Cover Image: A Talent for Murder

A Talent for Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Unfortunately I couldn’t get into this one. The chapters were too long and I got bored. I gave up at 15%.

Was this review helpful?

The Kind Worth Killing is one of my favorite thrillers of all time- and I thoroughly enjoyed The Kind Worth Saving last year. When I saw that Lily and Henry were back in this new book by Swanson, I was so excited.

In true Swanson fashion, this book was full of twists and turns, I could not put it down and I loved every moment of it.

In A Talent for Murder a librarian begins to suspect she might be married to a serial killer... need I say more? I was hooked from the opening chapter and I have always loved Lily as a character so being back in her world was so much fun.

The pacing was great, the twists were fun, and I highly recommend this one for a quick pool day thriller binge this summer!

Thank you so much to William Morrow, the author and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Pub Date 6/11

Was this review helpful?

Martha Ratliff marries a traveling salesman, who she suspects she doesn’t really know at all. After making some discoveries, Martha wholeheartedly believes her husband may be a serial killer. That’s when she enlists the help of Lily Kintner, her grad school buddy, to help her get to the bottom of what’s going on.

I am a diehard fan of The Kind Worth Killing. It’s a thriller I’d recommend to just about anyone. But, unfortunately, I was not all that impressed with The Kind Worth Saving. This book redeemed the series for me, though.

A Talent for Murder sucks you in right away and the pace is relentless. Similarly to The Kind Worth Killing, there were so many twists throughout this story that genuinely caught me off guard.

This book is so short and enjoyable that I finished it in two sittings. I didn’t feel like it left anything to be desired, either - the story wrapped up nicely in under 300 pages.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced and dark thriller that has The Talented Mr. Ripley vibes, this is one to add to your list!

Was this review helpful?

Swanson is a master at modern murder mysteries and I was beyond excited for another Kimball/Kintner book. While The Kind Worth Killing is still my favorite, I was completely engrossed by this one. While this one can be read as a standalone, it does spoil the previous books so make sure to read them in order! You’d be doing yourself a disservice otherwise.

A Talent for Murder is a fairly straightforward story where Martha begins to suspect her husband Alan, a traveling salesman, might be a serial killer. She reaches out to her friend Lily Kintner who helped her through a bad breakup in graduate school. Believing Martha’s story, Lily decides to help figure what’s out what’s up with Alan.

The book was divided into three parts and each one ended with a shocking twist. As usual, Lily is an excellent morally grey character and I loved her role in this. Easy, captivating writing style from Swanson. Great twists and such a good ending!

Highly recommend to all my fellow murder mystery fans in the serial killer subgenre.

Was this review helpful?

An excellent entry in the Lily Kitner and Henry Kimball series (book 3). Martha Ratliff is newly married to Alan Peralta and they have a nice, if unexciting, marriage. However, when Alan returns from a business trip behaving oddly and Martha finds a bloodstain on his clothes, she begins to suspect something sinister is going on. Enlisting the help of her old friend Lily Kitner, who helped her out of an abusive relationship in college, Martha begins to investigate, and soon finds more than she bargained for.

I did not realize that this was the third book in a series, but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story. You might appreciate some of the characters more (Lily and Henry in particular) if you've read the first two books in the series, but it's not necessary to understand the plot of this book. The action moves very quickly, and is told from a variety of POVs, which is interesting. Lily is a very intriguing character (I saw another reviewer refer to her "Dexter vibes," which I feel is accurate) and I'd pick up the others in the series just to read more about her. The actual mystery is very well plotted and there are lots of twists I didn't see coming.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

A Talent for Murder is book three in the phenomenal Henry Kimball/Lily Kintner Series by Peter Swanson.
First, I just have to point out how amazing this cover art is! Love it!
Second, this story was utterly intriguing!
This novel was a non-stop ride. Swanson’s creative plot twists made it almost impossible for the reader to guess the outcome.
This is a very well written character driven psychological thriller which is suspense and tension fueled every step of the way.
This book has murder, suspense, quick pace and fast chapters, lots of twists, unlikeable but quirky characters and a fun ending.
A Talent for Murder has so much adrenaline pumping through it that I felt like I needed to take a big long breath!

