Cover Image: The Kill Club

The Kill Club

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book surprised me with how good it really was.
I was blown away with how beautifully the characters were developed. The story also included a mysterious organization, and I'm such a sucker for those.
The plot was paced to my liking and the writing flowed well. It kept me interested throughout, and at the edge of my seat for most of it. It was hard for me to put it down, I had to keep reading and see what's going on. I thinks it's a great addition to the thriller genre. And I look forward to reading more from Wendy Heard.
Was this review helpful?
I received this book for free from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.As soon as I read the blurb, I had to have The Kill Club. As a survivor failed by the justice system, vigilantism against abusers and rapists always gets me. That's my kind of escapism fantasy - sometimes.

And The Kill Club delivers. In the best and worst ways. With a lesbian MC and a bi/pan romance interest!!

I repeat: With a lesbian MC and a bi/pan romance interest!!

This is a fucking stellar suspense mystery. I started it and couldn't stop until the last page. Had no clue what was coming next. Didn't guess any perps before revealed. Nicely done misdirects and pacing. No too dumb to live moments. In fact, Jazz was scrappy AF and Sofia was brilliant.

Jazz, I loves you. And all you're tattoos and snarky glory.

Joaquin, I loves you too, little buddy.

Sofia, my put-together-at-6AM bi/pan queen.

I love the alternative POVs. Think Crash, but not shitty perpetuating bullshit. That's where I picked my first favorite quote from in fact. A despicable one, but damn is it well done.

And it doesn't stick to just traditional abusers and victims either. I'm so glad there's some male victim representation included.

This probably makes me a terrible person, but I love the "fuck it, shotgun time" moment. XD

Yep, my rule about Author's Notes/Acknowledgements at the end still holds true. I love how Heard brings the facts and a spotlight on important issues, like homelessness.



Amazing stylized for the Layaway dragon theme.

It'd be a romantic suspense except for the no happy ending nonsense. Gays should only be buried in love and solidarity nowadays. >:(  So close to perfection.

I'm so down for more like The Kill Club and from Wendy Heard. I just added her YA debut to my TBR in fact.


Favorite Quotes:
He needs to take control, like Edward did in Port Angeles when Bella almost got herself raped by that gang of guys. Yes, that's the part of the story they're in, the part where Edward takes control.

Thank you for mansplaining the presumption of innocence to me, twat.

It delivers its signature "chunk-chunk-hummmmm" that signals the arctic cooling of the area immediately around the window.

"First rule of murder club. Don't talk about murder club. Got it."

That would be a relief, the kind that only lasts a minute. That's the kind of pain I can handle.
Was this review helpful?
I read 76% of this book in one day. I just couldn’t stop. Jazz will do anything to protect her brother and this takes you on a wild ride through the story. You can’t help but root for Jazz throughout the whole journey. There are lots of twists and turns and I didn’t see them all coming. The book plays out like a fast paced movie. It seems as though there is potential for another novel and I can’t wait to read it if there is. 

TW: child abuse, domestic abuse
Was this review helpful?
The Kill Club is a heart-pounding page turner. Our main character Jazz has lived a lot of life in her short 20-odd years. Her little brother has been officially adopted by her foster mother who has always been abusive toward Jazz. But she has always done everything in her power to keep her little brother, Joaquin, safe. Getting him his much needed insulin, paying for his cell phone, and generally insuring he has a normal teen life while her foster mother, Carol, is part of a religious sect that only prays for healing.

Jazz encounters an underground vigilante group that promises to take away her troubles with Carol if she only does one thing: kill a stranger. This group recruits people who have no way out of abusive situations and assigns them to kill the abuser of another member, all anonymously. When Jazz is approached by the group, she is easy to say yes and get Carol off her back for good, but things get far more tangled than she ever anticipates.

