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The Killer's Cousin

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  1,833 Ratings  ·  242 Reviews
After being accused and acquitted in the death of his girlfriend, seventeen-year-old David is sent to live with his aunt, uncle, and young cousin to avoid the media frenzy. But all is not well at his relatives' house. His aunt and uncle are not speaking, and twelve-year-old Lily seems intent on making David's life a torment. And then there's the issue of his older cousin ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 13th 1998 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Carly Patterson
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okay, this book is not four-stars like proust is four-stars. this earns its rating because after reading a series of "ho-hum" and "meh-meh" teen books - this one was actually pretty good.

except for the epilogue, which made me a little embarrassed. ungood.

it's kind of a ghost story, it's kind of a mystery, it's kind of a story about a creepy little kid, it's kind of a coming-of-age story.

but it works.

it may be just that i read it in about an hour and a half, so my reading didn't get interrupted
Apr 28, 2009 Tessa rated it really liked it
After reading The Rules of Survivaland Impossible, I have become quite a fan of Nancy Werlin, and I found The Killer's Cousin to be another interesting book from this author. The main character's struggle with his past and his strange and difficult present lead to an interesting story with strong character development. Although some readers will predict part of the ending, the final scenes do offer some surprises and a satisfying and hopeful conclusion to a fairly sad story.
I love Nancy Werlin. Her ability to write different genres always amazes me. The Rules of Survival severed my heartstrings, Double Helix was a decent science-fiction novel, and Killer's Cousin was thrilling and suspenseful.

Seventeen-year-old David Yaffe feels guilty for the death of his girlfriend, Emily - despite the jury acquitting him and proving his innocence. He decides to move in with his aunt and uncle in Massachusetts, where he resides in their attic apartment. Strange things are lurking
Well this is one of those mood whiplash books. And it does it perfectly. (view spoiler) ...more
3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed The Killer's Cousin quite a bit. It was a very quick read. I think the author did a great job of creating tension between characters that you could actually feel. Lilly was a creepy kid and although I figured out her secret right away it didn't spoil the book for me. The character of David was well done. I empathized with him. I probably would have given this 4 stars if not for the telepathic type link he suddenly develops with his cousin near the end of the book. Where ...more
Tabi Card
Oct 25, 2013 Tabi Card rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have discovered that physcological thrillers are just not my type. Hence the one star rating, but I have a few other reason for that rating as well, which I shall attempt to briefly explain.
I should probably start off with my reason for reading this book in the first place. Fact is, I was interested in the author's works, and so being the bookaholic that I am, I checked out all of the titles my library had by that author. And so this being the least interesting looking of them all, I decided t
Mar 17, 2012 Keri rated it really liked it
Keri McLucas

David Yaffe is seventeen years old and trying to rebuild his life after being acquitted of murder. David’s parents arranged for him to stay with his Uncle Vic, Aunt Julia and cousin, Lily while he finished high school. He struggles to learn how to live with the truth of knowing that he killed someone he loved. Although the death was an accident, simply knowing that he was capable of murder consumed him. At eleven years old, Lily has also experienced the death of a loved one,
Katie Young
Apr 08, 2012 Katie Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Katie Young

David was a high school senior who, acquitted of his girlfriend’s death, decided to finish high school in a different town. He moved in with Uncle Vic, Aunt Julia and little cousin Lily. The family was in turmoil because Kathy, Lily’s older sister had died. David tried to express his psychological concerns about Lily to his Aunt and Uncle but they did not agree. They accused David of being crazy and kicked him out of their house. From the time David arrived in Cambridge, he beg
Feb 21, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
3.5 of 5 stars

After being acquitted of killing his girlfriend, David moves to Boston for a fresh start. From the moment he arrives at his passive uncle's house he feels unwelcome by his angry aunt and creepy eleven-year-old cousin Lily. David soon learns that his older cousin committed suicide in the bathroom of his attic room, meanwhile Lily's obvious hatred for David continues to grow.

I read KILLER'S COUSIN in one sitting which means it was good enough to hold my interest, but not good enough
Oct 30, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
The Killer’s Cousin (Playaway)
By Nancy Werlin
Read by Nick Podehl

The Killer’s Cousin is actually quite a surprising story. From the title I had an image of gore and creepy killers but I was quite wrong. David has to repeat his last year of high school living with his aunt, uncle, and younger cousin Lily because of what happened last year. He lives in the attic where his older cousin (who mysteriously died) used to live, suffers through Lily’s awful tricks, and begins to unbury the secrets that h
Jan 28, 2011 Cherylann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more of a 4.5 star book than a 5 star read. Who knows, as time goes on, I may even bump it up to a five star book.

