Thanks to NetGalley and Dark Arts Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: Convicted of six murders when she was just fifteen, the notorious Ryann Wilkanson hasn’t been able to act on her darkest, deadliest urges for twelve years. She’s exhausted her appeals and has little hope of ever getting out of prison and back to hunting.
Until a media-hungry legal team mounts a campaign to do the impossible–get her immediately released with a commuted sentence.
Forensic psychiatrist Nancy Clafin in has mere weeks to evaluate Ryann’s current mental state against her grisly past to determine if she’s changed. But under the shadow of her own questionable history, it’s not easy to separate her personal life from her professional duty.
At least that’s what Ryann is counting on.
Behind the cold steel doors of a Colorado maximum-security prison, will Nancy find a cold-blooded killer or a newly redeemed woman determined to right her past wrongs?
Wicked Fallout is the sequel to last years Pretty Wicked, and while it can be read as a standalone, I recommend you read the previous book before diving into this. Another word of warning: While Pretty Wicked was definitely in the older YA genre, this book is more for adults.
So, twelve years after young Ryann went on killing spree through her town, she’s now twenty-seven and safely locked up in a maximum-security prison…for now. The question is, after more than a decade behind bars, has Ryann truly repented, and is she ready to become a productive member of society? You don’t think I’m going to tell you, do you? MOWAHAHA! Nope! You’re going to have to read the book to find out for yourself!
Most of the story revolves around Ryann’s life in prison, her interactions with the other inmates, and her visits with forensic psychiatrist Nancy Clafin. There’s also some alternate chapters that relate what’s happening with Nancy’s home life and her family. While the first book was pure horror, this one falls more into the psychological suspense category. There’s not as much action in this story, but that really doesn’t make it any less compelling. Pretty Wicked conjured images of a Buffy gone bad, while Wicked Fallout made me think of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs.
I did find the pacing of the first half of the story a little slow, because some of it was spent rehashing the events of the first book. However, it was interesting seeing Nancy’s interaction with Ryann during their sessions, and seeing how she agonized over whether she believed her or not.
The second half, though had me completely captivated as Ryann’s relationships with other prisoners grew more heated, and her sessions with Nancy got more and more suspenseful as the clocked ticked down to the deadline on whether Ryann’s sentence should be commuted. I was so absorbed and tense, that I actually caught myself nervously biting my fingernails!
Wicked Fallout is a fantastic sequel in Kelly Charron’s Pretty Wicked series, and after a jaw dropping ending, to say that I’m looking forward to the next book is putting it mildly! I cannot recommend this series enough to fans of horror and suspense, and psychological thrillers!