I read this book over two sittings (because life). It would have been only one sitting if time had permitted because I could not put it town. It really had my heart racing at points because the stakes were so high. Definitely a great thriller with an interesting premise. If you’re looking for something to keep you interested until the very last page, do not hesitate to pick this book up!

Thank you so much to my friends at Harlequin for sending me a copy of this book!
Was this review helpful?
“First rule of murder club, don’t talk about murder club.”

As you may have guessed simply from the title The Kill Club by Wendy Heard is not a new or overly original plot but one that tackles the idea of the characters killing a stranger in order for another person to kill the horrible person in their life. Regardless of this idea being done before Wendy Heard still made a compelling story with her version.

Jazz and her younger brother grew up in foster care but now that Jazz has aged out her thirteen year old brother is still in the care of their terrible foster mother, Carol. Jazz does everything she can from the outside to see her brother gets his medication and stays in school but Carol continues to mistreat him and despite the calls to child services nothing is done.

When Jazz picks up a burner phone she never expected it to ring and someone invite her to join a network of killers promising that if Jazz completes her mission someone will take care of Carol. All Jazz needs to do to save her brother is to kill a stranger but can she actually complete the mission or should she turn the evidence over to the police?

The Kill Club had a nice fast pace to it as you learned of the characters and their situations and the action begins. The story also had plenty of twists and turns added into the mix that kept the pages turning once the characters begin to learn about the club and all that it offered. Despite the lack of originality with the plot this was still quite the solid read overall.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
Stuck with this one when I should have DNF - sadly. Convoluted and too many similarities to a book I read recently - The Chain - with a far fetched ending.
Was this review helpful?
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley, Harlequin Trade Publishing and Mira Books for this free copy.

But really, could you imagine if you could get rid of the one person in your life that made it a living hell, to the point that your life was utterly ruined, and the only thing you had to do was kill someone else?

Does that sound tempting to you?

Especially since there’s no way to pin either crime on you?

Thanks to this covert and mysterious organization that somehow knows everything about you and plans out when each of these terrible people will be killed?

I don’t know. I can see why it would be tempting to a lot of people. I can’t deny that, and does that even make someone morally evil? Especially when you can see where they are coming from, and just want them to be finally in a position to be free of such a terrible person and a terrible situation?

Yeah, I totally get it.

So I totally get why Jazz ended up somehow agreeing with this mysterious voice on the phone to kill someone in order to save her brother Joaquin from the woman that basically abuses him to the point of death. Seriously, that woman Carol, if she can even be called a woman, is evil. Pure evil. I can’t believe what Joaquin and Jazz had to deal with when it came to her. And she just so freaking abusive to these two children that had to basically rely on her to survive because they didn’t have any other family. And then to see what Carol does to make their lives a living hell?! No freaking way.

That’s how I felt honestly, because she is a shit human being.

The concept of this “kill club” is very interesting too, because the people that are being targeted are bad people. Like, very bad people.

There are some chapters that either put us in the minds of the victims of the kill club, or those that end up killing them upon orders. From those chapters, I can see why these people were killed, and do I feel like they were even missed? No, not at all. Were they even worth being mourned? I don’t think so at all.

Then the whole relationship between Jazz and Joaquin, and I was so freaking sad when there was this part where they see each other and all Jazz wants to do is take him away from the horrors of living with that woman.

I literally cried so hard when I read that part because I could only imagine how Joaquin felt when Jazz left him. It’s not like she left him on purpose, which she does end up explaining to the reader and has told him many times. He knows that she didn’t leave him on purpose, or abandon him because she didn’t want to be around him or anything. It just sucks to have a kid feel that way and then have them express that to you and not be able to do anything about it. You know? It’s making me cry again.

Basically, go and let me know what you think about this book because wow. I was not expecting it to get this deep and it did.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this one! I was hooked from page one! I just couldn't put it down and finished it in one day! It is on the top of my must recommend to everyone that will listen list!
Was this review helpful?
Whew… The hunter became the hunted who then went on a prowl.

