Thanks to NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Synopsis: Since her husband’s murder two years earlier, life hasn’t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She’s selling her house and delving into new experiences–like learning trapeze.
Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from juvenile detention where he served time for killing his abusive father. Within days of his release, Elle’s school principal, who tormented Ty as a child, is brutally murdered. So is a teacher at the school. And Ty’s former girlfriend. All the victims have links to Ty.
Ty’s younger brother, Seth, is in Elle’s class. When Seth shows up at school beaten and bruised, Elle reports the abuse, and authorities remove Seth and his older sister, Katie, from their home. Is Ty the abuser?
Ty seeks Elle out, confiding that she’s the only adult he’s ever trusted. She tries to be open-minded, even wonders if he’s been wrongly condemned. But when she’s assaulted in the night, she suspects that Ty is her attacker. Is he a serial killer? Is she his next intended victim?
Before Elle discovers the truth, she’s caught in a deadly trap that challenges her deepest convictions about guilt and innocence, childhood and family. Pushed to her limits, she’s forced to face her fears and apply new skills in a deadly fight to survive.
What did I miss? That was the first thought that entered my mind when I finished Child’s Play. Have I mentioned how much I hate it when everyone else seems to like a book but I don’t? I thought the actual plot was pretty good, but my overwhelming dislike for most of the characters overshadowed any enjoyment I could have had from reading this book. It is the third in a series, but although I haven’t read the first two, I was never confused, so that was a positive. Sadly it was one of only a few. The MC, Elle, is a victim straight from the Perils of Pauline. This isn’t a supernatural book, but it literally seemed as though she was being stalked by the Grim Reaper. I mean honestly! How much bad luck can one person have? I went on Goodreads and read the premises of the first two books, and honestly, no one could have witnessed that much death without at least being in therapy. It is stated that she suffers from a dissociative disorder, but unbelievably she’s not under a doctor’s care. At least not in this book. She’s a likable enough character, but her personality came across as rather bland for the most part. Through the majority of the book I found her judgement questionable as she recklessly put herself in danger again and again. What I found even worse though were her so-called friends, who seemed unsympathetic and patronizing toward Elle. Actually, they’re all supposed to be around forty, but they spoke and acted more like teens. I wound up guessing who the real killer was before the halfway point of the book, but there was a cool little twist regarding their motivations that I really liked. The story was also fast-paced which made it a very quick read. Sadly, for me, the negatives far outweighed the positives. But, as I said at the beginning of this review, going by the reviews on Goodreads I’m definitely in the minority, so if you enjoy suspenseful mysteries and psychological thrillers I encourage you to give this a try.