There was always something slightly dangerous about Joan. So, when she turns up at private investigator Henry Kimball’s office asking him to investigate her husband, he can’t help feeling ill at ease. Just the sight of her stirs up a chilling memory: he knew Joan in his previous life as a high school English teacher, when he was at the center of a tragedy.
Now Joan needs his help in proving that her husband is cheating. But what should be a simple case of infidelity becomes much more complicated when Kimball finds two bodies in an uninhabited suburban home with a “for sale” sign out front. Suddenly it feels like the past is repeating itself, and Henry must go back to one of the worst days of his life to uncover the truth.
Is it possible Joan knows something about that day, something she’s hidden all these years? Could there still be a killer out there, someone who believes they have gotten away with murder? Henry is determined to find out, but as he steps closer to the truth, a murderer is getting closer to him, and in this hair-raising game of cat and mouse only one of them will survive.
Book Info: 313 Pages. Publisher: Faber & Faber. Publication Date: 28 Feb 2023
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
If you follow my blog you will know that I read The Kind Worth Killing years ago and once I heard a sequel had been written, I had to re-read the book again – see my review here
The Kind Worth Saving can be read as a standalone – but honestly I would not recommend it because The Kind Worth Killing is utterly brilliant and a masterclass in psychological thrillers – so do yourself a HUGE favour and buy both books.
Back to this book.. The Kind Worth Saving features Henry Kimball – who we last met as a detective investigating some murders and Lily Kintner, a fabulously flawed female psychopath whose paths crossed with dangerous consequences in the first book.
Henry is now a private investigator, having left the police force after everything that happened in the first book. He has been asked to follow a cheating husband and his lover and provide proof for his wife Joan. However things are not quite what they seem as firstly Joan and Henry have history (well English actually) together as he was her high school teacher years ago and they were both involved in an awful event at school, secondly whilst following Joan’s cheating husband and lover he actually becomes the only witness to a murder/suicide.
The first half of the book is really all about Henry, his past as a teacher and we get to know more about Joan. I was concerned where Lily was and checked the blurb to make sure she did feature in the book and when she finally did appear the pace of the story quickens and the twists and turns start jumping out all over the place.
It wouldn’t be a Peter Swanson novel if he doesn’t kill off some really fascinating and important characters mid-way through the story whilst literally turns the narrative upside down and leaves the reader reeling.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved Lily and Henry’s relationship and would love to see these characters appear in a 3rd book.