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Henry Kimball/Lily Kintner #1

The Kind Worth Killing

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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.

311 pages, Paperback

First published February 3, 2015

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About the author

Peter Swanson

18 books9,557 followers
Peter Swanson is the author of six novels including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year, and his most recent thriller, Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.

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5 stars
51,134 (30%)
4 stars
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3 stars
31,611 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 18,051 reviews
Profile Image for Holly.
510 reviews515 followers
February 4, 2015
Holy. Effing. Shit.

Now THIS was a damn great book. Everything I hoped both Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train would be...but weren't.
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.7k followers
March 14, 2022
Well, that was an unexpected dose of nasty and fun, wasn't it?

Ted meets a mysterious woman at the airport and, thinking he would never see her again, spills all his secrets to her right then and there. He confides that his wife Miranda is cheating on him, and that he secretly wishes he could kill both her and her lover to teach them a lesson. Once Ted and the woman arrive at their destination, they part ways, but that turns out to be only the beginning.

This book, with its twists and turns everywhere, was thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end. Just as I was getting comfortable with a current story line, I would be hit with a surprise that completely knocked me over and had me recalculating my understanding of what was going on. And this happened so many times.

It's also filled with outrageous characters all trying to kill each other and outdo one another with scheming and backstabbing. It's a rare breed of author who can write a book filled with unlikable characters and make the story itself enjoyable, yet Swanson achieves just that.

The only small gripe I have is that the ending seemed rather abrupt to me. It just ended when I expected there to be more explanation and wrap-up, so it felt a bit unsatisfying. Even though the outcome was clearly implied, after all that buildup, I wish the story took a little more time to see everything to its complete conclusion.

Still, this murderous story was highly enjoyable. All throughout, I couldn't stop turning the pages, excited to see what crazy thing was going to happen next. I've been looking forward to reading this for a long time, and I'm so happy it lived up to all the hype.

See also, my thoughts on:
Nine Lives

Profile Image for Diane.
1,081 reviews2,718 followers
April 15, 2015
This book should be getting more attention.

The Kind Worth Killing is a smart, well-crafted psychological thriller. Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train should be all over this novel (but I thought Kind/Killing was much better than the bestselling-but-forgettable Girl/Train).

The story opens with a man and woman, Ted and Lily, chatting in an airport lounge. Ted is upset because he recently found out his wife, Miranda, is cheating on him. Lily encourages him to talk, and says she'll help him kill his wife. Ted agrees, in part because he's attracted to Lily. The chapters alternate in their points of view, so we see the story unfold from both Ted and Lily's perspective.

The plot starts out simple, but things quickly get more complicated. (Murder is hard, you guys!) There are several juicy turns, but I am being vague on details so I don't spoil anything for my fellow readers.

The alternating-chapters technique has been crazy popular in recent years, and it works well in this book. I especially enjoyed Lily's story. It turns out she has some experience with making people disappear, but she always has a good reason:

"Truthfully, I don't think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing."

BOOM! We have a title.

I was so absorbed in this book that I stayed up late to read it, then I got up early, and then I considered calling in sick just so I could see how it ended. I liked all the twists in the plot, and hope Peter Swanson will craft more good thrillers.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be careful who I talk to in airport lounges.

Favorite Sociopathic Quote
"We understood that survival was everything. It was the meaning of life. And to take another life was, in many ways, the greatest expression of what it meant to be alive."
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
October 1, 2019
”Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

We are brought up to believe that murdering someone is the worst thing we could ever do, but is it? If a person is leaving a wide wake of broken hearts and battered spirits and in some cases much, much worse, is it really the worst thing we can do for all of humanity to give that person a nudge towards the afterlife? Of course the question remains, are any of us capable by ourselves of being the defense, the jury, the prosecution, and ultimately the judge?

When Ted Severson sees Brad Daggett, a man he has been paying an abundant amount of money to build his dream house, bend his wife, Miranda, over a table and have consensual sex with her, it sets off a string of events that...leads...to...murder.

At the very least Brad should have offered Ted a discount.

Okay, so the guy is banging your wife. She signed a prenup. That silly bitch isn’t getting one more thin dime out of you. You just need to go get drunk, maybe call up an old flame and have some unsatisfactory revenge sex, and call your lawyer in the morning.

Not Ted. He can drink like a fish, martinis in fact, line them up from here---------------to here, but mostly he just simmers on what he saw. He even tries to convince himself that what he saw wasn’t exactly what he saw. Brad was just trying to...nope... not even after six martinis can he convince himself that Brad was doing anything, but SHAGGING his wife.

Ted wasn’t sure what he was going to do until on a plane flight home he met The Lily Kintner. Maybe it is because she is beautiful and receptive to him, or maybe it is just because he has to tell someone and usually a stranger is much easier to spill your guts to than a friend. She doesn’t react the way he expects. In fact, she tells him that his wife sounds like the kind worth killing.

You’d never know to look at her, but Lily is an unusual young woman. She is a woman who doesn’t believe in letting people get away with things like infidelity or lying. She doesn’t believe in turning the other cheek or forgiveness. She realizes there is something missing in her, something different.

Her father is a reasonably famous author, and her mother an academic. Their household was a free-for-all of revolving parties with artists, writers, friends, and lovers of both her parents coming and going throughout her whole childhood. She was mostly left to her own devices, and when one young man took an interest in the thirteen year old with the flaming red hair and the long thin legs,...well...he annoyed her.

”I’d been waiting for two things since killing Chet. Waiting to get caught and waiting to feel bad. Neither had happened yet, and I knew that neither would.”

Now, it may seem like she is just a random stranger with a morbid sense of morality, but as the plot thickens we discover why Lily has taken an interest in Ted’s shattered marriage.

The chapters alternate between characters. We are allowed to see things from their perspectives and what is missing in one chapter can be revealed in the next. It all begins to really heat up when police officer Henry Kimball can’t let go of a hunch and begins to follow Lily. He adores her father’s writing, and after interviewing her a couple of times he is half in love with her, but dribs and drabs of loose ends from their conversations continue to nag at his consciousness. 2+2=3.75

There is a funny scene that I have to share that made me laugh because it reminded me of myself. Lily’s father has very distinct views of the ocean. ”He said it was like looking at death…. I love the beach, everything except the fucking sand, the fucking sun, and the fucking water.” Okay, it made me chuckle again writing it because it is so sacrosanct for anyone to ever say anything remotely negative about the ocean because everyone is so IN LOVE with water. I enjoy looking at the water. I can understand the attraction, but for me it is something to look at briefly and then move on to something more interesting. I have never really trusted large bodies of water. I wouldn’t say I’m suffering from Thalassophobia, but certainly I don’t feel the need to join the masses in venerating the ocean. I prefer solid terra firma under my feet... all the time... besides the water is such a slurry sludge pit of god knows what.

Killers become victims...victims become killers. Yet again Peter Swanson has delivered a neo-noir thriller that reminds me of some of the best of James Cain. There are twists and turns enough to leave your legs corkscrewed together by the time you reach the final page.

I also enjoyed his first book. The Girl with a Clock for a Heart Review

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.4k followers
January 12, 2019
I've been reading a lot of thriller/mystery/horror books and I've been finding myself being underwhelmed or straight up disappointed more often than not.

I'm tired of the same tropes of alcoholic, unreliable, "just out of a coma" characters. Tired of the words "women, she, girl, wife" in the title. Tired of boring female characters. Tired of the plot revolving about her being a mom or a wife.

I went into this book expecting it to be a typical thriller. Entertaining but a bit predictable... Well it wasn't the case!

A man and a woman meet at the airport bar and end up talking. The man jokingly says how he wants to kill his wife since she's cheating on him... and the woman takes him seriously!

Every time I thought I knew where it was going, more twists would happened while still feeling natural.

I've read three books by Swanson now and this is by far my favorite!
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,309 reviews120k followers
March 23, 2023
I’d taken enormous risks in the past two weeks, and I was lucky to have gotten away with them. But now I was done. It was over. I would live a quiet life and make sure that no one could hurt me again. I would continue to survive, knowing, as I’d known that night in the meadow, the stars pouring their light down on me, that I was special, that I was born with a different kind of morality. The morality of an animal—of a crow or a fox or an owl—and not of a normal human being.
Peter Swanson, author of The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, has a twisted mind, not that there’s anything wrong with that. He seems to think in curves, bends, dips and sudden, hairpin turns. The feeling is a bit akin to being here, or maybe here. The sudden changes in direction may generate a bit of screaming, but it’s all good.

Peter Swanson - from Dead Good Books

It starts with a nod to, well, a bit more of a full body embrace of, Strangers on a Train, a 1950 psychological thriller by Patricia Highsmith, in which two men who meet while traveling get to sharing their troubles and decide that permanently eliminating each other’s problems might be the perfect solution. Hitchcock made a beautiful translation of the book to film in 1951. Swanson is a big fan of both Highsmith and Hitchcock.
I like the idea of sudden change. That you or me or anyone could go out to a bar one evening, and the random stranger who sits down beside you changes your life forever. It’s actually something that Hitchcock liked a lot himself. Most of his protagonists are accidental ones, just ordinary people who wind up in extraordinary circumstances.
In his version, Ted Severson a wealthy corporate raider (formerly a dot.com millionaire sort), at a Heathrow bar pre-flight, is approached by Lily, a lovely young thing. They strike up a conversation, and, as strangers might be better able to manage than people who actually know each other, (a theory titled The Rules of Airport Bars) they agree to tell each other the whole truth, and continue their truth-telling all the way back to Boston. The truth is gonna hurt…someone. Seems that Ted spotted his wife en flagrante with the contractor who was working with her on Ted’s Maine McMansion. Not good.
”How long ago was this?” asked my fellow traveler after I’d told her the story.
“Just over a week.”
She blinked her eyes, and bit at her lower lip. Her eyelids were pale as tissue paper.
“So what are you going to do about it?” she asked.
It was the question I’d been asking myself all week. “What I really want to do is kill her.” I smiled with my gin numbed mouth and attempted a little wink just to give her an opportunity to not believe me, but her face stayed serious. She lifted her reddish eyebrows.”
“I think you should.” She said.
And the game is afoot.

An earlier title for this book was The Lonely Lives of Murderers, which, personally, I prefer. We are treated to multiple narrators, not all of whom are psycho-killers. These serve not only to bear witness to events from diverse perspectives, but to bring in the back story as well, offering a sliver of understanding about how at least one of the psycho killers might have become that way. This is a considerable stylistic switch from Swanson’s previous book, which was written in the third person. It is, however, entirely consistent with the madcap dashings-about of that earlier work. Detective Rebecca James carries over from The Girl With A Clock for a Heart, but that did not seem a significant connection between the two books.

