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The Killer's Cousin

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,013 ratings  ·  272 reviews
When seventeen-year-old David Yaffe moves into the third floor of his aunt and uncle's Cambridge, Massachusetts, triple-decker, he already has a lot going against him, but the antagonism his relatives display increases his troubles.Recently acquitted of the murder of his girlfriend in a nationally publicized trial, David struggles to come to terms with the way that the eve ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 13th 1998 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Carly Patterson
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,013 ratings  ·  272 reviews

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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
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
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, ya
Nancy Werlin picks another interesting topic to address in her book.

This novel is a killer's story, a story of a teenager who was acquitted of his girl-friend's murder and now has to attempt to start fresh in a new town, among new people. Once he moves in with his aunt, uncle, and cousin, he is forced not only to relive his guilt, shame and regret, but theirs as well, because they have their own tragedies to face.

"The Killer's Cousin" is a skillfully done thriller which in spite of its predict
Nov 09, 2008 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.
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 di ...more
Well this is one of those mood whiplash books. And it does it perfectly. (view spoiler) ...more
Linda Lipko
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: acquired-in-2016
David is almost finished with high school, but, he cannot complete his education in the area where he lives with his parents. Previously on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, he was found not guilty. Because of all the constant media attention, his parents make a decision to send him to live with relatives in Cambridge, MA.

While trying to sort through his life and consequences, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate both his past, and the new home where, in particular, his Aunt, rea
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This has sat on my shelves for some years now and I’m not even sure where it came from. I have a vague recollection of picking up free with a selection of other books being given away. I fancied something brief and this fit the bill.

It’s a very quick read, partly the length, partly the writing. The set up is initially intriguing, the supporting cast are nicely portrayed and some of the relationships are satisfyingly complex. I just couldn’t get on with the voice of David - it all felt a little o
Kaleb Mesick
May 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I did not like this book as much as I thought I would. I like mystery books so I like the story, but the graphic details were too much for me. David is the main character and he has to finish high school at a different school after he was found not guilty of killing his girlfriend. They had to move to a new town to live with his mean aunt and quiet uncle. His cousin Lily also lived there. I didn't really like her character because I found her weird and annoying. Then he finds out his other cousi ...more
Jennifer Barstad
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting story about overcoming grief from a loss.
♠️ Tabi ♠️
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 07, 2012 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 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
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
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 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 27, 2011 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 23, 2010 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
Liz B
Creepy and atmospheric and always suspenseful, this is the story of a young man who has been acquitted of murdering his girlfriend--but who needs to get out of his hometown for obvious reasons. He goes to live with his aunt, uncle, and cousin in Boston. Turns out his cousin Lily is the creepiest sixth grader ever.

Outstanding choice for book clubs for teenagers--a compelling read which has a LOT to talk about. I would not use with students younger than eighth grade due to implications about sexua
Sep 24, 2013 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 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.
Jackie "the Librarian"
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens
This is one of those thrillers where you know something awful happened, but you don't find out exactly what until the end. Underlying that is the issue of how people deal with guilt, and how a death can tear a family apart.
A solid, suspenseful mystery for teens ages 13 and up.
Jun 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lily is so creepy.
Review to come. I liked this a LOT.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads, ya
Fascinating and creepy. I can't believe I missed out on this one when it came out.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an old beat up paperback with a cutout in the cover! I had to wonder what this was about. Then I read a few pages and realized if it had been gussied up with a nice cover and I had gotten it from the library I would be all in because the story was there is at least one mystery presented at the outset. Also this is written first person. I love a book where I know what the protagonist is thinking and dreaming. I don't care if he is unhinged, a drifter, a grafter, or the ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For when this book was published this was a pretty good story. Now of course every book or story has some flaws but overall I felt that it was wrote pretty well and flowed nicely, not those dry spots where you are like please can we just remove these chapters.
We have David being sent off to live with his mom's brother and family. Now the thing is David has been aquitted and now needs to finish high school however he had a cousin his age that died that would be Kathy and there is eleven year old
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-13-25-reviews
This book is about a teeage boy who has come to live with his aunt and uncle to redo his senior year of high school at a different school. He was aquitted of killing his girlfriend and now he has come to live in the attic of the house his cousin died in a few years back. On top of that his other cousin, Lily, is beyond mysterious. To say the least his experience is not a normal one.

I enjoyed this book, but didn't get that feeling where I couldn't put the book down. It wasn't the most exciting my
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
** spoilers **

NOT my type of story. 1998 but didn't feel nearly as dated as I expected it to. Today's electronics were not there but it wasn't obvious. David accidentally kills his girlfriend when her brother is high on drugs. He is acquitted but moves to a new town with his aunt/uncle/cousin for a fresh start. Things are strange with the younger cousin from the beginning. She's creepy. In the end, we find that the younger cousin killed her older sister by giving her a glass of chemical cleaner
Hannah Laura Parker
I went into this figuring it would be a pretty standard "creepy child" psychological thriller, and it did seem like that's the direction it was going for a good chunk of it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and thoughtfulness of the ending. Definitely worth a read.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Este libro es una novela de misterio y suspenso, un poco predecible pero con una narración sencilla y que atrapa. El final el cambio en los personajes no me termina de parecer creíble pero se salva
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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 the suspense thriller AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR.