The Killed Conscience

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

Title was archived before I could review it sadly. Guess I will have to buy it if I would like to read it. I am new to the Galley and was not aware of the fact that the archival date meant that I could not access the title anymore. Too bad
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Oh, dear. I don’t even know where to begin with this one.
All I can say (and I am well aware of how harsh this will come across but honestly, there is no other way I can possibly say it and still maintain the honest-opinion-agreement I swore that I would always maintain when putting my bookish-thoughts on a public platform) is that The Killed Conscience is the book that I will soon be holding up as an example of the real lows that the mystery/thriller genre can reach. 
I just— Right now, I feel like I can’t even. 
Because, this book really hit the shit book trifecta. The writing was awful, like even-I-could-write-better-awful, choppy and stilted and full of grammatical errors. The characterisation was so close to nonexistent that they felt like set-pieces that could be knocked over with a moderately strong gust of wind. And finally, (and possibly the most annoyingly although frankly, it is difficult to tell) the plot-points were absurd and the suspension of disbelief required to understand any of them was close to astronomical. 
Frankly, not a single decision, or inclusion of any detail in the whole book made one iota of sense, and all I hope now is that The Killed Conscience will be a book that is soon wiped entirely from my memory.
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I love me a good cabin in the woods mystery!

Emilee, our main character, is a plucky young journalist who has been requested by police to go back to her hometown to help investigate an old murder case. In doing so, she finds herself stuck in a cabin with her two childhood best friends, their partners and her abusive boyfriend.

The whole book plays out very much like a film in your mind, which is something I quite enjoy. There's a lot of bickering and high tensions between characters while they're stuck up the mountain and they're all suspicious until we finally reach the (not so) unexpected conclusion and find out whodunnit. The characters all bounce off each other and fit well as a dynamic.

The characters in this book don't have as many dimensions as I might have liked, they fit too closely to generic molds but I was enjoying the story too much to really care too much about that.


The pacing of this story is brilliant and it's filled with action rather than red herrings, leaving you desperate to figure out what's going on. This is another debut author to keep an eye on for the future.
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Emilee is a journalist who is asked to look at the case of the VDK, a murderer who killed three women. As she investigates, she starts to wonder if he actually did it. The first quarter of the book sets up Emiliee and her friends, this pays off later as she starts to question VDK's guilt. It was an interesting read and I would recommend it.
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A chilling tale of a serial killer, set in a cabin the woods, and featuring friendships that last through the test of time. I worked it out quite early on but so desperately wanted to be wrong. I loved this story despite the superfluous character of the abusive boyfriend who, thankfully, didn’t last the distance.
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I was sucked in from the first page.
The Killed Conscience is exactly my kind of book and it’s one that I’ll read again for sure. 

Emilee is an up and coming journalist and blogger who works cold cases and writes about them. She’s called by a detective in her hometown to investigate an accused and convicted serial killer’s first court appeal. Little does she know, she’s signing up for the story of a lifetime. 

Reuniting with old friends at a cabin in Pigeon Forge seems like the perfect, quiet location to work on her story until the unthinkable happens. 

Who is the real VDK (Valentine’s Day killer)? Why do his victims resemble Emilee? What is Detective Nichols holding back? 

This is a definite page turner and kept me guessing until the end. I can’t wait to read more from Jordan Antonacci!
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Where do I even begin with this? I guess I'll start with what I feel worked:

The base of this story is intriguing. A young, investigative journalist invited back to her old town to dig into a past serial killer up for an appeal. Things spiral a bit out of control as we unpack what happened in the past, and what is happening now. 

The ending, I definitely didn't see coming. If the goal was for the reader to be surprised, I'll say I definitely was that. 

Now for what didn't work:

There seemed to be an endless amount of continuity errors here. In one chapter, our MC Emilee has a truly remarkable memory for someone who moved from her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee when she was 10. She is able to recall the smell of her elementary school, the "only store" her mother used to shop at - details that most people would lose to the murky waters of time. Then, one chapter later she can't recall specific memories from when she was 8. 

