Peter Swanson’s second novel is about Ted Severson, a successful businessman who meets the mysterious and straight-talking Lily Kintner in a bar at Heathrow Airport. Over drinks they bond, him revealing his unhappy marriage and how he suspects his wife, Miranda, is cheating on him. Soon the mood turns dark, as Ted confesses to thoughts of killing Miranda, and Lily offers to help plot the murder.
Compared by readers and critics to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, The Kind Worth Killing certainly sits well within that genre. Though the body count is higher and foot is heavier on the gas in terms of pace.
The Kind Worth Killing is highly addictive and I devoured it within days. Split into three parts, with short chapters and told from alternating narratives, the story is easy to read. Swanson gradually introduces each character, painting a picture depicting their history and psychological profiles. This gave the whole story a rich feel and a depth that consumes you as a reader. This worked particularly well with Lily who is an interesting protagonist. Her moral compass is guided by her primal instincts of self-protection and preservation. As readers, we delve into events that occurred during her unsettled, bohemian childhood. The justifications for her actions will either make you admire or fear her. I was caught up somewhere in the unnerving middle which is, I imagine, exactly where Swanson wants you.
With themes of deception and murder, The Kind Worth Killing has plot twists aplenty. Just when you shake one twist off, another is thrown at you. Which is precisely how I like my thrillers.
The writing is gentle and considered which works well with the heavy subject matter. At times, the plot is far fetched, and a little unbelievable. Then again, with stories like this you have to suspend all belief and go with it. Especially when you’re having so much fun.
While not a literary classic, The Kind Worth Killing is a riveting, energetic and entertaining read. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller. The Kind Worth Killing is without a doubt, The Kind Worth Reading.