One soft spot of note is that it can sometimes be easy to mistake the voice of one sociopath for another. There could have been more of a tonal difference made between Lily and Miranda’s narration. This is not literature, and makes no bones about it. Swanson considers himself a failed poet, and teases himself a bit in the book by giving Ted an urge to write bawdy limericks. It’s cute. But poetry major or not, he has proven, again, that he can write a wonderful, slick entertainment. No sophomore jinx here. If you are the sort who objects to excessive reliance on the sociopath as a crutch, you may have a point, but then you would probably not be reading this sort of book anyway. Peter Swanson has written a twizzler of a novel, a sweet morsel with surprising and satisfying twists that will, when you are finished, leave you wanting more. It is a gripping read, fun, fast, and furious. The Kind Worth Killing is most definitely a psychological thriller worth reading. You might pick this up at an airport or rail terminal or maybe take it along for a day at the beach. You will be glad you had. But while you are sitting at that bar, killing time in a waiting room, maybe lounging under a palm tree or an oceanfront umbrella, be careful who you talk to and what truths you tell.

Review first posted – 4/10/15

Publication date – 2/3/2015

=============================EXTRA STUFF

Links to the author’s Tumblr, Twitter and FB pages

Swanson’s web site has a cornucopia of samples of his Hitchcock poems, other poetry, short fiction and non-fiction, and is well worth checking out. Armchair Audience is Swanson’s site for writing on “Books read. Movies seen. TV Watched”

He writes 500 words a day, in the morning, then it is off to his paying gig, as a product manager for a non-profit. Hopefully The Kind Worth Killing will bring in enough scratch that he will have the luxury of writing full time. Early results are encouraging. Foreign book rights have been sold in eleven territories, and a film option has already been bought, by Nick Wechsler, producer of Magic Mike and The Road.

Free download of Strangers on a Train , the book

The film of Strangers on a Train can be seen here. The script was written by Czenzi Ormonde and some up-and-comer named Raymond Chandler, and if it is of interest, you can see the script here

I came across a couple of interviews you might like. Nicola Mira’s interview with Swanson for Thriller Book Journal was the source of Swanson’s comment about sudden change that I included in the review. Another is from the Dead Good site, which, while a Random House property, was not half-bad.. No specific interviewer is identified.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,415 reviews35.2k followers
October 11, 2020
WOWZA! This book sucked me in, chewed me up and spit me out. By the way, I loved every freakin minute of it. Just who is the bad guy in this book? Who is the victim? Who is to be trusted? Who will double cross you? Is there anyone you can trust? Who is a killer? Who will be killed? Oh Lord does this book keep the bodies dropping as a psycho killer keeps killing.

Ted Severson meets Lily Kinter on a flight. He finds her to be both attractive and intriguing. Over drinks he shares with her that his wife is having an affair and that he would like to kill his wife. Lily's reaction to this declaration is not as expected -She doesn't even bat an eye. Lily, without hesitation, asks if she can help. Lily shares a little about her life with Ted, but she does leave out some minor (major) details. She has a troubled past which the reader learns more about as the story progresses. They make plans to meet and go their separate ways.

Thus begins the game of Cat and Mouse....but just who is the cat and who is the mouse? I have to say I was shocked when the story turned on it's head and of course, I did not see that coming.

Once the story turns, more is revealed about Lily's past and a police investigation begins. One of the officers becomes obsessed with Lily and there is a whole other twist in the works there.

I don't want to say anymore because I don't want to give anything away. I went into this book not knowing the twist and I loved the way this book did a 360 on me. What I will say is that this book was a very good read. I enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries and books with psychological suspense in them.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,021 reviews97 followers
September 7, 2017
This book is featured on this week's Throwback Thursday @ https://readrantrockandroll.com/2017/...

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson is a psychological thriller that will have you guessing until the end!

Just who are the kind worth killing?

If you haven't read this book, I recommend skipping my review and the blurb. There aren't any big spoilers here, but going in blind is probably the best...

The story starts out with Lily and Ted. The two strangers come together for a game of truth which turns into a plan for murder. Lily has a history and Ted has issues with his wife. Lily jumps in the driver's seat and one thing leads to another. The two strangers plan an arrangement to wreak havoc, but what will be the outcome?

Of course, I went into this blind and had no clue what I was getting into which is what I recommend to others. EVERYTHING you think you've figured out, you haven't.

There are some major twists and turns which kept my interest from the beginning to end. The story fully grasped me and didn't let me go. The absolute only issue I had was the ending which I both loved and hated. Give me MORE!

This is one of the best psychological thrillers I've read. I picked it up on audible and enjoyed all four narrators. I'd like to thank my friend Basia for recommending it!

Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
January 16, 2019
fulfilling my 2019 goal to read (at least) one book each month that has been digitally moldering, unread, on my NOOK for years and years and years.

not at all bad for a sickbed one-day read!

i am very glad i decided that one of my 2019 reading goals should be to start reading through the backlog of nookbooks i've been accumulating over the years. i'm even a little glad i got sick enough to feel zero regrets or guilt in giving myself a free pass to spend the whole day in bed, reading, which is not a thing i often do. i'm the kind of dummy that, if i'm too sick to think clearly enough to get writing-work done, i will use the time to scrub the bathtub or color-code the tupperware containers to their lids with nail polish. but THIS was one of those reading-only sickness - too achy to clean or even turn pages. THANK YOU FOR FINGER-TOUCH PAGE TURNING TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE!

this is my perfect version of a sickday book - it's not too intellectually demanding but it's also not brainpudding. most importantly, it keeps you wanting to read and read and read (and cough) and read as it pops you with TWIST after TWIST and CON after CON and REVEAL after REVEAL and so many muuuurderrrrrrrsssssss. which is a lousy list of things to experience in real life when you're sick, but is great for your sickbed reading.

there are so many twists and turns, i just could not put the book down - there's always one more delicious WHAAAAAAT? or OH NOOOOO around the bend, and each one makes you appreciate just how tricky murder can be; identifying people who fall into the category of the kind worth killing is easy, carrying it out and covering it up is a little more complicated.

take notes, notetakers!

this one has lived on my virtual shelves so long that by now everyone else has already read and reviewed it, and no one needs my encouragement in that department, so instead i will just say THANK YOU to the many people who told me i should read this/i would love this either directly or indirectly, through their glowing reviews. you are all wise and attractive humans.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
July 30, 2021
this reminded me a lot of ‘never saw me coming.’ none of the characters in this are confirmed psychopaths (it honestly wouldnt surprise me if they were), but similar to ‘never saw me coming,’ the reader is fully aware of the murder plot straight from the beginning, so its honestly just a wild ride watching how it all plays out.

what really shocked me was how i didnt really see any of the characters as antagonists (except for one). even though everyone is getting up to all kinds of criminal activity and killing, i never hated any them for it. not sure if that is really good writing and characterisation, or im just totally deranged. lol.

but i had all kinds of fun with this. i do wish the ending wasnt so… open ended is probably the best way to describe it. it ends with a pretty tense situation and the reader needing to infer/guess what will happen to the MC. i know some people like having to come up with their own ending, but im personally not a fan.

all in all, this is the best kind of thrilling entertainment.

4 stars
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,155 followers
June 17, 2015
HA.....WHAT AN ENDING! (smile)

Murder here.....Murder there.....Murder everywhere in this page-turning mystery-thriller! I was surprised more than once, thoroughly entertained from beginning to end, and even found myself rooting for the devious and dangerous little psycho killer.....well, most of the time.

Great Read!

Profile Image for Jayme.
1,189 reviews2,249 followers
December 22, 2022

The flight from London to Boston is delayed.

A beautiful woman sits down next to a stranger at a bar, and as alcohol loosens his tongue, he pours his heart out to her about his cheating wife.

“She is the kind worth killing”, the woman agrees….and so it begins….

I JUST listened to the AUDIBLE to refresh my memory of the book that started my ❤️ of the psychological thriller, (first read back in 2015 before I was writing reviews) in preparation for “The Kind Worth Saving” which publishes on March 7, 2023 in the U.S.!

I could NEVER forget the BIG twist, but I wanted to refresh my memory of the LITTLE details for the upcoming sequel.

This was the FIRST book that gave me that “ I never saw that coming” moment.

This was the FIRST book with a twist that literally made my mouth drop open 🫢 in surprise..trust me, you will know it's the one I am referring to when you get there!

This was the FIRST book to make me gasp "WAIT! WHAT the heck JUST HAPPENED?"

And, the surprises did not end there..

An EASY 5 “jaw dropping” stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

And, YES-it stood up to the test of time! ⏰

I am now ready to see where the sequel takes me…

Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,837 reviews522 followers
October 28, 2020
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

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
465 reviews1,113 followers
June 5, 2020
When you know a character is a very bad person, a total psychopath, and yet you can't help rooting for them?! That's some good shit!

Two strangers meet in an airport bar,
Ted confesses his wife is cheating on him and that he wishes she were dead,
Lily offers to help...

This was fun, the characters intriguing, the twists good, and that ending? It made me smile! I enjoyed it a lot, and couldn't see where the plot was going! There were certainly some very unlikeable characters here, with interesting views on infidelity and death... And even though they were unlikeable, I just couldn't stop hoping one would get away with it! Peter Swanson must have cast some spell with his writing to make me feel like that! 😂

Only four stars because the middle was a bit repetitive, as two characters were quite similar.
But I'm glad I finally read it, and now ask, so who is the kind worth killing?!
Got this baby for 99p in paperback
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,265 reviews2,439 followers
May 25, 2022

I thank my friend Jayne for recommending me this book when I was disappointed by Peter Swanson’s book, Every Vow You Break. This one is a brilliant well-crafted thriller that kept me glued to it to pull an all-nighter to finish it.

This novel starts with a flight from London to Boston, where Ted Severson meets Lily Kintner. It is not an intelligent decision to reveal all your secrets to a stranger when you are high, thinking that you will never meet that person again, especially in this internet era. It is pretty easy to get in touch with a person again with a click of few buttons due to the advent of social media. Ted Severson commits this blunder when he decides to play a game of truth will Lily. This pushes all the characters into a dubious cat and mouse game. This book has love, lust, lies, betrayals, murder, and almost all the elements you love to see in a thriller.

What I learned from this book
1) Why you shouldn’t get drunk with strangers?
I am a teetotaller who doesn’t encourage others to drink. It might be due to seeing a lot of patients with alcohol-related complications. This novel shows how alcohol makes us lose our inhibitions and land up in trouble if we try to get drunk with strangers.
“I knew that I was in the danger of being too drunk and saying too much.”

