The Kind Worth Killing
by Peter Swanson
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