Cover Image: Love in the Time of Serial Killers

Love in the Time of Serial Killers

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Member Reviews

I'm so excited to moderate a panel with Alicia on it at the Tucson Festival of Books!

Didn't know how much I needed this but I did and I loved it.

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It was a good start, but the family stuff lost me a bit in the middle. I think overall the book was funny and had good representation. Often times the main character was unlikeable. It was easy to finish though. Strong rom-com.

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A witty and charming romcom starring a woman with way too much true crime in her brain, and a suspicious neighbor... hijinks are abound.

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I am an Alicia Thompson fangirl for life! I adored this smart, wry, romantic story, and absolutely loved watching it all unfold through Phoebe's point of view. A truly gorgeous book.

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Love in the time of Serial Killers features Phoebe, a North Carolina graduate student, who is summoned to Florida to help her younger brother empty their deceased father's house. Phoebe is finishing her dissertation on true crime and plans to spend free time in Florida working on the final chapters. Phoebe, soon develops a crush on her father's next door neighbor, Sam, an elementary music teacher. Fighting her commitment issues, her work load, and the piles of stuff in her father's house, Phoebe begins a romance with Sam. The novel is about the impact of divorce on relationships, with the backdrop Phoebe's interest in serial killers. The novel is set in Florida with mention of Sarasota, Sunrise, and Disneyworld, but there is little more to classify this novel as a Florida book. Recommended for a long weekend read.

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"Love in the Time of Serial Killers" takes a unique spin on the complexities of love and obsession, blending true crime with a contemporary romance narrative. Phoebe Walsh, a true crime enthusiast, finds herself navigating the challenges of modern dating while grappling with personal and familial issues. The novel cleverly weaves humor and heart, exploring Phoebe's idiosyncrasies and her unconventional suspicions about her neighbor, Sam Dennings. The character dynamics, especially Phoebe's interactions with her younger brother and her evolving relationship with Sam, add depth and authenticity to the story. While the premise is quirky, the novel manages to deliver a delightful and heartwarming exploration of love in unexpected places.

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This romcom is a must read for everyone who lives in the cross section of romance and true crime! I felt seen by the heroine's anxieties around being a serial killer's next victim and the banter between the two leads was so fun!

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For the month of February, my book club (Shoutout to the Moody Readers!) decided to read this book. We were excited for romance meets creepy, but most of us felt it didn't quite measure up to our hopes.

As far as the crime or the romance goes, it didn't deliver too much on either category - but there were a lot of laugh out loud funny moments. Phoebe was an interesting character, but kind of annoying and frustrating at times.

It was cute, but it wasn't my favorite. 3 stars.

*Gifted by Netgalley/Berkley - thank you! All opinions are my own.

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A fresh take on the romcom genre, LITTOSK follows Phoebe who is ultra paranoid that her charming new neighbour is planning to kill her. Perfect for todays modern world obsession with true crime podcasts and shows. I didn’t like how insensitive Phoebe could be at times, but overall a great read with a wonderful romance at its core.

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I love true crime as much as the next girl and when I saw this book I knew it was a must read. The pacing of it was well done, I was never bored and the story didn't drag on. Phoebe not trusting Sam and being on high alert from the beginning was relatable! It made me laugh and like her immediatly. It was fun going on the ride with her and not being able to tell if he was a killer and being suspicious but also really liking him!

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Ok, I have some gripes with this book:
1) Phoebe clearly needs therapy. She is hysterical and paranoid and kind of insensitive and rude. For someone who does so much overthinking, she surely doesn't think before she speaks.
2) Sam deserves better. He was nothing but honest and vulnerable with her the entire time and she stomped all over his heart, only to <spoiler>find him waiting for her like an abandoned puppy</spoiler>.
3) Why was she so weird about the cat? Especially after admitting she WANTED a cat. Very strange for a 30 year old to be having their first cat interaction at 30, but ok?
4) There needed to be more suspense, or serial killers, for a book titled "Love in the Time of Serial Killers". Phoebe suspected Sam of being a serial killer for like, a few days. I thought that was going to be a much heavier plot point. It would've been more entertaining, for sure. Why wasn't there a side mystery? Or maybe she could've found out her dad was a serial killer or something? I don't know. It just needed... more.

Overall, it was an easy and addictive read and kept me engaged. Obviously with romance, you know what's going to happen in the end. But I do have to say, I was not rooting for Phoebe. She really needs to get her shiz together.

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Quite frankly, the best thing about this book was the cover.
Not a terrible romance novel, but there was nothing innovative or original about it. The main character's obsession with serial killers and true crime gets repetitive to the point of being annoying and that's the novel's only point of difference with other romance books.

