Cover Image: Love in the Time of Serial Killers

Love in the Time of Serial Killers

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Member Reviews

LOVE IN THE TIME OF SERIAL KILLERS follows prickly PhD candidate Phoebe, who returns to Florida during the summer before her dissertation on true crime is due to clear out her childhood home after her estranged father passed away. Phoebe's unpleasant childhood made her guarded and cynical. So when she has a meet-cute (meet-scare?) with her neighbor Sam, she has her suspicions about his kind and gentle demeanor. She suspects that yes, he might be a serial killer but as they get to know each other, she makes another scary discovery: that he might be the real deal and she might have bigger feelings than she knew what to do with.

In addition to the romance, the rest of the cast includes her younger brother Conner, who she has an amiable relationship but they're not very close since they didn't grow up together following their parents' divorce. Conner's upbeat personality is a great foil for Phoebe's goth side. Phoebe also has to confront her past when she runs into former best friend Allision because their falling out coincided with a dark period in Phoebe's life. It was really nice to see Phoebe's relationship with her family and friends grow as she processed the ghosts of her past.

The storytelling is rife with witty banter and pop culture/true crime references that will have you snickering through the whole book. Sam is so swoony and his chemistry with Phoebe is so undeniably good. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it! Thank you Netgalley and Berkeley to read an advanced copy!

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This was a really fun, light, quirky rom-com. It had relatable characters, with a slow burn romance! I’m not normally one to read romance but this one was a nice change of pace and a delight to read.
Thank you NetGalley and Alicia Thompson for allowing me to read and review this book.

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Thoroughly modern and enjoyable - this is going to be a hit. Recommended purchase for collections where contemporary romance is popular.

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I have such mix feelings about this book. I loved the idea of it, but the more I read it, the more I started losing steam and interest. In the beginning I really did like Phoebe. I loved her anxiety, and shyness and the fact that she was prickly and an asshole about basically everything. It took me a minute to get into it, but I started to appreciate her cynicism about her outlook on life, but then the story started to drag for me. I really enjoyed the writing and the characters for the most part, but I was reaching the 70% mark in the book and was realizing that I wasn't enjoying Phoebe as much anymore. I was waiting for her to try and make a change, but by that point I was just ready to reach the end of the book. It was an okay book, it just wasn't meant for me in the end.

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I devoured this book in a single day because I just HAD to see how it all came out.

Phoebe Walsh has carefully bricked her heart in behind a wall of true crime facts and boy band lyrics, but they can’t save her from her current situation. She’s dealing with her estranged father’s death, her younger brother’s attempts to reconnect, and an intriguing new neighbor who might be a serial killer (see Phoebe’s wall of true crime facts).

I spent much of the book wanting to save Phoebe from her choices (and her insistence on relating every. single. thing. to a serial killer) but also rooting for her to figure it out herself. There were times I wanted to shake her and demand some more introspection, please, and not her usual avoidance, but Phoebe’s Phoebe. She’ll reference whatever she darn well pleases and avoid the rest, and if you experience second-hand embarrassment, maybe it’s because you recognize the tactic from personal experience.

This makes for some awkward interactions with others, including her younger brother and that possibly-a-serial-killer next-door neighbor, who’s not exactly a social butterfly himself. But Phoebe needs those difficult interactions to wear away some of her defenses and – hopefully – give her a second chance to look at so many people in her life with new eyes … if it isn’t too late.

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I loved this book. I read it last night in a single sitting and was absolutely delighted by it. This book will likely have wide appeal, especially to women - data shows how many of us really love true crime and romance! There is an author's note at the beginning of the book explaining that there is no violence or murder actually in the book, but instead we follow our main character as she works to complete her PhD dissertation on true crime as a genre. She can be A Bit Much at times, but overall I found her to be likeable and you're rooting for her journey as a character the whole way.

The dialogue is genuinely funny, the prose is packed with true crime references that are so fun to spot and understand, and Sam, the hunky-not-murderer next door is dreamy AF. This is everything I wanted from this book, even if the basic premise is a bit shaky. This isn't a Grady Hendrix experience - this is a true romance novel with a fun twist that is likely to hook a lot of readers.

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“Can this be true? Tell me, can this be real? How can I put into words how I feel?” - *NSYNC and also my speechlessness over how much I am obsessed with @alicia book, Love in the Time of Serial Killers (out 8/16!). ❤️🤣

This book has everything I love in a romance book: lovable/genuine/flawed characters, humor, depth, heart… And an author’s note at the outset to let readers know there’s content that may be sensitive (I loooove when that type of care is given to us as readers 🥲). Basically, I want to be friends with Phoebe + the cast of characters we root for the entire book + Alicia 😂💁🏼‍♀️.

Whether or not you’ve consumed true crime content, you’ll enjoy Phoebe’s complex passion for it. And aside from true crime content, this book is a true treasure trove of pop culture references! (HMU when you find what’s easily my favorite reference / possibly fav line in any fiction book ever?)

Also, I eat Pop Tarts not toasted, so Conner can come for me.

Ten out of 5 stars. I’m already looking forward to a re-read. And I can’t wait for you all to read this, too. ❤️

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This book was an absolute delight! Phoebe and Sam gave me all the next-door neighbors (hellooooo forced proximity!!), adorkable, sweet and spicy romance that I needed. Smart, clever, and slow-burn steamy, LOVE IN THE TIME OF SERIAL KILLERS is a fresh, lovable rom-com that tackles facing our fear of not only the worst life can bring but the very best and being brave enough to take a chance on love.

Thank you to Berkley and the author for an early copy; while Alicia and I share a publisher, this in no way influenced me; all opinions are my own.

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If there is one thing that makes me insane about the current glut of mislabeled “romcoms” it is the insistence on a “quirky” heroine that leads to a flood of unbelievable women characters who are limited to cute and – the all time worst – perky personalities. I hate perky.

There are many wonderful things I can (and will) say about Love in the Time of Serial Killers, a debut contemporary romance by Alicia Thompson, but what really sets this romance leagues apart from many others you’ll find on the romcom table at your local bookstore is that Thompson gives us a fully drawn, totally believable and completely engaging main character, Ph.D. candidate Phoebe Walsh, who is unique and wry and compelling without being a cookie cutter romcom heroine. When trying to describe Thompson’s authorial voice, I likened it to flannel; I just want to rub up against it. Her writing is clean and original, perfectly dry when it comes to the humor, and deeply genuine.

Phoebe is spending the summer in her late father’s house, clearing it out shortly after his death so that it can go on the market. The subject of her thesis is true crime and thus it makes sense that she is at first suspicious of her next-door neighbor, Sam. Both Phoebe and Sam are socially awkward, and their initial encounters are a mixture of cringy and endearing. There are terrific side plots involving Phoebe’s brother and her childhood best friend that serve to both forward the plot and continue to flesh out Phoebe’s personality for the reader.

Anyone who is a fan of skillful writing, unforgettable characters, and smart plots in their contemporary romance will be thrilled with this fantastic debut.

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