'The Kind Worth Killing' by Peter Swanson
Tina Jordan, EW‘s books department editor, told me there would be a twist. She told me that I wouldn’t believe it, and she sort of squirmed with delight as she did. So I smirked and thanked her and went about looking for it, absolutely sure I’d spot it a mile away. Each chapter of Ted Severson’s plotting to kill his wife, and each trip through Lily Kinter’s murderous past, I thought, “Ah, I bet it’s here!” And then, “Maybe here!” And I was wrong until I found the page(s) that had me, quite literally, gasping out loud.
Peter Swanson’s follow up to his 2014 The Girl With a Clock for a Heart, The Kind Worth Killing takes the multi-narrator plot beset with a diabolical female that’s had bookstores teeming the past few seasons (Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, The Daylight Marriage) and elevates it: four narrators—two slinking women, two slightly more obvious men, and a sordid stack of lies between the lot. (And us! They hide plenty from us!) Two of them are clearly sociopaths, though I won’t tell you which, and one of them a more skilled, um, plotting-scheming-conniving-calculated-killer than the rest. To say more is to ruin the head rush. (To say less is just hard.)
Swanson is a skilled novelist but EW‘s review is right in noting that he could have distinguished between the women’s voices a little more—I’d tell you to pay special attention to those chapters to keep them straight, though a plot as electric as this demands that on its own.