How I'll Kill You is one to grab right away!! Thanks to Ren DeStefano and Berkley Books for the advanced copy, and read on for an excerpt from the book!
Ren DeStefano’s How I’ll Kill You is part love story and part horror. Throughout the tale, the reader knows who the “bad guy” is, but somehow Ren got me to empathize with one of our three murderers and I kept turning pages hoping that things would turn out differently for her.
Sissy is one of identical triplets that were abandoned soon after birth. They grew up in foster home and group homes, and unfortunately were often separated from each other and learned some hard lessons early on. After they aged out of the system, they were able to reunite and be a family. However, it’s not long before iris, the presumed oldest, falls in love and has an affair with a married man. When he refuses to leave his wife for her, she murders him in a fit of anger. Afterwards, she is devastated, but calls Sissy (who is an avid crime documentary watcher) to help cleanup so that the sisters can escape together without being caught. The sisters make a pact to kill each kill their first love, and travel around the country to find their mark.
Eventually, the sisters decide that Sissy needs to kill her first instead of only doing the clean up, as this will better bind her into their little family. However, Sissy falls in love and has doubts about killing him.
How I’ll Kill You is both a love story and a horror story, as you learn about the horrific acts the girls have committed, as well as the details of the cleanup and moving on. They are incredibly methodical and meticulous.
I really empathized with Sissy throughout the novel, and felt that she was “different” from her murderous sisters, especially since she had her to kill and was only helping them clean up. Only - ha! That is still a big deal. But she was not the mastermind and more like a wheel in the system. The man that Sissy falls in love with who is to be her first mark is also very engaging, and has been through hard times himself.
Disaster and murder follow the triplets wherever they go.
How I’ll Kill You is perfect for fans of Taylor Adams (No Exit) or Jennifer Hillier (Jar of Hearts, Things We Do in the Dark) in that it combines the element of intrigue with a bit of gruesomeness, but also has characters that the reader can identify with. This novel kept me on edge!
Thanks to Berkley Books and Ren DeStefano for the advanced copy. You’ll find How I’ll Kill You on shelves STARTING TODAY!!
“Just come,” she’d sobbed and then hung up. All of my calls went straight to voicemail. I sped the whole way over there, sure that someone had just climbed up the fire escape to murder her. But what I found was a different sort of violence.
Blood, deep and dark, pooled on her oriental rug, and splattered across the angel figurines.
She’d been sleeping with her old high school guidance counselor—a fifty-one-year-old married father of two. He strung her along for months, promising to leave his wife. He broke her heart a hundred times, and then Iris plunged a kebab skewer through his.
“You watch all of those crime shows,” Moody said, emerging from the kitchen with a bottle of bleach she’d found under the sink. “Help us make this go away.”
We moved with a practical calm, the three of us, and when it was through, Iris’s ill-fated lover was resting in six garbage bags, wound tightly with duct tape. If it were only one of us, or even two, I’m sure we would have been caught. We would have missed a detail. But we were a perfect team, the three of us.
After a lifetime of being torn apart, we were finally together, finally able to help one another in all the ways we never could when we were being jostled helplessly by the foster system. All those years of loneliness, of wanting, of being kept apart, had brought us to this desperate moment. Knee-deep in the water of the San Joaquin river in the velvet black night, we weighed the pieces of the man with rocks, and a promise started to form. In the coming days, it slowly became obvious what we needed to do.
We wouldn’t deprive ourselves of love, but our hearts would be weapons. We would love the men we found completely and without inhibition, put a lifetime into our brief time together. Live out every fantasy we desired. And then we would kill them.
There would never be another lover to break one of us. We would break all of them first.
“Excerpted from HOW I’LL KILL YOU by Ren DeStefano published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2023 by Ren DeStefano”
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