Review | My Darrling by Krystal McLean (@mcleantweet)

07 February 2013

Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 111 pages

To the world, nineteen-year-old Isaac Darrling was nothing more than pure, unsalvageable evil, a sadistic serial killer on a quest for notoriety, fame. To me, he was the love of my life. My obsession. My Darrling, as I called him. This is a story about unconditional love in its rawest—and possibly sickest—form. A story that forces you to face the dark and the beautiful sides of forbidden love.

I usually try to find something in the books I read that is a little less than perfect but with My Darrling I can't fault a single thing. This is Krystal's debut novel, it's a novella of just over 100 pages and follows the story of Sophie Lenon and Issac Darrling, but this isn't your ordinary romance. Issac Darling is the USA's most wanted criminal, he is a prolific serial killer and is dubbed the Fallen Angel Killer because of how he leaves his victims bodies. Sophie Lenon lost her father at the age of 2 when he was murdered. Ever since she can remember she's wanted to become a criminal psychologist to get inside the minds of killers and find out why they do what they do.

As the story opens we get a short third person introduction to Issac's crimes, what he does to his victims and how he leaves them. We then switch to Sophie's POV and we learn in more detail what Issac has done and what Sophie thinks of his crimes. I think this is vital given the theme of the book, it shows you that under everything Sophie truly knows how she feels about the crimes deep down. If Krystal didn't do this would be quite easy to forget and judge Sophie for her actions.

Sophie knows from day one that she is attracted to Issac, just by looking at his picture, and this wouldn't be an issue if she never ran into him while he's on the run and in NYC. She knows that she should turn him in but she lands up getting a coffee with him while hiding the fact she knows who he is. During their first encounter she constantly wars with her moral duty and her attraction.

Krystal truly showed just how much Sophie is at war with herself. Showing these emotions in the right tone is extremely hard and Krystal manages it perfectly, you never feel Sophie is swayed one way over the other, she is constantly aware of how right her emotions feel but how very wrong it is to feel that way. Krystal really showed her emotions well, she made you feel everything Sophie does which is why you see how Sophie can fall in love with Issac. You also know throughout this journey that Sophie knows she shouldn't be doing this and there were moments when I thought to myself she's going to hand him over to the police.

And then there's Issac, after Sophie reveals that she knows who he really is, we begin to learn more about him, what caused him to become the man is. As much as I don't want to say this I felt sorry for him and fell a little bit in love with him. Yes, he a serial killer and yes, I should despise him but I can seriously see why Sophie fell for him. Hell, I even fell in love with him! Krystal really has a true talent for making you love those characters you know you shouldn't. Issac really is an amazing character and I think that Sophie brings out the best in him and that, contrary to what he believes, that if he'd met Sophie at the right time he would have been a very different man and lead a different life.

Ultimately Sophie can't change him and the ending of the story is very bittersweet. I really felt for Sophie but at the end of the day what happens was the right course that needed to be taken and if Krystal had ended the book any other way it wouldn't have felt right. This ending felt right and fit the story perfectly.

I really did love this novella, it's not what I normally read and that made me love it even more. It took me out of my comfort zone and truly is the amazing read. I know it's not for everyone but if you think you could read this I urge you to. It really is worth it and I can't wait to read Krystal's next book.

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