Today Jo is sharing her review for Sweet Pea by C J Skuse. This ones on my TBR pile, but I’m in two minds about reading it as from the reviews I’ve read it’s very much a “marmite” book, but after reading Jo’s review I may just read it to see which camp I would fall into. My thanks to Jo for her fab review and so without further ado…….
The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…
I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcoholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.
Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.
Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.
A kill list.
From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.
Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder.
To the outside world Rhiannon seems like a shy, retiring girl. Just a normal girl working in a job where she isn’t appreciated, has friends that she hates and her boyfriend is cheating on her. Everyone thinks she is a real Sweetpea. However hiding just beneath the surface, Rhiannon is very angry. Angry at rude people and loud noises. For Rhiannon hides a dark secret, she is a serial killer, killing those who dare to annoy her or try to cause her harm and who knows who her next victim will be?
This was a fairly unusual book for me as I found myself actually feeling sorry for the serial killer. Rhiannon is very funny and some of her observations/ comments had me laughing out loud. She has a very astute way of looking at the world and telling things exactly as they are. At first you think her comments are unfair or unjustified but as you learn more about her life, both past and present, you realise that there are good reasons for her being like she us. As you learn more about her, you start feeling sorry for her and hoping that she will gave a happy ending. It was interesting to get inside the mind of a serial killer and find out more about what makes them tick and what motivates them to kill.
The book is written in the easy, intimate style of a diary which helps trick the reader into thinking that they are reading a normal persons diary. This helps the murdersceens seem more shocking and violent. Fair warning some of these scenes are quite gruesome with what’s happening to the victims being described in vivid detail. Some of the language throughout the book is a bit offensive so if you are easily offended it might be best to avoid.
This is quite an easy to read book. The general tone and flow of the book means you are able to read it quite fast. The fact that the main character is quite likeable, despite being a serial killer, means that you want to keep reading to find out what will happen next. I loved the ‘kill lists’ or summaries at the beginning of each chapter, it made it easier to keep up with everything that’s going on.
There is quite a lot of tension throughout the book which increases as more murders are committed and the story hurtles towards its conclusion. I was constantly wondering what would happen next and worrying she was going to get caught. The twist towards the end really took me by surprise as I really wasn’t expecting it. I think the ending was a very good and appropriate way to end the book, though it wasn’t the way I wanted it to end!
The blurb describes this book as a cross between Bridget Jones and Dexter which is a really good description of it! This is the debut book from this author and I look forward to reading many from her. Thank you to Anna Baggaley and HQ stories for my copy of this book.
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQ (20 April 2017)