An audacious psychological thriller where nothing is what it seems.
Ted McKay had it all: a beautiful wife, two daughters, a high-paying job. But after being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor he finds himself with a gun to his temple, ready to pull the trigger. Then the doorbell rings.
A stranger makes him a proposition: why not kill two deserving men before dying? The first target is a criminal, and the second is a man with terminal cancer who, like Ted, wants to die. After executing these kills, Ted will become someone else's next target, like a kind of suicidal daisy chain. Ted understands the stranger's logic: it's easier for a victim's family to deal with a murder than with a suicide.
However, as Ted commits the murders, the crime scenes strike him as odd. The targets know him by name and possess familiar mementos. Even more bizarrely, Ted recognizes locations and men he shouldn't know. As Ted's mind begins to crack, dark secrets from his past seep through the fissures.
Kill the Next One is an immersive psychological thriller from an exciting new voice.
Argentinian-born author Axat fuses weird fiction with psychological suspense in his stunning U.S. debut, set in the Boston area. Terminally ill businessman Ted McKay is about to shoot himself when a stranger named Justin Lynch shows up at his house with a proposal: kill a criminal who escaped justice and an innocent man who wants to die, and in return, someone will kill him, sparing his family the shame of his suicide. Ted carries out his end of the deal, only to learn that Lynch lied about the circumstances surrounding both victims. As Ted searches for the truth, strange dreams and inexplicable events cause him to question his sanity, leaving Ted and the reader uncertain as to what is real and whom to trust. Nightmare imagery, mind-bending plot twists, and a kaleidoscopic storytelling style lend Axat's tale a vertiginous air, but at the core of this literary fever dream lies an elegantly crafted and emotionally resonant mystery that astonishes, devastates, and satisfies in equal measure.