“TWO’S COMPANY, THREE’S FATAL
‘Do you remember me?’ she asked, after stepping into my office.
When private detective and former teacher Henry Kimball is hired to investigate an ex-pupil’s cheating husband, he senses all is not quite what it seems, and before he knows it he’s gotten far too close to the other woman.
As the case gets ever stranger, he turns to the only person he can trust, Lily Kintner, someone with dark secrets of her own…
With its ingenious clockwork-like plot, and twists aplenty, The Kind Worth Saving is a crime novel to savour from a modern master.”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson. The Kind Worth Saving was published by Faber Books in hardcover, audio and digital formats yesterday (that’s Thursday 2nd March 2023) with the paperback to follow. I chose to read a free eARC of The Kind Worth Saving but that has in no way influenced my review.
If you’re a regular visitor to damppebbles then you may be aware that Peter Swanson is one of my favourite authors. Two of the author’s books reside on my list of ‘top ten books of all time’ – one being Rules for Perfect Murders, the other is The Kind Worth Killing which this latest book, The Kind Worth Saving, is the sequel to. Chances are, if you haven’t read The Kind Worth Killing, you’ve at least heard of it, because it’s legendary in the thriller world. So you could hear the jaws of a million thriller fans hit the floor when it was announced that there would be a follow up. Oh the pressure! Would it be as good as the first book? Of course it would! It’s a Peter Swanson novel. I loved every second of The Kind Worth Saving.
Teacher-turned-police-officer-turned-private-detective, Henry Kimball, is surprised to see a familiar face in his office. It’s a former student of his, Joan Grieve, who suspects her husband, Richard, is having an affair and wants proof so she can end the unhappy marriage. Henry accepts the case and starts to stake out the real estate office Richard owns but comes up with nothing. So he turns his attention to the woman Joan believes her husband is seeing. Before long Henry and the other woman have struck up a friendship of sorts and Henry begins to feel out of his depth. Until everything changes and the case takes a shocking turn. Which is when Henry turns to the only person he trusts, the totally untrustworthy Lily Kintner…
Oh, there is so much to say about this book but I must tread carefully. There are a number of beautifully executed twists and turns to The Kind Worth Saving that, if you’re not careful, may be unwittingly (or perhaps wittingly by some!) revealed to you. This is a spoiler free review so I’m going to be as annoyingly vague as possible. Please forgive me.
The Kind Worth Saving is the follow up we’ve all been waiting for. It’s perfectly pitched, expertly written and everything I hoped it would be. And so, so much more. The plot is intricate and draws the reader into the story from the moment they crack the spine. The characters are perfection, the plot is utterly compelling and it’s nigh on impossible to be parted from The Kind Worth Saving for any length of time. And in those rare moments when you are, you’ll be thinking about the book. Turning over what has happened so far, thinking about the characters, trying to work out the direction the author will take the rest of the story in. But trust me on this, don’t waste too much time trying to figure it all out. Just go with the flow and immerse yourself in the story.
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. The Kind Worth Saving was well worth waiting for and it delivered in spades. I loved the characterisation, I think I’m a little bit in love with Henry Kimball and found his relationship with Lily made for an enthralling read. The story is told from two different points of view as well as in the past and the present. The settings for both the ‘now’ and the ‘then’ were unmistakably Peter Swanson, particularly the flashback scenes. Vivid, sweeping New England coastlines. Drama and danger on the crashing of the tide. Marvellous stuff! I also, once again, appreciated the very clear nod to fellow authors and their books. There often seems to be an overarching bookish theme throughout Swanson’s novels and it always makes me smile. But let’s not forget, this is a sequel we’re talking about here. Can it be read as a standalone? Yes, I think it can. But you’ll miss out on all of the shared history between Kimball and Kintner. So surely it’s worth treating yourself to both books, eh? All in all, I thought The Kind Worth Saving was the perfect sequel to one of my favourite books and I relished every moment I spent with it. Highly recommended.
I chose to read and review a free eARC of The Kind Worth Saving. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson was published in the UK by Faber Books on 2nd March 2023 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Book Depository | bookshop.org | Goodreads | damppebbles bookshop.org shop | damppebbles amazon.co.uk shop | damppebbles amazon.com shop |
Peter Swanson is the author of nine novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.
A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts with his wife and cat.