Member Reviews

Lily Kitner and Henry Kimball #3

I didn't realize this was third in the series when I requested, but thrilled to see it!

In this installment, we meet Martha Ratliff, a lonely librarian who decides to say "Yes" to Alan Peralta. He seemed so very sweet and easy going. She wasn't especially attracted to him, but at least he kept her company!

Later, Martha's imagination goes wild and she starts obsessing over Alan's frequent business trips. Just what is Alan up too?! 😱

I flew through the first half of the book. After Martha starts suspecting Alan, it is off to the races. There is a twist (Game changer) that may give you pause. I do admit the second half had me skimming a bit. It was somewhat predictable with too much telling/ re-hashing of events. However, Swanson always has a way of keeping the pages flipping until the very last page!

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I felt like Martha was a very boring character to follow. I’ve also come to the conclusion that The Kind Worth Killing series is not my favorite. I read this book pretty quickly, but I didn’t really care too much about the characters, I just was a bit nosy on how things would end. And not to my surprise, I was very underwhelmed. I might just read this authors stand alone titles and give this series a rest.

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The story begins with Josie Dixon, a polyamorous teacher, meeting a man at a conference at Shepaug University in Connecticut. They get to talking, and that night they share a bed. Then tragedy strikes. It’s our first indication that a predator may be at large.

Martha Ratcliff is an archival librarian, used to living alone but open to a relationship if the right man comes along. When she meets Alan Peralta, a traveling salesman, it seems that he might suit her. He’s kind, and she quickly grows to like him a great deal; she doesn’t love him, but perhaps that’ll come in time. An additional point of merit is that Alan is away a good deal of the time, selling his T-shirts, ties, and badges (most decorated with an appropriately succinct but amusing phrase). Martha will therefore still have her alone time, something she values. Yes, this’ll work well, she decides. They marry and settle into a comfortable routine.

But one night, she happens to be looking out of her bedroom window when he returns from one of his trips. She watches as he steps out of the car and visibly – she thinks – prepares himself to enter the house. What is it that she senses in that moment? It’s hard to describe, and yet it somehow sets her on edge. Then, following a subsequent trip, Martha finds a stain on his shirt, which had been put out for washing. Is that a bloodstain? It’s hard to be sure, but with this discovery adding to her existing unease, she starts to wonder whether Alan is quite the man she believed him to be.
These suspicions cause Martha to undertake some research, looking for reports of any incident that might have been reported at, or close to, the venue Alan last attended. Disturbingly, she finds something. This spurs her on to carry out additional searches, looking for similar reports close to other venues he’d recently attended. Shockingly, there seems to be a spate of fatal incidents involving women. She’s not ready to challenge Alan yet or to report her concerns to the police – she doesn’t want to end her marriage because of a vague feeling and, perhaps, a series of coincidences. She does, however, concoct a plan.

Lily Kintner had been a friend of hers at college, where she’d helped Martha escape from the grasp of a controlling partner. Though she hasn’t spoken to her in some years, she contacts Lily with a view to enlisting her help. Lily is living with aged parents and is somewhat bored. Soon, she’s agreed to assist her friend in covertly investigating what Alan gets up to when he’s away on business. In fact, Lily is a wonderfully complex character: she’s intelligent, determined, and also something of a sociopath. Lily also engages a friend of hers, Henry Kimball, a private investigator and former police officer, to assist her.

The book is broken into three sections and is constructed in such a way that we are to view events through different eyes in each section. This works extremely well. Not only is the perspective changed, but the mood is significantly altered too. It almost feels like three separate stories, each linked by a series of common events. The tension, too, ramps up as it becomes clear that what we’ve learned so far certainly doesn’t represent the whole picture. It’s a book that at first interested me but then gradually dragged me deeper into its thrall. By the end, I was reluctant to part company with the story at all, such was the power it had gained over me. I now know that this is the third book the author has penned featuring Kintner and Kimball – I plan to seek out the others very soon.

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A Talent for Murder is the third in the series and just as the first two I loved this one and flew through it. This is told in multi POVs and while the reader is pretty much aware of who is the main culprit fairly early on this is one suspenseful and thrilling read. I absolutely love Henry and Lily, they have such great chemistry and who doesn’t love some morally gray characters.

This is a super fast paced read and there are some really shocking twists thrown in there which makes this even more fun of a read.

