I’m not giving anything away by saying that The Kind Worth Killing is a modern re-imagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train, because it’s in the synopsis.
Ted Severson meets Lily Kintner at an airport bar after their plane is delayed and are both traveling on the same flight from London to Boston. After several drinks, Ted opens up to Lily, telling her about his wife that he found out is cheating on him and jokes that he would like to kill her. Surprisingly, Lily is game to help him plot the perfect murder.
So the story begins to slowly unfold with narration going back and forth by Ted, Lily, his wife Miranda and agent Kimball. The reader spends time with each character, learning about their back story as well as their presence of mind. Of course, the realist in me just thought Ted should divorce his wife and Lily could have settled other issues (I can’t mention) in ways that didn’t involve a crime, but then there would be no story, right? Also, Peter Swanson did an excellent job setting up the storyline, building each character, executed some twists that I didn’t see coming and the creepy factor was just enough. Of course, Highsmith was the master at revealing the inner disturbance of a regular, everyday person and evolve from normal to deranged. Newish author Gillian Flynn does this so well and Swanson achieved it also. I love a good psychological thriller!
Okay, to lighten things up a bit, here’s a favorite clip (there are so many) from Throw Momma From the Train (1987). Larry (Billy Crystal) is Owen’s (Danny DeVito) professor and somehow gets caught up in in a murder plot after Owen watches Alfred Hitchcock’s movie version of Strangers on a Train. Such a hilarious movie. Criss Cross!
If suspenseful murder mysteries are your thing, with fabulous twists and just enough creepiness to keep the pages turning, you will want to check this book out!