The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

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.

Book Information: Print length: 317 pages. Publisher: Faber & Faber. Publication Date: 3 Feb 2015

Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat

My Review:

I first read this book in January 2015 having been recommended it by Mark Edwards. At the time I wasn’t blogging and my review writing was basic (to say the least) and I wrote: “a gripping intelligent twisted psychological thriller with so many plot changes I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. highly recommend this book and was disappointed when it ended. fab read”.

When I recently learnt that Peter Swanson has a sequel coming out called The Kind Worth Saving in February 2023, I knew I had to re-read the first book to familiarise myself with the characters and to see if it was as good as I remembered and the good news is YES it is!

So now I feel it deserves a proper review and I might even use Capital Letters and full words in this one.

The Kind Worth Killing begins with 2 strangers meeting in an airport lounge in London drinking to pass the time as their flight to the USA has been delayed. Ted Severson is a very wealthy and successful business man on his way back home to his wife Miranda and the new house they are having built. Lily Kintner is a beautiful single woman on her return home from visiting her father in the UK. As the drinks flow so do their inhibitions and they begin to confide in each other. When they find themselves seated next to each other on the flight home their discussions begin to take a sinister turn.

Now I’m not going to spoil any of this book for you because the less you know the more you will enjoy the story. Peter Swanson really does take the reader on an emotional and turbulent rollercoaster and the short pacy chapters which alternate between several characters ensures that you are literally unable to stop reading. This is an absolute masterclass in domestic noir and psychological thrillers.

I don’t particular like re-reading books because in my humble opinion life is too short and there are too many other books out there, but I am so happy I ignored my own advice because The Kind Worth Killing is still as clever, as twisty, as gripping and as brilliant as it was when I first read it in 2015.

100% recommend this book to lovers of all thrillers and suspense novels

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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