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The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin

The Killer's Cousin (1998)

by Nancy Werlin

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3671941,913 (3.83)19



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David is almost finished with high school, but, he cannot complete his education in the area where he lives with his parents. Previously on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, he was found not guilty. Because of all the constant media attention, his parents make a decision to send him to live with relatives in Cambridge, MA.

While trying to sort through his life and consequences, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate both his past, and the new home where, in particular, his Aunt, really does not want him in their house. This family also has a lot of garbage to sort through while also suffering from a great deal of grief because of a death/suicide of a teenage daughter.

The new family includes an Aunt who truly does not want him, a nasty, manipulative sociopath, child, and an Uncle who tries to deal with his own family dysfunction and grief while trying to make David comfortable in their home.

David is dealing with two dysfunctional families, the one he left behind, and the one where he was shuffled off, and he must come to grips with his past, while trying to cope with the present. ( )
  Whisper1 | Sep 27, 2017 |
Narrated by Nick Podehl. This wasn't as suspenseful as I expected (Nancy Werlin can do a taut thriller) but I found the premise of two young killers who understand each other thought-provoking. Who else could empathize with the guilt and pain? Not their schoolmates or parents. A dark, elite club to say the least. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I remember reading this as a summer reading assignment in high school and rereading my thoughts on it have not changed. The circumstances that lead up the to plot seems unlikely. The whole storyline just seemed farfetched. An 11 year old girl killing her sister? I wish I could say that I enjoyed it, but I honestly didn't, not in high school and definitely not now as an adult. ( )
  jbrabbs86 | Jan 29, 2015 |
So very predictable. I knew pretty much how it was going to end before I finished the first chapter. There was some awkward wording as well. For instance when speaking of a dresser it was a bedroom dresser (is there any other kind?) and one of the character's put on the lights instead of turning them on. Also, Tara Lipinski is supposed to be an 11 year old girls favorite skater. What? This was written in 2009 and she had been retired for several years before that. I'm not sure an 11 year old is old enough to remember when she ice skated. Some of the slang is dated as well. ( )
  middlemedia2 | Nov 23, 2013 |
Listened to the Brilliance Audio edition narrated by Nick Podehl. I liked this, but it is very clearly dated. Fascinating to read about old style web stuff though. I did think the big "twist" was pretty obvious, but I still enjoyed getting there. Podehl's narration was excellent. ( )
  JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
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My name, David Bernard Yaffe, will sound familiar, but you won't remember why--at least not at first.
"She waited just past the point at which I was sure she wasn't going to move. Then she got up, elaborately dusting off her knees. "Tell me something," she said, as if casually, "How did you feel when she went down?"
All the air left the room.
Lily was leaning forward, her gaze avid, sucking at mine. "Tell me. Did you feel...powerful? Were you glad? Even...just for a minute?"

..."Get out," I said.
Again she waited. Staring; challenging. And as I began to think that I would have to pick her up and remove her bodily - and I was abruptly prepared to do it - she lifted her chin and moved past me like a diva. Her feet thunked as she descended the stairs. I closed the door behind her. I leaned against it.
I heard my own breath come back in and out of my lungs. It sounded as if I'd been running.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440227518, Mass Market Paperback)

Ever since David Yaffe was acquitted of murder in the accidental death of his girlfriend, he has felt that "for the rest of my life, over and over, I would have to convince everyone--including me--of my harmlessness." To escape media attention and the prying stares of the curious, he is sent to finish his senior year of high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he lives in the attic apartment of his Aunt Julia and Uncle Vic. They receive him coldly, and his 11-year-old cousin, Lily, is openly hostile. (The apartment previously belonged to their older daughter Kathy, who died an apparent suicide at age 18.) With a haunting series of episodes--including a sporadic humming and a fleeting shadow--David begins to sense Kathy's eerie and powerful presence.

His loneliness and self-distrust is relieved only by his friendship with Raina, an art student who lives downstairs--until Lily's spying and harassing destroys the relationship. Lily's anger escalates into more and more vicious tricks, but when David confronts Vic and Julia, they refuse to believe that Lily needs help. At last David is forced to realize that he and Lily share a complicity in murder, in a blazing climax that resolves this subtle psychological thriller. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:51 -0400)

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After being acquitted of murder, seventeen-year-old David goes to stay with relatives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he finds himself forced to face his past as he learns more about his strange young cousin Lily.

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