Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
When her father is accused of being a serial killer, Bex becomes the ultimate bait in this game of cat and mouse
Bex is ready to start a new life in foster care. There, she won’t be known as a serial killer’s daughter. Though her father was never tried for the murders attributed to “The Wife Collector,” he disappeared after questioning. And Bex struggles with the guilt that she provided the circumstantial evidence that convicted him in the public’s perception—and drove him to abandon her.
But when a body turns up in her new hometown, all signs point to the Wife Collector. Bex’s old life isn’t ready to let her go. The police want to use Bex to lure in her father. But is she baiting a serial killer or endangering an innocent man?
I’m going to write this review a little bit differently than I normally do, because there were many parts that I really liked, but unfortunately there were many that I didn’t like.
What I liked:
I liked the main character, Bex. She’s lived with a noose around her neck for ten years and she’s only seventeen. Her father is the alleged Wife Collector, a serial killer who terrorized women in Raleigh years ago. Bex helped the police back when she was just a little girl providing them with enough evidence to lock him up. But he disappeared before his real sentence could even begin. The poor kid has spent the past ten years absolutely torn up by guilt over what her younger self did to her father.
The pace of this book is fast and the chapters are fairly short. Jayne knows how to build up suspense in an impressive manner that really sets the tone for a nail biting book. Bex has lots of flashbacks throughout the story that provides, in pieces some of her background information. She is desperately lonely and just wants to be accepted. Her life has been clouded by judgements and assumptions just because of who her father is. She’s continuously trying to reconcile the father that she loved as a young girl with the monster the police say he is.
Bex goes to live with her new foster parents, Michael and Denise after her grandmother passes away. They were one of my favorite parts of this book. It was so nice to see a loving and caring set of foster parents, as most books that I’ve read with either adoptive or foster parents portray them as mean and hateful. They were sweet people who genuinely loved Bex and wanted only the best for her.
What I didn’t like:
Parts of this book were a little contrived and predictable. Bex starts out at a new school and is instantly accepted into the “in crowd” and begins dating a handsome and popular boy. It was better than the typical use of high school mean girls, but it was all a little bit too convenient. While there were many twists and turns throughout, sadly I was easily able to guess the majority of them. Knowing what is going to happen next always kills the mood of what could have been a great book.
While the mounting suspense was nicely executed, all of the sudden it just kind of…stopped. The end felt rushed, sudden and abrupt and I felt like there were still a few unanswered questions, which is my reading pet peeve.
While I felt that were parts of this book that needed to be a bit more developed, I still felt like it was an interesting read. Jayne shows great potential as a suspense writer and I can definitely see the appeal this book would have for a YA reader. I was just left wanting more.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Thanks to Goodreads giveaways for my copy!