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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

‘Kill A Stranger’ by Simon Kernick

Published by Headline,
26 November 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-4722-7095-5 (HB)
Published by Headline,
24 June 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-4722-7097-9 (PB)

Matt Walters arrives home from a trip to London looking forward to seeing his pregnant fiancée Kate. Instead to his horror there is a dead woman in their bed and no sign of Kate.


When a phone in her hand rings he answers and is told to get rid of the body. He is then shown a picture of Kate with a noose around her neck and told to tell no one especially the police. So begins a nightmare for Matt.


After disposing of the body, he is instructed to kill a certain man if he ever wants to see Kate again. Distraught he goes to the address given, he is to kill him and retrieve a certain “master copy”, he is not told of its contents. Matt actually kills the man, but it is an accident, and he fails to get the requested drive off him.


Knowing Kate's life depends upon it he now has to search for the copy, but where to begin? It leads him to discover things involving Kate he never knew about, but he is still determined to save her.


At the same time, we learn that D.C. Cameron Doyle and his team are trying to solve a number of murders.


Each chapter deals with three suspects as they tell their stories. It becomes clear to the reader that not one of them are as they first appear; all have something to hide.


Meanwhile Kate's father, the very wealthy Sir Hugh Roper, is convinced Matt is behind the disappearance of his daughter. He instructs his “heavies” to get the truth out of him. Matt now has even more problems heaped upon him and only just escapes by the skin of his teeth, but not unscathed.


Every time he gets nearer to finding the “copy” and the truth someone gets killed.


I am a great fan of Simon Kernick's and once more he comes up with a great plot. It was interesting to see how each character saw certain incidents from different angles justifying their actions. He certainly knows how to grip the reader and not let go until the final pages. Th last chapter especially is quite a revelation.

Highly recommended.


Reviewer:  Tricia Chappell

Simon Kernick is one of Britain's most exciting new thriller writers. He arrived on the crime writing scene with his highly acclaimed debut novel The Business of Dying, the story of a corrupt cop moonlighting as a hitman. However, Simon's big breakthrough came with his novel Relentless which was selected by Richard and Judy for their Recommended Summer Reads promotion, and then rapidly went on to become the bestselling thriller of 2007. Simon's research is what makes his thrillers so authentic. He talks both on and off the record to members of Special Branch, the Anti-Terrorist Branch and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, so he gets to hear first hand what actually happens in the dark and murky underbelly of UK crime. To find out more about Simon Kernick and his thrillers, visit his web site.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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