The Murder Club provided revenge and freedom from the abusers in cases where even the law and cops had forsaken them. One such person was Jazz whose foster mother beat her up and locked her brother in a boarded room. A missed call on a strange flip phone soon reached Jazz. The Kill Club had come to help. A murder for a murder.

My first book by author Wendy Heard, I was quite amazed by the writing which pulled me with its concept. Terror struck my heart at the decisions that Jazz took. Some of them were quite reckless. Though unlikable, she had redeeming qualities. Love for her brother came through.

The story started strong, then lost its steam midway when it became a pure action sequence, followed by a surprising end. A string of murders by a serial killer too added to the intrigue in the plot. The reveal was a shocker for me as I least expected it.

The book had all the makings of a thriller movie, and I would love to see it explode on the big screen. A captivating, yet disturbing read with a main character who just grows on to you.
Was this review helpful?
So you decided to make a deal with the devil....but the devil doesn't deliver his end.. or does he? Welcome to The Kill Club.

"First rule of murder club, don't talk about murder club." I loved this line! Wendy Heard has dished out a thrilling ride with this book. Upon starting it, the overall theme rang a bit similar  to another book I had just read- The Other People ( which I loved, by the way). Yet the concept may be similar, the story line went into a completely different direction.

Random murders are happening all over the city. People are terrified to leave the house, as people are being killed off in very public places. There is a serial killer on the loose that leaves his calling card...a playing card at the scene of the crime. Every victim is killed by an injection of poison that brings them to a painful death. By the way, if my Starbucks tastes at all funky, it will promptly go in the trash...just saying...yet the detectives are stumped, because the killer seems to get a bit sloppy at times and sometimes he is "dead on" perfect in his techniques.

I loved Jasmine- a gritty, hard working girl, that has seen some very dark things in her life. Working long days at Trader Joe's she is just trying to make ends meet. When her brother Joaquin's life is in danger, she feels she must do whatever it takes to save him. Would she have to draw the line at murder? Would you?
Was this review helpful?
Favorite Quotes:

“Okay,” I say, and in that one word is contained an ocean of acceptance. This is where I am. This is what I’m doing. 

I think about what the reporter said, that the people who have been killed have had records of stalking, domestic violence. It actually sounds like the voice on the phone is who they say they are. They invented a serial killer. The police are searching LA for a murderer that doesn’t exist.

I don’t know how I feel about this, morally. Is it bad to kill someone like Carol? Does she deserve the death sentence? Do I have any feelings about her being dead? … I remember the guy I saw die at Villains. I heard him scream. It’s definitely not painless. But then I remember Carol with her baseball bat crunching through my bones like glass, and I think, Good.

How is she so put-together at six in the morning? When I work early shifts at Trader Joe’s, I look like an orphan in a Christmas movie.

My Review:

This book was devilishly clever and fiendishly addictive, I was taut with tension and unable to put my Kindle down without deeply resenting the intrusion to my reading.  The main character of Jasmine was deeply flawed and horribly unlucky, and though well-intentioned she was a total screw up in every arena.  I cringed for her while simultaneously wanting to give her a smack to the back of the head.  The storylines were highly active, heartbreaking, twisted, brutal, gripping, and fraught with tension with unexpected and greatly welcomed glints of snarky levity and sharply edged wit.  This was my first exposure to the cunning storytelling of Wendy Heard and I was an instant fangirl, I greedily want to amass all her clever words.
Was this review helpful?
This book reminds me of something that I just can't *quite* put my finger on and it's driving me crazy!  This is one of those ripple effect kind of books.  You do one thing then that thing make another thing happen and so on and so forth.  When you're desperate, why wouldn't you take what seems like a fairly reasonable, albeit deadly, deal? There are rules set in place of course... and you must follow them, but sometimes you're just damned if you do and damned if you don't.  

