Cover Image: A Talent for Murder

A Talent for Murder

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Member Reviews

A Talent For Murder treats the reader to meticulous murder and unexpected twists with main and supporting characters dropping like flies.
It begins at a teachers conference. One female attendee decides on a one night stand that turns into a flight off a high balcony. Also at the conference is novelty salesman Alan, who might be a stalker/killer on the side.
Back home, Alan's wife Martha begins to suspect her husband of misdeeds, especially after seeing a bloodstain on his shirt. Martha calls college pal Lily who begins her own investigation into other conference deaths.
But wait! A clue from the women's past might produce an even more bizarre piece of the puzzle.
Told from three perspectives, Swanson's latest psychological circus pits two brave women (and an old friend from the author's past novels) into a viper pit of smokescreens and sudden death.
Who's really pulling off The Talented Mr. Ripley and will Martha and Lily become their latest victims? Dive into A Talent For Murder. You'll be satisfied right up to the final page.

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4.25 stars

A Talent for Murder is a gripping psychological thriller that revolves around Martha, a newlywed who suspects her husband of being a serial killer. She turns to her old friend Lily Kintner, whom she had previously approached for help with an ex-boyfriend. Together, they uncover shocking revelations that lead to unexpected turns, resulting in a deadly confrontation.

The story is narrated by Martha, Lily, and a few other characters who share their perspectives. I didn’t even realize that Lily was a featured character until I was at least ¼ of the way in. Henry Kimball also makes some appearances, and I wish the book featured him more.

The Kind Worth Killing

This was such a fun read--I loved how the plot and the narrative unfolded. It starts out strong but gets even stronger as the plot develops. Where it ends isn't a place I could have even imagined from where it starts.

Packed with suspense and tension, my heart was beating out of my chest during the final confrontation. I couldn't predict how things would end. However, the very end loses some steam. Nevertheless, the conclusion is satisfying and ties up the loose ends nicely. Intricately plotted, Swanson takes the cat-and-mouse game to another level--highly recommended!

TW: Sexual assault

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and William Morrow in exchange for an honest review.

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I rediscovered Peter Swanson after reading and loving last year's holiday book, and I knew I needed to read more from him. This book continued my streak of Peter Swanson winners and cemented my status as a new fan. This is the 3rd book to feature a few of these characters, but not having read the prior books it also worked well for me as a standalone story.

What do you do if you begin to suspect that your husband is keeping dangerous secrets? What if the man you believed your husband to be is, in fact, a carefully constructed facade? Or what if you're being paranoid and are totally wrong with your suspicions? What do you do? Who can you confide in? These questions begin this suspense tale about Martha and Alan, a newly married couple who are either living a happy, peaceful life or else Martha is being played for a fool. 

A Talent For Murder is a classic psychological thriller that was pure reading fun from start to finish. I love how the author threw a major, unexpected twist our way midway thru the book, but thanks to intriguing characters with unpredictable behavior and one final startling reveal at the end the pace didn't let up and the intensity didn't falter. I was glued to this thriller thru the final page. 

Thank you Netgalley and William Morrow for the opportunity to read an early copy of this book.

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Henry Kimball, teacher, turned cop, then private investigator, and Lily Kintner, a smart and complex woman, reunite in A Talent for Murder by Peter Swanson coming out June 11. This time, Lily is helping a graduate school friend, Martha Ratliff, decide if it is possible that Martha’s husband Alan Peralta is a serial killer.

Martha, an archival librarian, was happy in her singleness, and she was fine with just having a relationship with Alan, but he pushed her into marriage, saying his Catholic mother expected it. Alan was a pleasant and agreeable traveling salesman, peddling humorous T-shirts and trinkets aimed toward educators.

Martha’s suspicions about Alan began when unpacking his suitcase to do the laundry after he returned from a teachers’ conference where he had a booth. Because his white shirt had a blood stain, Martha decides to look at the news in each city he has visited, and she finds five unsolved murders of women. Martha reaches out to Lily who reaches out to Henry, and together they start investigating Alan.

