The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

The Killing Woods by Lucy ChristopherThe Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: October 3, 2013
Publisher: Chicken House
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.

A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY.

Having heard a lot of amazing things about Lucy Christopher’s Stolen, I was very intrigued to check out her work. I hadn’t planned on buying anything else by her until I had read Stolen – which has been sitting on my shelf for a good three years now – but I was sent an ARC from the publisher, followed by a finished copy, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give her books a go.

The premise of The Killing Woods is very intriguing. Emily’s father brings home a dead body, and is accused of manslaughter. The body was of Damon’s dead girlfriend, and so, quite understandably, he is angry at Emily’s family, especially at her father. But the two come together, and Emily insists on figuring out the truth of what happened that night. Damon was with the girl – whose name escapes me – that night, but he can’t remember what happened.

Sounds good, right? I love a good mystery plot. They’re usually oh-so-thrilling, and I have the chance to get my Sherlock on. Unfortunately, The Killing Woods sent me to sleep.

Firstly, I couldn’t connect with either of the characters. Damon came across as slightly deranged, and while he had already been through a lot before his girlfriend was killed, I found him frustrating. He’s one of those characters who does the most ridiculous things for no reason, and reading his chapters wound me right up. His characterisation (read: his craziness) seemed so overdone, and I wasn’t a fan of that portrayal at all.

Emily, on the other hand, was boring. I totally tuned out during her chapters, and I can’t think of one thing to say about her. She wanted to get her father freed and pronounced innocent and… that’s it. That’s all I know. She had very little personality, and I was hoping for more. I would have been happy with either side of the spectrum: a painfully shy girl who just lost her father, or a louder, more outspoken one.

I also couldn’t connect with Lucy Christopher’s writing style. This is going to sound so silly, but I say silly things all the time. Her writing style felt too British for my liking, as I tend to prefer a more neutral tone, and I didn’t like the slightly stiff dialogue, since it felt forced and you could tell someone had written it. Does that make sense? I expect dialogue to flow naturally, but this felt weird. Plus, there were a lot of exclamation marks. Stop! Shouting!

Honestly, I only kept reading this to see what the outcome was. I wanted to know if Emily’s father was innocent or if he had actually killed the girl. I have decided that I will still read Stolen, since I own it and I’m interested in the whole Stockholm Syndrome thing, but if Lucy Christopher’s writing style is the same in that then meh. I’m gonna be bored.

6 comments on “The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

  1. Kristen Williams October 4, 2013 3:19 pm

    It totally makes sense about the stiff dialog. I don’t like that at all. This doesn’t really seem like anything I would enjoy though I have seen some positive reviews. Hopefully Stolen is a better experience.

    My Friends Are Fiction

    • Amber (Books of Amber) October 16, 2013 8:26 am

      I think Stolen might be more up my alley, purely due to the creepy factor? Maybe.

  2. Audris October 5, 2013 12:01 pm

    It’s sad that you didn’t like this one It always sucks when you can’t connect to any of the characters. But I’ll be on the lookout for what you think about Stolen, since it’s such a loved book.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) October 16, 2013 8:26 am

      I’m very nervous about reading Stolen, since everyone has loved it! I have been told to read it so many times… AGH!

  3. Judith October 15, 2013 8:09 am

    Too bad you didn’t like this. I looove murder mysteries, but it’s important that the characters are at least well-written. I love that you said that the writing was too British for you, because I have no idea what you mean by it, but it sounds cool. Maybe you’re just secretly turning into an American… also, Stolen is about the Stockholm Syndrom? INTRIGUED.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) October 16, 2013 8:27 am

      Me tooooo. Murder mysteries are fabulous, and there needs to be more. But… more good ones. Erm, I don’t really know how to explain the British thing. I AM NOT TURNING INTO AN AMERICAN HDUUUU. And yessss, it is!

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