blake #1)
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 (Erin Blake #1) Details

TitleTo Catch a Killer (Erin Blake #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2017
PublisherTor Teen
ISBN-139780765381910
Rating
GenreMystery, Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary, Mystery Thriller, Fiction, Crime, Teen, Suspense, Did Not Finish

To Catch a Killer (Erin Blake #1) Review

  • bran (brandonthebookaddict)
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    *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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  • ambsreads
    January 1, 1970
    TO CATCH A KILLER REVIEW IS ALSO ON MY BLOG, AMONG OTHER POSTS AND REVIEWSR A M B L EHere’s the thing, I’m super into mystery/crime stuff. Always have been and always will be. My mum has a fascination with serial killers and only reads mystery/thriller novels. My sister when she reads only reads crime novels. I read a large variety of novels but I love crime fiction. Like, wow. I’m currently obsessed with the YouTube channel CrimeDaily that displays evidence of crimes. I’m severely interested in TO CATCH A KILLER REVIEW IS ALSO ON MY BLOG, AMONG OTHER POSTS AND REVIEWSR A M B L EHere’s the thing, I’m super into mystery/crime stuff. Always have been and always will be. My mum has a fascination with serial killers and only reads mystery/thriller novels. My sister when she reads only reads crime novels. I read a large variety of novels but I love crime fiction. Like, wow. I’m currently obsessed with the YouTube channel CrimeDaily that displays evidence of crimes. I’m severely interested in the twisted mentality it would take to murder someone.Why did I just ramble about that? Well, the description for this book includes Elizabeth Smart who just happens to be a reporter on the CrimeDaily channel. Obviously, that allures to me. However, I wasn’t sure if How To Catch a Killer would be for me because I’m actually pretty sure I tried to read it some time ago and didn’t enjoy it? Nonetheless, I gave it a go and I finished it.Ultimately, I wasn’t impressed. There was nothing that really made this book stand out. I say this because it was a typical ‘a teenage girl is smarter than the adults’ kind of book. Which is never really a good thing to represent in fiction because if there is a problem you should go to an adult.I just really didn’t enjoy a lot of this book, to be honest. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the characters and the plot most certainly did not captivate me. Some parts really interested me but by the second chapter I had my guess who had done the crime and they had indeed done it, basically for the exact motive I had come up with too.A lot of this book was just strange to me. I felt so much of it was unnecessary and ultimately led to wasted time. I did enjoy the forensics side of the book, the author really made sure to include the detail that gave that particular element further depth in my opinion.P L O TThe plot forHow To Catch A Killer is pretty simple. Erin lived after her mother was horrifically murdered. Erin was two at the time and had survived for three days until someone came to check up on them. Erin doesn’t exactly carry feelings for this particular event. She never really seems to know how to feel about it herself. Then another tragedy strikes her life, she stumbles upon the body of her science teacher.I really couldn’t become absorbed in this book. I don’t know why. I really didn’t like the focus on the relationship that formed; it was hard-core insta-love (I mean what boy wants to date a girl who has basically the whole town thinking he killed his science teacher?). I really couldn’t get on board that. Love over the death of someone kind of seems icky to me. But, hey, whatever floats your boat, friends.Then there was the fact that Erin was smarter than everyone. Her friends were also, which honestly seems so ridiculous. It was a bunch of 17 (?) year olds and they could somehow work out a crime that the FBI and police had no idea about. Yeah, sure, I believe that. Not only was the actual killer super weird but also it was super obvious. I mean, wow. The motive was clear as well.C H A R A C T E R SI had a big rant planned for the characters. Honestly, I had dot points and everything to scream and rave about both Journey (the love interest) and Erin. However, about a sentence through I got tired even remembering this book and had to take a nap. I think that speaks volumes about my opinions on these characters more than anything, if you ask me. I truly believe that they could have been better developed, almost everyone felt like they were one dimensional and Erin truly only cared for herself and had great fun disregarding her friends when someone could benefit her more.O V E R A L LOverall, I wanted more Stalking Jack The Ripper vibes and mystery that is not whatHow To Catch A Killer is. It is a bunch of teenagers doing whatever they want and ignoring both professionals and guardians. Thankfully the writing style was fast and I finished this book in a day.