In a devious twist, another murder occurs, and Lily finds herself in a precarious situation, one in which Henry needs to come through for the save. How can Henry put the pieces together in time? Is Alan the mild-mannered man Martha thought he was, or is he a serial killer?
This is Peter Swanson’s third book in the Henry Kimball/Lily Kintner series. His twisty novel The Kind Worth Killing, his first book in the series, has been optioned for a movie. Swanson lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

My review will be posted on Goodreads starting April 9, 2024.

I would like to thank William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for an objective review.

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Peter Swanson is masterful and has become an auto-purchase author for me. It has all the twists in this clever plotline that keeps you glued to the page from start to finish. For any fans of thrillers, this is a must read.

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A Talent for Murder by Peter Swanson is the third book in the Henry Kimball and Lily Kintner series. This book follows Martha, Lily's friend from college. Martha reaches out to Lily when she suspects her husband of being a serial killer. Lily decieds to follow Alan at his next convention that he will be working. Lily notices that someone else is following Alan a blast from both Martha and Lily's past. Now Lily must get Henry Kimball involved to help her find who is really behind all of these murders. As with all Peter Swanson books this one I could not put down and until I was finished with it. I loved everything about this one. I want to thank both NetGalley and William Morrow for letting me read an advance copy of this book.

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This one was so easy to get into. Right from the first paragraph I was completely interested in what was going on. In fact, the lead character in that first part of the book had me thinking "I think we'd be friends". So I was super invested in the action. And then this book went a lot of really interesting places. I was completely delighted by this romp of a mystery from start to finish.

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Another great suspense story that once again features Lily Kintner and to an extent PI Henry. Lily’s college friend Martha is newly married to a man she really doesn’t know and she soon suspects he might be a killer. Enlisting the help of Lily they both investigate Alan and see there are murders of women while he’s in that particular city. The fast pacing, interesting plots we’ve come to expect from Swanson, this is another winner.

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I loved “A Talent for Murder”. and I could not put it down. This can be read as a stand-alone, but it's helpful to have read the others in the series to get Lily's backstory. It has a cast of characters so unique and ruthless and kind of endearing. The story is so incredibly complex and messy without being confusing or too much to handle. I loved that this story was told through multiple POV’s. I always enjoy books like this more because I feel so much more connected to the characters. The pacing of the book for me was perfect, the story moved along while still giving the reader all of the backstory they needed to know for the characters involved. The story is told in present day and flashbacks that helped in introducing the new characters. Halfway through, it takes a turn I was not expecting, and I did not guess the direction the plot was going at all! I loved seeing Lily as a central character again with Henry in a supporting role. Lily is such a great character and I hope we see more of her soon. Peter Swanson has a serious gift for telling a twisty story and satisfying readers. A huge thank you to NetGalley, Peter Swanson, and HarperCollins for access to the ARC in return for my thoughts.

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This is SUCH a fun thriller! Probably the best thriller I have read so far in 2024. Our story follows a woman who is convinced that her husband is a serial killer. She gets the help of a friend to help her try and see if her intuition is right. WOW. So great and I absolutely loved the ending. I will be recommending this to thriller pals for sure! Awesome job, Peter Swanson!

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𝗔 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗠𝘂𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿 by Peter Swanson
𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗲: June 11, 2024

Thank you to @williammorrowbooks, Netgalley and Peter Swanson for an ARC!

Wow! What a great book! This is the third book in the Henry Kimball/Lily Kintner book series which includes The Kind Worth Killing and The Kind Worth Saving. Once again, we are brought a highly suspenseful and extremely addicting serial killer thriller that hooks you from the very first page!

There are three parts with alternating chapters, just like the previous two books and while the other two books focused more on Henry Kimball, Peter Swanson has chosen the third book to showcase Lily and her talents. I absolutely loved this book and it has taken the top spot in this series.

