Book Review: The Killing Season

Hey guys! I just posted an Amazon review for The Killing Season, which is the latest in the Violet Darger series, and I thought that I’d elaborate on my thoughts just a little bit more – for those of you who are interested in my thoughts on what I’m reading.

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Spoiler Warning: There are some minor spoilers in this book, so if it is on your list of things to read, I recommend saving this review for later.

I think McBain and Vargus make an incredible writing team, and I’m a big fan of many of their books. I consider myself very lucky to have gotten a copy of The Killing Season in exchange for my amazon review. I had the intention to publish a pre-release review for the book here, but after reading it I decided to put off writing a review until the story had more time to sit with me.

What threw me off is that the book was both better and worse than the first installation, Dead End Girl (which you can read my review for here, if you missed it.) Overall I felt like I didn’t connect with Violet as well in this book and I didn’t enjoy the story as much as a result – but the parts that I liked better were so fantastic that it took me awhile to pinpoint.

A good example of this was the epilogue. The dialogue came across as a little cheesy, it was mostly focused on a budding romance that I felt was forced throughout the entire book, and for much of the scene I felt underwhelmed. Right at the very end however, Darger gets a bit of mail that changes the game up dramatically and promises some intense psychological action for the next volume. It perfectly exemplified the best and worst of the book in one scene.

I did think there was too much romance. I feel like for someone who is stand-offish and socially awkward, Darger makes romantic connections far too easily, and there’s a lot more forced flirting and flings than I would like to see from my psychological thrillers. (This one also brought Violet’s gender into the spotlight a few more times than I personally felt was necessary to get the point across.)

What balances that out, at least for me, is that the psychological aspect is so good (and these guys don’t exactly shy away from the gore, either.) The antagonists in this book are so well-written, and the insight into their lives is fascinating.

As a sequel, the book does continue the story and as a stand-alone piece, it’s an interesting read (though I do think it relies somewhat on the empathy that we have already built up for Darger.) It has given me high hopes for the next book by giving clues as to what the next arc will be, and it sounds like something to look forward to.

 

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