Review: Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson (Audible Edition)

When I saw this book, I absolutely knew I needed to read it! I thought the title was catchy and I couldn’t pass on it. I even downloaded a copy for Audible as well as ordering a hard copy. I was hat sure I would be devouring this book in a matter of days. In today’s modern world, so many women are fascinated by murder mysteries. I know for a fact that in my office of 10 women, 8 listen to murder podcasts while working or working out/cardio. Myself included! I love a good murder mystery.

It really is the ‘time of serial killers’ and I thought that having a romance where the main character is sure her neighbor is a serial killer, really hooked me, I mean when I was pregnant and a new mom, I was up in the middle of the night feeding my baby and our neighbor was constantly coming and going in the middle of the night (he is a teacher so I knew it wasn’t his job that took him away from home). I was convinced he was up to something nefarious. So this book sounded so appealing to me!

When this one came out, I was knee deep in all my Laura Griffin books so reading something light and romantic featuring serial killers sounded right up my alley. The book makes a note that there isn’t actually murder in the books so readers know they are getting an actual romance instead of a murder but I think that should have been implied by the summary, but I was thankful for the reminder as a reader anyway.


Turns out that reading nothing but true crime isn’t exactly conducive to modern dating—and one woman is going to have to learn how to give love a chance when she’s used to suspecting the worst.

PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime. She’s even analyzing the genre in her dissertation—if she can manage to finish writing it. It’s hard to find the time while she spends the summer in Florida, cleaning out her childhood home, dealing with her obnoxiously good-natured younger brother, and grappling with the complicated feelings of mourning a father she hadn’t had a relationship with for years.

It doesn’t help that she’s low-key convinced that her new neighbor, Sam Dennings, is a serial killer (he may dress business casual by day, but at night he’s clearly up to something). It’s not long before Phoebe realizes that Sam might be something much scarier—a genuinely nice guy who can pierce her armor to reach her vulnerable heart. (summary from Goodreads)


As excited as I was for this one, I don’t think that I liked it as much as I had hoped. But I did finish it. This book was really problematic for me. I loved that Phoebe was obsessed with true crime and I loved that she was making it her dissertation and defense! I created my own dissertation about Harry Potter so I had mad respect for her picking the true crime genre as her topic. But what I didn’t love were some of the other hokey things. For example, the cat. She wasn’t like she was taking care of a rare exotic animal. She put a TON of emphasis into this cat and I just felt like it distracted from the story and felt really cliche. The cat was also kind of a metaphor for her own self which I don’t know felt cheap somehow, plus it was the catalyst for a lot of things in the story and I think the same effect could have been achieved in better ways. I didn’t love it.

I also felt like Sam was way too wholesome. I had a hard time with some of the sex scenes because he was this sweet elementary music school teacher and I had a hard time picturing him doing the dirty with Phoebe. The sex scenes were ok, but I also felt like some of the language was a little too scripted. For example, Phoebe and Sam have this whole conversation about her breasts that just felt like ‘does anyone talk that way?????’ to me. They were laughing and making quick, sharp, tongue and cheek quits and it just felt really scripted. Like does any one really talk that way? I personally had a hard time believing they were really that quick and cute about things.

I also didn’t love Phoebe. I also don’t love the ‘woman sabotages her relationships’ troupe like AT ALL so I had a hard time with this one and Phoebe as a main character. She had all the baggage that she couldn’t let go of from her parents divorce. I had a hard time with how it impacted so many areas of her life. My parents divorced when I was around her same age (middle school) and I don’t feel like it effected me in the ways that it did Phoebe. I get that everyone processes divorce different and my experience might not have been the same as others but I just had a hard time relating to Phoebe nevertheless. She just was a bit much for me, though I did like that she was a curvier heroine\. There was so much baggage that she came with thought, that I felt like she needed more than a hot romance with her neighbor, more like years of therapy, to help her deal with her issues. Overall I didn’t love this book but I found it distracting enough to keep reading and mindless enough to enjoy on my walks and while I was rowing endlessly on my rower. It was ok but definitely not as good as I had hoped.

Book Info and Rating


336 pages, Paperback

Published: August 16, 2022 by Jove Books

ISBN 9780593438664 (ISBN10: 0593438663)

Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 2 stars

Genre: romance


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