Thank You NetGalley and William Morrow for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

Was this review helpful?

What a great 3rd book for Mr. Swanson! Loved the characters. twists, plot and the setting! Loved the familiar characters, and the eerie new ones! I sincerely hope to get more from this series!

Was this review helpful?

THIS is the Swanson I fell in *auto-buy* love with. I was pulled in from the very first page and could hardly force myself to put it down. I am a huge fan of this series but I still wasn’t quite sure what was in store for this third installment. With Kintner and Kimball as our main characters I just knew it would be an amazing story though.

Mysterious, suspenseful, smart, and twisty. This was dark entertainment at its best and a must read for all thriller/mystery lovers out there!
(You can read this as a standalone but it will definitely pull you back to the two previous books!)

Was this review helpful?

I would give this one 2.5 stars & feel so disappointed about that! I really enjoyed the previous two books in this series, but this one lacked the clever twists and suspense. Some of it felt a little disconnected with how it picked back up certain parts at the end (especially Alan’s storyline). It was still a quick read and I was glad to see Lily was back in this one as a main character.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Big fan of Peter Swanson here. His latest book blew me away, it is so good! Twisted, loved the different perspectives, smart storyline, and great characters. Thank you #netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Martha never thought she’d find a romantic partner but then she found Alan. He’s a little plain and boring, and travels a lot, but he makes a nice companion. After the first year, she begins to suspect there’s more to him than she knows.

Peter Swanson is definitely one of my favorite thriller authors. While this is part of a series, you can definitely read it as a stand alone. I read his past books but it’s been a while. I recognized characters, Lily and Henry, but don’t remember their stories much. I loved both of them again. This is a great, engaging story that immediately hooks you with a frightening first chapter. There’s much more to come, including a few surprising twists; even a last minute one I was not expecting at all.

“Maybe he was always pretending with her. Every action and every word simply a way to hide the inhuman thing that he really was.”

A Talent for Murder comes out 6/11.

Was this review helpful?

This was an interesting mystery and the story was told in 3 parts/POVs starting with Martha who thinks her husband Alan is a serial killer, 2nd part is killers pov and 3rd part is the killer kidnapping Lily and Henry looking for her and then just 1 last chapter about Alan to wrap the whole plot up. So while this style was a really interesting read and I liked getting more of an insight in the killer’s background and motivations from the 1st person they killed to now. I really love the suspense of not knowing more and I just hate waiting for the characters to catch up and finally figure out where/who the killer is when you know already. I have really enjoyed the other books I have read from this author and he is a great writer. It is just that this one wasn’t my cup of tea but it was a fast read.

Thanks to William Morrow and Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book. All opinions in this review are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Yes, we are back to the book magic that was The Kind Worth Killing! This is my favorite thriller of the year so far. I am a librarian with a nice, unassuming husband, so I found the plot very intriguing. 😜 There were several twists along the way that kept me enthralled. I am not a fan of series, and The Kind Worth Saving was just OK for me, but this one was every bit worth the read.

Was this review helpful?

I did not realize that A Talent For Murder was novel 3 in the Henry Kimball/Lily Kintner crime series. However, not having read the first 2 novels in this series, which I now want to read, was not a problem. A Talent For Murder is an easy stand-alone novel. The plotting of Peter Swanson's newest novel, is easy to follow, with a couple of huge plot twists that took me by surprise. I doubt I will be the only reader, who was taken aback, by these unexpected plot twists. In addition to Henry and Lily, readers meet Martha, Alan, and Ethan, who fill out the plot quite nicely.

Trust and deception are big elements of the plot in A Talent For Murder. Both plot and characters are multilayered and interesting. A psychopath contributes to this dark plot. This novel is a thriller and not a cozy mystery. Readers will be surprised but will also enjoy where the plot of A Talent For Murder takes them. I know I enjoyed it.

A Talent For Murder is a novel that is tough to put down. Cook meals? Sleep? Clean house? Wash clothing? Nope. Readers will want to finish A Talent For Murder.

Thank you to publisher Willian Morrow and to NetGalley. I did enjoy this novel.

Was this review helpful?