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  • Λίνα Θωμάρεη
    January 1, 1970
    Let's start with the positive ones whitch are... The writing was fast, the characters were good, the love story between Erin and Journey was as much as it should be, all this forensic details were interesting (Im fan of CSI as well) so I enjoyed a little more this part, the background so much as Erin's as much as Journey were strong of itself, the writer would be done with it much more... which she didn't... But.... But all positive ones are negated by the killer's discovery which was too soon.. Let's start with the positive ones whitch are... The writing was fast, the characters were good, the love story between Erin and Journey was as much as it should be, all this forensic details were interesting (Im fan of CSI as well) so I enjoyed a little more this part, the background so much as Erin's as much as Journey were strong of itself, the writer would be done with it much more... which she didn't... But.... But all positive ones are negated by the killer's discovery which was too soon... I was hoping that all this would somehow change it... but....I hope in the next book that both the author and her team are more careful ... 2,5 Stars !!!Σέριλ μού τα έκανες μαντάρα. Βέβαια για να εξηγούμαστε από το δείγμα (10 κεφάλαια) μου τα είχες κάνει μαντάρα αλλά είπα μπας και δεν κατάλαβα καλά ... αλλά όχι... έπεσες στην παγίδα του "σας ανακαλύπτω τον δολοφόνο από το 8ο κεφάλαιο... "Σου αναγνωρίζω όμως ότι αυτό είναι το πρώτο σου βιβλίο YA (η γυναίκα πριν από αυτό έγραφε παιδικά βιβλία) και γενικά η κατηγορία των αστυνομικών είναι δύσκολη από μόνη της (φαντάζομαι).Πρέπει οι συγγραφείς να είναι στην τσίτα προσπαθώντας να γράψουν έστω μία σκηνή και να προσέχουν να μην αποκαλύψουν πολλά (πάλι φαντάζομαι).Ας τα πάρουμε λοιπόν από την αρχή....Έχουμε λοιπόν την Έριν μια 16χρονη η οποία ζει με την Ρέιτσελ η οποία την μεγάλωσε (ήταν η κολλητή της μητέρας της) από την ημέρα που βρέθηκε δολοφονημένη (η μητέρα της), στο σπίτι τους, με εκείνη μέσα. Τότε ήταν 2 χρονών και παρότι δεν έχει μνήμες από το περιστατικό είναι το μόνο πράγμα που την στιγματίζει ακόμα και σήμερα, το όλο θέμα είναι ακόμα ποιο ευαίσθητο μιας και παραμένει ανεξιχνίαστη υπόθεση.Η Έριν λοιπόν εκτός από το ερωτηματικού του δολοφόνου της μητέρας της, έχει και το ερωτηματικό ποιος είναι πατέρας της. Κανείς δεν ξέρει και κανείς δεν είναι διατεθειμένος να την βοηθήσει. Μέχρι που βρίσκεται στο μάθημα της Κυρίας Πι η οποία είναι ειδικευμένη στο DNA και αποφασίζει να την βοηθήσει να βρει ποιος είναι ο πατέρας της με την βοήθεια του DNA. Όλα περιπλέκονται όταν ένα βράδυ πηγαίνοντας η Έριν στο σπίτι της, να της δώσει τα δείγματα, την βρίσκει νεκρή στο χωλ του σπιτιού της.Και εκεί ξεκινάνε όλα... Ας πάρουμε τα συν... η ιστορία από μόνη της έχει πολύ ζουμί... αυτό είναι σίγουρο... ο τρόπος γραφής είναι καλός, οι χαρακτήρες είναι ολοκληρωμένοι και δεμένοι... Αλλά η συγγραφέας το έχασε στις λεπτομέρειες... Σε κάποια καίρια σημεία που έπρεπε να δοθούν λεπτομέρειες δεν τις έδωσε και σε κάποια άλλα (που δεν χρειαζόταν κιόλας) τα έδωσε απλόχερα έτσι ώστε στο 5ο κεφάλαιο να καταλάβουμε ποιος είναι ο δολοφόνος και στο 15ο κεφάλαιο για ποιο λόγο κινήθηκε έτσι όπως κινήθηκε... Και μετά προσπάθησε να βάλει στο παιχνίδι του ενόχου και άλλους χαρακτήρες που τελικά (προσωπικά πάντα) απλά το έκανε χειρότερο.... Και είναι και το τελευταίο κεφάλαιο που πλέων δεν σου κάνει εντύπωση η ανακάλυψη, απλά ότι επιβεβαιώνεσαι και σκέφτεσαι ότι, ενώ την Έριν την έχει φτιάξει έτσι ώστε να είναι ένα έξυπνο κορίτσι κολλημένη με τα στοιχεία και της αποδείξεις (CSI στυλ) πως δεν κατάλαβε αυτό που όλοι είχαμε καταλάβει.So, 2,5 αστέρια και ελπίζω στο επόμενο Σέριλ να είσαι τόσο εσύ όσο και η εκδοτική σου ομάδα προσεκτική...
