Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: The Kind Worth Killing & Giveaway

Summary: From the author of the acclaimed The Girl with a Clock for a Heart—hailed by the Washington Post as crime fiction’s best first novel of 2014”—a devious tale of psychological suspense involving sex, deception, and an accidental encounter that leads to murder that is a modern reimagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train.

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda's demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth. Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail. -- William Morrow

I'm pretty sure THE KIND WORTH KILLING by Peter Swanson is going to be compared quite a bit to GONE GIRL. There is definitely a few unreliable narrators -- more like four instead of two, and there are quite a few twists and surprises. I suspect even the most savvy suspense reader will be managed to be surprised.

Supposedly, THE KIND WORTH KILLING is a bit of a reimagining of Patricia Highsmith's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. Since I haven't read that novel, I can't really compare! However, in this book, Ted Severson and Lily Kintner meet on a flight from London to Boston. They have a few drinks together and begin to open up in a game of truth. Ted admits that he thinks his wife is cheating on him and he even goes so far as to say he could kill her. Lily agrees with Ted and they set up a later time to meet to discuss the definite plans.

Ted and Lily begin to form an unlikely bond while plotting Miranda's murder. It appears that Lily is quite the mystery woman and might even have a past filled with other murders. Lily and Ted engage in a cat and mouse game with Miranda and her "boyfriend," and the four of them get caught up in some very strange life and death situations.

THE KIND WORTH KILLING is definitely a book that is a kind worth reading! I really liked the story and the pacing of the novel. One character was more unlikable that the next; however, they did combine for some great scenes. I enjoyed seeing them play games and try to manipulate the situation for their benefit, and I especially enjoyed all of the plot twists -- although I will say that some were more predictable than others. These four character were despicable... and yet so interesting to me!

I often times complain that I think unreliable narrators are being used to much in novels ever since the success of GONE GIRL, and I will say that this book had four pretty darn unreliable ones. I honestly didn't read too much into their individual voices because I was so caught up in the cat and mouse games that they were playing. THE KIND WORTH KILLING was definitely more of a plot driven novel for me, and even though I was tempted at times to feel a little bit manipulated, I just accepted it because I was so caught up in how they were trying to manipulate each other.

I mentioned earlier that there were quite a few surprising turns in this novel, and there were! Most of them really caught me off guard and I so appreciated that! I will admit that they amount of twists made the story very unlikely, but once again, I was okay with all of that because I was so vested in the story! I shouldn't have been surprised that the author saved one very big surprise for the ending. Yet it still managed to take my breath away. I even re-read the last few pages to make sure I "got it."

THE KIND WORTH KILLING was almost an addictive read for me. I found myself sneaking in a few minutes here and there to read it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I immediately reserved the author's first novel THE GIRL WITH A CLOCK FOR A HEART!

Overall, THE KIND WORTH KILLING was a fast-paced suspense novel that managed to keep me guessing and keep my interest... and that's really saying something because I haven't been "enjoying" reading all that much lately! Highly recommended!

Thanks to Saicheck Publicity for a review copy of this novel.

Giveaway alert: I have a copy of THE KIND WORTH KILLING to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below before  February 23rd at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

I'm glad to see this is so good because my book club will be reading it soon.

Kay said...

I want to read this one sometime this spring. Was thinking of pairing it with a read of STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. Nice review and hope his first book is a good one!

Karen White said...

I am one of the four narrators who recorded this book. The plot twists totally got me my first time through and I do think the author did a great job of making each of the four narrators distinct from each other. That part made my job easy. But it was an acting challenge to find a way to justify my character's POV of things. The fun thing about narrating is that you get to play people you'd never play based on how you look!

Beth F said...

Unreliable narrators seem to be popular these days. Still I'm looking forward to reading this.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I have this one to read yet - I am excited to get to it.