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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: THE KIND WORTH KILLING, Peter Swanson

“Master manipulators plot against each other at lightening speed. Read this book!”


'Hello there.'

I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the stranger's face.

'Do I know you?'

Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched - but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?

Back in Boston, Ted's wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?

A sublimely plotted novel of trust and betrayal, The Kind Worth Killing will keep you gripped and guessing late into the night.


When I saw this book, I was immediately drawn to it, but when I read the blurb I was put off. I wasn’t interested in reading a poor pastiche of Strangers on a Train, Patricia Highsmith’s classic. But then I kept hearing such great things about it…was I missing out? The answer – definitely!

Swanson’s book is no pastiche. It is a totally original masterpiece.

The changes in narrator should be confusing, and possibly even annoying, but they are handled with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. As such, the transitions are smooth, sharp, and definitely keep the reader on edge.

Every character has their own terrible agenda – but who will get their way in the end, as master manipulators plot against each other at lightening speed? Their cunning and casual malice is breathtaking.

Every time I thought I knew where this book was going, it threw a well-placed spanner into my ideas, and switched everything around.

This was such an absorbing and fun thriller, which really kept me on my toes. I loved every minute of it. And just as I confidently read the final page, sure that at last I really did know how things would end, Swanson cunningly threw in another twist that made me laugh out loud at its audacity and brilliance. Read this book!

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