Book Review: Carnal Knowledge

Carnal Knowledge

  • Title: Carnal Knowledge
  • Author: Rachael Tamayo
  • Series: A Deadly Sins Novel, #2
  • Genre: Psychological Thriller
  • Publishing Date: July 11th, 2020
  • Publishing Co.: Tangled Tee Publishing
  • Length: 229 pages
  • Format: Kindle, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free digital copy in exchange for an honest review

Kindle Link

Paperback Link

What do you do when you know you’re on a serial killer’s hit list?

Six women are dead, and Wren Addison is the next victim on the SMS Killer’s list—or so she’s been told after waking in a pool of blood with no memory of the events that have transpired.

Newly separated and struggling to start her life over after her husband’s infidelity, Wren tries to remember what happened to her, but nothing is adding up as more horrors unfold around her. With her life on a timer and the murderer taunting her, she realizes there is nothing typical about this serial killer.

Wren is pushed to the edge as she dances between knowing she’s likely to die and fighting to be the first to survive. As the truth starts to emerge, she rises to the challenge and decides not to go down without a fight.

Someone is going to die, and she’s determined it won’t be her.

Final Judgment: 4 Stars out of 5

CW: Adult language, graphic violence, rape

The second book in the Deadly Sins series, it is easily read as a standalone, as is the first book (Break my Bones), which I reviewed here

After Wren’s husband cheated on her and potentially got his much younger mistress pregnant, Wren went out drinking, drove, and got arrested for a DUI. Since then, she’s been living on her own, trying to get by and forget about her husband. That is, until she has a girls’ night out and wakes up in her blood-covered bed. Even though she’s not hurt–just a few bruises, an aching feeling between her legs, and a needle mark–there’s so much blood that it had to come from someone. But, rather than calling the cops, she decides to take a shower and go to work and pretend that everything is normal. But then she finds out she is a victim of the SMS Killer, a serial murderer that has her tagged as the 7th victim. Text messages and pictures nearly drive her off the edge, but she’s determined not to be the one that dies. 

This is a thriller novel through and through. Tamayo takes her readers on a twisting ride through all of the pages, never allowing us to truly grasp who the killer is until the very end. I had several theories throughout reading, but they were constantly changing as new evidence popped up. And what’s better is that once I did find out who the killer was, it made perfect sense! Definitely worth the read from this respect. 

The character building was nicely done. Despite my loathing of cheaters, I actually felt sorry for Ricky, Wren’s husband, and may have even rooted for him a bit. There were so many different intricacies between characters that I could see their relationships evolve from page to page. This was likely the greatest part of the novel. They felt like real people, with real problems. Even when the overarching big picture conflict was the SMS killer, there were plenty of other smaller conflicts that got in the way, simulating real life. 

My only issue with this novel, and the reason why I have it 4 stars instead of 5, was that at times, some things seemed too convenient or unrealistic. The way that Wren would act, or how the police treated her case and safety, it did not feel urgent enough. Perhaps Wren was just stupid or stubborn, and perhaps the police weren’t taking the serial killer too seriously, but even so, much of the conflict could have been avoided easily. And I believe that in real life, they would have been avoided because the action would have gone down differently. 

Regardless, still a great, thrilling read. Engaging up until the very end, and satisfying once you know the truth. 


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