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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Death by the River is a thrilling psychological work by author team Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor, aimed at young adults. Catching the current vogue of teen psycho and revenge tales like Bates Motel, Revenge and 13 Reasons Why, the anti-hero of the tale is the sadistic psychopath Beau Devereaux, a charming top-dog alpha male who abuses his thrall over others to exercise his thirst for evil. At the abandoned St. Francis Seminary on the riverbank, Beau enacts horrors that haunt the nightmares of his classmates. When he sets his sights on a brand new victim for his senior year, it becomes clear that there’s only one way to stop him – blood is paid for with blood.
The only suggestion I’d make is that Death by the River contains such extreme acts of violence and gore that it perhaps ought to have an adult rather than young adult label. Other than that, I found it to be a horrifically brilliant book with a deep psychological connection to its killer. Beau Devereaux could have easily been a clichéd psycho, but the plot constructed around him and his development during the novel really shone as a masterpiece of character creation. In spite of everything, I still almost rooted for him and had sympathy in places, much in the style of Dexter or Hannibal. Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor do a fantastic job of setting a chilling scene with classic horror locations and authentic teen reactions to death and danger. Highly recommended, but definitely for adults.