To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough (Review)

To Catch a Killer
(Erin Blake #1)
by Sheryl Scarborough
YA Contemporary Suspense
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
February 7th 2017 by Tor Teen


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.

(Affiliate links included - I receive a small kickback if you make a purchase using my links.)

My Review

TO CATCH A KILLER is one of those suspenseful stories that grabs you at the beginning and never lets go. It's easy to like the protagonist and become engaged in her story as she tries to piece together her past and prevent her future from following the same pattern. There is a constant feel of suspense throughout that builds to the climatic ending, making for a thrilling read! A perfect read for young adult suspense fans!

I loved jumping into this story! I literally could not put it down and stayed up late into the night to keep reading. I loved the dynamics that played out between the various characters and through the various puzzle pieces of the plot. I also enjoyed the vulnerabilities of these characters and how well the author let those weave through the story and play out. I also loved that I wasn't completely sure who the villain was. I had some guesses, but I could never quite be completely sure. It was also fun to learn a little more about scientific facts and crime scene investigation throughout the story.

I only have two minor pieces of criticism. The romance aspect was a little too fast and insta-love-like. I would have liked that a lot more drawn out from them meeting to it developing. The other criticism is I thought Erin's uncle was duped a little too easily. Maybe not the right word... possibly physically blindsided is better (without trying to spoil anything). With his experience I just expected him to not be so easily overtaken. These, as I said, were very minor and didn't really affect my enjoyment of reading this story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was such a fantastically fun read, sleuthing along with these characters. I'm definitely looking forward to more in this series and from this author!

Content: Mild swearing and some violence.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Jean Book Nerd Tours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

Other Books in the Series

To Right the Wrongs
(Erin Blake #2)
by Sheryl Scarborough
YA Contemporary Suspense
Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
February 27th 2018 by Tor Teen


Barely three weeks after catching the killer of Erin's mother and their biology teacher, Erin and her crew are back, up to their elbows in forensics projects. But this time it's with the full approval of their parents.

With Uncle Victor at the helm, Erin and her best friends, Spam and Lysa, are prepping a new classroom for CSI summer camp, where they will serve as camp counselors. Meanwhile, Erin's super-hot new boyfriend, Journey, is graduating, just in time for him to take a position as Victor's intern in the new CSI lab on campus. Journey and Victor are going to take another look at the evidence in the murder trial that sent Journey's father to prison. The girls are under strict orders not to meddle with the murder case, but that's easier said than done...

Praise for the Series

“Scarborough has written an intense, engrossing debut. Readers will root for Erin to find answers, laugh at her friends’ antics as they play detective, and struggle to identify the killer in a plot full of red herrings and multiple suspects. This solid mystery will easily grab the attention of fans of the genre.” ―Booklist

To Catch a Killer is a tense, storming heartbeat of a thriller. Scarborough’s tightly woven story merges forensic intrigue with friendship, romance, and family, nailing the dynamic stylings of Veronica Mars and the playful spirit of Bones. I could not put it down.” ―Cori McCarthy, author of Breaking Sky

"The fast-paced plot and Veronica Mars-esque protagonist make this book a good fit for avid mystery readers." ―School Library Journal

“A relatable cast and well thought-out plot make this mystery a Sherlockian puzzle sure to impress the most hardened crime-procedural fanatic. Don your deer-stalker caps, gumshoes, you’re in for a twisty ride.” ―Mary Elizabeth Summer, author of Trust Me, I’m Lying

"Scarborough brings Erin to life as a teenager with a damaged past...there are enough red herrings and forensic activity to keep everyone entertained all the way through the climatic end." ―VOYA

“A compulsive read. Scarborough has created a thrilling book brimming with life, murder, and adventure.” —Carrie JonesNew York Times bestselling author of Flying

(Affiliate links included - I receive a small kickback if you make a purchase using my links.)

Have you read this one? You can check out my review of the second book and enter the tour giveaway here.

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