Love in the Time of Serial Killers is my October Book Club pick. I first saw this book on my Instagram feed. I will admit when I saw the title, my first thought was, “This book is definitely not for me.”
I was unsure what genre the book fell into, and admittedly, I thought it would be a historical thriller about a girl researching serial killers who then gets wrapped up in a crime. Whelp, I was wrong.
Love in the Time Serial Killers is a rom-com novel.
The book centers around Phoebe Walsh, a Ph.D. candidate. Phoebe has one obsession: true crime. After her father’s death, she moves back to his house and arrives there late at night. Her next-door neighbor offers to help her move some things inside, but she immediately classifies him as a serial killer. What guy in their right mind is lurking around in the middle of the night?
Later, she learns his name is Sam, but she is still convinced he is hiding something. Meanwhile, Phoebe reconnects with her brother Connor. They weren’t exactly the closest after their parents divorced, since Connor stayed with their dad and Phoebe lived with her mom. The two get along well enough, and Phoebe hopes Connor will help clean out their father’s house. But all Connor can focus on is his new girlfriend, to whom he plans to propose.
Being at her dad’s house brings new things to light for Phoebe, like maybe Sam isn’t a serial killer. The more time they spend together, the more she starts to feel for him. Will she and Sam be able to find common ground?
You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson
Genre: Fiction/ Romance
The book centers around Phoebe Walsh, a Ph.D. candidate. Phoebe has one obsession: true crime. She meets her next door neighbord, Sam, and is convinced that he may he a serial killer.
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Overall, I really enjoyed this month’s book club pick. My favorite part about this book was definitely the character of Phoebe Walsh. I thought author Alicia Thompson did a fabulous job crafting her. She had a great voice and really carried this book along.
What confused me was the title. I thought it would be about a girl solving serial murder cases. I was so surprised by this slow-burn read. There were times, though, I felt the book slowed a bit too much for me. I like quick-paced, need to turn every page as fast as I can reads, and there were times the plot dragged along.
I did like the romance between Phoebe and Sam. However,, it was a bit too much of a slow-burn for my taste.
I will say, if you love a good slow-burn romance, you may enjoy this read.
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More review from Heyitscarlyrae Contributors!
I’ve seen this book everywhere on Bookstagram and when I came across it at my local Half Price Books, I just had to buy it and see what all the hype was about. The cover alone was enough to draw me in, but the characters are what kept me intrigued. I found myself flying through this book and not wanting to put it down. Going into this book, I thought it would be more mystery than romance, but it was the complete opposite. The main character, Phoebe, was interested in serial killers, but this story focused more on her interpersonal relationships and her growth.
Phoebe was a fun character from the beginning and her storyline really grew. She went from wanting to be a lone wolf to letting people in and accepting that she was worthy of love. Sam was so adorable and I loved how patient and kind he was with her. He knew who she was and never shied away from her interests. I appreciated how the author showed Phoebe slowly letting her guard down with Sam and in the most unique way.
Their relationship felt genuine and raw, but of course I would have liked to see more of their relationship unfold. Conner was hilarious and a great supporting character to Phoebe and complimented her character arc.
I was instantly drawn to this book first because of its cover, and then by the idea of a true-crime obsessed protagonist. Phoebe reminded me a bit of myself with her uncanny ability to drop random facts about murderers and serial killers into conversation. While my knowledge of such hasn’t made me as paranoid as it did Phoebe, I still found her to be a realistic and likable character. I enjoyed watching her walls come down throughout the course of this book, and liked both the person she began as and the one she became.
This book made me laugh and cry, which is the perfect balance in a read. It means that the author got across the emotions they intended, and that I connected with the characters enough to form an emotional bond. I also connected to the overall idea of what it means to be in your thirties, especially when it comes to love, self-acceptance, and forgiveness.
One of my favorite things about reading this book as our October selection was discussing it with other readers. It’s fascinating the different plot elements we pick up on and how our feelings about characters can vary from person to person. This book prompted a nostalgic conversation about the many ways we used to fold our letters in middle and high school. It wasn’t something I noticed while reading the book, but truly enjoyed the conversation it generated.
I loved this book. While I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone, I would recommend it to anyone who likes flawed, human characters, true crime references, self-growth, and a little bit of spice.
I was super excited when Love in the Time of Serial Killers was chosen as the HeyitsCarlyRae book of the month!
Phoebe is such a relatable, fun and honest character. She is one of those characters who makes you laugh out loud at her inner thoughts, as well as her interactions with others. She is awkward and she knows it. So when she first meets her neighbor, Sam, and automatically thinks he’s a serial killer, it just makes sense to the reader. Sam, who you will have to read the book to see if he is actually a serial killer or not, has a pretty great personality himself.
The two characters definitely have a fun, flirty yet awkward banter between them. Living in a world where true crime podcasts are always my go-to, I love how this has a true crime and serial killer emphasis.
While I really enjoyed the characters in this book, it was extremely predictable. I knew what was going to happen within a few chapters. I would have loved to have a curve ball thrown in there somewhere. I did enjoy Phoebe’s character development and her growth throughout the book. It was refreshing to see her acknowledge her faults and try to correct them.
This was definitely a solid book club pick, and I can’t wait to see what we read next month!