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsIt’s been a while since I’ve read a thriller, but when I first saw To Catch a Killer, I knew I had to pick it up. This is a fast-paced mystery about a young girl who attempts to solve two murders that are connected. I absolutely adored the use of forensics to crack the case and the main character’s intelligence. I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it, even to those who aren’t big mystery fans.This book is an action-packed mystery about a girl trying to find the person who ki 4.5 StarsIt’s been a while since I’ve read a thriller, but when I first saw To Catch a Killer, I knew I had to pick it up. This is a fast-paced mystery about a young girl who attempts to solve two murders that are connected. I absolutely adored the use of forensics to crack the case and the main character’s intelligence. I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it, even to those who aren’t big mystery fans.This book is an action-packed mystery about a girl trying to find the person who killed both her mother and her teacher. I enjoyed the main character’s approach and her group of friends who are able to assist her in solving the murders. There are many diversions and different suspects to keep the reader guessing, even if I did find the ending to be pretty predictable. The novel has everything I hope for in a thriller, and fans of the mystery genre will definitely adore this book as well.One of the aspects I found to be the most interesting in this story is the use of forensics. I have never seen this before in YA and after reading this, I would love to see more. It is clear that the author really knows her stuff since the techniques that the characters use are described in a way that is so easy to understand. The fact that the main character hunts for evidence to analyze instead of just running around town looking for some sort of vague clue made me enjoy the story so much more. Forensic science has always intrigued me, which is probably why I loved To Catch a Killer so much.I really enjoyed the main character, Erin. She is so resourceful and uses the tips in her uncle’s book to teach herself how to analyze DNA. Erin has such a captivating voice, and her cleverness makes her so likeable. She also has a very complex backstory which makes her such a developed character. Erin has her moments and makes some questionable decisions, but she is still an engaging character overall.To Catch a Killer is an epic cliffhanger that features the use of forensics to solve two linked murders. The main character is so likeable and very talented. This story is a perfect mystery, even if it does end on a bit of a cliffhanger.
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    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.)
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
    January 1, 1970
    I would rate this one 3.5, it was a great YA thriller and a quick read. I'm very behind on my reviews currently but hopefully I'll get to them this month.
  • Rachel's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Kate Watson
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Meli
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    A really fun YA thriller, especially for a My Favorite Murder podcast fan like me.
