From the author of the international best seller The Stone Man, short-listed for Audible UK's Book of the Year Award 2015.
Here are the rules.
Method: you can't use a gun. You can't use explosives. You can't use poison. It has to be up close and personal. You don't have to worry about leaving evidence; that will be taken care of.
Victim: no one suicidal. No one over the age of 65. No one with a terminal illness.
Choose your method. Choose your victim.
Chris Summer was a 21-year-old call centre worker. A dropout. A nobody, still living at home with his parents. Then one day the Man in White came to his family's house, offering a seemingly impossible choice: kill a random stranger - one of Chris' choosing - within 12 days in order to save the lives of five kidnapped siblings. Refuse, and they die slowly and painfully.
The clock is ticking, the Man in White is watching and Chris has some very important choices to make.
This is a tale of fear, indecision, confused masculinity and brutal violence - a story of a coddled young man thrust into a world of sharp metal and bone. Ask yourself if you could do it. Then ask yourself who you would choose.
©2016 Luke Smitherd (P)2016 Audible Ltd.
"For me there is no greater joy than seeing an artist excel at his craft...you'll be blown away by the abundance of ideas." (Ain'tItCoolNews.com)
I’ll admit it, Kill Someone took me a lot longer to listen to than any of Luke Smitherd’s other books. Not in a bad way, quite the opposite in fact. See, the story revolves around a poor sod called Chris who has found himself in a bit of a pickle that can only by resolved by killing somebody (I hate when that happens - don’t you?). It doesn’t matter who he kills, all that matters is that he does, which got me thinking - who would I kill?
When I was listening to Kill Someone, I kept pausing for long periods of time to deliberate who I’d kill. Would I kill my postman? It wouldn’t be hard would it? I’d just order a new trouser press from Amazon, and as soon as he came lumbering up the path with it a few days later, I’d have at him with the garden shears. Chop, chop, chop I’d go, and I wouldn’t stop chopping until there were no more chops to chop. But, I’m not the most menacing of folks - maybe the postman would disarm me. Maybe he’d take away my shears and calm me down with reassuring words and hot bovril. I couldn’t kill a man who has offered me Bovril - could I?
It’s factors like this that make Kill Someone a very hard book to listen to quickly, because every decision that Chris makes forces you to think as him and really try to narrow down the best route to take. I won’t say anymore about Kill Someone other than it was tremendous, stupendous, horrendous and it drove me round the bendus. This is the second of Luke’s stories that don’t feature any hint of the supernatural (the first being How To Be A Vigilante: A Diary) which if anything makes them a little more sinister than the rest.
Buy this book right now, and while you’re at it bring me some Bovril. And a new trouser press. Vamos!
*I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review, and as you can see from the verified purchase mark I thought it was so good that I snapped my bank card in half and jammed it deep into my Macbook until Luke Smitherd got some of my ill gotten shillings.*
The greatest strength of good sci-fi is its ability to hold a mirror to society, passing comment as entertainment. Serling's screenplay for Planet of the Apes is a searing indictment of American racism woven into an already marvellous film. Charlie Brooker sometimes managed it with Black Mirror (as anyone who has seen 'White Bear' can testify) but few are as consistently entertaining in their critique of society as Mr Smitherd.
While discussion of the book would necessitate far too many spoilers, I'll suffice to say that as always, Smitherd is comfortable enough in his own world without the need to reference others. The subtext is entirely left to the reader, without the need to have it hammered home. Think of the original cut of Blade Runner vs the ghastly Director's Cut and the significance of the unicorn.
Indeed, Smitherd is fast becoming a new Ridley Scott, true artist rather than craftsman, turning from one genre to another with a style that never feels predictable, and the early familiarity of tone is merely to wrong-foot the avid reader. It works too, and soon enough you forget trying to predict the course of events and simply want to read what happens next
As for the evolution of Mr Smith, this is by far his most accomplished work to date. Richer, more nuanced and ultimately more satisfying, 'Kill Someone' is worth adding as a blind buy, at least until the hunger returns
So the point of the story is you need to kill someone or lots of people die. This is a very thought-provoking book and very dark in its nature. It doesn't have the usual humour that is in the author's other works but that takes nothing away from the story and it wouldn't have been right in this context. This is so well written that you feel every emotion of the character of Chris. The sinking feeling in the pub and with his boss made the scene so realistic and that is what a great book should do.
