Sweetpea by C. J. Skuse Review

Sweetpea Series #1


“The last person that called me Sweetpea ended up dead”

I am an avid reader of crime novels, especially enjoying books featuring serial killers – and no, it’s not research! Trying to find a novel that is different from the rest can be very difficult. Whilst I have read and enjoyed lots of these types of books, a lot can be very samey with a damaged police officer hunting a deranged, but very smart serial killer. So when I picked up Sweetpea by C. J. Skuse, whilst it sounded interesting, I expected more of the same.

I was wrong! Sweetpea is different. Sweetpea is excellent and written in completely different style that makes reading it exciting, enjoyable and unique. Sweetpea is the first book in the SWEETPEA series.

Sweetpea is 27-year-old Rhiannon Lewis. She appears to be the average girl next door with her tedious job, boyfriend, dog and her friends but in reality is a very angry and selfish person, feels superior to everybody, absolutely hates everybody (including her friends) and is a very successful serial killer! You really don’t want to get on her kill list.

Sweetpea is a novel about a female serial killer, a psychotic anti-hero – and one that has a variety of methods of killing.

Growing up, Rhiannon was a minor celebrity haunted by an infamous crime. Now her celebrity status has dwindled she is in a job she finds boring, her friends are tedious and her boyfriend isn’t the best. She is also an amateur writer hoping to get her first novel published. In the meantime she keeps a diary and most entries start with a kill list – a list of people who have done something that day that has annoyed her (the supermarket checkout man who doesn’t handle her purchases right to her anyone that has it coming). She is ready to take revenge against anybody that she deems unworthy of living, and she might just get away with murder.

Overall, I found Sweetpea to be a very unique, brutal and enjoyable story. It is written in the form of diary entries from her perspective and clearly shows the workings of her deranged, depraved mind.

Whilst Rhiannon is a psychotic serial killer, and one who has some interesting ways of wanting to kill her victims, she is a character that you can’t help liking.

Whilst the story features subjects like abduction, rape, murder, violence, mental health issues, sexual assault, revenge, adultery, hate and abuse it also has lots of humour and approaches the issues in a lightweight manner.

I love the way that things are described – some of which can be vulgar and crude but is great – “… nearly yanked back his head and spat in his mouth”.

Sweetpea is a dark comic thriller, but one not for the squeamish. It will have you squirming whilst smiling and unable to leave the book alone. I had to keep on reading to find out who her next victim would be and in what way she will kill and dispose of them.

A fast-paced story that has you feeling for the main character and actually willing her to go out and commit more murder and leaving you to make your own list of annoying people she will kill next.

I absolutely loved the story. The way it was written and the different slant on a murderer was engaging, gruesome, shocking and funny. I’m now about to start on book #2- In Bloom.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £12.99 (Hardback) / £8.99 (Paperback) / £2.99 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.

Click here to read more reviews of books by C. J. Skuse