2) What is one of the biggest pain that a human being will have to suffer?
The biggest pain that a human being will have to suffer is the betrayal by someone we love the most. The author shows us the extreme ways that human beings respond to this severe pain inflicted on them by their closed ones.
“She lied so easily. I don’t know how she learned to be like that. The different way she acted in front of different people. I realized this is what she is, a shallow, fake liar. Maybe even a sociopath. I don’t know how I didn’t see this before. ”

3) What trick should you use to become the best open water fisherman?
We can see Ted using this trick in both literal and figurative sense in this novel.
“The trick was to unfocus his eyes, to take in everything in his visual range all at once. And by doing that, he could catch flickers of movements, the disturbances in the water.”

My favourite three lines from this book
“I imagine she acted the way she thought you wanted to see her.”

“I amazed by her acting skills. You have been used.”

“I tried to sleep, falling into a doze as thin as tissue paper.”

What could have been better?
Some of the dialogues and characters are written by the author in a misogynistic way. But we can’t blame the author for it as it was indispensable for this story.

4/5 This will be the perfect choice if you love reading thrillers.
Profile Image for Michelle.
147 reviews239 followers
July 4, 2020
Unless you're a saint, I would think most people have thought some heinous individuals add no value to the world, and should not be allowed to live and continue their evil ways. But, obviously, murder isn’t easy! The human brain is coded for compassion, for guilt -- for a kind of empathic pain that causes the person inflicting harm to feel a degree of suffering that is in many ways as intense as what the victim is experiencing. Say what you will about the characters in this book, but they had to overcome a lot of powerful neural wiring to commit the crimes they did. “The Kind Worth Killing” is full of sociopathic, vengeful and backstabbing individuals who don't add up to one decent human being altogether. And somehow, in light of the horrendous nature of many of the characters, I still found myself attached to them...

This is a “guy-meets-girl-and-they-decide-to-murder-his-cheating-wife” story, but that's only the starting point. The plot has a lot twists and turns, but once you get around each bend it makes perfect sense. It's hard to describe because I've never read anything like it. The novel is told from the perspective of alternating narratives between the main characters, and it switches between past and current timelines. Although I don’t always enjoy how many authors use this technique, I felt that in this case, Peter Swanson did a masterful job at using past narratives to provide details, previous connections and clues. At the same time, he managed to hold back enough specifics to keep you guessing on how everything is going to end. While the narrative and dialog wouldn't really qualify as humor, I often had to laugh as the layers were peeled back to reveal more information about each character, and new ones were introduced.

Swanson did a great job in creating fully fleshed out characters. Although not one sympathetic character exists in the book, they are unique and very interesting. It was fun to follow a bunch of psychopaths on a blind collision course. He weaves just enough negativity into the characters of the victims to make the reader understand the killer's perspective, while still occasionally leaving you wondering if that perspective was indeed accurate. That balance injected just enough hint of an "unreliable narrator" to add to the overall emotional impact.

The novel does lack credibility in a number of instances, such as the inept police work and the ease of body disposal. I also think some of the mental leaps to connect this person to that person were too easy, or jumping to a certain conclusion was a little too convenient for the overall plot. But because it was such a compelling read I didn’t mind so much -- the story was transfixing enough that the incredulity did not distract from the pleasure of the story.

Overall, this book is smart, full of surprises, and just when you think you know what's going on it veers in a completely different direction. It was the perfect recipe of imperfect characters and ludicrous timing that kept me captivated throughout – and the ending is a master-stroke!
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,126 reviews3,708 followers
March 16, 2023
A first for me!
A re-read! I‘ve never read a book a second time. And certainly not a thriller. I mean…how can you be shocked twice? Yet, there it was!

The first time I read this book was (yikes) eight years ago!🙈I loved it but never wrote a review. And to be honest, I remembered nothing about the book!

So when I saw book two being released, curiosity got the best of me. I knew I had to go back and see if at some point it would come back to me.

This time however I would try the audio version. I was fully expecting to quit once all the characters, plot lines and twists quickly came flooding back. But I was astounded to see I went completely through to the end as though it was a brand new read!

Since most everyone has already read this book (at least once) I won’t rehash the premise.
I’ll keep this brief and simply say I loved all the characters. Lily is the queen of sociopaths! Bravo!🙌
And Detective Kimball was an all-star sleuth. (Excluding a bit of stalking) Oh, and I adored his limericks!🤣.

On the outside chance you’re looking to do a re-read I highly recommend the audio! The four narrators were amazing and really brought the story to life!

Ok! I’m ready now. Onward to book two The Kind Worth Saving! 🎧
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 18 books1,592 followers
June 24, 2020
Interesting book, borders on Good to Great, seriously leaning toward Great. It’s a story told rather than shown, I prefer ones that are shown. I love that “Fictive Dream,” (which isn’t here). The author uses first person for each character and each chapter division delineates the characters. All the main characters are flawed almost to the point of making this a story of antiheros and yet it works. I did enjoy this book a great deal. A big chunk of the telling (and the story overall) is done in backstory and not flashback. This stops the forward motion of the story, but the author pulls it off with a masterful skill and all I wanted to do was turn the pages to find out what happened next.
The plot is a well used trope I have seen it a number of times in books and movies, but the author makes it fresh and new with a twist that shocked me. Few books of late have been able to do this. In fact only one other book has caught me like this and I think it was LaBrava by Elmore Leonard. There is a coincidence that pops up but the author layered in the motivation so well (MAR, motivation, action, reaction), that it worked. I really enjoyed this book and it’s the kind of story that I will be thinking about long after I finish because the characters are so vivid. This is a four and a half stars and I highly recommend it. I’ll be picking up all the rest of this author’s books.
David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson series.
May 12, 2022
“Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

4 wicked stars for a wicked story about equally wicked characters.

