Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: September 30, 2016
Buy Link: Amazon
The daughter of a local police detective, fifteen-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.
But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects.
Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up.
And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.
♥ ♥ ♥
Some people are called to certain things in their life. That’s what hunting is for me. An urge. A desire. The closest thing I have to a calling.My name is Ryann Wilkanson. I’m fifteen years old.
And I’m a killer.
It was hard to pick my first. Call me sentimental, but it had to be just right.
I knew what I wanted. What I needed. Someone worth the risk, the challenge. Somebody who deserved it. Now, I’m not talking about the horrible, abusive assholes you see on TV. I wanted someone who I thought deserved it…
And to be honest, that could’ve been just about anybody.
Some people might think it’s odd to contemplate killing someone, but it was the most natural thing in the world to me. I didn’t dare talk about it—I somehow knew that much—but my thoughts raced with vivid, red-tinted images.
While my fantasies were fun, I had to wait. I still lacked the skill and organization to actually go through with it.
And, as I matured, I realized part of me was still hesitant. A piece of the puzzle was missing. It was as though I was waiting for permission. Something to give me the final push into action.
Funnily enough, I got that that clarity six years ago, when I was nine. My dad thought he was simply giving me a ride to school, but he initiated the defining moment of my life.
I remember it like it was yesterday. He’d just come off nights and wasn’t in the best of moods when my mom asked him to drive me and Bri. I’d raced to the car first, winning shotgun, leaving Brianna to storm behind me. She was a sore loser, and it only made my grin bigger.
We were just a few blocks from the house when Dad started with one of his commentaries on all that was wrong with society.
“Jesus. People like that make me sick.”
We had stopped at a red light, and I spotted a guy standing on the corner with a sign that read Please Help.
At first I felt kind of bad for him, and I didn’t understand why Dad was upset. “At least he’s not dealing drugs,” I suggested.
“Brilliant observation. Maybe we could put that on a T-shirt for him,” Bri said. My father laughed and my stomach dropped. She never wasted an opportunity to make me look stupid.
Dad grunted. “Don’t be naïve, Ry. He’s probably scraping enough together to get his fix. People like that are after one thing—and it’s not a job.” He rolled his eyes, disgusted. Not a minute later, while we were still waiting at the light, a kid in a fancy sports car passed us. “See, look at that. Punk probably had it handed to him from Mommy and Daddy. He’s what—seventeen? Probably hasn’t worked a day in his whole goddamn life. Entitled brat. This is the problem with the world. You got two lazy bums on opposite ends of the spectrum, and neither are worth their salt.”
My father didn’t have a whole lot of empathy for anybody, and he certainly didn’t entertain excuses. I had to be the best if I wanted him to love me. “People need to either lead, follow—”
“Or get out of the way,” I finished. He patted me on the head. I knew this rant well and kind of understood my father’s reasoning. The homeless guy couldn’t even be bothered to walk up and down the rows of stopped cars to beg. He just stood there with an empty cup. He really was a waste.
I fought the urge to point out to my dad that I was nothing like those people—and never would be—but I knew he wouldn’t care. He loved me, but nothing I did seemed to impress him, especially since my older sister Brianna, the golden child, had perfected every- thing before I even had a chance to try.
♥ ♥ ♥
Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor.
She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library.
She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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