Review: True Crime by Samantha Kolesnik

Pitch black perfection!

True Crime by Samantha Kolesnik

Published January 2020

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Received for Review Consideration
Suzy and her brother, Lim, live with their abusive mother in a town where the stars don’t shine at night. Once the abuse becomes too much to handle, the two siblings embark on a sordid cross-country murder spree beginning with their mom. As the murder tally rises, Suzy’s mental state spirals into irredeemable madness.

My 2 Cents For Free!

I was a little afraid of this book once the comparisons to Ketchum’s THE GIRL NEXT DOOR and J.F. Gonzalez’s SURVIVOR were made. I’ll be honest here and admit that I barely made it through the first and the second was a struggle. There’s one scene in SURVIVOR that I would like scrubbed from my brain, please. But, in my opinion, for whatever that is worth, this book reminds me more of Lynda Barry’s CRUDDY Cruddy, and that book was never a struggle. It is filled with devastation and horrible events but it doesn’t feel like it's ever too much to bear because the young protagonist is telling her story and she is carrying on. You feel as if you need to carry on because the character continues to do so. Such is TRUE CRIME. These two books would make excellent companion pieces if you’re up for the agony. You can blame me when you’re done. I’ll own this one, haha.

Much like Cruddy, this book digs deep and exceptionally well into a broken adolescent’s mind. The emotions and the thoughts are realistically raw as the child is forced to endure and carry on in a world that is unbearably cruel and abusive.

Suzy and her older brother have experienced nothing but horror in their young lives. Their mother is human trash and exposes them to sexual abuse their entire lives. It has changed their patterns of thinking and behavior, made them lose faith in everything. Helplessness and anger brew until they eventually boil over and events take a turn past the point of no return. Be warned, this book likely has all the triggers and it’s best knowing beforehand what you may be getting yourself into. I knew, so I was ready. There’s some cruel animal abuse here as well and it will break your heart. Who am I kidding? All of this will break your heart. There’s no sense sugar-coating it. Life can be cruel and it can ruin people and this book doesn’t flinch away from that ugly fact.

Despite all of the above, this book was incredibly readable even as it took me into some of the darkest corners of humanity. There is so much phrasing here that simply devastates with its truth. 

“Every girl in the world was taught not to trust her gut.”

So yeah, It’s fucking bleak and it is full of sorrow and if you’re ready I think you should read it. True Crime is the author’s debut novel and I am terrified to read what she’ll release into the world in the future but I’ll be here for it because having my heart shattered is my most favorite thing and she has done an amazing job of doing just that with this piece of fiction. 

5 out of 5 


  1. Do you ever wonder if writing these books are as draining on the authors as it is on the readers who read them?

    1. I can't even imagine immersing yourself in all of that darkness for months on end!

  2. Good review. I've heard so many good things about True Crime. Grim, yes, but captivating.

    1. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it but I really loved the writing.

  3. Wow this sounds intense! I'm not sure I want to tackle it because it sounds super heavy but I'll admit part of me wants to see what they do when they cut loose!

    1. It's definitely heavy and a difficult read but because I went in expecting the absolute worst it wasn't too bad, haha!


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