This series is great for anyone looking for reverse who-dun-its, little bit of cat and mouse thrillers and some morally gray characters. I absolutely love this series. I am highly recommending it!

A Talent for Murder was just released on 6/11. Be sure to check this one out! Huge thank you to NetGalley, William Morrow and Peter Swanson for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This started off so strong i was excited but about half way through it fizzled and did not like the ending. Overall disappointing. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher

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Wow, just wow- Peter Swanson! What did I just read! You are the king of thrillers! A Talent for Murder had me hooked from page 1! A thriller full of twists and turns!

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First thank you to William morrow books and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy’s in exchange for and honest review.

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 3.5 stars

Synopsis; Martha is a librarian in a small town married to a salesperson. When she discovers blood on his shirt after a trip, she discovers a disturbing pattern of murders in the towns he travels. Is he a serial killer?

What I liked: this was my first Peter Swenson book and found it to be enjoyable. He packs a lot into a very short book ~250 pages. I tried to guess some of the twists and didn’t get them right. Martha and Alan the main characters are written in such a way that you do make some assumptions about. I really enjoy an author that can write in an efficient manner and he gets it done in less than 250 pages. I would recommend this book for mystery fans. It is part of a series but I was fine reading it on its own

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Formal review to be posted on instagram and amazon

Overall - this one was one that propelled itself forward but it just didn’t hit the mark as well as The Kind Worth Killing. Glad to see Lily and Henry still hitting it off…but it just didn’t have the same suspense and intensity that I expected. Will continue to ruminate on full thoughts, but overall it was ok.

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Huge thank you to William Morrow for the free e-book!

Wow was this one ever easy to fly through! The more I read the more I had to keep going to see what was happening! I love how the chapters each seemed to get progressively more enticing!

Once we got to chapter 16 I was FREAKING OUT!

I read the first in the series, THE KIND WORTH KILLING but didn't read the second THE KIND WORTH SAVING and this one made complete and total sense on its own. You can definitely read this as a standalone! I liked this one more than the first one!

There is so little that can be said without giving anything away, but I'll say this: don't mess with Lily Kintner!

A TALENT FOR MURDER kept me on my toes until the very last page! It will be huge hit for sure!

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A Talent for Murder is the 3rd book in The Kind Worth Killing series. While it could be read as a standalone thriller, I highly recommend reading the books in order so you can fully appreciate the characters and storyline arcs.

The Kind Worth Killing is one of my all time favorite thrillers. I love it so much I even did a reread a year or two ago and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. Somehow Peter Swanson has managed to continue with this wild but entertaining story and A Talent for Murder was a good read. For anyone who hasn’t read the series, I’m going to avoid discussing the plot or characters, but I will say the third book feels like a natural continuation of the series. It might not have as many shocking moments as previous books but I binged it. I really enjoy the crazy popcorn thriller vibe of this series.

Is a 4th book in the works? I don’t know, but I’d like to be first in line to read it or any new books by Peter Swanson.

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I mean, what do I need to say about a Peter Swanson book? Well crafted and smart writing all around.
Martha is a librarian, ok with being alone forever. In comes Alan, who she agrees to marry.
Alan is a salesman, on the road a lot. But Martha notices weird things when Alan returns. After doing a little investigating, she discovers a trail of murdered women, conveniently in the same area Alan has been.
Did she marry a killer? Is she being paranoid?

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Sadly, I think Peter Swanson and I are done. I didn’t realize this was a third Lily and Harry book and I wouldn’t have requested it if I had known since I hated the second book. However since I had it, decided to give this one a shot.

The beginning was so promising!! Martha is married and her husband travels a lot to conferences for his work. But then she starts to realize there are murders near each conference and she starts to wonder. But she can’t just go to the police and say she suspects him - what if she’s wrong? It would ruin their marriage (though perhaps your marriage already has issues if you think your partner might be a serial killer??) Anyway - she decides instead to call her old friend Lily and they will do some research before going to the cops.

This is a super interesting premise and for the first 60% of the book, I was all in and was loving it. However the rest went down hill for me and I hated the ending.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the free ebook to review.

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What librarian could resist this premise? Not I! Martha, a newlywed librarian suspects her husband might be a serial killer? Just another opportunity to utilize her aptitude for research, her instincts for discretion, and her friend Lily from library school.