If you haven't read Peter Swanson yet, this series is the perfect starting point to experience his great writing style! I highly recommend this series!

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Compelling but deeply weird. There were at least 2-3 twists too many - Twists meant to convey that we can all be killers, twists meant to show that most of us live in the morally grey areas.

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!!! Lily Kintner is BACK!!!

I went into reading this with a bit of trepidation because I really wasn't a fan of The Kind Worth Saving (after LOVING The Kind Worth Killing), and I was afraid of being subjected to more limericks. Fortunately, Henry Kimball takes a back seat as a supporting character this time [there is only one limerick in the entire book (!!!), thank goodness], and Lily and her college friend Martha are front and center.

Martha reaches out to Lily because Lily has helped her deal with a bad relationship in the past, and now Martha suspects her mild-mannered husband, Alan, may be a serial killer after she finds blood on his shirt. He travels to conventions frequently for work, and Martha does some super librarian investigating and notices a disturbing correlation between cities he's visited and unsolved murders of young women.

I loved this! Multiple POVs, fast pace, some fun twists, and LILY - she's one of my favorite characters ever, so it was delightful being back inside her head. This works as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading The Kind Worth Saving first so you get the full Lily experience.

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You never quite know what’s really happening in this twisty and clever mystery about a serial killer (2? 3? 4?) who turns out to be someone quite different from who you expect it might be. The logical storytelling soon sets you straight though, and the offbeat ride of this novel is totally enjoyable.

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A Talent for Murder
by Peter Swanson
Pub Date: June 11, 2024
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
A newlywed librarian begins to suspect the man she married might be a murderer—in this spectacularly twisty and deviously clever novel by Peter Swanson, New York Times bestselling author of The Kind Worth Killing and Eight Perfect Murders.
I read this book a little too quickly. I devoured the story and characters. It's always a pleasure to read a new Lily Kintner/Henry Kimball book. Aren't they a match made in heaven? I need another sequel ASAP! And I hope the next book will be a little longer, or I'll practice reading a little slower.
5 stars

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5 Stars!! Excellent story! Excellent twists!
Another great chapter in the Lily Kitner saga.
The story hooked me from the beginning and never let go. Twists and turns! Thank you to NetGalley for an Advanced Reader.

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Peter Swanson knows how to write a thriller. It's almost impossible to predict his plots because they're so unique and because he isn't like other writers. There are times while reading his books where I'm genuinely shocked by something. That doesn't happen a lot to me when I read thrillers. This book had me hooked from the first chapter. It is told from multiple POVs and characters, and I never tired of any of the characters (which is rare...). This book is a little dark and detailed at times but that just makes it seem more real and personal. I'm glad characters from previous Swanson books play a part in this one because these specific characters have earned my affection. I have become a big fan of Peter Swanson and I'll be recommending this book to all my friends and family members who love to read. And I'll be looking forward to the next Swanson book to be released. He never misses.

Thank you to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read and review such a captivating novel.

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A nice addition to the Lily Kintner series. I found this book to be a little more straightforward in the sense that there’s not huge unexpected twists like the first 2 books but this book is fast paced, action packed, and super entertaining.

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Holy smokes! 😱 What a book! I absolutely love Peter Swanson and what he has done with this series. It is so incredibly good. I fell in love with Lily and Henry while reading the first in this series and I was honestly rooting for them. I still am. I just can’t say enough good things, a must read for this series.

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This was a really addicting and entertaining book! I loved how the story flowed and how the suspense just continued to build! I really didn’t know where it was going and it definitely kept me guessing. It’s so faced and I couldn’t put it down! You get to read from multiple character perspectives and that really enhanced my enjoyment of the story. It gets pretty dark and disturbing and it continually shocked me!

Thank you so much NetGalley and William Morrow for the arc!

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