  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    At 2 years old, Erin Blake was found next to the body of her murdered mother. Determined to find her mother’s killer, a now teenaged Erin enlists the aid of her biology teacher who plans to create a forensic lab on campus.In the next breath, said teacher is also murdered and none other than Erin has to be the one that finds her cold, bloody lifeless body.The story had a great start and the opening chapters drew me in. The support characters especially Samantha aka Spam were funny and likeable. A At 2 years old, Erin Blake was found next to the body of her murdered mother. Determined to find her mother’s killer, a now teenaged Erin enlists the aid of her biology teacher who plans to create a forensic lab on campus.In the next breath, said teacher is also murdered and none other than Erin has to be the one that finds her cold, bloody lifeless body.The story had a great start and the opening chapters drew me in. The support characters especially Samantha aka Spam were funny and likeable. At times I forgot Erin completely even if she was the narrator.At midway, I started to zone. The romance with classmate Journey, who Erin initially pegged at the scene of the crime then recanted, felt convenient and contrived. It diluted the suspense.The last few chapters, especially when Erin’s Uncle Victor of the FBI steps in, brought back the focus although by then one could already figure out the suspect. Pluses for the cool DNA lessons!
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    Fast paced, but it ends on a unfinished cliffhanger.
  • ALEXA
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    I knew who done it
  • Eileen (BookCatPin)
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    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 Gunderman
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Suze Lavender
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone in town knows Erin Blake. Her mother was murdered when she was a little girl and the case was never solved. Erin survived the crime, while she was with her mother when it happened. Afterwards she was taken in by her mother's best friend Rachel. Erin doesn't know who her father is, but she'd love to know. That's why she asked her biology teacher for help. Miss P. wants to analyse DNA samples of the potential candidates. Erin managed to gather what she needs and drives to her teacher's ho Everyone in town knows Erin Blake. Her mother was murdered when she was a little girl and the case was never solved. Erin survived the crime, while she was with her mother when it happened. Afterwards she was taken in by her mother's best friend Rachel. Erin doesn't know who her father is, but she'd love to know. That's why she asked her biology teacher for help. Miss P. wants to analyse DNA samples of the potential candidates. Erin managed to gather what she needs and drives to her teacher's home to deliver them. Unfortunately, before they can get to work Erin finds her teacher's body. She's being linked to another murder. Is this a coincidence?Erin isn't completely helpless when it comes to science. Together with Spam and Lysa, her best friends, she has a small business. They process samples and they can access most online information. Erin wants to follow in her uncle Victor's footsteps, he works for the FBI and writes about forensics. Together with her two friends she tries to uncover the truth. This is especially important when both Erin and her secret crush Journey are being seen as suspects in the case. Erin saw him the night Miss P. died and identified him, so Journey isn't her biggest fan. However, they soon discover that it's much smarter to work together than having an argument about a crime they clearly both didn't commit. They know they aren't safe until they find the person who's responsible. Is there a link between Erin's mother and Miss P. and will Erin be able to uncover the truth before the killer gets a chance to come after her as well?To Catch a Killer is a fantastic gripping story. I was immediately intrigued by Erin's detective skills. Her resourcefulness and determination are making sure she keeps finding answers. Erin is incredibly smart and she's good at keeping secrets. She also has interesting friends who are helping her with her problems. I loved the friendship aspect of To Catch a Killer, it adds a beautiful layer to an already fascinating story. The main characters are all intriguing and that makes this book a true gem.Sheryl Scarborough kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Her story is inspirational and I loved her thorough descriptions of the research Erin is doing. She gives clear explanations that are both educational and entertaining. The combination of a terrific thrilling plot and great scientific exploring is really special. I can't praise To Catch a Killer enough. The story has many unexpected twists and turns and I loved every single page of this amazing book.
