Author: Kristi DeMeester
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Released: January 18, 2022
Warnings: Graphic violence, misogyny
Such a Pretty Smile is one of those thrillers that hits extremely hard, as it pulls in real-world elements to bring the story to life. Written by Kristi DeMeester, this book is perfect for anyone who wants to feel haunted.
There’s a killer lurking in our midst. He is known as The Cur, and the only evidence he ever leaves behind are the bodies of mutilated girls and women. As with any serial killer: he has a preferred target. Young women, girls really, rebel against the rules society places on them. They make trouble, refuse to conform, and don’t smile when asked by strangers.
I think the most horrifying thing about Such a Pretty Smile is that it is a horror novel set in modern times. By modern times, I mean that it tackles debates and arguments that are very much relevant today.
It’s chilling and a little bit too real at times. The killer of this novel, The Cur, is treated like a boogyman. Young women are told to behave or else The Cur will get them. Unlike the stories we tell children – the boogeyman is real, and he might just go for these women. It makes the warnings feel harsh and uncaring, as once again, a cycle of victim-blaming rises to the surface.
That would be one of the relevant points mentioned above and one of many that Kristi DeMeester addresses. For this reason, I really don’t think that Such a Pretty Smile is the ideal read for everyone. I’m not going to lie – it got borderline too much for me on several occasions. So please keep this in mind when debating about reading it.
Thanks to StMartinsPress and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.