She's A Killer
by Kirsten McDougall
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Pub Date 05 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 15 Jan 2024
ALICE: 30-something, IQ of 159 (almost a genius), only communicates with her mother in Morse code. Her imaginary friend is back.
ERIKA: 15, daughter of hot ‘wealthugee’ who loves Russian literature, genuine genius, killer eyeliner and killer instincts.
The climate is in crisis and wealthy immigrants are flocking to New Zealand for shelter, stealing land, driving up food prices and taking over. But Alice has far more important things to worry about: hating her best friend’s husband, getting free wine and quiet-quitting her dull day job.
Until she meets Erika.
Now, Alice is about to find herself drawn into action of the most radical – and dangerous – kind. Just what is a slacker to do?
Bold, darkly funny and brilliantly bizarre, New Zealand publishing sensation She’s a Killer is the satirical dystopian cli-fi thriller you never knew you needed. Until now.
Praise for She’s a Killer
‘Smart, assured, and extremely funny, She’s A Killer is a marvellously eccentric book that both skews and skewers the anxieties of our age. I lost count of all the times I laughed out loud; and yet the monstrous Alice, perplexed by the inexplicable return of her imaginary friend from childhood, is movingly drawn, raising fascinating questions about the relationship between empathy, moral agency, and self-understanding. This is satire at its best’ Eleanor Catton, author of Birnam Wood
‘A fabulously dark pleasure, delivered in prose of singing tautness’ Luke Jennings, author of Killing Eve
‘McDougall’s dystopian future is no distant vision: it’s disturbingly familiar, urgently relevant. Narrator Alice is a brilliant creation – complex, prickly, often hilarious – and I was utterly in her thrall as she swept me along to the book’s astonishing finale. Unputdownable’ Catherine Chidgey, author of Remote Sympathy
‘Darkly funny, utterly terrifying . . . A powerful, pre-apocalyptic book that’s an inspired scream at our fingers-in-ears approach to the climate crisis. I couldn’t stop thinking about it’ Fran Littlewood, author of Amazing Grace Adams
‘Deeply weird, compulsively readable, and a relevant allegory of a very possible future. I loved it’ Julie Mae Cohen, author of Bad Men
‘Original, unputdownable, darkly funny . . . I don’t think I’ll ever forget it’ Becky Hunter, author of One Moment
‘Pitch black, wildly compelling, enormous fun’ Heather Parry, author of Orpheus Builds a Girl
‘At the core of this fun and funny thriller is a moving exploration of self. This book had me by the heart and the throat from the first chapter’ Chloe Lane, author of The Swimmers
‘A thumping good story’ New Zealand Herald
‘Damn funny . . . a dextrous and talented writer who has really hit her stride’ STUFF Magazine
‘Lively, engaging and often hilarious . . . McDougall has created a world that slips easily between the entirely recognisable and the slightly strange’ Academy of New Zealand Literature
‘Brilliant’ Greg Fleming, NZ Listener
‘Equipped with an exhilaratingly badly-behaved protagonist, She’s a Killer builds from a slice of very strange life into a thriller by way of a succession of stunning comic set pieces. You’ll laugh – a lot. And then you’ll cry and be really surprised about it since you were laughing so much’ Elizabeth Knox, author of The Absolute Book
‘The novel’s sense of humour – it’s full of sharp one-liners and witty writing – doesn’t detract from the seriousness of the subject underpinning the narrative, making She’s a Killer a great read for those who like a bit of edge to their literary fiction’ Books & Publishing
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 96 members
I truly loved this book and am so thankful I was able to read an advance copy of it via NetGalley!
“Satirical dystopian cli-fi” is the genre I never knew I needed in my life. This book is set in the pretty near future, but climate change has escalated even more rapidly than it currently is. The main character, Alice, is dealing w depression, serious ennui, an eating disorder, her dead-end job, and her mother (enough said), when a wealthugee named Pablo and his daughter Erika walk into her life. I laughed out loud a bunch of times, mainly because it was too real. Human beings… we’re going nowhere fast but at least there are some super talented ones who can make art about it before we all burn up when the sun explodes, amirite?