Two strangers in an airport. Lots of martinis later. No shortage of revelations and secrets shared and one flippant remark that Ted could kill his wife, Miranda for what she has done, and what do you get? A web of deception and lies, adulterous affairs, murder, and a few victims who are the ‘kind worth killing’.

Central to the story is Lily a delightfully wicked and cunning central character. A woman with no remorse, no conscience, a clever sociopathic killer but uncharacteristically likeable. I would read this again for Lily alone.

The Plot

Lily Kintner meets Ted Severson in an airport lounge. A chance encounter that ends in drunkenness and results in both revealing a lot of secrets, heart aches and sadness in their lives, by cheating spouses. The kind worth killing.

With one seemingly innocent comment that Ted could kill his wife for cheating. Lilly embraces the opportunity to offer her help, and so they meet, they plot, and they hatch a plan convinced they are doing the right thing. Except Miranda is not the one that ends up dead.

With numerous twists and welcome surprises to keep you at the edge of your seat. The story is about murder, revenge, and duplicitous characters.

Review and Comments

At the beginning I felt it was following the same pattern of cheating partners and the wronged angry spouse, with one of them murdered, until we had the first twist. Then we were immersed in a tangled web of who was going to kill who, asking who is really the victim? And who is the wronged spouse? And where are those bodies?

This book was all about an intensely suspenseful plot that brought so many twists I felt I had done a workout by the end of the book. Gripping, thrilling and spine tingling. The characterisation was also great with Lily being my favourite heroine and predator.

So, what’s the rub?. Well, it’s the ending. After feeling we had a bit too much dialogue and unnecessary content in some chapters, when it came to the ending, it fell short of detail, content and finished rather abruptly. Did they find all the bodies? Did Lily ever confess? Was she aware of who and what she was? Too many unanswered questions brought this down from a five-star read.

Nevertheless, the outcome is implied so the story does wrap up, just not with the same intricate detail that was provided elsewhere in the book.

A highly recommended read for the wicked plot and glamorous villainous Lily
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,478 reviews7,774 followers
June 10, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Hey guys, I just read the next Gone Girl!!!! Nah, just kidding. This one was actually a retelling of an oldie . . .

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which I didn’t even realize was a book. Some booknerd I am, huh? Anywho, to me there is no greater timesuck than a Hitchcock movie marathon and Strangers on a Train is one of my all-time faves.

At the airport bar before a trans-Atlantic flight, Ted meets Lily. After having one too many cocktails, Ted starts dropping truthbombs about his gold-digger of a wife who has been spending her time boffing the contractor who is building their new McMansion. Lily offers Ted a sympathetic ear followed by a solution to Ted’s problems – kill the wife . . .

“I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

Plans change, however, when . . . .

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Good news is, my lack of enjoyment of The Kind Worth Killing was probably more my fault than the book’s. It has received high marks and great praise from nearly all of my friends here on Goodreads (Snotchocheez, I stand with you in solidarity!!!). I also found this story to be WAAAAAY more unpredictable than the overhyped The Girl on the Train. That being said, I still didn’t love it.

Being a fan of the Hitchcock classic, I got sucked in right away to the idea of this story and anxiously awaited some of this . . .

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Unfortunately, the action got bogged down with a lot of this . . .

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Seriously. So much driving! Notating the various landmarks passed. More driving. Driving there. Driving back. Driving, driving, driving! Think I’m kidding????

“From Storrow Drive I got onto Soldiers Field Road, then wound may way through Waltham and Newton till I found Boston Post Road, and headed west through the suburbs toward Winslow.”

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Right when I was getting ready to scream out of frustration . . .

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Getting me all excited once again. Sadly it wasn’t for long due to the format of the second half of the book . . .

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Yep. Just when I got my hopes up the writing style changed and began detailing a scene from one narrator’s perspective, then rewinding it and re-telling it from another narrator’s perspective (and often times rewinding it yet again to tell it from one more person’s point of view). #snore

But like I said, everyone else seems to really love it so I probably just read it wrong : )
Profile Image for Jennifer Masterson.
200 reviews1,169 followers
April 11, 2015
This book was a lot of fun. 4.5 Stars. If you like psychological thrillers definitely give this one a try. The first twist totally threw me for a loop. I'm surprised The Girl on the Train was hyped more than this book was. I found a The Kind Worth Killing to be much better.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
717 reviews28 followers
March 20, 2015

It takes skill to write in a plain, unobtrusive style that's also engaging and enjoyable. I am shocked that Swanson is also a poet because his prose is so mundane, banal, boring. The mysteries/thrillers I tend to enjoy employ writing where the POV character has a real personality (think classics like Robert B. Parker, Tana French...) or where the writing expertly paints a mood and atmosphere (again, Tana French, Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train...). In The Kind Worth Killing there are multiple POVs but no distinctive voices, and even worse, the universal voice used for all characters is prosaic, monotonous, and colorless. For how many (dumb) twists there are, there is a lot of repetition: character motives, internal dialogue, and plot - even within the same POV! Pure sloppiness.

