Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Title: The Kind Worth Killing
Author: Peter Swanson 
Publisher:  William Morrow
Release Date:  February 3, 2015

From the author of the acclaimed The Girl with a Clock for a Heart—hailed by the Washington Post as crime fiction’s best first novel of 2014”—a devious tale of psychological suspense involving sex, deception, and an accidental encounter that leads to murder that is a modern reimagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train.

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.

I have to be honest here, when I invest in a fictional psychopath killer, I’m rooting for her or him (think Joe, think Dexter). I want them to succeed. 

I became very invested with the one in The Kind Worth Killing.

Ted Severson is a millionaire guy who recently learned his beautiful wife, Miranda is cheating with his new home building contractor. He's at the airport awaiting his flight from London to Boston and feeling angry, hurt,  and drowning his sorrows in his martini when he meets Lily Kintner. 

After a few drinks and a delay in their flight, he reveals to Lily that his wife is cheating and he wishes she was dead. Lily says that it could be arranged if he really wanted it. He only needs to plan it well and she can help him. She doesn’t see anything wrong with helping him murder his wife. After all, she deserves it for being a horrible person.

Don't you think Lily was super nice in offering to help Ted? Oh, Lily, you were brilliant! You didn't even bat an eyelash. 

After learning more about Miranda, the more I had to agree with Lily, Miranda deserved to be whacked.

Of course, the more I read the Lily parts, in retrospect, it makes sense that she can do something like this. Lily has secrets. Big ones.

The Kind Worth Killing had a great twist but one that left me heartbroken. I also didn't particularly enjoy the ending. I know, some might think it was overdue but not this reader. My hope was crushed.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

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