I flew through the first 75% of the this book.  When the big reveal came, I was like.. wait, who? Somehow I was at a complete loss - that's how little this character seemed to take my notice. Oopsie! So I was fairly disappointed there. But then of course, it hit me and I was all DOH!  In any case, regardless of a rather muted reveal and a couple of questionable things... I really enjoyed this book.

Moderately paced, addictive and I just fell in love with Jazz and Joaquin.  And I also really liked the ending, regardless of the slight predictability. Ya Heard? *wink*
Was this review helpful?
When I first picked up this book, I wasn’t sure where the story was going. Less than an hour in, though, I knew I’d have to skip a few regularly scheduled chores to find out how it would all end!
Wow! I don’t start a lot of my reviews with this, but WOW! The Kill Club is the second novel by Wendy Heard, and I’m now definitely planning to check out her first (Hunting Annabelle, published in 2018).

I can certainly see why the synopsis is so short, as it’s hard to summarize this intriguing murder/mystery plot without giving too much away. It’s all about righting wrongs, for some of the underprivileged and underrepresented in society, and the author says at the ends that the stories are all based in truth. Besides Joaquin and Jazz’s story of abuse at the hands of their foster/adoptive mother, there are abused spouses, and a custody battle skewed by the legal influence of one parent. The secret network can help even the score, and get what most would think is the fair result in the end. Tempting, eh? If only things always went according to plan…

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers. Based on the ending, I really hope the author follows up with another book with Jazz and Joaquin. I need to know what happens next! I’d give this 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was a little confusing in the beginning, as the story went from normal life for Jazz, into a chapter with a murder with the killer and victim completely unknown to the reader. A little further on it all fell into place, and then it was just ignoring the rest of my life and turning the pages as fast as I could.
Was this review helpful?
The Kill Club is dark and twisted and grabbed hold from the very beginning. This one is definitely a thriller with its many sit up and take notice scenes as we follow Jazz from one crazy situation to the next. Whether we should or not, it's easy to empathize with the vigilantes in this one, including Jazz and her determination to save Joaquin. The story does move at a fast pace with a steadily rising tension with the exception of a few lags here and there, and we also get a couple of solid twists. I'm usually pretty good at guessing the big bad in these types of stories, but I admit that I didn't see the big reveal coming, although looking back, I should have. We do have some hints if we're looking for them, but they aren't obvious by any means, and you have to think outside the box a bit to get there. I do think the story went on a bit longer than necessary after that reveal, and the extra twist at the end really wasn't needed. The book was already good, and the added twist at the end was just overkill in my opinion. Nevertheless, the story did hold my interest, and Jazz is a truly great character, one who is easy to like and root for. She's got a great sense of wit and sarcasm, and it shows up with perfect timing. In the end, this one did have a couple of issues with the lags and that extended ending, but I still enjoyed the thrill and would have to say that The Kill Club is my favorite book from Wendy Heard so far.
Was this review helpful?
The first rule of murder club ...What happens in murder club, stays in Murder club.

   could you murder a stranger if in return a stranger would murder someone who is harming you? That is the premise of this highly addictive game of cat and mouse. Jazz is running out of options as to what to do about her younger brother Joaquin and his foster mother who refuses to give him the insulin he needs to survive. When she receives a mysterious phone call with a solution to her problem, she is tempted. BUT can she kill a complete stranger even if that means she will be rid of Carol forever? Could you if you were in Jazz’s shoes?

   This is my second book by Wendy Herd. Both books have been captivating thrillers with unique premises and complex characters. I was completely sucked into Jazz’s Life, her hopes and her obstacles. The idea of a string of murders across the LA area seeming to be connected but with many contradictions was extremely intriguing. My heart was racing as Jazz got herself deeper and deeper into this crazy trap. Throughout the story I was not entirely sure of the good guys and the bad guys were, and if I’m being honest I still don’t. A compelling and disturbing story that had me on the edge of my seat and an ending that left me satisfied.

