Book Review: The Killer's Cousin

When I found The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin at my local bookstore, I had already read two Werlin books. One I loved and one was a little disappointing. I didn't know which category this title would fall under, but I purchased it because it had won the Edgar Award. The Edgar Award is given to books that are mysterious and creepy, and when I picked up The Killer's Cousin I was feeling like I needed some creep in my life.

For me, this read went super fast. I love a good whodunit story and this was a good one. For some reason, the narrator had me under his spell and I really felt for him. I wanted everything to work out for him and the other characters were sufficiently weird and obnoxious enough to make me worry for him. Here's the basic plot:

David Yaffe just went through the worst experience of his teen life. He was accused of killing his beloved girlfriend. He tries to escape the media headlines and accusing stares of his hometown by relocating to Cambridge, Massachusetts to live with his aunt, uncle, and cousin Lilly. Like David, this little family has had its fair share of grief. Their oldest daughter, Kathy, committed suicide just a year or two before David's arrival.

David is happy to blend into the attic apartment, but his cousin Lilly is not happy he's come to live with them. She starts to invade his privacy, is extremely rude and downright mean when he's around. It is obvious that Lilly is running things and doesn't want David to screw up the control that she has over her parents. When David starts seeing the ghost of his cousin Kathy, he realizes that her suicide might have been a cover-up for a much more disturbing crime.

I read this book in a few short hours. The Edgar Award was definitely not wasted on this read!