Psycho-sweet? More like psycho-weird from my perspective. In “Sweet Like a Psycho” Violet is a single mother to Zeke, an oddly cute and slightly precocious five year old who dotes on his pet Lizardopolous (more likely a chameleon since it changes colors). Tucker and Damien are detectives investigating the explosion and fire in a nearby residence. Vi’s suburban neighbors consider her to be the crazy lady who lives in the ramshackle, rundown house out in the woods. And Violet IS odd in that she is a tad OCD, seems obsessed with lying, works very hard at keeping to herself and has no visible means of support. Almost as soon as the detectives are assigned to the case, they’re reassigned but Tucker is already smitten with Vi. His horn-dog partner offers his crude two cents but otherwise remains more like background noise. The narrative of this psychological thriller is related in the dual POV of Violet and Tucker with a few drops of romance but not what I’d classify as a romantic thriller.
The writing itself from a strictly syntactic standpoint is okay although I would expect an author of Smoak’s reputation to know the difference between “a tick” and “a nervous tic”. One has eight legs, the front two of which attach to its host and feed off its blood. The nervous TIC is that involuntary thing that your eye or lip may do from time to time, usually when you’re stressed. A fairly elementary point but an error I wouldn’t have expected from this writer.
“Sweet Like a Psycho” is the second book of the Secrets of Suburbia series by Ivy Smoak. From other reader comments it seems there’s some loss of continuity if you haven’t read the first so I’ll concede the possibility that what I missed “may” color my opinion. That said, I had trouble getting caught up in this story. Throughout all of it I felt like a casual observer and not a very interested one at that. I know, I know I’m in the minority. But I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em. I’ve read and enjoyed other of Smoak’s work but I was anxious to be done with this one. And the ending? Just weird! Three stars.
I’m an avid reader and an RYT 200 certified yoga instructor. My reading is mostly for pleasure; thrillers, adult, historic, literary and women’s fiction, romance, and the occasional non-fiction, usually political in nature. My book review blog is http://readmylips.home.wordpress.com. As always, I welcome your comments on my book review blog, be they positive or negative. I also regularly post reviews on Facebook as Sandra Garland Hardy, Goodreads as Savsandy, on Twitter@savsandy and occasionally on Instagram.
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