ISBN-13: 9780062267528
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 3 February 2015
Format: Paperback, 320 pgs
Source: Publisher

A modern re-imagining of Patricia Highsmith's classic Strangers on a Train (which I've yet to read but has piqued my interest after the brief mention on the back blurb), The Kind Worth Killing is a chilling, gripping story of an accidental encounter that leads to murder. 

Ted Severson's marriage is on the rocks. After married Miranda for three years he's discovered she's having an affair with their contractor. He's wondering if he should confront her when a chance encounter with a beautiful stranger at an airport lounge makes him a deal that she'd help him with murdering his wife, after they have exchanged conversations and telling each other bits about themselves. Ted is somewhat shocked by her suggestion, after all they've had a few too many drinks and he didn't mean she'd treat his words seriously. Sure, he'd wanted to kill his wife after learning of her affair but to murder someone in cold blood is entirely another matter. 

Ted is both intrigued and attracted by Lily, but how true is she and her suggestion? So they arranged to meet a week later after they've returned to Boston, to see if each other means business. They both showed up, and after exchanging some more information a deal is made. 

Split into three parts and told in Ted's, Lily's, Miranda's and Detective Kimball's perspectives, The Kind Worth Killing is one chilling psychological thriller that will make your heart race and ponder at the same time. Ted is a rich businessman who definitely knows how to make a deal, but the deal he's making with Lily makes me wonder if his love for his wife means nothing, or something so much more that he couldn't bear the betrayal. Lily, on the other hand is a damaged woman who's carried her secret past through the years since she was a teenager. Since then, she has believed that the abuser who has the power to intimidate or cause harm to the weaker peer should be punished severely. It all started when she killed a tom cat to prevent it from tormenting another feline. That satisfaction of killing and not being discovered has allowed her to commit another murder; a painter who stayed at their house for the summer and was also her mother's friend. He'd shown interest in little Lily and it wasn't paternal. 

While I enjoy reading thrillers that make me guess the identity of the killer, occasionally I am fascinated by thrillers such as The Kind Worth Killing; one that allows me to get into the minds of the deranged protagonists and makes me think of their purposes and the choices they have made. The plot is full of twists and turns, and before I could fathom what's happening another event happens (I was still pondering over the ending as of writing this.) Truth be told it was a compelling read and I could have given this book a 5-stars rating if not for the characterisations and their purposes, all of which have left me cold with dread. I wouldn't be surprised if this is to be made into a film in the near future. 

16 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    I haven't read anything by Highsmith, although her books are so often reviewed highly. You've made this re-imagining of Strangers on a Train sound very good! Will add to my list. :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I'm going to look at all the backlists by Patricia Highsmith. They sound so intriguing!

    I hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I did! :)

  3. My husband read Strangers on a Train and said I would like it, and so now you've got me interested in this one too!

    I like that too sometimes--to get a real glimpse inside the mind of the antagonist. This sounds like something I would like.

  4. The Bookworm Says:

    Hi Melody :) This one sounds good and I like getting inside the head of the baddies when I read too. Great review post.
    On a different note, I'm back to blogging, slowly but surely.

  5. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Sounds like we have to read Strangers on a Train, for sure, hehe.

    Yes, it's interesting to see the evil minds at times. It often makes me wonder why they do the bad deeds in the first place.

    I hope you'll enjoy reading this if you do read it.

  6. Melody Says:

    Naida - I'm glad to hear you're back to blogging! :)

    I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope you'd too!

  7. Unknown Says:

    This sounds intriguing! I haven't read Strangers on a Train but I loved the film adaptation.

  8. Melody Says:

    Irene - It is! My reading experience was a great one; so intense. I even mentioned it to my husband, who doesn't read and he thought the plot was insane, lol. Now you've made me curious about the film adaptation too.

  9. Violet Says:

    Exactly what I was thinking while reading your review. This feels like a movie. Sounds interesting enough to put it on my book scanning radar :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Violet - I hope you'll enjoy reading it. If it does have a film adaptation in future I'll surely watch it. :)

  11. Okay so I just skimmed your review as I just received a copy of this book as well. And I'm reading The Girl With a Clock for a Heart right now by the same author. It is really good and I'm just about at the point where I won't be able to set it down. I'm super excited to read this one now as well!

  12. Melody Says:

    Samantha - I hope you'll enjoy reading this as much as I did, Sam. I'm intrigued with "The Girl with a Clock for a Heart" after reading this so I may want to check it out.

  13. Iliana Says:

    Oh wow, I really want to read this one. This sounds like a great thriller. I don't think I've heard of this author before so I need to make a note!

  14. Melody Says:

    Iliana - This was an intense read! The suspense and the thrill of finding the truth made this book a fast read to me. I hope you'll enjoy it like I did. :)

  15. Kay Says:

    I wonder if this one would be good paired with a reading of STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. I included the Highsmith book on a list recently of mystery classics I hadn't read yet. I'll think about that. Nice review!

  16. Melody Says:

    Kay - I'm thinking about that too. I'm sure I'll read STRANGERS ON A TRAIN in the near future. I'm curious to see how the story will goes.

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