I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is July 5, 2016.
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 know the author was going for a thriller vibe with this one, but it just felt like the author was trying too hard. Some things were silly, some made no sense and some things just didn't fit.
First, let me say that I adored Bex's foster parents. I could really tell that they wanted to be Bex's parents and they were trying so hard to be parents and they didn't even know what that looked like But here's the issue I had with them: they didn't know anything about Bex's family history or even her real name. Come on, that would never happen. That didn't make any sense. Also, they kept calling themselves her parents (which is fine), but there was never any mention of a possible adoption, nor was there a caseworker in the picture. You would think that a caseworker would make regular visits to see how she was getting along.
Can we talk about the name of that high school please? It was Kill Devil Falls High. I don't know why, but that name bugged me. It's like the author was trying to make the name of the high school creepy but she failed miserably. Bex drove me crazy. I get that she felt guilty about putting her dad in prison, but I don't understand why she was terrified of her father. Judging by her memories, her father never abused her or threatened her so why would she jump out of her skin all the time. And Bex was ALWAYS freaking out. It got so incredibly annoying. I mean, I get it: your dad is an alleged killer and it sucks, but can we go ONE paragraph without you jumping or throwing up from stress or spacing out around your friends or bursting into tears. I kind of hated her by the end of the book.
Here's something that really made zero sense: why on earth would people blame Bex for her father's actions? Bex was SEVEN. Not only that, but she had a flashback of being in the courtroom during the trial and the lawyers were arguing over whether she should be in the room when they showed the pictures of the bodies. One guy actually said that she should be in the courtroom so she could see what her dad did. REALLY?? I want to know why the hell she was in the courtroom to begin with. There is no way that the lawyers would make a seven year old sit there throughout the trial. And what psychopath would say that a SEVEN year old is responsible for her father's mistakes. Insane. Another issue was Bex's mother. She had supposedly ran off when Bex was six. No one could find her, so no one even knew if she was alive or dead. With all of Bex's flashbacks, there were NO flashbacks of her mother and no interest in finding her finding out what happened with her. I mean, there was ZERO interest throughout the book regarding her mother. That was so weird.
Throughout the book, the pacing was all off, mainly because the ONLY thing going on was Bex freaking out about the possibility of everyone finding out who she was. I kept reading because I wanted to get some closure to the mystery, but the author's attempts to make me creeped out (didn't work) and all of Bex's emotions just annoyed me. Towards the end, there was talk of another murder suspect but I didn't buy it at all. The theory that Bex suddenly started believing was just stupid and I wanted to hit her because she was falling for it. The end was kind of predictable and also rushed. When the killer was revealed, I still had questions, like about the motive. I did expect some kind of motive or reasoning behind the killing, but there was none of that. The book ended so abruptly. I felt a bit unsatisfied from it.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.