Fans of vigilante killers, Scarlett is here for your reading pleasure!
Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder.
Every year, she searches for the worst man at Gorman University and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself–but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies close, Scarlett insinuates herself into the investigation and charms the woman in charge, Dr. Mina Pierce. Everything’s going according to her master plan…until she loses control with her latest victim, putting her secret life at risk of exposure.
Meanwhile, Gorman student Carly Schiller is just trying to survive her freshman year. Finally free of her emotionally abusive father, all Carly wants is to focus on her studies and fade into the background. Her new roommate has other ideas. Allison Hadley is cool and confident–everything Carly wishes she could be–and the two girls quickly form an intense friendship. So when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay…and turning her fantasies about revenge into a reality.
Told in alternating points of view, They Never Learn is sure to please crime fiction lovers. Both viewpoints, Scarlett and Carly, are equally interesting and the short chapters mean you never have to wait more than a few pages to get a fix on each timeline.
Fargo got the structuring spot on as the short chapters also work to build suspense, and as things get more intense the chapters get even shorter so you’re racing through those end pages. As with most books with alternating viewpoints, you’re waiting for the timelines to collide, and the collision here is cleverly done.
This novel features a very interesting friendship dynamic between Carly and the two friends she meets at college. You often read about female friendship groups and their toxic-ness in fiction. But what do you get in a two female, one male friendship group? Well, you still get the toxicity, but you’re also looking for the invisible divide in the group (because three’s a crowd), where do people’s loyalties lie?
As for our vigilante killer, you can’t help but be attracted to Scarlett dishing out her own justice. Those morally grey characters, doing the wrong thing for right reason!
The mystery elements are solid, a few red-herrings along the way. You know when you’re impressed when you start nodding your head in approval, the silent salute to the author of a book well plotted.
What also stood out in this novel was its setting, a college campus – and what a fitting setting it was. How many predators lurk on campus, how quick is a dean to sweep things under the rug, they’ve got to protect the college reputation, right? So while this is a fictional read, it does highlight a very real issue in today’s society.
They Never Learn, Scarlett is here to make sure They Never Forget!