The Kind Worth Saving

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My bad: having been favorably impressed with two previous books by New England-based author Peter Swanson (here, here), I picked his newest one off the shelves of the Portsmouth Public Library. Without checking the Amazon page first, which would have told me that it's a sequel to his 2015 novel, The Kind Worth Killing.

Oh dear. Will this work out? Or will this be like reading The Two Towers before The Fellowship of the Ring? Nevertheless, I bravely muddled through. I made it OK, but I'd really suggest you read the Killing one first.

The main protagonist, Henry Kimball, is a private eye. (He has an unusual career path: ex-high school English teacher, ex-Boston cop, occasional poet specializing in rhythm-lacking limericks. He's hired by Joan, one of his ex-students, to investigate whether her husband is cheating on her. Pretty standard setup, although Kimball thinks there might be something else going on, and he engages in some pretty unprofessional behavior, but then… bodies. And some other bodies in flashback. It's a very dark tale that weaves in unexpected directions.

Minor gripelet:

[Click for small spoiler] Swanson gives two different characters the same first name, and it's not immediately clear that they are different characters. I thought that was a novelist no-no. But maybe it was intentional.

As a bonus for us New Englanders, a portion of the book is set in "Kennewick", a fictional Maine town based on near-to-me York. (Although, as Swanson charitably points out, York has "a lot less murders".)

Last Modified 2024-01-10 5:42 AM EDT