Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green
Killer Instinct by S.E. Green
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Action/Adventure Contemporary Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (272 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Review by: Lupine

​She’s not evil, but she has certain… urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return… in parts.

When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim… ​

The book had me from the beginning to the end, and I ended up reading all in one night because I was so interested in what was going to be the end result of the story line. That’s a plus for me, because I usually end up figuring out everything in the middle of the book, or I’m at least super close to what I had thought would happen. This book had an ending that I wasn’t ready for or willing to accept, but it certainly kept me hooked.

Lane was a very interesting character, and I really liked reading about her because I found her way of thinking to be much different than what the average female protagonist would be thinking about. She’s very rational most of the time, which is nice to see. She keeps her head on straight and doesn’t really let others get in her way when she’s angry at someone. ​Even though she has the makings of a serial killer, she doesn’t completely fit the profile and I think that keeps her sane some of the time when she realizes that she’s still human. She rarely overreacts to stupid situations and when she does respond to something it’s usually with bitterness or bluntness. She is something very different than anyone else I’ve read about.

The plot is great, and the twists and turns in the mystery of who the Decapitator might be is really enthralling, but I struggled with the love interest part of the story, because I think Lane’s idea of love is a little off kilter, since she never really develops anything and tends to use people and toss their feelings around to get what she wants. I think that relates back to the type of person she is, though. Since she’s pretty much devoid of emotions I doubt she knows what it actually feels like to love someone with all your heart. Her brother is pretty much the only exception to that, since she treats him like he’s an angel.

All-in-all an exciting, well-written book with a unique protagonist for the genre.  I can’t wait for the next book!

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