Read this as part of CBR14 Bingo: Bodies. Because it has “bodies” in the title and involves a lot of bodies, some alive, some dead.
You was by far one of the best books I read this year. Which surprised me given that I don’t care for books about serial killers; finding them monotonous and often gratuitously violent. Everyone is trying to rip off Hannibal Lecter these days (and has been for the last thirty years).
But Caroline Kepnes has crafted a you-niquely (see what I did there? I did it by accident at first and decided to leave it in) visualized character in Joe Goldberg. His inner voice, while haunting, is at once hilarious and poignant. He does terrible things and yet, seen through his eyes, you can kind of understand why he does them. While New York City was on the receiving end of Kepnes’ broadsides in book one, Los Angeles gets it here and though I’m (intentionally) ignorant of Angeleno culture, it sure seems like she hit her marks here. A lot of this is as fun and funny as the first one.
The problem is, I think Kepnes exhausted all her good plotting ideas in book one. This is kind of a rehash of book one, just in a different environment. Parts of it work, parts of it don’t but while reading it, I kept wondering why she felt the need to put out a sequel. Do we really need to delve further into Joe’s psyche? See him meet and murder all new folks who, while definitely annoying, don’t deserve death? Even the end, a clear set up for a third book (which is already out with a fourth on the way in 2023) didn’t work for me much. Deus ex machinas abounded as though Kepnes remembered she had to end this thing.
I’ve surrendered to the notion that the following books in the series will entertain, even if they don’t reach the heights of book one. I still wish this was somewhat better.