Ted has it all: a beautiful wife, two daughters, a high-paying job. But after he is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour he finds himself with a gun to his temple, ready to pull the trigger. That’s when the doorbell rings.
A stranger makes him a proposition: kill two deserving men before dying. The first is a criminal, and the second is, like Ted, terminally ill, and wants to die. If Ted kills these men he will then become a target himself in a kind of suicidal daisy chain—and won’t it be easier for his family if he’s a murder victim?
Kill The Next One is an audacious, immersive psychological thriller in which nothing is what it seems.
My thanks to Sophie Goodfellow for my review copy
Cards on the table here – I have no idea how to review Kill The Next One. Read the description above and I will pick up from here when you jump back down.
Okay – The book opens with Ted preparing to kill himself. He has a brain tumour and while his wife and kids are away on a trip he plans to lock himself in his study, leave a note for his wife warning her to keep the kids away then shoot himself in the head. As you can see Ted has not had the best of times.
But just before he can squeeze the trigger someone comes knocking at his front door. The man is shouting through the house to Ted that he knows what Ted is planning and he has a better offer. Unable to carry on until he finds out what this person may be offering (and how he knew what Ted was planning) Ted opens his door.
The stranger suggests that Ted can do one last good deed and kill a criminal who has escaped justice on a legal technicality. Ted will then kill a second man who (like Ted) is looking to die…at that point Ted will become the next potential victim of another person who also wants to die. A chain of suicides – rather than take their own life they will be killed by a stranger. The theory being that a “terrible accident” is easier for surviving families to deal with and it could also mean insurance policies pay out (that is possibly not in the book but I work in insurance so I may have mentally added that).
At this point (and we are only a few chapters into the book by this stage) everything went in a totally different direction to what I was expecting. I had anticipated Ted would hunt down the criminal, eventually bump him off, kill the second person and set himself up to be the next victim in the chain and then we wait to see how his death happens. Nope. That’s not the story. Am I going to tell you what DOES happen? Nope, well not in much detail.
How about I say that Ted decides the offer has some merit and he looks into the possibility of killing the criminal? But can he be sure that the criminal has actually done the crime that the stranger at Ted’s door has accused him of? Also Ted seems like a good, decent and honourable man – can he really take on a killer and expect to have the nerve to end a life?
Federico Axat has made Ted into one of the most troubled and complex characters that I think I have ever read about. His story is complicated and makes for difficult/troubling reading at times. But his story is important and it really got me thinking about the importance of life choices.
Go back to the book description and focus on the end of that last sentence: “nothing is what it seems” I have alluded to the fact the book did not take the direction I had anticipated, well for Ted it may just be that not everyone is being entirely honest with him – or is Federico Axat not being entirely honest with the reader and keeping secrets from us? Only one way to find out – purchase link is below.
Kill The Next One is published by Text Publishing and is available in paperback and digital format. Order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kill-Next-One-Federico-Axat-ebook/dp/B01KEBZP40/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1496696318&sr=1-1&keywords=kill+the+next+one