Werlin crafts and intense psychological thriller in The Killer's Cousin. The novel is narrated by David Yaffe, a young man who is acquitted of killing his girlfriend. When I started the novel, I didn't want to like him. I didn't want to believe. However, as the novel unfolds, I found myself feeling sympathy for David and the emotional aftermath of his girlfriend's death and t
Feb 24, 2010 Cornmaven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-school
A tight, intense psychological thriller involving family secrets, family dysfunction, murder, and redemption. The title can refer to at least three characters in the book, and their lives intersect and intertwine. First person narrative keeps the tension going, as does the slow reveal of what really happened. Everyone except the artist renter is going through PTSD, and how they manage it is part of the story.
The characters are complex and readers can have some good discussions about motive, trut
Sep 28, 2013 Janie rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-lit, 1-12
I can't say that I hate this book but I don't like it. It's a well written story and has great mystery to it. however it just isn't something I really enjoyed. The whole book was depressing and I predicted what happened long before it tells the reader. Lily, the little girl is creepy and a brat and David the protagonist is too much of a push over and the way he reacts to Lily doesn't seem realistic.
Content: some language, violence, disturbing behavior from the child.
Jan 11, 2010 Isabella added it
Recommends it for: Everyone over fourth grade.
Recommended to Isabella by: Myself
It's a really good book about lilly ( The eleven year old girl.) and David (The guy who accidently killed his girlfriend.) David finds out a whole lot about lilly in the story with a great ending! I thought it wasn't going to be the best of book but it turned out to be really good. It's not for someone in grade school unless there parents are so positive that it should be fine.
Feb 27, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2014-reads
Fascinating and creepy. I can't believe I missed out on this one when it came out.
Eden Babola
Oct 21, 2016 Eden Babola rated it it was amazing
This book had a great story line with an interesting main character. At first the book is somewhat confusing but you soon start to understand. Not much detail is given in the beginning to his past but it developed over time and chapters. The ending was great but it had its surprises.
Nov 18, 2016 Melliott rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, thriller
Not one of Werlin's better known books, I don't think, but I really enjoyed it. Creepy and with great twists.
Kaitlin Slusher
Oct 06, 2016 Kaitlin Slusher rated it really liked it
this book was amazing if you really enjoy reading murder mysteries at first I thought that lily was just traumatized from her sisters death but it was so much more you have to read the book to find out what happened next :)
Feb 24, 2014 Rung rated it really liked it
17 Aug 2013

I've started reading this book since last week. I think that it's an interesting book and it's really caught my attention. At the beginning of the book the writer told us the setting, the situations and the problem that the main character were facing with. However, the writer doesn't gave much information and some of the part were confusing. I think this is because the writer wanted us to figure it out by ourselves while we continues reading the book.

24 Aug 2013

As I continue reading,
Carmen Russell
I really liked this book because it was funny, sad and so much more then I thought it would be. I would really like to read more by Nancy Werlin. I thought this book wasn't going to be good the I read it and it was awesome.
Alicia Huggins
Sep 30, 2016 Alicia Huggins is currently reading it
I think the book was good it was a big misery
Sep 22, 2016 Meg rated it it was amazing
This is a really great book. The story had a few flaws (NO spoilers) such as redundancy, a few pointless elements, etc., but the overall theme of the book was really good. I don't want to get spoilerish, but the ending really moved me, enough to give it 5-stars despite the flaws. I thought it was great. Real tear-gusher.
One of the fascinating things about "The Killer's Cousin" is that it's a story covering multiple dimensions, even considering the tough subject matter that it takes on. Nancy Werlin creates a sympathetic story for 17-year-old David, recently acquitted for the crime of murdering his girlfriend. Yet while the charges are dismissed against David, he does not absolve himself from wrongdoing because, in his mind, he's still a murderer - and he's no longer the same person following that experience.

May 29, 2012 Karissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
After accidentally killing his girlfriend - who knew a punch to the face would equal murder! Unfortunate the punch didn't make it's mark on her brother though - David is sent to complete his senior year of high school at what was once an all girls religious school. He is sent to live with his aunt and uncle and their still living daughter Lily. Their older daughter, Cathy, was though to have committed suicide several years prior.

When David gets to their home he finds that things don't seem quit
Jan 11, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
After being aquitted of his girlfriends murder, David is moving to Cambridge to live with his estranged Aunt, Uncle, and 10 yr old cousin Lily. How did his girlfriend die? He acts pretty guilty...
He moves into the 3rd floor apartment where his other cousin, Kathy, died and he realizes that all is not well in this family. Julia and Vic don't speak to each other and when they do they use Lily as a pawn. And then there's Lily... odd, odd Lily. David can tell there's something really wrong with her,
Deborah Takahashi
Mar 29, 2013 Deborah Takahashi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-mystery
Just when life can not get any harder, David Yaffe has had it real hard. Not only did he stand trial for his girlfriend's accidental death, he is forced to rejoin the "normal" world by starting all over again in a new town. Although he was acquitted of the crime (his girlfriend tried to break up a fight between her and her drugged out brother and was fatally injured), David is haunted by this incident and is struggling to keep it together. After the trial, David's parents decided that it would ...more
Mackenzie H
Mar 17, 2013 Mackenzie H rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book. In the beginning it starts off slow, but as you keep on reading it gets more intense. There is a kid named David and he is going to live with his aunt and uncle in there house. A girl named Raina lives on the first floor and his aunt, uncle and cousin Lily live on the second floor. Lily begins to act very strange and she starts to pull pranks on David. He lives in the attic where his older cousin used to live before she died. His aunt and uncle do not like to talk about ...more
Jun 10, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
I had read another book by Nancy Werlin & really enjoyed it. The Killer's Cousin though is a whole different animal than Impossible. This suspense novel leaves you just enough in the dark about what's taken place prior to the beginning of the book that you're just a bit confused. You know that something terrible has taken place & that the main character David is escaping persecution based on a murder charge, but you don't get the whole story until the end of the book. As you watch David ...more
Nov 06, 2009 Terri rated it it was amazing
I've never read anything by Nancy Werlin - boy was I missing out! I listened to "The Killer's Cousin" on audio tape. It is a taut, psychological thriller that I found myself taking the long way as I drove so that I could listen longer. At the end, I sat in the school parking lot before work crying as I listened to the last several minutes of the book. Terrific last line that reminds us of the magic, or spirituality, or kismet, or whatever you want to call it, in all of our lives. Fantastic1

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lovely book 1 1 Apr 21, 2015 12:58AM  
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Nancy Werlin writes young adult fiction: New York Times–bestselling fantasy, Edgar-award winning suspense, and National Book Award-honored realistic novels.

Nancy's newest book is UNTHINKABLE, the sequel to IMPOSSIBLE and EXTRAORDINARY.
More about Nancy Werlin...

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