October may be over, but let's keep the murder-mystery-thriller books coming! I had heard a lot of talk surrounding They Never Learn by Layne Fargo, and let me tell you, it more than lives up to it.
|Pub Date: 10-13-20|
Adult - Thriller
Scarlett Clark is a well-known English professor at Gorman University. She prides herself on always having the student’s best interests at heart, both within the classroom and out. Scarlett observes her students and goes to great lengths to help them if something seems off. Every year, Scarlett searches the Gorman campus studying the men to find the worst of the bunch, the men who prey upon the female student population with no consequence, and then she kills them. But as she’s planning her latest murder, the school opens up an investigation surrounding the deaths. Desperate to keep eyes off her, Scarlett uses her skills to charm the woman in charge of the investigation and thwart the progress as needed. Everything seems to be going her way until she loses control with her latest victim which threatens to expose her secret life.Carly Schiller is a freshman at Gorman just trying to get by. For the first time in her life, she’s living away from her emotionally abusive father and wants to keep her head down and focus on her studies. Carly has always been timid, but her new roommate has other plans for her. Allison Hadley is everything Carly didn’t know she wanted to be—boisterous, confident, and able to turn anyone’s head—and the pair quickly find themselves falling into an intense friendship. Carly grows so attached to Allison and would do anything for her, so when Allison gets sexually assaulted at a party, and no one at the school seems keen to help, Carly takes it upon herself to make the attacker pay.
Usually, I’m not one to condone violence, especially murder, but I spent the entire time reading this like, “Good for you.” I mean, a woman killing men for being predators? Sign me up. Fargo did a great job at crafting a character that is so morally gray and that you know has done terrible things, but you can’t help but root for them anyway. I was fascinated by Scarlett right from the start with the twisted way her mind worked. She’s so meticulous in the planning of her kills and it’s almost genius how she pulls them off. I was a little unsure of how her storyline would play out with Carly’s, and they intersected in a way that I wasn’t expecting, but I loved, and once I understood what was going on, I liked the dual perspectives even more. Everything about this was dark and messed up, and so many things are happening at such a breakneck speed that you won’t want to put it down, and it’s definitely made my list of favorite thrillers.