This is a book that prides itself on the turns the plot takes. But for their preponderance, none of them are surprising. A character who has been very clever for years makes many stupid mistakes. None of the plotting between characters is smart. None of the investigating is smart. All of the mistakes made could have been avoided. Poor work bending everything to serve the plot.

Overall, the writing isn't propulsive, specific, or mysterious; the characters aren't truly interesting (the plot is what instills our interest in them); and in the end, the story itself is a disappointment. If you've enjoyed the unsympathetic protagonists in books like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train and don't care about writing skills, then you might enjoy The Kind Worth Killing, but for those who want a mystery that doesn't rely on taking elements from other more successful books and talented authors, and then rendering a regurgitated iteration like an amateur, avoid this one.
Profile Image for Caro (Bookaria).
617 reviews20.5k followers
March 15, 2018
I don't know how I missed this novel when it came out but I'm glad I finally read it. It was an excellent thriller!

Ted and Lily met on a flight back to the States. He shares that he recently found out his wife is cheating on him with his contractor. Ted is rich and Miranda a young and beautiful woman. In his devastation he tells Lily (jokingly) that he would kill his wife for her cheating and is surprised when Lily agrees and supports this decision. From then on the story turns darker and what follows it's a thrilling novel.

The book is narrated from alternating points of view and takes place mostly around the Boston area.  I found it to be completely captivating and chilling.

Overall, I loved it and recommend it to readers of thrillers and contemporary fiction.
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,764 followers
March 13, 2023
I’m not sure if the police really is that dense and lacks that much credibility or if it’s actually that easy to commit murder and get away with it. In any case, this was such a highly addictive psychological thriller. It was unpredictable from start to finish. Even the ending was mind boggling. Don’t try to compete with the plot about who’s right because it’s most likely you’re the one who gets it wrong.

Essentially, this book is about a man and a woman teaming up to kill the man’s wife who’s been caught cheating. Ikr, talking about taking justice into your own hands! This book was a complete mindfuck. Not in a horrid and terrorizing kind of way, but in a stunned ‘haha WTF’ kind of way. The plot twists were quite over the top, but they were believable and they made sense.

I found myself fascinated by the main star of this book. She might have questionable morals, but she’s also very pragmatic. Idk how anyone can speak of murder or do anything as matter of factly as she does. Anyhow, this was fast paced, entertaining, and well written. If you want to read something that’s full of surprises with sociopathic vengeful backstabbing characters, this book is it.

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for Lindsay L.
679 reviews1,323 followers
March 11, 2023
4.5 twisty thriller stars!

Ohhhh - this was fun! This 2015 release has been on my TBR list for years. It’s a much loved book with countless raving reviews. The author wrote a sequel which published earlier this month and enticed me to read this so I could read book 2 right after. I’m so excited for book 2 now that I finished and loved this!!

This is a sneaky, snarky, twisty, suspenseful, multiple perspective thriller that will have you rooting for the manipulative, self-centred, opportunistic main characters. It was a fun, well-written escape read that kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t get enough of these immoral, selfish, audacious characters — what does that say about me? Ha!

As with most thrillers, there are unrealistic elements to the storyline, but nothing too far out there that took away from my connection or enjoyment (this says a lot about the book because I don’t have a large threshold for suspension of disbelief). The storyline was fast-paced, unique, shocking and unputdownable! I am so excited to be starting book 2 now!!

Thank you to my lovely local library for the physical loan!
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,623 followers
September 17, 2022
احيانا مهما فعل الإنسان:لا ينجح
و الطمع يقل ما جمع
عرفنا يا سوانسن؛المشرحة مش ناقصة قتلي خالص
لكل منا قائمة قصيرة لأشخاص ستصبح حياتك اجمل بدون وجودهم علي الكوكب معك؛لكننا لا نتجاوز الاماني بالطبع؛اما أبطالنا فكانوا من انصار الأفعال لا الأمنيات
في روايتنا ذات السرد التبادلي متعدد الرواة؛ مشوق حيناً و مطول احيانا؛يستعرض لنا الكاتب نماذج مفزعة لسوء التربية
فتاتين علي مشارف الثلاثين
؛ ليلي
و ميراندا
تختلفان كالماء و النار؛ و تشتركان في تنشئة مخجلة؛ لاسرتين منحتهما رعاية و لم تمنحهما  قدوة أو انتباه او تربية؛ بل فضائح و تفكك َو قلة امان؛ يكفي ان ميراندا امها من ديري ماين ياختااااااااااي 🤕🙄
اما ليلي فتركوها لاجاثا كريستي تربيها؛ عائلات مختلة رغم انهم مثقفين و اكادميين

اُسر اظهرت مبكراً ما بشخصيتهما من خلل فطري؛ فليلي تعتبر نفسها ذئبة في غابة؛
و ميراندا مجرد عاهرة سيكوباتية تصادف ان فازت بجمال و تلقت تعليماً

في روايتنا؛ يناقش سوانسون نفسية القاتل قبل و بعد جريمته؛
هل الكل يتحمل جهازه العصبي اخذ روح انسان؟

ان حياتي لن تعد الي سابق عهدها مطلقا"
" لذا ساقبل العرض الذي لا يمكن رفضه

سنجد هنا القاتل السيكوباتي ممن يكمل حياته بكفاءة بعد جريمة او اثنين؛ غير مسببة و لا مبررة

او القاتل الفصامي؛ اسير ضلالات العدالة الانتقامية؛ بل نجده قد يعاقب مقدما علي طريقة تقرير الاقلية