This book in emojis  📱 💉 🥊 ☠️  

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Almarie Guerra. This is the first book I listen to from her and I think she did an excellent job. There are so many characters and different perspectives and she gave each of the characters a unique voice.

*** Big thanks to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***
Was this review helpful?
Jazz (Jasmine) has not had an easy life so far. She lives in a small cheap apartment and works a boring job at a grocery store. Her only real mission in life is to take care of Joaquin, her 13 year old brother. She and Joaquin were fostered by a woman called Carol, but Jazz was badly beaten by her and as soon as possible Carol threw her out and bullied her into letting her adopt her brother. A religious fanatic, Carol often fails to give diabetic Joaquin his life dependent insulin, and, after one occasion where he nearly died, Jazz has taken on all responsibility for his health, even if she has to break into Carol's house to do so. The authorities are no help to Jazz and as Carol is becoming more deluded by her church's teachings, Jazz is terrified that her brother may die this time without her help. She approaches the school and makes a friend of the Assistant Principal Sonia who agrees to help her. Meanwhile detectives in LA are desperately searching for a serial killer responsible for what have been dubbed the "Blackbird Killings" after playing cards left at the scene, these are seemingly motiveless and without suspects. But someone is masterminding these killings and after she witnesses one of these murders, Jazz is contacted by a group offering to take care of Carol for her. Only there is a price to pay and that is to kill for them. When Carol blocks all access to Joaquin, Jazz starts to feel she has run out of options and agrees to their deal, little knowing that failure will not be tolerated by the "murder club". As things spiral out of control, Jazz has to fight hard and dirty to keep those she cares about alive. Fast paced, this was a real page turner, watching the story unfold from both Jazz's and a third person perspective. It was easy to have sympathy for the "killers" who all had suffered at the hands of their abusers and were not being helped by normal legal channels, and, although we get a glimpse, I would have liked to have heard more from their leader about how it had all begun. The author made a good case for how desperation could drive some people to murder in very risky situations when offered "help" and showed how things are maybe not always black and white. The characters and settings were all well described and felt very real, showing there is far more to LA than the bits in the travel brochures! Overall an exciting thriller with a very satisfying ending. 4*
Was this review helpful?
A special thank you to Harper Collins Publishers and Harlequin Books for the opportunity to participate in the Winter 2020 Mystery/Thriller Blog Tour!

"First rule of murder club. Don't talk about murder club. Got it."

With a Fight Club meets Strangers on a Train vibe, this book was nearly impossible to put down. You fly from chapter to chapter on the edge of your seat biting your nails to the quick wondering what could possibly happen next. How far would you go to save the ones you love? Would you kill for them? How far down the rabbit hole do you go before you do whatever it takes to get out? Jazz finds that once she's in the murder club there isn't a clear out to live the happily ever after she was promised. After all, she just had to accomplish one little task. Murder a stranger. Once she does this there's no going back. She must become everything she has tried not to be her whole life so that she can get the one she loves away from someone worse. But if she does this, does that make her just as bad? This was a constant struggle between good and bad as we follow Jazz on this wild ride to find out how far she will go to save her brother Joaquin from their corrupt foster mother, Carol. I honestly was rooting for Jazz to just go ahead and off Carol she was such a despicable character but I get that its not that easy. Too bad, because Carol was just plain awful. I couldn't stand a single thing she did or said and would have probably gotten myself into all sorts of trouble had I been put in the same place as Jazz. I commend Jazz on her ability to really think on this decision though and all the consequences that might come along with it. She didn't jump at the idea of murder and actually tried time and time again to say no. But once you know about murder club they don't let you go that easily. And soon our ever brave and moral heroine is dragged into the dark circle of murder and favors and once she's in she finds its a lot more difficult to get out than she was told.

