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Killer Within: A Killer Instinct Novel

Review

Killer Within: A Killer Instinct Novel

Three months after Lane’s traumatizing encounter with the Decapitator, she’s left to reassemble her life after the damage done by the killer. She’s growing closer to her family than ever before, but she feels an emptiness inside, a gnawing void that she can’t satisfy. Her dark urges are still resurfacing, but with the ramifications of her encounter with the Decapitator, she’s unsure of what to do about them. Between group grief therapy and meeting her stepfather’s colleagues, Lane’s makes new friends in Tommy, a boy who also shares a connection with the Decapitator, and Catalina, someone who finally matches Lane’s cunning, wit and intelligence. But all of this is being disrupted by a copycat killer --- someone who knows Lane well. Add in more family secrets that Lane’s mother kept hidden from her, and Lane finds herself heading down a path that could lead to everything she’s done being discovered --- and to finally assuming the role of a full-blown killer.

I’d like to just come forth and say it plainly: this book far exceeded its predecessor. I greatly enjoyed KILLER INSTINCT, but Green was on top of the top of her A-game with this entry. I’m not quite sure where to begin, there was so much that I enjoyed.

"KILLER WITHIN…pulls an Empire Strikes Back and stands out as a powerhouse second installment in this high quality new series."

The writing remained at the same high level caliber as it did in KILLER INSTINCT --- sharp, deliberate, precise, tense. It grabs you and honestly does not let you go as you continue to hurtle along faster than you had with the previous entry. Lane’s consistency as a character leveled out, and I thought she was even more fascinating, complex and interesting than before. I understood her so much better; everything she did made sense and much of it could be emotionally corroborated, in terms of empathy from the reader. All of the other characters, like in the first book, were well-developed and distinct from each other, and newcomers Tommy and Catalina were just as smart and compelling as Lane, making all of their scenes dynamic. The twists were brilliantly plotted and well executed, and the turns in character arcs all lined up quite nicely. Really, the book was such a satisfying read. My head’s spinning from the breakneck pace, and I enjoyed every minute of reading KILLER WITHIN. Its predecessor was an achievement in the teen “Dexter”subgenre, but KILLER WITHIN took that title and sprinted ahead with it. I really applaud Green for some masterful work in this series.

The only complaint I had really wasn’t as much a criticism as it was a request for a slight alterations --- I would have loved to know a bit more about Lane’s mom’s past in the first book, perhaps through flashbacks. I was very glad when KILLER WITHIN revealed more about her, but I think that if more information had been sprinkled into KILLER INSTINCT, I wouldn’t have questioned why Lane’s mother behaved the way she did.

But putting that aside, I do on the whole have nothing but praise for this book. It’s a fantastic novel in its own right and also pulls an Empire Strikes Back and stands out as a powerhouse second installment in this high quality new series.

Reviewed by Corinne Fox on May 18, 2015

Killer Within: A Killer Instinct Novel
(Killer Instinct #2)
by S. E. Green