I’ve read a number of books by Peter Swanson however missed The Kind Worth Killing, which became the first in this series. It didn’t really matter but I’d probably recommend reading it first as I was missing a bit of context here and though this offers some spoilers, I’m keen to go back and read it because I very much liked Lily, who belatedly joins in the adventures here.
The Kind Worth Saving
by Peter Swanson
Series: Henry Kimball / Lily Kintner #2
Published by Faber & Faber
Source: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
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...
We learn than Henry was originally a teacher until a tragic school shooting had him question his choices and join the police. I’m assuming the first book in this series was about Henry when he was with the police as he mentions having become obsessed with a case and a woman named Lily.
He’s now a private investigator and keen for work so (despite some misgivings) takes on the case for a former student, Joan, involving her philandering husband and soon learns her suspicions were correct. But then things turn messy and Henry becomes suspicious of Joan’s motivations for hiring him.
Swanson also takes us back in time and we meet a teenage Joan and her first encounter with violence and death… something that then seem to follow her around.
We’re eventually introduced to Lily with whom Henry confides his concerns about the case and role he may have played in two deaths. It’s then things go pear-shaped for Henry and Lily steps in, and newcomers to her character (such as moi) will become intrigued about the role she might have played in the first book of this series.
I’m always perhaps a little disappointed in books that reveal the baddie fairly early on. They feel predictable unless a final twist or two is on offer. That was the case here but the switch in timeframes and narrators helps keep the plot of this moving at a swift pace. And then the further switch from Henry to Lily meant that this continued to feel fresh when it could have stalled.
I very much enjoyed meeting Henry and Lily and will seek out this book’s predecessor as this certainly has me intrigued about what passed. And this ends in an interesting place, so I also look forward to future outings.
The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson will be published in Australia by Allen & Unwin in early March 2023.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.