The Kind Worth Killing

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The Kind Worth Killing

by Peter Swanson

June 2016

As I was mulling about the library a few weeks ago, I asked my librarian for any suggestions, and after ascertaining that I enjoyed A Girl on the Train (review coming soon) she recommended The Kind Worth Killing. Well, it was an excellent recommendation! I honestly loved this book because of the writing, the amazing plot twists, and how you quickly sympathize with the killer (yes, it’s true).The only thing I disliked about this book was the ending . . . it is one of those ambiguous endings that requires you to make your own assumptions, not one that ties things up in a neat little bow. But honestly, it’s worth reading it even if you’re like me and prefer the bow. 😉

Now for a summary that will totally include spoilers, so really, come back for this part after you’ve read the book . . . it’s worth not getting spoiled. Swanson tells his story from varying perspectives. In part one, it oscillates between Ted and Lily, two individuals that meet on a plane ride from London to Boston. You quickly learn that Ted is extremely wealthy and building a mansion in Maine for his wife, whom he just found out is cheating on him with their general contractor. Lily empathizes and before long they are talking about murdering Miranda. Lily’s story runs throughout the book and her past is filled with murdering others who “deserve it.” Death comes to everyone, she says, but it comes sooner to some. Her rap sheet includes a creepy stalker from her childhood and a cheating boyfriend. Ted and Lily decide to meet later and plan to murder Miranda. As their plans take form, Miranda is working plans of her own. She has set up Brad (the general contractor) by pretending to love him so he’ll do her dirty work: kill Ted, which he does. When Lily learns of Ted’s death she decides that she needs to avenge him and continue with her plan to murder Miranda (who also happens to be Lily’s late boyfriend’s “other woman”). In short, Lily gets Brad on her side and arranges a meeting in Maine with Miranda. There, Brad kills Miranda and then Lily kills Brad. Lily is very clever and makes sure all of her murders look like an accident, or that someone else did it and that person “runs away” and can never be found. This is what she does now: she makes is obvious that Brad killed Miranda and then kills Brad, hiding him in an old well adjacent to her parent’s property, but making it look like he fled to New York and skipped town. While all of this is transpiring, there is an ongoing investigation on Ted’s murder, and Lily gets questioned. After she does away with Brad and Miranda, she figures out that the officer is following her, so she decides to kill him too! However, her attempt fails and she is taken to jail. She is able to prove to the police that she was being stalked and you think she is going to get off free and clear (surprisingly, you’re rooting for that!), but in a final twist she gets a letter from her father saying that the adjacent property to his home has been bought and will be torn up and leveled to put in a mansion. Ahhh! That’s how it ends! You can really surmise it one of two ways: one, they find the body of Brad (and also the body of that creepy stalker), or in their leveling, the bodies get covered up and destroyed (I like to think the later, surprisingly enough).

For those of you who’ve read it, what do you think of the ending?

Summing it up: I definitely recommend this book! It was quick paced, suspenseful, and full of unexpected twists and turns. Swanson is brilliant!

All the best, Abbey

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The Light Between Oceans

 

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The Light Between Oceans

by M. L. Stedman

June 2016

The Light Between Oceans was a book club book from last year that I didn’t read because I was taking a class and preferred not to read something with a sad premise. However, we got talking last month about seeing a movie that was based on one of the books we’ve read and this one came up. While we haven’t decided on our summer movie (a much beloved tradition), I saw this book in passing at my library and decided to give it ago. And because that is quite on a long history in how I came to read it, I’ll just dive into my review. I thought The Light Between Oceans  was a beautiful, sad, gripping book. Stedman has a way with words and an ability to weave a story so that you get completely caught up and just have to hold your breath to find out what happens. I’m still processing her story. It was deftly spun and beautifully told, but it was truly very sad and difficult at points to read. She makes you challenge your thinking of “right” and “wrong” and “fate” and “choices.”

Plot spoiler: Tom is a lonely, war torn lighthouse keeper on the small island of Janus Rock, off of the southwestern tip of Australia. He meets a young, headstrong woman named Isabel. They quickly fall in love and get married, however their joy is cut short by three ensuing miscarriages. Meanwhile, in the town Isabel grew up in, Partageuse, a young couple welcomes their daughter, Grace, with love and joy, only to have it ripped from them when the town mobs the family because of the father’s Austrian heritage (it is post WWI). He is able to escape with Grace, but is later found dead by Tom on Janus. Grace still lives, but Tom and Isabel are unaware of her past and decide to keep her at Isabel’s pleading. They weave many lies and keep “Lucy” for almost four years until the secret eats at Tom to his breaking point. He discovers Grace’s mother, Hannah, and feels compelled to return Lucy to her. Isabel believes that would be cruel but she can’t hold back Tom. He confesses and a huge mess follows. In the end, Hannah is able to keep Grace, and Tom and Isabel move away. Isabel is never the same, but they are able to have some happiness in their lives before cancer takes Isabel away. Tom is left alone until one day Lucy-Grace (the name she chose) visits with her newborn son. It is a sweet reunion that totally made me cry! It was a beautiful ending.

Summing it up: I definitely recommend this book! It was difficult at points, but in a good way, and deeply moving and beautiful. Read with tissues!

All the best, Abbey