Sweetpea – C.J. Skuse

33229410.jpgRhiannon seems relatively normal. She lives with her boyfriend and her little dog, goes to work, and spends time with her friends. Except she has one little secret: she’s a serial killer. Every day, she makes a kill list. From her cheating boyfriend to the man on the checkout in Lidl, Rhiannon is after revenge.

The idea of this story is really good: our protagonist is a murderer living a normal life alongside her secret killing. However, Sweetpea doesn’t quite pull it off. Rhiannon is such a dislikeable character – no, hateable – that there is no empathy or support for what she’s doing. A main character needs to have at least some likeable traits – especially such a controversial character – so that the reader can make a connection, but Rhiannon has none. She’s just an awful, terrible person who makes nasty and offensive judgements (i.e. against disabled people) and gets aroused by necrophilia (trust me, it’s as disgusting as it sounds). This idea could have worked and it is a genuinely interesting story, but I couldn’t get beyond my absolute hate for Rhiannon. I wanted her to lose, which is generally the wrong way to feel about the main character of a story.

On a more positive note, the book is well written and good enough that I did read it the whole way through. The story is gripping and, despite my distaste for Rhiannon and her activities, I had to find out what was going to happen. (I did take a break and read another book in the middle of this one, to give myself a rest from the horrors of Rhiannon’s murder and sex life, but I couldn’t not finish it).

If you are a fan of dark characters and unusual crime stories, Sweetpea might be right up your street – it just wasn’t up mine. But be warned: this book contains VERY adult content and graphic descriptions of murder and (creepy and gross) sex, which there is NO mention of in the book description, hence why I gave it a go.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads | Amazon

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