The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Published by Harper Collins Publishers on February 3rd, 2015
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
“Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended?”
Finally! A mystery thriller that isn’t billed as the next Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. And rightfully so because this book is in a league of its own. I was completely blown away by the plot.
Each chapter is told from the perspective of three characters. Swanson manages to keep the reader engaged and invested in these characters by peppering in flashbacks and ominous final sentences to wrap up the chapter. At times, I felt like I wished the next chapter opened up with the same character’s POV because I couldn’t wait to figure out the mini mysteries within each character’s storylines.
If you’ve read the quick blurb about the book, you’ll realize that it takes from Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Don’t worry — the resemblance is addressed in the novel by the main character, Ted Severson. I’m not too familiar with the plot of Strangers on a Train, but now I’m interested to read it to see exactly how Swanson pays homage to Highsmith.
What has turned me off from the mystery thriller genre in the past is that the twists are too easy to guess. Other times, it seems like the twists don’t make any sense and the author is just trying to shock readers.
However, that is not what happens in The Kind Worth Killing. There are three separate twists that I didn’t see coming. I audibly gasped when I was reading that the person sitting next to me in the café looked concerned.
Swanson definitely left clues for the reader that would have tipped them off. I went back to certain chapters immediately after I finished the book to double check this. So don’t worry! These twists aren’t random.
Throughout the story, I felt myself connecting to Lily the most. Her story was compelling and Swanson did a fantastic job showing character development within a relatively short book. Lily Kintner has funny quips and a very dry sense of humor that’s both off putting and captivating.
This book kept me on my toes from the very first chapter. I couldn’t put it down and that’s completely up to the pacing and Swanson’s writing.
Some readers might not appreciate that unresolved ending, but I, for one, loved it. It leaves you feeling cold inside and that feeling hasn’t really gone away. What I’m left with is the thought that we never truly know anyone. People’s inner most desires, the
ir darkest thoughts, their dirty little secrets, or their mysterious past.
This is the first book I’ve read of Swanson’s and it won’t be the last.