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This was a fun read! I found myself cracking up often and really loved the brother/sister relationship in this book. I love the way Sam just lets phoebe be and tries to meet her more than halfway to understand how much she means to him! This was a quick read!!

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I thought this book was meh at best. The main female lead was INSUFFERABLE. Her internal monologues went on and on. I just found her to be emotionally stunted and intentionally, emotionally unavailable. For a large portion of the book, Phoebe's dark outlook on life and romance was due to her unresolved trauma stemming from her parents' divorce. I understand that, but I could not bring myself to empathize with someone who does not acknowledge their trauma and expects a HEA. I do admire her persistence writing her dissertation and graduating from her grad program. The only things I did like were Sam, the love interest, and Lenore, the stray cat Phoebe takes in. Sam's character is not the typical one of contemporary romance. He's a bit on the shy side, emotionally mature, and a nice dude. I honestly wanted Sam with a different character with little emotionally baggage. While there was conflict, that could have been resolved with some communication, the ending was pretty much what I expected. There were some scenes that showed some character growth for Phoebe. However, the girl needs therapy. There was not much resolution of said trauma that satisfied me.

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Talk about paranoid.

Phoebe Walsh is obsessed with all things true crime. It’s even the subject of her dissertation. The problem is, because of her obsession she suspects everyone she meets of being a serial killer. Which, of course, doesn’t bode well for romantic relationships.

So when her new neighbor, Sam, offers to help move a desk into her family home late one night, in his bare feet, Phoebe knows he’s up to no good and is probably out to kill her. And it doesn’t matter that he’s handsome, kind, or that her heart speeds up at the mere sight of him. In her mind, he’s a murderer – and no way will she cave into the attraction and be involved with the next Jack the Ripper.

Sure. Whatever you say, Phoebe.

Being a romance novel, there’s not a whole lot of surprises in the pages of Alicia Thompson’s "Love in the Time of Serial Killers." We know how the story will go. But the fact that I loved it as much as I did caught me unawares, along with the amount of depth there is to Phoebe’s character.

Phoebe is complicated. She’s sensitive and insecure but also an abrasive asshole, all because she has impenetrable walls around her heart and doesn’t know how to be vulnerable. And poor Sam, she makes things so hard for him. She pulls him towards her and then pushes him away, time and again. But it’s all part of their connection and the chemistry between them.

Speaking of chemistry, the love scenes are very, VERY open-door and graphic. I wouldn’t say the book is pornmance, but it comes close. Just a heads up.

Thompson’s next novel, "With Love, from Cold World," is set to publish in August 2023. Lucky for me, I already have a DRC, and you can bet I’ll be reading it. Thanks, Berkley!


My sincerest appreciation to Alicia Thompson, Berkley, and NetGalley for the digital review copy. All opinions included herein are my own.

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I really enjoyed this one. The true crime thing was a different place to start from than a lot of other romances, and it felt a little heavy handed at the beginning, but it really tied together and worked with the character development as well as adding a funny edge to the relationships.

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PhD Student Phoebe Wash loves serial killers, true crime and everything in between. When she moves into her recently deceased father's house in Florida, she hopes to pack up his belongings and get out so she can crush her thesis. One evening she meets her Sam Dennings, and while initially thinking he's one of the many serial killers she's obsessed with she puts her worries aside for this nice guy teacher. As Phoebe struggles with her family's past, she explores her growing feelings towards Sam, all the while hoping she can cut out of town and run.

I loved the cover of Love in the Time of Serial Killers and the premise of Alicia Thompson's novel. While well written and a take on grief and accepting love, it falls short for me. I wanted more serial killers and more intrigue, in this fluffy romance. I guess I expected a bit of darkness with a title like that? This was more of a cozy romance then twisty one I had hoped it to be. Thank you NetGalley, Alicia Thompson and Berkely for the read.

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Love this book. Brought together two of my favorite genres - true crime and romance. Don’t let the title scare you off - there is nothing scary about this book. Unless you’re scared to let someone in and love them like Phoebe.

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It's cute! A fun romance with some laughs. I was disappointed that there wasn't more shenanigans because of her suspicions of the neighbor being a serial killer. She suspected it at first and then quickly dropped it. I would have liked to see more rom com moments based on her snooping and overall acting weird. But it was still a nice read.

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I couldn't put it down and I didn't want to. This book lived up to every ounce of hype that I had experienced for it. This book is beautifully written; a gripping storyline with strong characters. It ticked all the boxes of my expectations. I would definitely recommend it to others.

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