ARC Book Review: Killing Kate by Alex Lake
ashley | What initially drew me to Killing Kate by Alex Lake was the description, how it put YOU in the spotlight and attempted to put you in Kate’s shoes. I read a ton of thrillers like this and I’m always looking for a unique take and I was hoping this would give me something to be excited about.
I thought Lake did a great job at expressing a woman’s fear for her safety. Even if these dead bodies didn’t resemble Kate, these murders were happening in her home town and it’s hard not to feel vulnerable and frightened by that. Hard not to look twice over your shoulder. This fear that most women feel was strongly portrayed here and I thought it was really well done. It hit close to home.
I’m not sure the format of this book worked for me, however. The first part was about Kate, her breakup, her new dating life and these sudden murders, flipping between Kate’s point of view and her ex boyfriend Phil’s. Then we flashed back for a few chapters to uncover the mysterious Beth and the history with these friends. I found this a lot of flip flopping, a lot of different angles and it kind of came off a bit messy for me. All this extra drama threw things off track, not in the sense that you’d want from a thriller, but in a choppy, disjointed way.
I also found the focus on Kate’s dating life to be a bit of a drag. It took primary focus throughout the book, which kind of seemed odd to me and I was pretty annoyed by how Kate’s intentions flipped back and forth; she didn’t want to date, but she kept going out on dates with guys, but she wasn’t interested, yet she kept reaching out to them, she was scared of meeting new men because of the murderer, yet she kept putting herself in that situation. It just drove me a little crazy. Or maybe it was just Kate in general. She wasn’t really a likeable character for me.
The way the story was revealed, with all these different players and actions that seemed off to me, made the bread crumb trail a little too obvious. The way it was written, you could tell certain things were included just to tie together the overall idea, like the whole dating aspect was basically just an excuse for Kate to interact with characters who could possibly be the killer. I realized at the end of the book I was just rushing through the moments that were supposed to be big and shocking and revealing, moments I had called pages and pages ago, and was just trying to finish things up.
I will say that Lake did a great job with the killer in the end. When it’s all revealed and he’s given his chance to lay out his entire plan, you really see the anger and hatred and his sinister behaviour coming through. He is believable as the charming, regular guy, and you can clearly see that mask fall away and he’s just as believable as this psychotic killer.
I’m sad about how all of this turned out because I actually thought there were a lot of really clever ideas in here and Lake created some interesting characters and layers. The killer’s plan and how people played right into it, this all came together really well. But the story that was built around it was a bit too thin and easy to see through, overshadowing the clever moments.
today! january 31, 2017