Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: The Kind Worth Killing

Kerry Hammond reviews Peter Swanson's new book, The Kind Worth Killing. The book gets released on February 3rd. 

The Kind Worth Killing grabbed me right from the beginning, and kept me hooked until the end. You’ll understand when you read it, but when I say “until the end” I really mean it. It also stayed with me for days, and I really love when a book can do that. I found myself thinking back to the characters and certain plot points days after finishing the book.

In an airport lounge in London, waiting for a flight to Boston, Ted and Lily meet. As they get to know each other, and with the help of some Dutch courage, Ted tells Lily that his wife Miranda is cheating on him. He caught her, but she doesn’t know it, and he’s not sure whether or not to confront her with the information. He even admits to Lily that he feels like killing Miranda for what she’s done to him. When he admits this, Lily isn’t shocked or appalled. She actually tells Ted that she’d like to help him kill his wife. After all, Ted’s wife seems like the kind worth killing.

After arriving home in Boston, Ted and Lily go their separate ways. But their friendship isn’t finished, and Ted and Lily begin to take the steps necessary to execute their plan. We follow Lily and find out that she has some very deep and very dark secrets. We follow Ted and watch as he keeps what he knows from his wife, while simultaneously planning her murder. The book jacket calls the book “a modern reimagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train.” I think that is a wonderful description, and Peter Swanson does the concept justice by taking his characters into a new and twisted realm. Not since Dexter have I felt such an affinity to a character plotting a murder.

The way this book was written was extremely unique. Each chapter was written in first person from the character whose name was at the top, alongside each chapter number. The points of view alternated and the reader was able to get the character’s personal point of view of the story. Sometimes, when the events overlapped, the reader got to see the same scene played out from two different perspectives, and that was brilliant. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book and felt that the author did a great job pulling off a difficult challenge and writing style. The uniqueness of this, and the skill with which it was executed, made for a really great book.


  1. Thanks for a great review Kerry. I've added this one to my TBR pile.

  2. Brilliant read! Real page turner. Extremely difficult to put down. Not since Gone Girl, have I been gripped by a book.