The Kind Worth Saving
“The inventive Mr. Swanson never lets the willing reader down. With The Kind Worth Saving, he surpasses his own high standard.” — Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
In this spectacularly devious novel by New York Times bestselling author Peter Swanson, a private eye starts to follow a possibly adulterous husband, but little does he know that the twisted trail will lead back to the woman who hired him.
There was always something slightly dangerous about Joan. So, when she turns up at private investigator Henry Kimball’s office asking him to investigate her husband, he can’t help feeling ill at ease. Just the sight of her stirs up a chilling memory: He knew Joan in his previous life as a high school English teacher, when he was at the center of a tragedy.
Now Joan needs his help proving that her husband is cheating. But what should be a simple case of infidelity becomes much more complicated when Kimball finds two bodies in an uninhabited suburban home with a FOR SALE sign out front. Suddenly it feels like the past is repeating itself, and Henry must go back to one of the worst days of his life to uncover the truth.
Is it possible that Joan knows something about that day, something she’s hidden all these years? Could there still be a killer out there, someone who believes they have gotten away with murder? Henry is determined to find out, enlisting help from his old nemesis Lily Kintner—but as he steps closer to the truth, a murderer is getting closer to him, and in this hair-raising game of cat and mouse only one of them will survive.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this riveting mystery, Peter Swanson reminds us what can happen when the ghosts of your past decide to haunt your present. Private detective Henry Kimball has been hired by Joan Whalen—a student from his long-ago days as a high school teacher—to find evidence that her husband is cheating on her. It would be a routine job…if it weren’t for the disturbing events lurking in all three characters’ histories. Darting back and forth between the past and present, The Kind Worth Saving serves up grim and jaw-dropping details at each turn. Swanson’s no-nonsense prose has all the grit of a classic hardboiled detective novel, and his eye for detail makes the mystery all the more gripping and puzzling. It left us questioning morals and motives, just like a great murder mystery should.
Bestseller Swanson (Nine Lives) cleverly plays with genre conventions in this twist-filled mystery. Boston PI Henry Kimball's two previous jobs had bad endings. He'd been a Massachusetts high school English teacher but left after a student pulled a gun and killed a classmate before turning the weapon on himself, leaving Kimball tormented by thoughts he could have prevented those deaths. His time with the Boston PD ended after he formed an unhealthy obsession with a homicide suspect, penning "multiple unsavory limericks about her." Kimball's past resurfaces when he's retained by former student Joan Whalen, who wants him to prove that her real estate broker husband, Richard, is unfaithful. The detective isn't convinced that his client is being completely truthful. Flashbacks to the couple's first interactions when they were teenagers and their families were both vacationing in Maine up the ante, as does Kimball's discovery of two bodies in an uninhabited house with a for sale sign outside. Swanson's especially good at capturing the complexity of Kimball's inner life. Readers will be hard-pressed not to devour this in one sitting to ascertain whether, and how, past and present connect.
Just so so
So so. I liked some of his other books better. And this one referenced a previous one a lot, so better to read that first.