Twelve years ago, Lei Zhang and her friend Emma Nilsson miraculously lived through the notorious Sorority Row Murders that left twenty-one of their sisters dead. Still wrestling with the trauma but finally out of the limelight, Lei and Emma are now devoted to helping other victims find closure. But most disturbing for Lei—beyond the gut-wrenching survivor guilt—is that the killer was her boyfriend. He’s behind bars, but she’ll never lower her guard again.
When a copycat killer targets Lei and Emma, FBI Agent Dante Young is put in charge of anticipating the sociopath’s every move. But what he doesn’t expect is his immediate and overpowering attraction to Lei. The closer they get to each other, the more desperate and terrifying the questions become: Who wants to finish what the killer started—and why?
Now Agent Young vows to protect Lei at all costs. If they have any chance of a future together, first they have to stay alive…
Firstly, this cover is beautiful, but it’s missing something very, very important. I’m choosing to believe there’s sexy, topless FBI agent in that house. 😉
I might have a bad track record with men but my goodness, reading about poor Lei and her ex-boyfriend made me feel like my mistakes weren’t so bad.
This was a good story. There was drama and action and angst. At the beginning of the book, we’re introduced to Lei and Emma who survived a massacre. 12 years ago Lei’s boyfriend murdered 21 of their sorority sisters. Surviving something like that is bound to leave scars. The two of them keep people at a distance and realize they can’t count on anyone but each other.
There were a lot of little things I appreciated about this book:
Emma is agoraphobic, she refuses to leave her home choosing instead to experience the world through her computer. Although this was a small part of the story, I think this is the first book I’ve read that dealt with the disorder. I don’t know enough about it to say whether it was realistic or not but it was unique and I appreciated that.
At one point an FBI agent suggests the serial killer may be female. This made me super happy because women are often depicted as delicate little flowers who aren’t capable of hurting anyone. I thought it was neat to even offer it as a possibility.
Lei has a cadaver dog, Saul. The dog is a consistent presence in the book. As an animal lover, this made me very happy.
And now for one of my biggest pet peeves EVER! The reason I so rarely read these so-called “romantic thriller” titles.
This wasn’t a romance. I didn’t fall in love with Dalton, I didn’t see him as my book-boyfriend. He felt more like an overprotective cousin. We have a couple chapters of annoying insta-obsession (it’s worse than insta-love), one or two kisses, some intense hand-holding, and a scene where they declare their interest in each other. But, nothing that screamed romance or even a relationship.
It felt almost like a bait and switch. Would I have even looked at this book without the promise of a love story? No, of course not and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. However, I’m sure there are just as many people who avoided this book because they didn’t want a love story.
Overall, The Surviving Girls was a good thriller. If I was in the market for a thriller, I’d be giving it 5 stars. However, I was promised a romantic thriller. Since I only got half of what I was promised I had to take away half the stars. Now, I absolutely adore when animals are prominent characters in the book, so I gave this book an extra star for so consistently including Saul.
If you like books like this you might enjoy No Angel.