او القاتل النوابي علي ما تُفرج؛ وهذا"قد"يندم علي جريمته
او من يتسلي بنسج خطط القتل و وقت الجد بالطبع يتراجع

و سنتاكد معا انه لا توجد صدف؛ بل ترابط قدري يؤدي بنا دوما؛ للمصير
و ان امريكا اوضة و صالة؛ كله هيتقابل يوما ما

في نهاية قرائتنا الجماعية تأكدنا مع سوانسون انك قد تكون ناجحا او فاشلا
صادقاً او ماكرا
جميلة او غريبة الملامح
سكيرا او مستقيماً
في مرحلة ما من حياتك ؛ ستنضم عند البعض لتلك الفئة التي تستحق القتل
Profile Image for Debbie.
454 reviews2,888 followers
April 4, 2016
I’m forever in search of the next Gone Girl, and this isn’t it. I seriously wish all the damn marketers would stop leading me on.

This book isn’t a bad psychological thriller; I just wasn’t wowed. Okay, okay, it IS twist city, and yes, that was great fun. The characters are deliciously wicked and creative in their evil ways. The writing is straightforward, and the story flows easily--no wrong moves here. The author tells a riveting story. But, but…

Each chapter title is the name of a character who tells their version of the story. So far, so good. First person is always cozy, and I love it. However, in this case the voices are all interchangeable: Take off the chapter titles and there’s no way you know who is talking. I can see how it would be tough to create unique voices (without feeling a little schizo), but the pros seem to do it effortlessly.

Still, my experience is a good one. It’s the middle of the book and I’m glued to the page, when POP!—a fantastic twist, one that was impossible to see coming. I’m in love with this book. I’m giving it 4 or 5 stars for sure. I’m all wound up but suddenly I’m let down, as the book drags for a while. There aren’t any red herrings or long-winded lectures, it just stalls. The ending is great, I must admit, but I had already demoted the book to a 3. I had my reasons.

It’s just that the sag in the middle and the lack of separate character voices aren’t the only problems. I’m dying to talk about other issues but can’t, without giving spoilers. I’m a blabbermouth, so I’ll say it but hide it.

This is not a book full of highlights, but strangely, I remember two (unrelated) truths from it:

1. A man looks at a woman and imagines her naked, while the woman looks at the man and wonders whether he finds her attractive.

2. Every hundred years, all new people.

So I must admit that because of these truths, and the fact that I remember them (given that my memory isn’t so hot), the book earns some serious respect.

There’s lots of suspense, and the amazing twist halfway through, combined with the cool ending, all make it worth the price of admission. It’s a fast read, with decent writing. I desperately wanted to find out what was going to happen, so I was super interested despite my complaints.

Would I recommend it? I would. I won’t be shoving the book into my friends’ faces, but if someone asks me for a decent psychological thriller, I’ll mention this one.
November 13, 2022

Ted Severson and Lily Kintner are co-passengers who meet at London's Heathrow airport and strike up a casual conversation over drinks as they wait for their flight back to Boston. Their conversation gradually develops into a more personal conversation with Ted spilling details about his troubled marriage. Ted is wealthy and successful and has been married to his wife Miranda for three years. Miranda is cheating on her husband with a contractor named Brad Daggett who is doing work on their new home in Maine. Unbeknownst to Miranda, Ted is aware of her indiscretions. He casually remarks to Lily that he is so angry that he could kill his wife. Lily, to his surprise, offers to help him.

“Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

Lily knows what she is talking about. She has a bagful of secrets in her past and had dealt with her problems in her own unique ways. She is smart, calculating and devious with a capital D. As Lily and Ted continue to meet, without the effect of alcohol clouding their senses, they discuss the matter further. But things don’t go quite as planned and what follows is a wild ride with murder, mayhem, deceit and some mind-boggling twists and turns that never failed to surprise and kept me glued to the pages till the very end. Initially, I was ready for this to be along the lines of “Strangers on a Train” which is a favorite but honestly, I wanted it to be different (I prefer the originals, in most cases) and the author definitely delivered. With a fast-paced narrative with multiple PoVs, interesting strongly-developed characters and a well-structured plot, Peter Swanson’s “The Kind Worth Killing” is a gripping read that I would not hesitate to recommend.

Nine Lives was the first book by Peter Swanson that I had read and was a tad underwhelmed. Many of my GR friends recommended this novel and I am so thankful! I absolutely loved this story and devoured it in less than a day!

“We understood that survival was everything. It was the meaning of life. And to take another life was, in many ways, the greatest expression of what it meant to be alive.”
Profile Image for Justin.
284 reviews2,300 followers
September 18, 2015
I will never understand why books like The Girl on the Train become runaway bestsellers when books like this exist. Yeah, yeah... there are similarities. This story revolves around four crazy people doing crazy stuff with plenty of crazy plot twists along the way just like that other book I mentioned. But, come on, this story is so much better. I loved how the story begins with Ted and Lily running into each other at the airport and having an interesting conversation. And, I loved how the second half of the book resets everything and flips the story into something completely different than I thought it was going to be.

There is plenty of backstory here, too, so most of the characters have depth even if their pasts are ridiculously unbelievable at times. I mean you really have to just roll with this thing and not think about it too much because it's insane. I can't really say anything else without giving too much away. The only thing that bugged me was how convenient some things were from some people, especially one of them, when it came to certain things that happened in particular sections of the book. See how vague that was? I can't say anymore.....
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