Recently, I finished reading The Kind Worth Killing: A Novel by Peter Swanson. It was my first reading Swanson so naturally I was apprehensive at first, and the opening chapters did not help warm me up. As I read along, however, the book became increasingly interesting and proved to be more than just another modern mystery novel.
The book starts from Ted’s point of view. He’s at the airport when he spots a striking red head, Lily, whom he bonds with over drinks and plan to murder his wife. Whoa, that escalated quickly! Part of the reason I was unimpressed by the book at first were the circumstances which put Ted and together at that airport bar and then in first class on the airplane. What are the odds right? But be patient as Swanson clears up all the confusions, after a hundred pages or so…
The point of view shifts from Ted to Lily to Miranda, Ted’s wife, whom Ted finds out is cheating on him with the contractor. So Ted agrees to meet Lily (who conveniently lives in Boston as well!) so they could plot the details of murdering Miranda. Again, nothing stands out so far, looks like another scorned husband planning to kill his wife. The only odd thing here is Lily.We learn that Lily had committed murder before, some guy who molested her when she was a kid, and then again her cheating ex boyfriend. But that still doesn’t explain why she is so eager to help a complete stranger murder his wife, in spite her explanation that cheaters are the kind worth killing and that they would be doing the planet a favor.
Ted, a reasonable man, starts to like Lily and comes to terms with his wife’s cheating. He decides that there’s no need to kill Miranda after all and that he would just be with Lily and divorce his wife, even if it meant losing half his money. But a murder occurs, nonetheless, just not according to Ted and Lily’s plan. Here’s when things started to get interesting. This plot twist unleashed a storm of events that kept me at the edge of my seat until the end of the book.
Between the police investigating the murder and Lily planning her next one, I was biting my nails as I read. However, I did feel that the ending of the book was a bit predictable and out of character for Lily (I thought she was smarter than that). Also, the first point of view narration that Swanson maintained for all the characters made it easy for him to slip into telling instead of showing us what was happening.
All in all, The Kind Worth Killing: A Novel is a suspenseful read with of shocking plot twists that makes it stand out from other novels in its genre. Definitely worth the read.
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