The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin
I. Synopsis- David Bernard Yaffe was accused of killing his girlfriend. It was a huge trial and now, because of all the media hype surrounding it, David is living with his Uncle Vic and Aunt Julia. His parents decided that staying with them would be best since they have gone through a time of grief when their eldest daughter, Kathy, committed suicide. Now, David must deal with his Aunt Julia, who doesn’t like him for his Jewish heritage. Lily, the remaining daughter, has issues, so it appears to David, but not to her parents. She appears to try to ruin David’s life and succeeds in making it a living hell. David begins to think that he is the one going crazy for he begins to see and hear things. All the while Lily convinces her parents that David is crazy and has had sex with the tenant downstairs in front of her. Thus, they kick David out of their house, but his troubles with Lily doesn’t end there.
II. Evaluation of Work as Literature- The point of view in this book is very good. It is told in first person which is very good in this story for you get everything from David’s perspective. It also helps when he has flashbacks to the trial and when he killed Emily, his girlfriend. Also, when he starts to suspect that he’s seeing the ghost of Kathy, one can experience the fear that he’s feeling as well as his doubts of his sanity.
III. Personal Comments- This book had me hooked until the very end. It held me in suspense and I wasn’t sure what was coming next. For one thing, you never really find out all about the trial and what happened as David never reflects on it very long and you only get short episodes. One thing that I did have a problem with was the character of Lily, David’s younger cousin. I understand that she had mental problems and the like, but one thing she said took me completely by surprise and I didn’t really see how it fit into her character all that well.