The Kind Worth Killing | Review
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"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."
The Kind Worth Killing is a standalone mystery thriller by Peter Swanson.
This is the kind of book where it might be better to go in blind in order to give yourself a more impactful experience. That may be a bit counterproductive of me to say seeing as I always put the synopsis of the book in my reviews...but I mean it all the same.
That aside, I enjoyed this book well enough as it did present a rather interesting premise that kept you on your feet.
Let's get into the details.
Firstly, I want to say that this book is a lot shorter than it seems, as about 50 pages are just extra content. (Which could have been more useful to help make that ending less open, but I will get to that later).
I don't actually have anything to say really about the writing since I got through this with no issues at all. My only comment was that there were some chunky paragraphs, but that is mostly because I have the text size enlarged which made it so.
As I said in the introduction, this story is best read going in blind for several reasons. A title such as 'The Kind Worth Killing' inherently brings a sense of intrigue as it makes the reader question what exactly that means. The synopsis, however, gives away that answer which takes away some of the magic in my opinion. If I were to recommend this to someone who has no idea what this is about, I would tell them to not read the synopsis. This is a review though so I can't exactly do that here...
Moving on then, this follows Ted who meets a woman at an airport bar while waiting to catch his flight. While immediately attracted to said woman, what truly brings them together is her uncanny willingness to listen to his rants about his wife, and her even more uncanniness at offering to aid him in killing her. Again, an interesting premise best left unknown.
What follows is a story that is both expecting, and unexpected. I thought that the author did an interesting job at playing into what was made plainly obvious, but also keeping the reader on their toes with plot twists. Unfortunately for me, I caught onto the big shift in the story because I have an ebook and noticed something right away which let me know what direction the story was going to go in. If you are reading the ebook (or the physical book too), word of advice, don't look at the table of contents.
After a bit of a wild ride that was the gist of the story, we arrived at the end which did admittedly bother me a bit. The author leaves the audience hanging there a bit as to what fully happens in the end, which did aggravate me a bit because I hate open endings. That is up to the reader's discretion though as it might not bother you. This is also why I said that that extra 50 pages of content could have been more useful if it was put towards making a more satisfying ending.
While, when you take a good look at it, the characters might not be the most interesting bunch ever, they were fleshed out enough to service the story.
Starting with Ted, he is, well, not the most observant person out there despite discovering that his wife was cheating. And, I say that because it was very obvious to me that she did not marry him for him. The first time he saw her, she was laughing at an unfunny joke told by the owner of the house the party was hosted at. That is a pretty big warning sign if she is cozying up to the rich guy.
Immediate warning sign number two was that during their first conversation she commented that she heard he was very rich, but wasn't going to sleep with him because of that. Of course, by making that comment you knew that that was exactly what she was after, and Ted fell right into her trap. That is what makes their situation, and thus the story, a bit odd.
You are kind of rooting for Ted to pull it off because Miranda wasn't good for him (not that I am condoning his acts here), but Ted got himself stuck in a mess of his own making which brings the sympathy factor down.
Finally, let's talk about Lily, the mysterious woman Ted met at the airport who had more than one skeleton in her closet. Lily was giving off a lot of vibes, the kind of vibes where she should have seen both a therapist and psychologist. Her ideology is the whole point of the book, and while it is an interesting dilemma to ponder (in theory), she was not someone I was rooting for, for one specific reason.
Her character went in a direction that pretty much blew everything her character was up until that point right out of the water, and I didn't particularly like it. She went from someone whose past was interesting to unravel, to someone I hoped would face the consequences of her actions despite it.
All in all, while there were some flaws, this was a pretty solid mystery thriller. Again, for the third time, I implore you to go in blind (and not read the table of contents) to give yourself the most impactful experience you can get out of this.
If you are looking for something along the same lines, I would suggest Moriarty the Patriot. It is a manga/anime based on Sherlock Holmes, except from the point of view of the lord of crime himself, Moriarty. It follows Moriarty and his accomplices as they plan and execute elaborate murders on behalf of those asking for revenge.