Book Review: Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse

Today's review is for Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse. I discovered this author with her YA novels, but this time, she brings us an adult crime story... and what a story! Read my thoughts on it:

Title: Sweetpea
Author: CJ Skuse
Published: November 2nd 2017 by HQ Stories

Blurb: The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcoholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

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, Rhinannon’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…

Review: Well, well, well... this was not what I was expecting! Don't get me wrong, Sweetpea is fantastic but it took me quite for surprise. After reading and loving the dark and atmospheric YA novel The Deviants last year, I was expecting a really tense read with secrets and lies aplenty. But instead we get this really REALLY dark story which turns out to be quite humorous and no lies at all, only the plain truth.

Basically Sweetpea is the diary of Rhiannon, a serial killer. And we get to know her with no filters. Everything that goes through her mind ends in the diary and as you can imagine, she has some really extremely dark thoughts. From the thrill she gets from killing, her interactions with her weird colleagues, her sexual activities and fantasies, to her love for her dog and Sylvanian Families, she talks about everything. 

She is definitely a character almost impossible to connect with, but somehow, you kind of like her. For example, in every entry, she lists people she would like to kill and some of those entries are just hilarious. Seriously, if I had one of those lists myself, I would agree with her more than once. 

It's also so refreshing to get this uncensored view of her life. It's quite shocking at the beginning, as there's blood, LOTS of it, and violence, and sex, and disturbing thoughts, and disturbing actions... but once you get into the story, it's highly entertaining. Definitely not recommended for the faint-hearted or for younger audiences though.

Although the book is quite long, at around 500 pages, things keep happening at quite a fast pace and there are several characters that play a big role in Rhianon's life, so you don't get bored. My only con would be probably the last part of the story, as it all got a bit too much for me. 

Definitely recommended for fans of dark humour or for readers looking for something different, out of the ordinary.

Rating: 4 stars

I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.

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