The writing in this book keeps you in it until the very end. I read this in one sitting unable to tell myself to take a break. The chapters fly by as you try and find out who's going to pop up next and what might happen to them. The intermittent chapters of random characters read like a movie with cut scenes to other mystery characters in the murder club that we don't know at first but eventually we see how they all fit into the big picture. I was so involved in the book trying to guess who the Blakcbird Killer was the entire time only to find in the end it wasn't at all who I expected. I was also extremely satisfied with the ending of this book, wrapping everything up neatly and efficiently. There was a pretty sad part that had me pretty bummed but the rest was exactly as you'd hope it would be. This was my first book I've read by Wendy Heard and I think she now has a new fan. I'm going to have to start seeing what else she has that I can devour like I did The Kill Club. If you get this book make sure you have the entire day to devote to this intense read.

Just don't answer the flip phone that arrives in a mystery box if you aren't willing to pay the price of your freedom. Welcome to The Kill Club.
Was this review helpful?
I have to say The The Kill Club is one of the best thrillers I have read in 2019.  It's a hard one to review without giving away key plot points. The story is told through multiple points of view with the main focus on Jazz.  Jazz is just trying to figure out how to get her foster brother out of the clutches of their religious fanatic foster mother.  She is approached with a tempting opportunity that could solve all of her problems.  But, it comes at a cost that she isn't sure she is willing to pay.  The use of multiple view points really worked for the story.  It helped move the plot along while giving away key information just at the right pace.  If you are looking for a fast paced thriller with several twists and a chilling ending, I highly recommend this one.
Was this review helpful?
Loved the concept of this "eye for an eye, quid pro quo" kind of book.  

"First rule of murder club, don't talk about murder club." 

4.5 stars.  This really has you guessing almost the whole time of who is behind it, how are they finding people to contact, can you really ever trust anyone?  There were a couple of spots where my jaw dropped, I had to reread a section or I said "What?!?" out loud.  It was such a fun ride.  I really felt for Jasmine and Joaquin, I really questioned what I would do about Carol myself if I ever had someone in that situation.  Fantastic thriller.  

*I received an e-arc from publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Was this review helpful?
Random murders are happening all over Los Angeles. People are being killed in very public places. These murders are linked and the police are advising people that there is a serial killer on the loose, Victims are injected with a poison that results in a very painful death. "The Blackbird" leaves his calling card, a playing card, at the scene of the crime. The killer is slick, until he starts to make mistakes. Jazz, a young woman who was raised in foster care, is trying to take care of her young brother who has been adopted by their foster mother, Carol. She is a religious fanatic and refuses to fill his prescriptions for insulin or even take him to a doctor's appointment. Jazz finds out that she has pulled Joaquin from school and moved from her house. Jazz is worried that he will die. Enter, the murder club, as she calls it. Would you be willing to kill a person who is a danger from a stranger's life in exchange for an equally bad person being eliminated from yours? A bit of quid pro quo. Jazz agrees, as she wants to get rid of Carol, once and for all. Things do not always work out as planned. People get nervous, someone knows someone else, you stick the needle in the wrong spot. What is happening. I love the line, "First rule of murder club, don't talk about murder club." that Jazz coins. What follows is a twisty, thriller that kept me hooked from start to finish.

I loved the character of Jazz. She was a tough, kick-ass heroine, who only gets involved in order to save her brothers life. We learn more and more about Jazz and her relationship with Carol and Joaquin, that just made me love Jazz more and dislike Carol immensely. She was not an inherently bad person, but has very dangerous beliefs, bordering on mental health concerns. Jazz is afraid to develop relationships with anyone due to her past, but when she finally takes a chance, it leads her down a path she can't turn back on. The plot of this book was well-written. It started with a bang and got even more frenzied as the story went on. I had no idea who was behind the Kill Club, or the Blackbirds until the final reveal and it blew me away. This was a story that I was not expecting and I am glad I read/listened to it. I recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced thriller with a satisfying ending.
Was this review helpful?