Kill the Next One by Federico Axat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!
This is a review of an ARC.
There is no doubt about it, this novel is just about everything you'd want in a psychological thriller. The premise: our main character Ted, after receiving a diagnoses of an inoperable brain tumour, is about to commit suicide. Ted is suddenly interrupted by a knock at the door and is given an unusual offer: kill a man who got away with murder, and kill another man who wants to commit suicide who had previously received the same offer. With full knowledge that the pact will continue on (he will ultimately be killed by the next one The Organisation recruits) he sets off on his task.
Now you may think "okay, I see where this is headed." No. You don't. This story was a winding road, with multiple plot twists and scenes that make you question everything we've been told. I kept trying to pinpoint exactly who the "villain" was throughout this novel, only to find that I was laying blame in all of the wrong places.
I'm not going to lie, there were elements at the beginning (I would even go as far as to say the first half) that confused me a little too much, and I found it incredibly difficult to read anywhere in public, and had to find myself a silent place just to sort out what was happening in the plot. However, ultimately I am extremely glad I stuck around and finished the novel. There was a main element of the novel that I disliked up until the series of flashbacks at the end that helped tie the themes together. Ted's dreams. Ted has quite a few odd and horrific dreams that, while they established themselves as dreams fairly quickly, and were clearly described, I didn't care much for them overall. However, I do fully acknowledge that while the information was important to the story, I just didn't care for the way they altered the flow of the story.
At times I felt like I had been reading three different stories: Ted; a romance/friendship between Ted's therapist and her colleague; and the flashbacks of Ted's and his best friends college days. But don't let it fool you, they all tie together perfectly, and after thinking about it for a bit after finishing the book, I genuinely can not think of a better way to get this story on the page.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a psychological thriller with multiple crazy twists.
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