- Age Range: 12 - 18 years
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 660 (What's this?)
- Series: Erin Blake (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Tor Teen (February 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765381915
- ISBN-13: 978-0765381910
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 70 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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To Catch a Killer: A Novel (Erin Blake) Hardcover – February 7, 2017
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Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Teenager Erin Blake is a novice forensic enthusiast and an orphan. Ever since her mother's murder 14 years earlier, Erin has tried to live a normal life with her legal guardian, Rachel, who had been her mother's best friend. Erin doesn't know her father's identity. When Erin discovers the dead body of her biology teacher, her life is thrown into chaos. As Erin and her friends Lysa and Spam follow clues to track down the killer, it becomes apparent that their teacher's murder is directly linked to the death of Erin's mother. Against her friends' wishes, Erin enlists the help of her longtime crush and fellow classmate, Journey Michaels. As Erin and Journey delve deeper into the unsolved cases, it seems that all the evidence points straight to them. Desperate to prove their innocence, they decide to catch the killer themselves. Unfortunately, the closer they get to the truth, the more danger they find themselves in. Erin and Journey need to track down the murderer fast—before they become the next victims. Scarborough's debut YA novel contains stilted language, static imagery, and underdeveloped characters, but the fast-paced plot and Veronica Mars—esque protagonist make this book a good fit for avid mystery readers. VERDICT While this title may appeal to mystery fans, it is most suitable as a secondary purchase.—Ariel Birdoff, New York Public Library
“A twisty, cold-case mystery custom made for fans of Sara Shepard, PLL and Veronica Mars! The edge-of-your-seat plot, sinister backstory and smart, brave and irreverent main character made this whodunit unputdownable.”―Justine Magazine
“Scarborough’s steely, vulnerable sleuth is at her bestwhen in dogged pursuit. A didn’t-see it-coming finish for forensics fansand converts.”―New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia
“A compulsive read. Scarborough has created a thrillingbook brimming with life, murder, and adventure.”―Carrie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of Flying
“To Catch a Killeris a tense, storming heartbeat of a thriller. Scarborough’s tightly woven storymerges forensic intrigue with friendship, romance, and family, nailing thedynamic stylings of Veronica Mars and the playful spirit of Bones. I could notput it down.”―Cori McCarthy, author of Breaking Sky
“A relatable cast and well thought-out plot make thismystery a Sherlockian puzzle sure to impress the most hardened crime-proceduralfanatic. Don your deer-stalker caps, gumshoes, you’re in for a twistyride.”―Mary Elizabeth Summer, author of Trust Me, I’m Lying
“Erin and her friends dished up romance, pizza, and aheap of deliciously fun forensic knowledge, plus a couple of thrilling murdermysteries that kept me sitting on my hands so as not to sneak a peek at itsconclusion. It was worth the wait!”―Estelle Laure, author of This Raging Light
Top customer reviews
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To Catch a Killer has great forensic details, so much so at times I wanted to try out some of the experiments myself! I also have secret-attic room envy. I would have loved to have one of those when I was Erin's age--okay, I'll admit, I still want one now.
In a nutshell, the novel has drama, fun, vivid characters, and a fantastic mystery. I'll definitely be recommended this to my friends. Please tell me this is the first of a series! I want another one. :)
Erin's high school biology teacher also has an interest in forensics and agrees to help Erin answer some of her many questions about her past. When Erin drops off some objects to do DNA tests on late one evening, she find her teacher Miss Peters dead in a way that is like her mother's death. She also sees her high school crush Journey running away from the scene.
She pairs up with Journey and her two best friends Lysa and Spam to investigate but she is keeping lots of secrets from them. Her friends are concerned that she might be too obsessive about solving hr mother's and her teacher's deaths.
I liked that each chapter begins with a quotation from Miss Peters or from Erin's uncle Vincent Flemming who is with the FBI and is an expert on forensics. I liked that she finally gets to meet and spend time with her uncle during her investigation.
There was all sorts of interesting information about forensics and collecting evidence to solve crimes. Teens with an interest in crime fighting will enjoy this mystery. I'm hoping that Erin and her friends have more adventures.
Erin isn't completely helpless when it comes to science. Together with Spam and Lysa, her best friends, she has a small business. They process samples and they can access most online information. Erin wants to follow in her uncle Victor's footsteps, he works for the FBI and writes about forensics. Together with her two friends she tries to uncover the truth. This is especially important when both Erin and her secret crush Journey are being seen as suspects in the case. Erin saw him the night Miss P. died and identified him, so Journey isn't her biggest fan. However, they soon discover that it's much smarter to work together than having an argument about a crime they clearly both didn't commit. They know they aren't safe until they find the person who's responsible. Is there a link between Erin's mother and Miss P. and will Erin be able to uncover the truth before the killer gets a chance to come after her as well?
To Catch a Killer is a fantastic gripping story. I was immediately intrigued by Erin's detective skills. Her resourcefulness and determination are making sure she keeps finding answers. Erin is incredibly smart and she's good at keeping secrets. She also has interesting friends who are helping her with her problems. I loved the friendship aspect of To Catch a Killer, it adds a beautiful layer to an already fascinating story. The main characters are all intriguing and that makes this book a true gem.
Sheryl Scarborough kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Her story is inspirational and I loved her thorough descriptions of the research Erin is doing. She gives clear explanations that are both educational and entertaining. The combination of a terrific thrilling plot and great scientific exploring is really special. I can't praise To Catch a Killer enough. The story has many unexpected twists and turns and I loved every single page of this amazing book.