Strasser’s ‘Kill you last’ is marketed as a young adult thriller about a girl who finds that there are three missing girls with one thing in common: they had been photographed by her father and his modelling studio. It’s also the third book in Strasser’s “thrillogy” series (which I did not originally know). That said, you could read this book separately from the series as I did, because it stands on its own rather well.
As an introduction I would probably not consider this novel a thriller; however, I am also not considering myself a young adult so those readers might find it more suspenseful than I did. It does come through with a wave of mystery and has a fairly strong young adult voice for the book, hooking in with technology and the relationships of high school students well. Strasser does this in a very straight-forward manner and there is nothing flowery about this text. It moves quickly and has a no-fuss quality about it, making it a quick read. Not only that, but the plot is solid and the twists expected in a good mystery are all there.
I found the characters believable for their age and how they handled relationships was well put together. There wasn’t a lot of depth to the characters, but again the genre is always going to be more plot-focussed with twists and red herrings. In saying this, characters shouldn’t be completely bland, though there are moments where you do gain insight into a character’s behaviours and choices.
Overall, it was an average read; but maybe that’s because I haven’t read young adult fiction in a while and have forgotten a lot about how these novels can be written these days. The plotline was solid, but overall I think there could be more exciting ‘thrillers’ out there for young adults.
2.5 / 5