by Sheryl Scarborough
Release Date: February 7th 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Find It: Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble
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.
Since the loss of her mother, an unsolved murder, Erin has been living with her mother’s best friend… yet she’s never forgotten her mother. She’s also never let the unsolved case go. She’s eager to find her mother’s killer, and has been secretly “investigating” different aspects of it unbeknownst to anyone. You see, Erin is very much into forensics. Her uncle is an author who was written several books on the subject, and Erin can’t help but love the subject as well. She also has a bit of a side business with her besties, Spam and Lysa, where she investigates cheating boyfriends for classmates and the like. When Erin’s favorite forensics teacher ends up murdered, Erin adds this murder to her list of unsolved cases. She’s bound to find her mother’s killer AND her teacher’s killer, whether it puts her life in danger or not.
All kinds of forensic fun going on here!! I loved how deeply this story went into the forensic aspects. From working in the court system for so many years, I love seeing the stuff that occurs BEFORE coming to trial. This was so entertaining to me, and I could totally see myself doing some of the things Erin was. (Trust me, I’m nowhere near as ballsy as she is, though.) From hiding evidence that may be useful in the future, to raising fingerprints off of different surfaces, Erin is a young Sherlock Holmes! I love how invested Erin was with all of this, unwilling to give up without answers.
My one slight issue, I have to say, was the way this story all wrapped up. Though I didn’t really know who the culprit was, per say, I did have my suspensions, which turned out to be correct. I’m rarely able to pick out whodunit until the ending, so when I’m able to guess it correctly early-on, it’s a bit of a disappointment to me. Like, it must have been a VERY easy guess for me to get it right. That being said, I’m thinking others who are known for guessing who’s at fault early on will probably know right away and may not enjoy this story as much as I did. I also felt the ending came together a little too easily, and had a bit of a Scooby Doo vibe to it.
Overall, I really did enjoy this story. The forensic info mixed with the fun story left me flipping pages quickly and eager to see how it would all wrap up. It definitely felt like a young adult read, versus the adult mysteries I normally read, as it was never really scary or left me shivering in my boots. It was more fun, mysterious, and the anticipation kept it all going for me.
Have you read To Catch a Killer? Are you a fan of YA mysteries?