Published by Simon & Schuster on May 6, 2014
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.
Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.
Because she might be one herself.
Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...
Killer Instinct is one of those books that makes me wonder why I actually wasted my time finishing it. Sure it’s short at only 272 pages but even 272 pages is too much for this book. It started off promising but it all went downhill from there.
First off, Killer Instinct is the biggest rip off of Dexter. Never in my life have I read something so blatantly copying from something else. As I read Killer Instinct, scenes from season one of Dexter just kept popping into my head. And I haven’t seen season one of Dexter in a while so that’s saying something about how blatant these comparisons were. I don’t want to spoil Dexter for anyone who maybe hasn’t seen it and plans to watch it but I’ll just say that there were at least 8 things that were almost identical between Killer Instinct and season one of the show. If you’ve seen the show, I’m sure you’ll catch what I’m talking about.
Second, Lane is one of the worst characters I’ve ever read about. Sure she’s compared to a teenage version of Dexter but at least with Dexter, people can kind of relate to him and even root for him to come out ahead. With Lane, I wanted her caught and done with. She was so stupid! The whole her being the “masked savior” was ridiculous and completely implausible. She’s so skinny she’s nicknamed Slim but she can take down grown men at least twice her size. Yeah, right. Sure the author throws in multiple mentions that Lane does aikido but that still does not match up against someone with a gun. Also, she mentioned multiple times how mature she was yet she acted like an immature whiny brat most of the time.
Then there were all the relationships in the book. First there was Reggie, Lane’s supposed best friend. What they had was not a friendship it was just something the author had to include so Lane had someone to help her hack into anything she might need. Lane would call Reggie when she needed something and Reggie would drop everything to help Lane. They had no real meaningful conversations, just phone calls and texts about whatever Reggie was looking up for Lane. Then there was the relationship with Lane, Zach, and Belinda. That was a convoluted mess. Lane didn’t want anything to do with Zach until Belinda entered the picture and then she really liked him and wanted to be his friend and help him out of horrible situations. Yeah, sure. There was also Zach’s older brother, Dr.Issa, who had some shady scenes throughout the book that I thought might eventually mean something but really had nothing to do with anything. Last but not least were the relationships of everyone in Lane’s family. Lane and her mom started off with a seemingly strong relationship but it quickly deteriorated. Her mom cared way more about her case than her family. And don’t even get me started with Lane and her sister, Daisy. That’s a whole other thing that set me off. Daisy was 15 and her most characterizing trait in the book was that she was a slut. Those were Lane’s exact words. She called her sister a slut multiple times throughout the book.
Another thing that greatly annoyed me about the whole sex thing was that there was way too much mention of sexual situations that played no role in the story. Lane went into great detail about her sex life, her parents’ sex life, and her little sister’s sex life. It really did nothing for the story except make me feel rather uncomfortable and I’m not usually uncomfortable with that kind of stuff. Also, can you say hypocrite? Lane calls her little sister a slut but then she goes and gets some serious action with a boy she barely knows in between some shelves of her school library. Not calling her a slut but I’m just saying that that’s a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.
The only thing about this book that even remotely impressed me was that I didn’t predict who the killer was, at all. Yes I suspected it was somebody closely tied to Lane but I wasn’t sure how S.E. Green was going to work it. I was pretty dang shocked by the time I got to the big reveal. I did feel like it was a little rushed though.
Also, the killer is nicknamed the Decapitator and Lane is nicknamed the Masked Savior. S.E. Green couldn’t come up with anything more clever than those nicknames? They were so lame!
Oh and also, what was the point of Lane being the Masked Savior? It really had nothing to do with the story and kind of dropped out of the story about halfway through. I guess being a master investigator and the Masked Savior got to be too much for Lane. Maybe she should have just left the Decapitator investigation to the FBI like a normal person. But then again, she was way smarter than the FBI so they never would have been able to solve it without her. Like I said, rather implausible story.
Overall, I was seriously disappointed with Killer Instinct. I feel like I wasted my time reading when I could have just rewatched season one of Dexter and gotten the exact same story. I would not recommend this one to anyone.
What others are saying about Killer Instinct:
Bookish’s review: “Killer Instinct is not a bad book.”
Good Books and Good Wine’s review: “Man, I have not been this disappointed with a book in a really long time.”
Conversations of a Reading Addict’s review: “I felt angry at the end, i felt myself rolling my eyes and saying “really?” over and over again because the killer did not seem believable to me. AT ALL.”