Posted in Fashionably Late Reviews :)

Review: Killer Instinct by S. E. Green


Reissue May 2015, Simon Pulse.

I was tempted by the Pulseit website to read this. But I mean, look at the cover! Who wouldn’t be tempted?

I don’t know how a book like this wasn’t already on my radar, especially with book 2 about to release (at the time of reading)

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. After-school 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.

Go on, you have my attention.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals and delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder, but with each visceral rush, the line of self-control blurs. And when a young preschool teacher goes missing—and returns in pieces—Lane gets a little too excited about tracking down “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer who has come to her hometown.

I see.

As she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her own past, Lane realizes she is no longer invisible or safe. Especially after the Decapitator contacts her directly. 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…

There are definite echoes of Dan Wells’ I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver) series, and this was attractive to me because here we’re getting a female POV.

I knew it was going to be violent, but I’m not sure I could have predicted just how graphic some of the descriptions were. I don’t mind admitting it made me uncomfortable in places; I wrote about how that felt on FLiCKonline. And I think I could probably write a PhD on whether or not it crosses some sort of invisible line.

But know this; it is not a book for the gentle reader. It’s hardcore, extreme, balls-to-the-walls grotesque (in places).

But (there’s another but. Hurr hurr. Butt.) this book also has plenty of heart. There’s a softer side to it as the protagonist figures out her own heart, putting aside her violent tendancies to allow the sharper edges of ehr mind be blurred by desire, love, affection. I found it really sweet, actually, in a very real and carefully complicated way.

I’m a big fan of dark, gritty and gross things. It’s just who I am, so this book was definitely ‘for me’, but I can’t say it will definitely be ‘for you’.

The ending was a bit lackluster; I don’t mind admitting it made me inwardly groan. I think there could have been so many other possibilities explored, and for me the one chosen didn’t quite cut it.

Concept – 5/5

Plot – 3/5 

Ending or Twist – 2.5/5 

Character(s) – 4/5

Overall – 4/5

This book is graphic. It’s cool. It’s not cool. It’s gross. It’s sweet. And all in all, I have to say, I dug it. A memorable read, that’s for sure. Extra points for the repackage in the epic covers!


YA writer. Epic reader. Professional procrastinator.

5 thoughts on “Review: Killer Instinct by S. E. Green

  1. “there’s another but. Hurr hurr. Butt.” I agree 😉
    The blurb is really interesting. I don’t know if I can handle the violence … I’m a big wimp about that! Totally agree with you on the cover though, it’s freaking awesome.

    1. IKR? The cover is fabulous. I love it.

      I mean, I’m not trying to put people off, at all, because it’s a good book. But it’s not for the faint hearted. 😮

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