Although it seemed like these components would add up to at least four stars, I was a little underwhelmed. There were some nice connections between the past and present, a strong female character in Lily, and a twist I enjoyed at the end. Our main sociopath was icky, sure, but he didn’t freak me out the same way The Bad Seed did. So, three stars it is. It was still a quick and enjoyable read if you enjoy mystery, psychology, and a little comeuppance!

Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

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I love Peter Swanson’s stories. They range from mild to totally unhinged, but they are always twisty. This story was no exception.

Martha is worried her husband may be a secret serial killer while he is “away on business trips”. She enlists her good college friend Lily to help her investigate and see if she’s right.

There were some jaw dropping twists in this one. What I did not know is that this is the 3rd book in this series, the first two being The Kind Worth Killing and The Kind Worth Saving. I ave not read those two books yet and it seemed like this book may have alluded to some spoilers from them. So my warning would be to read those first! I’ll be doing that shortly.

This was a fast paced and suspenseful novel. I felt uneasy at times reading it from one of the perspectives- the mind of the killer. It was so well written and I’d highly@recommend it…after you read the first two of course…which you guys have been recommending to me forever.

Thank you to @netgalley and @williammorrowbooks for my copy of this ARC which published 6/11/24.

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After loving the other 2 in this series, I was super excited to be given an arc of the third and it did not disappoint- I hope Peter Swanson keeps making more books with these characters!

While this one was less twisty than the other two, it provided some interesting twists and I loved the changing POV. It definitely kept me on my toes with not knowing what was coming next.

I do think you could read this as a stand alone but think it would be better read after the other two. That being said, I did like the other two books more but still really enjoyed this one!

If you like quick thrillers- pick up The Kind Worth Killing and the Kind Worth Saving snd then this one! They are so fun!

Thank you NetGalley for the arc in exchange for my honest review.

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This book was twisty and surprising. I love when I book keeps me guessing and keeps the pace of the book going until the very last page. This book delivers. The peak into the mind of a killer, a serial killer and the people around them is fascinating and creepy.

I don’t always love books in the third person but in this book it works. While it’s written in third person it changes POV often throughout the book which keeps the book flowing.

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For some reason, The Kind Worth Killing didn't capture my heart or attention like it did for so many other readers and to be honest, I didn't realize that A Talent for Murder was part of a series that started there. When I grabbed a copy of A Talent for Murder and realized it was a series, I decided to listen to The Kind Worth Saving - and I loved it! That feeling held true through book 3!

This book can absolutely be read as a standalone. I appreciated knowing some backstory but I liked that A Talent for Murder really focused on Lily whereas the prior book was more focused on Henry. It made for a great balance, especially reading pretty close together.

Swanson has a great way of luring the reader in and normalizing some pretty wild scenarios (for example our murdering protagonist who we all still root for!). This book was unique, totally different from the prior two in the series, and kept me guessing. There were some pretty big scenes I definitely wasn't expecting and I appreciate when an author will make a bold move.

Lily is a badass and it's fun to work through a situation with her and read her inner monologue.

Definitely recommend this series and excited to see where it goes next.

Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for the copy.

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A solid and enjoyable thriller! I didn't see the ending twist coming. I also didn't realize this is the 3rd book in this series. It's easily a stand alone but now I want to go back and read the other two.

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Martha marries Alan, a traveling salesman, after a short relationship. When he returns from one of his trips with a bloody shirt, Martha begins to dig into his whereabouts. When she sees a pattern of women being killed near the conferences he is attending, she enlists the help of her college friend Lily to help her dig in. While the two have not spoken since college, Lily helped Martha out of a bad relationship in college so Martha feels she is a good person to turn to.

I love anything Petere Swanson writes and this was no exception. While I thought the twist was a bit too farfetched, I loved the build-up and the pacing of the book so much it did not bother me. Lily was a fun character and I liked getting the insight on her and Martha's POVs.

Thank you NetGalley for an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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A sequel to "A Kind Worth Killing"! I'm so happy to spend more time with Lily Kintner and Henry Kimball! A librarian suspecting she's married to a serial killer? I was hooked! As I was reading this one, I was so curious as the plot was developing and then WOW, I could not put it down. The mystery of figuring out if Martha's husband was a serial killer was highly entertaining and as with most well written thrillers, I did not figure out the ending or the big reveal at all. The moments of intense suspense has my stomach in knots and I'm pretty sure I was holding my breath. You know its a great book when it affects you physically that way!

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