Book review: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The book:
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Published by Faber & Faber in 2015
Pages: 325
Book 7 in my January Kindle Challenge

Product DetailsThe blurb:

Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched – but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?

Back in Boston, Ted’s wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?

My thoughts…

I’d seen a lot of good reviews of this book and was really looking forward to reading it, expecting a dark, twisty thriller that would keep me on the edge of my seat! Instead I got a totally implausible and actually quite boring novel that did nothing whatsoever for me.

The book is told in three parts, with different narrators. Lily gets alternate chapters throughout the entire novel, while the other narrators are Ted, Miranda and a policeman. All the characters in the book are unpleasant and it’s hard to like any of them, which is kind of the point but does stop you really caring what happens to any of them.

One slight exception to this rule is Lily, as you do actually get some of her back story, which enables you to understand her motivations a bit better. In fact the only redeeming feature of this book for me were the tales of Lily’s past, first living with bohemian, arty parents, and later in London – these flashbacks were by the far the most interesting parts of the book.

Other than this, I couldn’t help but find the entire story completely unbelievable, and all a bit stupid really. There’s one twist about halfway through the novel which I saw coming (and its not like me to guess plot twists!), but other than this I didn’t find the book particularly shocking or thrilling. The characters are all horrible, and pretty boring with it, so I wasn’t interested in any of them. There also seemed to be endless passages describing a character’s journey from a to b which were tedious, and slowed the story down.

I’m actually surprised by how much I disliked this book. The only thing that saved it for me were the bits involving Lily’s early years; otherwise this so-called thriller fell really flat for me. But other reviewers have loved it so maybe I just didn’t get it. 

My rating: 4 out of 10

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