There is little to no character development. I understand that less character development is generally inherent in mystery/thriller/suspense novels but it really fell flat here. For all of the information we are given about Emilee and Sebastian, I'm at the end of this and don't feel like I understand either of them on any deep level. So much is left out, where detail is wasted in other areas. For example, Emilee's mother apparently abandoned her family after she moved from Knoxville and it has (apparently) negatively affected her father in a very serious way. However, we find this out in one line, in one chapter and it is never revisited or explained. It's literally just a passing mention that she left. 

This read very much like a hokey horror movie. 6 friends, one hunting cabin, sexual tension and a MURDER *cue classic horror soundtrack* For what it's worth, I think Antonacci could make this into a movie and I'm sure it would appeal to many. While I may love suspense/thriller novels, I do not, however, enjoy that genre of movie. That being said, a book holds so much more detail and finesse than movies do and I think that was lost in this. 

Emilee was not a likable MC. I get she's dealing with an abusive relationship, trying to wade through the anxiety and trouble of finding your path after college but so much of how she was written was lacking at best. Most notably was her insistence on correcting herself when using curse words. I completely disconnected from the story every time she pulled some "I just saw a fu-saw a freaking dead body". Her excuse for this being that she used too many cuss words and when trying to break into a professional career realized she shouldn't? I'm sorry, any self-respecting adult knows when to use curse words and when it is not appropriate. If you just saw a fucking dead body, I think you can know that's an appropriate time to use them. But hey, maybe that's just me. I would 100% NOT keep my shit together if I stumbled upon a dead.fucking.body. 

Finally, about 4 chapters from the end I started to feel like I was going to give this 3 stars but then it really crashed and burned for me. The motive behind the killer(s) made literally no sense to me. There was absolutely no development into this at all and it came totally out of left field and I couldn't get behind it. 

All in all, there is definitely something here idea-wise, but I don't feel it was well executed. It might appeal to others who aren't looking too deeply into the story or who aren't looking for more than an entertaining read, but it just didn't work for me.
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Ugh! This is one of the worst books I’ve ever read. The writing is amateurish and choppy. The characters are not developed well. The end is unbelievable. One of the quotes early on is repulsive, talking about being in a crowded room is compared to sleeping like Mexicans. There are grammatical errors as well. I was an early reader for NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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Antonacci does an okay job with the characters in this crime drama.  I was expecting our journalist Emilee to be a more focused investigative image.  This is a book more described as a lesson in don't forget to look in the rear view mirror before your life drifts into a busy future.  This prose kept me reading but I am afraid I had the murderer figured out early on.  "A copy of this book was provided by author via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
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Journalist Emilee Weathers is just starting her career when a plum assignment falls into her lap. She’s been asked to help with the appeal of a convicted killer, and if that doesn’t make good copy, then what will? But her work becomes more than academic when she stumbles over a body that has been killed using the same M.O. of the jailed and convicted killer. Is it a copycat, or did the judicial system make a terrible mistake? No one, not the police, not the locals, not the convicted killer, will tell her the truth. Emilee will have to rely on her own skills as a journalist to uncover the truth…and to keep herself alive
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I was excited to receive a copy of this book from Netgalley!  I grew up close to Pigeon Forge so I was curious to read a book with a location there.  I began reading and this story held my interest from beginning to end.  The characters are interesting.  Some I liked, some I hated, but all were written pretty well.  I would have enjoyed reading more back story about each character.  That would have helped me get to know them a little better.  The plot is good.  I wanted to keep reading and find out what was going to happen.  The pace of the story is fast and the book itself can be read very quickly. 

The majority of this book flows smoothly.  However, there were many times throughout the book when my flow of reading was slowed down or completely stopped.  Sometimes it felt like too much effort was put into a sentence to try to make it overly creative or meaningful, when actually the basic writing was going well anyway.

At the end of the book, I had to re-read the last three chapters. For me, the story finished too quickly and felt rushed.  It left me feeling confused by the timeline of events. I had to go back and find some details from the beginning of the story about VDK and the antagonist.  

Ultimately, I was completely intrigued by the choices of the main character at the end.  It left me scratching my head and I thought "they're just going to go eat breakfast after this, seriously!".  I also wondered what their friends were thinking since they were abandoned in a restaurant the night before.  What happened to them, where did they go?  Some wrap up on that would have been nice to read.  If I have interpreted the actions of the main character correctly, I would like to have read a little more to see exactly what she's gotten herself into.   #Netgalley
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