The Kind Worth Killing – Paul Swanson (4 stars)

The Kind Worth Killing was a chance read for me. Having picked it up in a charity shop whilst browsing, I was forced to buy it by a friend that spotted me and wouldn’t let me return it to the shelf. All I can say is I’m glad she insisted; this was one of the most thrilling books I’ve read in a very long time.


Waiting for a delayed flight at London Heathrow, wealthy internet investor Ted Severson is approached by gorgeous redhead Lily Kintner in an airport bar. After one too many martinis, he opens up about his cheating wife, Miranda, and half wittingly says he’d like to kill her. He is more than taken aback when she offers to help him carry out the perfect crime.

Penny for your Thoughts

With more twists and turns than a cheap garden hose, The Kind Worth Killing will keep you second guessing up until the very last page.

Swanson’s clever writing style shows the chronological events of the story from different perspectives of the key characters involved, allowing a rare and unusual insight into every aspect of the unfolding storyline. These are occasionally dotted with flashbacks to Lily’s disturbing past. Rather than distracting from the storyline, however, these troubling interludes allow you to understand an even darker side to Lily’s character and the monumental events in her life that indirectly comment on the main action of the novel.

Though predominantly based on archetypal tropes, some of the characters have been explored in great depth, particularly Lily with her twisted demeanour and strange sense of morality. Ted’s character is also multi dimensional, and his complicated and mixed emotions relating to the potential murder of his wife allows the reader to both empathise with him, but thoroughly dislike him at the same time. That being said, it would have been nice to see more depth in other characters in the novel. Miranda, the manipulative femme fatale who cheats on her husband with contractor Brad, who is essentially an ageing jock with fading good looks and not much else, are prominent examples that come to mind.

One of the key selling points of this novel is its plot twists, and they did make it utterly compelling, however towards the end some twists did become slightly far fetched, drawing my out of the action of the novel. After a few shocking curveballs, a ‘less is more’ approach would have been more appropriate and realistic.

Overall Opinion

Despite a couple of small criticisms, I absolutely loved this novel. I don’t have much free time lately but I managed to read this in the space of three days, which is nothing short of a miracle at the moment. An extremely compelling storyline that kept me hooked from beginning to end!

Until next time,

Kate. X

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