Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski

Title: Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers #1)
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publication date: June 18th 2013
Source: Purchased from National Book Store
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.

Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.

While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.

As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.

This is their story…
(Image and summary from Goodreads.)


Bloody, raw, insanely thought-provoking and just downright frightening, Killing Sarai is easily one of the most unique and special books I have ever read. I never imagined Killing Saria to turn out the way it did, I thought that it would be a rogue-gone-good kind of romance with a little but of fluff but no, J.A. Redmerski created a novel is so in-your-face and honest that you can't help but kind of want to deny that it is actually happening right in front of you. Killing Sarai questions our humanity, our morals and how well we really know ourselves.

When Sarai's mom moves them in with her drug dealer boyfriends and dies after, Sarai knows that her life will never be the same again. Living with one of Mexico's most notorious drug lord's and having been subjected to things that no girl (or anyone in general) should ever have gone through. Growing up surrounded with death, rape and drugs, Sarai has been exposed to the worst that humanity has to offer and she knows that she'll never be able to escape from the cage that she's been locked in, until she sees Javier negotiating with Victor, a top notch assassin, and sees that she may have a chance of escaping... Or not.

Right from the get-go, I was pretty freaked out by Victor. His presence was both unnerving and threatening. J.A. Redmerski was able to perfectly portray a cold-blooded, blank-eyed assassin and I was thoroughly impressed when that persona stayed consistent throughout the book. Sure, Sarai and Victor had their "moments" but seeing cracks in Victor's face and personality was very scarce. J.A. Redmerski didn't give him that soft spot most authors do when writing an assassin, no, he was cold and terrifying throughout the whole book. I can't say that I don't love his character because I do love Victor (whose last name still eludes me, haha). His backstory, his sharpness, tact and even his being a killer wrapped up in a disturbingly appealing way. (Victor shoots people like a boss, just whips out his gun so fast that you can't see him and then bam, you dead bro. Scary.)

I don't think I ever saw Sarai be weak anywhere in the book. From the beginning (when she snuck into Victor's car) and to the end (...), her actions were reckless but also calculated. Becoming Victor's "companion" did take its toll on her but she never gave up, even though she was with a ruthless killer who would not hesitate to kill her, she was okay with it. Sarai was resigned to the fact that if Victor killed her, then that would be it. It saddened me to see her sort of be okay with the concept of her own death, maybe it's because of all the things she went through or what, but there was an edge to her throughout the book. Even though Sarai seemed like such a delicate girl, that was completely far from the truth. Behind that petite, weak-looking body is an old soul who had been through so much and can take even more. Sarai only continued to grow stronger and stronger, her character growth was impressive, to say the least.

This story isn't just about love or killing people, it's also about our humanity. Does being a seasoned killer mean that you're no longer human? How about being a victim of human trafficking? There were questions of morality and truth asked in the book and I was glad that J.A. Redmerski put those in because the questions gave the book a much deeper meaning. It delved deeper into the characters' minds and gave us an insight of their inner thoughts. There was an exchange between the characters: as Sarai grew and learned to harden herself, Victor learned that caring for someone isn't actually a bad thing, it isn't a weakness. They were both learning new things and seeing those changes in their personalities made me feel so much better.

My mom was actually the one who recommended Killing Sarai to me, she always goes on and on about how amazing it is and how In the Company of Killers is one of her most favorite series ever, and I am glad that I listened to my mom yet again. I am still in awe as to how J.A. Redmerski was able to write such a vivid and authentic POV of a killer, seriously. Okay, I wouldn't want to mess with her now... haha! You will love Killing Sarai, trust me. But you might not want to visit Mexico anymore either, haha! I cannot recommend this book enough, you need to read it... like, right now. You're welcome.



  1. Great Review! I have heard so many great things about this one and I think I am finally ready to read and purchase it!

    Thanks for this

    Tt @ Never Ending Stories

    1. You definitely should! It's such a unique and disturbingly addictive read. HAHA Thanks for reading, Tt!

  2. J.A. Redmerski wrote Edge of Never too right? This is the first time I've heard of this book and it sounds good, thank you to your review. It's rare to find books where the "assassin" maintains his badass character, great review Louisse! Thanks for reviewing this :)

    1. Thank YOU for reading, Ella! And yes, J.A. Redmerski is the author of The Edge of Never. I was so shocked that she managed to completely shift from Contemporary Romance to something else altogether. And she was so successful in writing such a hardcore and bloody book, ughh. So good.

  3. I just wanted to say that I super love your review! And yes, you definitely persuaded me to pick this up. Huhuhu you are not good to my wallet :(

    1. EHEHE Thanks, Kayla! You NEED to read this, seriously. So badass.