Sweetpea by C J Skuse

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Sweetpea by C J Skuse

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Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
Reviewed by Sophie Diamond
Summary: Bold, interesting and unusual - worth a read
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: April 2017
Publisher: HQ
ISBN: 978-0008216672

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In many ways, Rhiannon Lewis lives an ordinary life. She works at a local paper, lives with her long term boyfriend, dotes on her dog and is part of a large group of friends. There are just a few unusual things about Rhiannon, like that she is obsessed with Slyvanian families... and she's in fact a serial killer. She's harmless though... as long as you stay off her list.

The first word I can use to describe this book is bold. It's written very unapologetically, with coarse phrasing and coarser language - but within Rhiannon's perspective I think this works. She sees the world in such an unfeeling way, it makes sense that she calls a spade a spade. I've called this crime fiction, but it's more crime fiction meets dark humour. There are parts of this book which made me gasp and others where I was laughing out loud with Rhiannon.

While interesting facts about Rhiannon's past emerge as the book goes on, I did feel that this book didn't have a clear story. It's more like the diary of a serial killer, you see a snapshot of what's going for x amount of months, on but not really what the bigger picture of the book is. It makes the book interesting but doesn't give you that I-must-read-on feeling. Things happen, it's not boring, but there's no drive in the plot either, which did make the book feel a tad too long. Having binge watched Dexter recently, I can't help but compare the two - both serial killers, both have a vigilante aspect and both come from dark pasts. But Dexter has a different obstacle every series whereas the monotony of life and successfully managing to not kill those closest to her are Rhiannon's obstacles.

Saying that, I did really like this book. It was interesting and at points genuinely funny. If you let your everyday frustrations build beyond reason you could start to see where Rhiannon is coming from. (Or at least I really hope that's not just me …) She's an unusual heroine, one you can't really empathise with but like and sort of cheer on (even though you know it's a bit wrong). Without giving too much away, I think the door's open for a sequel, and if Skuse does write another episode for Rhiannon, I hope she creates the plot with a lot more drive.

Thank you to the Bookbag, the publisher and the author for my advanced review copy.

If you would like to read more by this author, check out Monster.

Buy Sweetpea by C J Skuse at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sweetpea by C J Skuse at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Sweetpea by C J Skuse at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sweetpea by C J Skuse at Amazon.com.


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