‘To Catch a Killer’ blends forensics, enjoyable plot

To Catch a Killer blends forensics, enjoyable plot

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By Josie Bennett, Editor

One of anticipated releases of the winter of 2017, Sheryl Scarborough’s new book “To Catch a Killer” boasts a thrilling mystery with teenagers working out a recent and decade old case.

The mystery follows main character Erin Blake, whose mother was murdered 14 years ago. In the hopes of figuring out her father and possibly her mother’s killer, she invests in the help of her biology teacher. Before the case is cracked, her biology teacher is killed and she becomes the suspect to her murder.

With the help of her friends Spam, Lyssa and fellow suspect and love interest Journey, the teens work to try to solve the murder and clear their names.

The book has a highly engaging plot. The developments in the book are very evenly spaced out, giving it a very nice pace. So it didn’t feel rushed or too slow, leaving readers to fully enjoy the interesting mystery.

“To Catch a Killer” does a good job incorporating forensic science within the book. This is a nice touch, since most young science fiction books don’t cover the actual scientific aspects behind their mysteries. This book embraces it to its fullest.

The only thing about this book that seems a little off is the convenience. Erin has plenty of sources that work very well for her to get a hold of information that not many average teenagers would have. The opportunities given in the story are too easy. Working in the police department records as a teenager gives Erin the ability to steal her mother’s evidence box. Her friends are a computer wizard and the daughter of a criminal lawyer.

Although these situations seem plausible, it’s almost too advantageous and breaks the experience of the book for some readers.

Not only that, but the book drops many hints about the identity of the murderer. It’s actually fairly easy for the reader to discover who the murderer is, or at least have a very good educated guess, before the rest of the characters.

For some readers this is somewhat of a disappointment especially if they truly wanted to be surprised or go through the process of discovery with the characters.

Despite the drawbacks, “To Catch a Killer” is a very enjoyable read, especially for those who love criminal investigation. It’s great for a quick weekend read.