The Killing Kind

A fantastically ambigous bad guy makes this a compelling read.

Book title

The Killing Kind

Author

Jane Casey

Standalone or series

Standalone

First time reading this author?

Yes

Why I picked this

The striking cover image of the red umbrella on a backdrop of blue/black umbrellas caught my eye.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publishers HarperCollins and online book club Pigeonhole for the chance to read this for free. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

Barrister Ingrid Lewis is worried her stalker is back, and that this time he’s out to kill her.

Review

I do enjoy a morally ambiguous, but engaging bad guy, and stalker turned antihero John Webster has these attributes in abundance.

Ingrid Lewis is a barrister. She once secured a not guilty verdict for her client, John Webster, accused of stalking a woman he had been in a relationship with. She turned the woman’s own confused and manipulated actions against her and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. She then found out first hand just how guilty John Webster was as he turned his attentions to Ingrid. The stalking ended when Webster was imprisoned for a different crime, but it lost Ingrid her home, her confidence, and her fiancé.

Then one of Ingrid’s friends is hit by a vehicle and killed. Was it an accident? Was Ingrid the real target? Has the newly released Webster stepped up the pace of his campaign to destroy Ingrid, or is he telling the truth when he says he’s the one person who can save her from the people not out to kill her?

The tension here is palpable. Webster’s campaign of terror against Ingrid is revealed gradually throughout the book, but it’s clear from the start the impact he has had on her. She can’t trust anyone. She tries not to be afraid, but lives in fear, and can’t believe it herself when she finds that Webster may be the only one who can help.

Webster himself is a great character. Despite everything you learn about him during the book, every time he’s in a scene he comes across as plausible, charming and more knowing than anything else. It’s no wonder Ingrid doubts herself, no wonder he is able to get away with what he does. The real life version of him would be a horrible, terrible person and a textbook example of coercive abuse. The fictional version makes for a great read.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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