Note: I did not realize that this was book three in a series when requesting, and haven’t read the first two books. This one worked well as a standalone, but I may have enjoyed it more if I had the background on the main characters.

Martha’s husband is a traveling salesman, and when Martha finds blood on one of his shirts after a trip and hears about a death at the trip location, she begins to suspect that her husband is a killer. She calls on an old college friend named Lily to help Martha investigate, and the pair dig up some wild secrets.

This is a dual POV story, with one of the viewpoints being told in third person. I always struggle with third person, and this one was no exception. Those chapters felt clinical and detached, and I felt absolutely zero connection to the characters or the story in those parts. I liked the other POV more, but it still felt like the author was telling us the whole story without showing anything. I’ve enjoyed his books in the past, but this one was not my favorite.

I did find the killer’s mindset to be fascinating and horrifying, and the psychological aspects of that were definitely intriguing to me.

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC. All opinions are my own,

Was this review helpful?

**Pick this up if you like:** Psychological thrillers, dark mysteries, and complex characters.

*The Kind Worth Killing* and "before she knew him" sit on my all-time favorites shelf, so I was thrilled to see Peter Swanson again, this time, with a 3rd book for TKWK.

The novel hooks you from the start with its intriguing premise. Martha's profession as a librarian adds a unique touch, making her instantly relatable to book lovers. The first half of the book is full of curiosity and suspense, pulling you in as the mystery unfolds. The second half delivers intense twists, although the conclusion could have been a bit stronger.

I loved the multiple POVs and timelines, which are executed flawlessly, making it easy to follow and deeply engaging. Martha, with her background and suspicions, is a well-developed character. Lily Kintner's involvement adds another layer of intrigue, making the story even more compelling.

While the pacing was a bit slow at times, the suspense and thrills kept me invested. Swanson's ability to weave complex characters and dark plots continues to impress, making him an auto-buy author for me. *A Talent for Murder* is dark and gripping, perfect for fans of psychological thrillers.

- Intriguing premise
- Complex characters
- Multiple POVs and timelines
- Satisfying ending

- Occasional slow pacing
- Slightly weaker conclusion

Overall, *A Talent for Murder* is an entertaining and classic Swanson read. It’s a multilayered thriller that keeps you invested, despite its occasional slow moments—highly recommended for anyone who loves a good thriller.

Was this review helpful?

Martha was ready to spend her life alone when she met Alan. He isn’t a guy that fills every single checkmark on her list, but he is good enough and the two end up married. He travels a lot for work which she is just fine with, until he comes home with blood on his shirt. Martha checks the locations he has been to and it seems he leaves dead bodies in his wake. Could her husband be killing women while on his work trips?

So this is technically the third book in the series, but honestly, I don’t remember much of anything from the first two and I really enjoyed this so I think it can be read standalone! I had a for sure idea of how this book was going to go down, but I am glad to say it threw me off at several different points! I loved getting the point of view from several people, including the killer, I always find that extra fascinating to read! If you loved The Kind Worth Killing (I loved it but don’t ask me to tell you what happened in it!) you will really love this book!

Thank you to @williammorrowbooks for my gifted copy of this book!

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed "A talent for Murder" about Martha and her husband Alan. We also get to read about Lily and Henry from past books in this series. If you liked the first 2 books in the series, you'll also love this one.

Was this review helpful?

With a chilling premise and his signature storytelling prowess, Peter Swanson dares you to imagine what you'd do if you suspected your spouse was guilty of murder. For newlywed Martha Ratliff, the answer lies in her old grad school friend Lily Kintner. When Martha discovers that murders seem to crop up wherever her traveling salesman husband goes, she and Lily investigate only to learn they aren't the only ones interested in Alan's movements. This bold exploration of the urge to kill is the third book in the Henry Kimball/Lily Kintner series, but can easily be read as a standalone. I loved every page.

Was this review helpful?

Peter Swanson has a penchant for coming up with dark twists. Once again, I was not expecting what happened. The first part of the book was tense, as the reader wonders if Martha’s suspicions about Alan are true, but the reality was even darker. I enjoyed Henry and Lily, but the pacing of the book was a little off for me.

Was this review helpful?