There is no worse feeling than knowing your victim sensed their murder, reached out, and no one listened.
I couldn’t help it – I had to reference “Disarm” by The Smashing Pumpkins. It has been in my head since I started this book. Which is no commentary on this book – it is just how my mind works! Although I guess since I like that song, it does work out well that I enjoyed this book! Thank you Dutton/Penguin Books for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
The Killer in Me
by Olivia Kiernan
Publish Date: April 2019
Read Date: March 2019
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Irish Crime, Crime
Rating: 3.5/5 Moose
Page Count: 352
Seventeen years after being accused of murdering his parents and attempting to murder his sister, Sean Hennessey has been released from prison. He has always claimed his innocence, and now has the documentary team and legal counsel to back it up. A legal counsel that includes Frankie Sheehan’s sister-in-law, who asks Frankie to review the case file and advise on the case.
Shortly after release, two bodies are found brutally murdered at a church. Is it a coincidence? Or was Sean released just in time to continue his murder spree?
While it can be expected that a murder mystery book has brutal, gory murders, a major content warning for that AND for some killing of puppies. It was uh…not a fun section to read on the subway.
Rants, Raves, and Thoughts
First off, lets talk about this cover. It was definitely a selling point for me, though I still can’t quite get a grasp of what is on it. Is it barbed wire? Who is the face? Is it representing the duality of people? Whatever it is, the colors work well and I love it.
I was drawn to this book as it has been awhile since I have dived into murder mysteries, and I was going through a Veronica Mars binge. This book had an interesting twist though. There are so many true crime podcasts and documentaries digging through facts and trying to find “truths” or prove that cops have screwed up. To each their own, and I’ll admit: Serial is incredibly compelling. But overall, I don’t watch or listen to true crime much at all for various reasons. Still, this book presents the idea of what coppers have to go through while these documentaries are getting made. The scrutiny, the fear of what if, all of it is stressful.
And compound that situation with a sudden rash of murders that may or may not have to do with the case. Is the newly released accused killer involved?
I’ll admit, this book was a little hard to get into at first. There is something about the writing that took me a little while to adjust and get used to. By the time I hit the halfway point though, I was hooked. Frankie is a bit dry and not deeply written – some of it I wonder if I am missing because I haven’t read book 1, or if there is just a long game here. That being said, I still like her. She’s good at her job, and Kiernan blends in more cop lingo than what I’m used to in these books. And Irish cops are fascinating? I highlighted this part especially:
“Let Clancy know we may need to assign firearms if we’re dealing with a gunshot wound.”
I’m sorry – what?
Do Irish cops not carry guns constantly? They have come up with alternative ways of fighting crime? I AM HERE FOR THIS. Frankie hasn’t held a gun in so long that she feels she needs to get some shooting practice in first. I LOVE IT. Or is it just that the Irish are more likely to kill with knives? (The first two victims are killed with knives.) Seriously, I rather enjoy this idea of a justice system.
As for the Sean Hennessey guilt or innocence…. I am clearly not going to tell you which it is. But I will say that Kiernan does a fantastic job of keeping the reader flip flopping through out the entire book through Frankie’s thought process and what we see him do. Is it better he’s a killer, or is it better to try to fix the police procedures??
“I knew my innocence and therefore I walked that cell with my innocence filling my chest. In a lot of ways I was free.”
The interviewer steps in. But you weren’t free.
“Freedom means different things to different people.”
Overall, if you like murder mysteries, if you enjoy Tana French books, pick up some of Olivia Kiernan’s books too. I guessed the killer fairly quickly, but I also don’t think it is easily laid out (I just have a weird mind and maybe I should have been a detective or a killer?) nor was I not entertained or on the edge of my seat the entire book. In fact, I ended up walking and reading on my way home as I neared the end. It is just that entertaining. But if you cannot watch dogs die, skip like half of chapter 10.