Book Review – A Killer’s Daughter by Jenna Kernan
Salt water ripples around the drifting couple, their blood mingling with the current. A length of twine encircles the woman’s slender wrist, tying them to one another. Now they’ll be together forever.
When two bodies are found floating in the shallows off the Florida coast, the hallmarks of the crime are terrifyingly familiar to FBI forensic psychologist Dr Nadine Finch. The circle carved around the female victim’s wedding ring finger is identical to the wounds Nadine’s own mother inflicted on her victims. But her mother is on death row where she can’t hurt anyone. Is this a disturbing coincidence, or a twisted copycat?
Nadine quickly identifies the victims as a young local couple, new parents with their whole future ahead of them. Who would want to harm them? With two heartbroken families reeling, and no witnesses or forensic evidence, Nadine has no choice but to tap into her own dark past to delve inside this killer’s mind. If she can’t make her team listen, she knows more lives will be lost.
Then another couple are found in the Manatee River, their throats cut—and another circle carved around the woman’s ring finger. Desperate to act, Nadine must face her demons head on and visit her mother in prison. When her mother whispers a name Nadine hasn’t heard for years, the case takes a terrifying turn, and returning home after her bleak visit, the bag of bloodied clothes left on Nadine’s bed tells her someone is watching her every move…
As time runs out, can Nadine catch the killer—or will she be the next victim of this dark family legacy?
I received this e-ARC for free and am leaving this review voluntarily. Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
So I wasn’t going to read this one yet but I picked it for a bit of mood reading as I had a disappointing book prior to this and wanted something entirely different to get sucked into. It’s been a while since I read a good crime thriller and this one seemed really unique and interesting.
I am glad to say that I was not disappointed at all!
Nadine Finch, previously Nadine Howler is the daughter of death row inmate Arleen Howler. Nadine gave evidence in court against her mother which put her behind bars for good and afterwards was adopted by her aunt, changed her name and tried to get on with her life without anyone ever finding out and judging her based on her mother’s crimes.
We meet Nadine as an adult working as a new hire as a criminal psychologist. Nadine is an intelligent, independent woman who struggles with her past and often has flashbacks to her childhood but who wants to live a normal life.
So when Nadine sees reports of two bodies being discovered in the water she is instantly reminded of her mother’s murders. Nadine tries to brush it off as coincidence but then when she is given the job of profiler for the case she finds more and more similarities that make the idea of a copy-cat killer impossible to ignore.
Nadine works with Detective Demko on the case who she finds out has been recently transferred to the department due to being involved with an evidence tampering case at his previous district. Demko insists that he is innocent but Nadine finds it difficult to trust him entirely.
At 400 pages long this book is a good length but I just flew through the pages. I did not guess the killer even though I was sure I knew early on it turned out I was completely wrong. The author does an amazing job of slowly building the tension and giving clues and then twisting everything on its head until when the killer is finally revealed you are left in absolute shock! I seriously didn’t see it coming and I thought it was brilliant.
As a character I think Nadine is portrayed really well. As the child of a serial killer she finds herself questioning herself and whether it is something in the genes that makes her the way that she is and I really enjoyed seeing how she worked on the case she she was very, very underestimated by her colleagues. Except detective Demko of course who always seemed to believe in her and trust her judgement!
That is one of the things that didn’t quite sit right with me. Demko and Nadine’s instant attraction to each other didn’t feel right to me. I don’t know what it was but I just felt like the chemistry was off and the relationship all felt really rushed considering that Nadine is the type of person and keeps up walls and doesn’t get close to people so I found the way she quickly fell for and confided in Demko to be not quite right but otherwise this was a totally solid story and I would definitely recommend it.