Really impressed by the consistency in quality of Luke's books. I get easily bored of books that don't get you hooked early. I've read and listened to 4 of his books so far and I found myself eager to listen to the next chapter. This book is another winner to add to the list. I think Luke is the next big thing. I highly recommend
Luke Smitherd has done it again! This is a book where questions are asked and that no one would ever want to be in a situation where they would want to answer them. The premise of the book is utterly terrifying putting the main character, Chris, into a totally impossible situation.
I found the audio book a compelling listen with brilliant reading by Mark Addis.
A truly outstanding and very scary thriller. 10 out of 10!
I don't ever write reviews, because frankly the world is awash with opinions, but since the author asked ever so nicely and said he reads them, I have been "guilted" into it. Luke, I've listened to 3 of your books as I jog slowly around Midlothian and i am delighted for you that the career as an author is working out, quite simply because I want to listen to more, as they keep my mind off the pain. In an age of franchised serials, formulaic themes and safe writing it's great to find someone with original ideas and the determination to get them out there. Good for you. Two small things though - you are a much better writer than narrator (not bad at narrating, but Matt is very good) and don't think the throwaway line about a champions league win for Coventry went unnoticed. That's real creative genius. You deserve the recognition and success that is surely in the post.
This was the first book written by Luke Smitherd I listened to and now I am hooked. So much anticipation and anxiety for the characters such an original story loved it from beginning to end.
I have since listened to The Stone Man and that has been added to my list of all time greats a very small list which included Nevil Shute, On the Beach and Stephen Kings Salem,s Lot which gave me nighmares for years.
Looking forward to reading and listening to more from Luke and loved the personal touch at the end of the Audio and great choice of Narrator.
I downloaded this on one of those 'deal of the day' offers. I had never heard of Luke Smitherd before but after reading the synopsis and reviews decided to dive in even though thrillers are not usually my thing. I think it's a thriller but it's one of those novels that's hard to pigeon hole. That's a good thing I think.
The story is a dark and at times an unsettling one. The author really gets you inside the head of the main character Chris and is able to transmit those feelings to the listener. It's certainly a thought provoking story that meanders across what society would see as moral and immoral. I still can't decide if Chris took the right decision or not but that's the beauty of the story really.
My first Luke Smitherd book and I look forward to reading more of his work. This was my first audiobook narrated by Matt Addis too. He does a superb job and voices the characters very well and makes them believable.
5/5 for me and well worth a listen.
Smitherd is one of the most original authors I have read - all his books start with a great idea, and he is adept at developing the plot while dealing with wider themes, such as friendship, purpose and identity. Kill Someone is his most accomplished novel yet, I think. Chris, the main protagonist, finds himself in an impossible situation, and as the reader, you can't help but empathise and wonder what you would do in the situation. I found it really compelling and couldn't stop listening.
It is also a welcome return of Matt Addis as reader who does a superb job. I particularly enjoyed his portrayal of 'Mr White' - he absolutely does the character justice and brings it to life brilliantly.
I was hooked from the start of this book and really didn't want to stop listening (most frustrating having to get out of the car to walk into work of a morning quite frankly!)
I have to admit that I did find myself mulling over who might be on my potential hit list if I had been in Chris's place. It's a truly grim scenario yet the writing and the pace didn't allow me to be horrified by it, I was swept away and found myself completely on Chris's side willing him on.
I shalln't discuss the plot so as not to spoil it, you'll just need to buy it and find out for yourself - you won't regret it.
As with Physics of the Dead, I need a few days now to digest this book - I sense it's going to be another one that is going to linger in my thoughts far a while so I can't answer that question yet.
