Author: C. J. Skuse
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Contemporary
Publication Date: April 20th 2017
Format: eARC (472 pages)
The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…
Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.
Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhiannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.
A kill list.
From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.
Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…
My Rating: ★★★★
Hilarious. Deliciously dark. Quirky. Bold.
Just a few ways to quickly describe this fabulous read.
In Sweetpea, the first adult novel from author C. J. Skuse, there is no holding back. From the very first page it is clear that this book is not for the faint hearted or for those offended by strong language or explicit sexual references. If you are easily offended then I recommend now that you don’t read this book because you won’t get on well with it. If you enjoy a bit of dark, twisted comedy then you will probably love this book.
Rhiannon is an outrageous character but I loved her voice and thought she was hilarious. Despite being unable to relate to her on most levels (I am not a serial killer) there were definitely moments where I found myself laughing out loud at her brutal honesty. That being said, I am not easily offended but there were a few moments in the book where I thought ‘Ouch’ and had a bit of a cringe at some of what was said. On the whole though I thought it was great to read a book that held nothing back and featured a female serial killer!
It goes without saying that Rhiannon clearly has her own emotional baggage and is damaged by events in her early life. Despite how cold-hearted she comes across, at the centre of her actions are real reasons to commit her crimes: killing paedophiles, sex offenders and so on. Her murders are bloody and unforgiving. She is a psychopath through and through.
I really enjoyed that this was written as her personal journal (a la Bridget Jones) and that each entry started with a list of things/people that she hates and/or wants to kill. There were so many of the things she mentioned where I thought ‘I get that!’ and that’s what makes this so great. Despite her fondness of murdering people, Rhiannon is also very normal. She loves her dog Tink, she goes out with friends, she has written a novel, she has a boyfriend (albeit a cheating one) and she dreams of her future in a little Welsh cottage. Mix that in with all the murder and sex that Sweetpea delivers and you have an idea of why I think of her as a Bridget-Jones-like character.
I’ve seen people describing this book as marmite and I understand what they mean. Some readers will LOVE this book and others will LOATHE it. Personally I really enjoyed it and would actually love to see what happens next for Rhiannon, I mean the ending was just a little frustrating!
Full of hilarious quips and deliciously dark, Rhiannon is the murderous Bridget Jones I never knew I needed in my life!
Have you read Sweetpea? What did you think?
What thriller novels are your favourites?