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  • Dark Faerie Tales
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    TO CATCH A KILLER was an entertaining mystery. Erin Blake has an interest in forensics. She has a personal reason for her interest. When she was a toddler, her mother was killed by an unknown assailant leaving Erin to spend three days with her mother's body. She was taken in by her mother's best friend Rachel who has raised her since. But Rachel doesn't want to share any information about Erin's mother and Erin's past and Erin has lots of questions.Erin's high school biology teacher also has an TO CATCH A KILLER was an entertaining mystery. Erin Blake has an interest in forensics. She has a personal reason for her interest. When she was a toddler, her mother was killed by an unknown assailant leaving Erin to spend three days with her mother's body. She was taken in by her mother's best friend Rachel who has raised her since. But Rachel doesn't want to share any information about Erin's mother and Erin's past and Erin has lots of questions.Erin's high school biology teacher also has an interest in forensics and agrees to help Erin answer some of her many questions about her past. When Erin drops off some objects to do DNA tests on late one evening, she find her teacher Miss Peters dead in a way that is like her mother's death. She also sees her high school crush Journey running away from the scene.She pairs up with Journey and her two best friends Lysa and Spam to investigate but she is keeping lots of secrets from them. Her friends are concerned that she might be too obsessive about solving hr mother's and her teacher's deaths. I liked that each chapter begins with a quotation from Miss Peters or from Erin's uncle Vincent Flemming who is with the FBI and is an expert on forensics. I liked that she finally gets to meet and spend time with her uncle during her investigation. There was all sorts of interesting information about forensics and collecting evidence to solve crimes. Teens with an interest in crime fighting will enjoy this mystery. I'm hoping that Erin and her friends have more adventures.
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Ana ☾
    January 1, 1970
    Omg this is what I been looking for! I have been looking for a mystery/thriller young adult for a while but nothing really got my attention, until this book. And yeah, I know, in this type of books it is very obvious who the murderer is but I honestly don't care. I really liked the main character (she was badass an fucking intelligent) and despite the fact that the friends were a little annoying sometimes, I also liked the friendship they had. I liked Journey as well, my only problem with the ro Omg this is what I been looking for! I have been looking for a mystery/thriller young adult for a while but nothing really got my attention, until this book. And yeah, I know, in this type of books it is very obvious who the murderer is but I honestly don't care. I really liked the main character (she was badass an fucking intelligent) and despite the fact that the friends were a little annoying sometimes, I also liked the friendship they had. I liked Journey as well, my only problem with the romantic relationship was that it was a little flat in my opinion and kind of insta-love. I liked it, it just that I wished it was better plotted, and not so from one day to another. One day the guy pretty much wanted to murder her and the next they were all cosy and I was like ??? It needed a better transition. Something that really makes this book stand out is all the forensic things that the book has, the author obviously made her research and knew what she was talking about. I'm really excited for the next book in this series, though I'm not sure what it would be about, but I'm in love with this CSI/detective crew of friends and I can't wait.
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  • rachel • typed truths
    January 1, 1970
    To Catch a Killer was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year but it fell short. It was a slow-paced story that dragged out a predictable and unexciting plot. While I liked that the mystery was very forensic-orientated, I found it laughable how unrealistic it played out. The foreshadowing was also incredibly clunky. It made the identity of the murderer completely obvious within the first thirty pages. The writing was also a bit uninspired. The romance subplot did not help. Do I even To Catch a Killer was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year but it fell short. It was a slow-paced story that dragged out a predictable and unexciting plot. While I liked that the mystery was very forensic-orientated, I found it laughable how unrealistic it played out. The foreshadowing was also incredibly clunky. It made the identity of the murderer completely obvious within the first thirty pages. The writing was also a bit uninspired. The romance subplot did not help. Do I even need to say that instalove will never be well-received? I thought it was a given by now. It did not help that I was not a fan of our protagonist, Erin. She was reckless and constantly made dumb decisions against the advice of pretty much everyone in her life. I understand that she had to make those choices to move the plot forward but there are only so many times I can brush off a character’s stupidity without wanting to scream at them. I did appreciate the exploration of a different guardian/child relationship than most YA stories adopt. I was not a particular fan of Rachel myself but I did really get attached to Victor. The standout character was without a doubt Lysa. She was the only logical person in the whole damn book.
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Asma Almahdi
    January 1, 1970
    it did't turned out as i expected it to be. reading buddy with my auntie rabouh :)
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