This is the second book I’ve read with the daughter of a serial killer and the second book I’ve read of McLaughlin. I think it’s a fun take on typical serial killer stories. The difference with this one is Scarlet doesn’t know who her father is for most of her childhood. So it comes as a complete shock when she learns the truth because she always thought her mother was just ridiculously overprotective. Scarlet loves her mother fiercely, even when she has resented the restrictions. Now we know she has a reason. Things are about to get even more complicated for Scarlet.
While I don’t agree with some decisions the adults in Scarlet’s life have made, I think she’s an incredibly strong teenager. I also think it’s sketchy that the FBI frames this as her choice when it doesn’t really give her much of a choice at all, especially once you get to know Scarlet. I imagine her time spent with her father will traumatize her in the months and years to come because there’s no way it wouldn’t. I don’t necessarily feel this is a thriller, but that in no way dampened my enjoyment of reading this book. McLaughlin has written a super fun read, with intense, multi-dimensional characters and a dramatic storyline that hooks the reader from the start. You’re definitely going to miss your bedtime reading this one. Thank you, St. Martin’s/Wednesday Books, for sending this along!
About the Book:
Scarlet’s life is pretty average. Overly protective mom. Great friends. Cute boy she’s interested in. And a father she’s never known—until she does.
When the FBI shows up at Scarlet’s door, she is shocked to learn her father is infamous serial killer Jeffrey Robert Lake. And now, he’s dying and will only give the names and locations of his remaining victims to the one person, the daughter he hasn’t seen since she was a baby.
Scarlet’s mother has tried to protect her from Lake’s horrifying legacy, but there’s no way they can escape the media firestorm that erupts when they come out of hiding. Or the people who blame Scarlet for her father’s choices. When trying to do the right thing puts her life in danger, Scarlet is faced with a choice—go back into hiding or make the world see her as more than a monster’s daughter.