BOOK REVIEW : To Catch A Killer
By Sheryl Scarborough
BY SULPHIA IQBAL
It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a contemporary mystery after the Mara Dyer Trilogy and A Study In Charlotte, which kinda set the bar high, but To Catch A Killer wasn't half bad.
When Erin Blake was a toddler, her mother was murdered right before eyes and she, oblivious as to what actually happened, managed to survive three days alongside the corpse. As her “Aunt” becomes more and more determined not to talk about her mother, Erin becomes more and more obsessed with finding her mother’s murder and who her father was ( who she suspects might be the same person ).
Erin’s bio teacher decides to help Erin in finding out the identity of her father by doing a DNA test. When Erin goes to her teacher’s house late at night, she is shocked to find her dead in a pool of blood. She’s also shocked to see one of her classmates running away from the scene when she sees him. Naturally, her first suspect is him and naturally, against the wishes of the police and her “Aunt” , she is determined to find out who her teacher's murder was, especially after realizing it was the same person who killed her mother.
A lot of things in the novel were oddly convenient. Like, conveniently a string from the same shirt her mother wore when she had died had accidently dropped in Journey’s, the classmate, van, allowing Erin to realize the connection between the two cases. Conveniently, Erin’s aunt’s best friend and boyfriend are police officers, her uncle an FBI agent, and her best friend’s dad a lawyer. Conveniently, Erin had access to the special computers in the Police Department because her aunt worked there. HMMMM…not done on purpose at all.
Erin repeatedly defies letting the professionals such as police officers, detectives, and FBI agents handle the investigating. That’s not really very accurate ( or safe mind you ), but I mean come on it’s a book for young adults, so I let it slide.
ALSO, I secretly enjoy tough cases where I’m not able figure out who the culprit is because that tells me it’s a good mystery ( except in Sherlock Holmes because if I CAN, I’ve accomplished the impossible ). In this case ( no pun intended ), I was able to figure who the big baddie was like, 30 % into the book and that was kinda disappointing.
I’ve loved mystery and forensics since God knows when. Reading about Erin solving tiny mysteries like whether a guy a cheated on other girl with lipstick chromatography and hair analysis with home-based materials made me no joke research for a straight hour forensic labs activities I could do at home : ) Hopefully it’ll make you want to do the same.
A contemporary mystery that I recommend more for the middle grade, younger young adults, and anyone loves a good quick mystery.
Check it out at the library and goodreads :