Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin

This is another selection from the Ultimate Teen Bookshelf.
David Yaffe is eighteen and heading to Boston to live with his aunt and uncle and attend a private school for his senior year. Given snippets of information about his former life in Baltimore, the reader surmises that David was acquitted of murdering his girlfriend, Emily, and has come to Boston to escape attention and publicity. He moves in with his Uncle Vic, Aunt Julia and 11-year-old cousin Lily. They have a 3 story house and have remodeled the attic floor into an apartment where David will live while he attends school. His mother and Aunt Julia have never liked each other and when David arrives, Aunt Julia won't speak to him. He quickly finds out that Aunt Julia is also not speaking to Uncle Vic and that Lily is the go-between for her parents. He also discovers that Lily is a very strange and scary child. When David tries to discuss her behavior with his aunt and uncle, their relationship goes downhill and we learn how dysfunctional this family really is. I liked The Killer's Cousin. It was suspenseful and creepy and despite us knowing that David has killed someone, I liked his character. I would suggest this to a teen who wants to read a thriller and who wouldn't get too freaked out by murder and all-around evil. There were parts of the book that could have been better developed - some plotlines and characters are definitely left hanging. All in all, though,this was enjoyable.

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