Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Kind Worth Killing - Peter Swanson

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A great plot that grips you from the start.

I am a great fan of travel settings. There have been times when waiting at an airport I would wonder about the passengers sitting around me, wondering what stories are they carrying within themselves.

No surprise then that the premise of two passengers meeting at the airport as a point of take off for the story really appealed to me. It is a great story that sucks you in and leaves you suitably impressed.

A man and a woman meet at the airport. The man has a story to tell; about his unfaithful wife and his anger that is driving him to kill her. The woman agrees to help him. Does it happen? Do they get away with it?

What works:
  • It defines the contemporary crime thriller; totally plot driven with action from the word go.
  • The plots twists and turns are like a rollercoaster ride. Nothing is as it seems. It is also as if the author is playing around with the reader. Leading them on to one way but taking the story onto another. 
  • The characters are interesting. Their persona are distinctive and in line with the way they react to the situation.
  • Loved the way the different narrators offer their version of events allowing the reader a 360 perspective. The device works very well and effectively used here. 
What stayed with me:

The scene where the older Lily finds her younger self standing at the same point as she was years ago sharing the same secret. Later the younger one merges into the older one and they become one. Very visual and evocative.

It is hardly any surprise that the book will be made into a movie soon. Reading the book, I could easily see it as a movie. It has all the necessary spice, action and formula.

What doesn't:
  • It is a quickfix, where plot dominates. 
  • Though character is given importance, it doesn't give you the layered, holistic satisfaction that complex novels have.
  • This is a beach read, a weekend getaway that is so compelling that you can get through it in a couple of sittings.  
Read it if you are looking for a quickfix, something that is compelling without being too demanding.

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