Friday, February 3, 2017

Review: To Catch a Killer (Erin Blake #1) by Sheryl Scarborough

To Catch a Killer by Sheryl ScarboroughTo Catch a Killer
(Erin Blake #1)
by Sheryl Scarborough
February 7, 2017
320 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father's identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother's best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.

Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother's killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she's secretly doing on her own.

Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she's close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it's too late.


To Catch a Killer left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the overall story but I wasn't impressed with the mystery. It left more to be desired. However, as a hardcore crime show fan I was crazy excited about the forensic aspect in the book.

My main problem with To Catch a Killer was the lack of suspense to the story. I was expecting something gritty and dramatic but what I got was a little plain. Almost anticlimactic. Don't get me wrong, the story kept me guessing till the end but there just wasn't any real twists or turns. The clues were very in-your-face and too easy. I feel like the overall storyline wasn't developed enough. Some of the facts and ideas weren't incorporated into the story and only came up when needed or when it's convenient. Why exactly did the killer carry that piece of string with him the night he killed Ms. Peters? He's kept it safe for fourteen years yet he somehow carelessly drops it in the most convenient spot? Maybe I watch too many crime shows but a lot of my predictions came true. Nothing surprised me. I totally called the principal's shoes...
 A major point of the story was left unresolved but the possibility presented definitely peaked my interest. I'll be looking forward to book two for some answers.

Now what I love the most about this book was the forensics. It was thrilling and stimulating to read about the procedures and experiments Erin conducted. You can tell Ms. Scarborough did her research. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter were super insightful. I confess that I rated this book a little higher because of all the forensic talk~

Erin was a likable character. I sympathized with her need to know but I did not enjoy seeing how lovesick she was for the school's golden boy Journey. Especially after he gets entangled in her investigation. Barely any time passed before they're into each other. There wasn't enough development to their relationship to convince me of their romance. And the way Erin fretted over her feelings for him irked me. We're in the middle of solving a murder, maybe two, and all you can think about is your crush/boyfriend? *cue eye roll*

There's a case of awesome friendship in To Catch a Killer. Erin's best friends, Spam and Lysa were essential to her (investigation). Without them she wouldn't have been able to solve anything or even stayed alive. They're smart, quick and resourceful but most of all they cared deeply for Erin. The way they always stood by her makes them total keepers.

Don't go into To Catch a Killer expecting a dramatic murder mystery because you will be disappointed. But if procedural dramas are your thing then this book will be a fun read with useful forensic facts and a bonus of amazing friendship rep.

4 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. I am a little sad to hear that you were unimpressed with the mystery, but I am glad it was still good and other aspects of the book made up for it. To Catch a Killer sounds like something I would enjoy.

    1. Some things just really didn't work for me but I'm curious what other people will think. I hope you read it Kay!

  2. I'm all about YA Mysteries, but the really GREAT ones are so hard to find!! I was hoping this one would be one of those, but I really like a mystery that is EXCITING. I'll still probably try it just because, but good to know to keep my hopes at a normal level :)

    1. Good news is that there will be a book 2. I'm curious what you'll think of this one though!


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