Audio Review: To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough, Narrated by Christy Romano #YoungDelight

Posted April 23, 2017 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews / 21 Comments

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Audio Review: To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough, Narrated by Christy Romano #YoungDelight
To Catch a Killer
Narrated by Christy Romano

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: YA Romantic Suspense
Published by Audible Studios
Released on February 7, 2017
Length: 9 hours 36 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
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Teen girl forensics investigator solving the murder of her beloved teacher?  Oh yeah, had to listen to this one.  This was my first encounter with author and narrator.  I loved how the author caught the feel of a YA contemporary with a compelling murder mystery and narrator nailed it with the teen scene.

The story opens with Erin Blake discovering the grisly murder of her biology teacher.  Erin and her teacher were working on a project personal to Erin- finding Erin’s father through DNA testing.  Erin’s guardian ruses to talk about the unsolved murder in the past of Erin’s mother or help Erin figure out who her dad is.  Erin loves Rachel, her guardian and her mom’s best friend, but she hates the blank slate that is her past.  But now, her need for answers might have gotten her teacher killed.

The police think they have their prime suspect in another kid who was there that night and Erin helped point the finger at him.  However, Erin is not convinced of Journey Matthews’ guilt and not just because she had a crush on him.  So with the help of her best friends and even Journey and the knowledge she gains from her FBI forensics pathologist uncle, she decides to solve Ms P’s murder.  Clues start pointing toward the fact that her mother’s killer might still be around and not want her digging into things.

I was engaged with this story from the beginning.  The author did a good job of blending typical teenage life of getting along with parents, family and high school with a murder mystery.  Erin’s forensics’ hobby and amateur detecting with her friends make for a fresh take on things.  She’s a bright girl and I loved how she still has room to mature and grow throughout the story.  She’s a tad arrogant about her knowledge in that she knows better than the adults and her friends, but the story is written in such a way that the adults are mostly oblivious too.

That’s brings me to a couple niggles about the story.  I’m not fond of that take on adults especially since most of these were professionals in the field, but I guess it allowed for some liberties so that Erin could do her thing.  And the other thing was there was a scene in the latter half that, while fascinating as it took step by step the process of matching DNA in a home-made sort of way, the scene dragged as a result.

As I said, Erin is a complex character and I loved that.  She’s the narrator and the story hinges on her.  The author did a great job of making her personable, strong, but vulnerable.  And the story has many layers.

Erin has a troubling past with being a three year old found with her mother’s body, no other family so now living with her mom’s best friend as guardian.  Erin is something of a novelty to the other kids and the small town and between that and Rachel’s refusal to allow her to talk about her feelings on the past, she is near the breaking point when the new trouble starts.  Her friendship is fun in that she has strong ties to two other girls and the three must figure out how to work through their issues even while staying true through the tough moments.  First crush and first love is a sweet and fun addition as Erin gets to share the case with Journey, the cute popular guy at school while learning Journey is more than a pretty face and has his own issues.

Teen Cautions: Language- moderate, Sex- none, Violence- moderate

As to Christy Romano’s narration, she was a solid match for this story.  I felt she enhanced what was already a great book with her take on Erin and the rest of the cast.  She caught just the right tone with a Young Adult story and one with such a gritty mystery attached.  I would definitely listen to more of her work.

All in all, this was a fantastic story.  I did not want to pause it for real life.  I can heartily recommend it to those who enjoy Young Adult contemporary blended with a gritty mystery.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #47 YA
Literary Pickers #46 nail file
New Release #23
Audio #11

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Mary Kirkland
4 years ago

Oh that does sound like a good one. Sounds like there’s a lot going on and that’s usually good, keeps me involved in the story.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

I loved the teen investigators vibe. I would have totally devoured this as a teen and I was as eager for it even now.

Alyssa Susanna
4 years ago

I have definitely seen this book around, but I didn’t really know much about it. Teen investigators, that sounds neat! I don’t read nearly enough suspense and mystery, though I have enjoyed the ones that I have read. I’m glad you enjoyed this book, Sophia!

Have a great week. =)

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

I didn’t know about it until it was offered to me for review and I got excited when I read the blurb. Not bad. 😉 The teen investigators was a big part of the enjoyment.

Thanks, Alyssa!

4 years ago

Oh yes I remember hearing about this one when it was released but I haven’ty read it (I had to verify that lol) but it sounds quite well done in any case.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Ha! Yes, sometimes I have to check my list because I can’t remember if I read something or not.
It’s definitely YA, but I thought it was a good solid mystery, too.

Cindy Servatt
4 years ago

This does sound like a good one! Thanks for sharing.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Cindy Servatt

You betcha, Cindy!

Debbie Haupt
4 years ago

Ok wow I can definitely see why you had to get this one. Thanks Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Yeah, that blurb grabbed my attention right away, Debbie. 🙂

Lily B
4 years ago

That is my biggest pet peeve with YA and how the adults are sometimes portrayed in them. I’ll take away a star for that cause ugh…
Glad you enjoyed it. YA mystery can be very tricky

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Lily B

Yeah, it seems my lot to find that peeve in the last few YA’s I’ve picked up. There has to be a better way to spotlight a teen’s brilliance without making the adults around them into buffoons who can barely figure out how to tie their shoes without the teen’s help.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

It does sound interesting but, yeah, I think I would have those niggles as well. I do get tired of the way adults are portrayed sometimes.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

It was an otherwise fantastic story, but the portrayal of anyone over eighteen left me cold. I don’t think they are doing kids any favors by giving them this impression about adults and I sure don’t think they are winning an adult audience to their books by it- so why???? LOL

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Reply to  Sophia Rose

No, probably not. It’s strange for me. When I was growing up I loved Saved by the Bell and that was one of my mom’s complaints about it and how they made all of the adults look ridiculous. I totally was like pffft! whatever! but now I’m thinking, yeah, it probably would irk me, too. lol

4 years ago

Sounds like it would make a good movie for teens. I actually clicked the link and it went to some weird Amazon page. Not sure how that happened. Great review!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

Yes, it really does, Lorna. 🙂

Oh, bummer. Sorry about that. Not sure what’s going on with the link.

Carole's Random Life
4 years ago

This sounds like an enjoyable listen. Was the the deal of the day a little bit ago? I remember looking at this one before. I would have to agree with you that the main character knowing more than the professionals would bother me and I don’t need anything too detailed in terms of science in this kind of story. Great review!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

I did enjoy Christy Romano as a narrator although, it might have worked out better there at that technical jargon part to be able to skim that. 🙂

I’m not sure if it was the Deal of the Day. I was sent this one for review. I do seem to remember seeing it while I was listening to it so maybe that’s where I saw it.

Yeah, it just didn’t go over as authentic to have a tenured sheriff and his whole department that clueless. But, the overall story was great.

4 years ago

I am definitely going to take a look at this. Even though I’m not a huge YA reader/listener, I like the forensics aspect. Thanks for sharing!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  marthae

I liked that part, too, Marthae. Hope you enjoy it. 🙂