I really liked the way Matt voiced the Man in White, sounded such a smug barstool
Already bought two more of Luke's books which I can't wait to start
"The Good of the Many is More Important...Or is it?"
This book asks the question made most famous by "Spock" in "Star Trek - The Wrath of Khan": "Is the good of the many more important than the good of the few--or the one" (paraphrase)? And, if it is, is it the moral/right/decent/human thing to "Kill Someone" to make it so?
The main character, Chris, is given this very dilemma. He is just a normal young man--maybe a little lazy, maybe not too ambitious, maybe a little lost-- when he is literally forced to grow up and make choices no one should have to make for seemingly no reason. Chris must decide whether he can kill someone to save the lives of five sisters being held captive by the mysterious, "Man in White".
So how does a person go from being a slacker to having peoples' lives in his hands? We go every step of the way through it with Chris. At first he is incredulous; then comes denial; then comes acceptance; and then comes the anguish of the terrible decisions he is being forced to make. We learn about Chris' life through brief scenes from his past. He seems to have had a good life with a loving family, but he has also been harassed and discriminated against because he is black. Chris is written as a fully developed character. We know him, so we know the horror he feels, the frenzy he feels to do something--but he doesn't know what--and the self-doubts he has as to whether or not he can actually kill someone. He wants to do the right thing; he just doesn't know what that is. Could anyone? Could you?
If you don't want to talk about politics or global warming this Christmas, I suggest buying this book and a few copies as gifts for the family you will be sharing your Christmas with. This book asks questions that will lead to discussions (maybe heated ones) about what each reader would do if placed into the same position as Chris. You can literally discuss this book for hours and come away with no solid answers because the answers are personal to each individual person. Can you justify your beliefs as Chris must do? Can you explain your actions as Chris must do? Can you live with the end result of those actions as Chris must do for the rest of his life?
There are other questions raised when Chris finds out why this happened to him. Those questions may be even more difficult to answer. I have to say this book did not end the way I thought it would, nor the way I wanted it to, but it probably ended just the way it was supposed to end based on everything that happened previously. You'll probably have to read this again to catch things you might have missed the first time so that you come to some understanding of the decisions Chris makes. You may or may not agree with those decisions, but the book tells you why he made them, although you may not realize it at the time.
This is the second straight book of Luke Smitherd's that had nothing to do with the paranormal or science fiction, and I think it is a very good sign that this is probably one of his best books. It shows the range the author has and will keep readers eagerly anticipating his books, not knowing which direction he is going to go next. For current and future fans of Luke Smitherd, this is a very good thing. We already know he is an excellent writer, and now we are learning that he can write about almost anything and it will be of the same quality, with the same ability to make us think, make us wonder, make us scared, and make us question things we never thought twice about before.
I can't wait to see what comes next.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
First time too listen and read books by Luke Smitherd. I'm looking for more of his books.
"what an amazing book! loved it!!!"
I thought from the description that it might be predictable. It was not.
This story will stay with me for a very long time. I am so happy to have discovered this author. The narrator was great too!
I am already listening to another book by Luke Smitherd as I write this review.
Highly recommend this book, this author, and this narrator!
This was a creative and captivating take on choosing "the lesser of two evils". Great narration on top of a fantastic story makes this a happy addition to my audible library. I look forward to adding more books from this talented author!
"Good book, well read"
Very good book, kept my interest throughout and a lot of twists and turns. Looking forward to reading more fro Luke Smithers.
excellent book. I would highly recommend this to anybody who likes a quick read. 5/5
"I loved this story!!"
I never saw the ending coming. though I had wondered if that could be a possible outcome
this is one of the most original and thought provoking books I have ever come across. I really enjoyed it and look forward to more from this author. the narrator is excellent. you will not be shortchanged.
"If I Had A Hammer"
I'd have to use the hammer ,left with Chris's choices. Being a lot older than him I'd have an easier time finding a worthy victim. Could I really do the deed? For my children maybe. Very thought provoking and enthralling book with great narration.I'm texting my kids with recommendation. We've found a new author.
"WOW... yep just Wow"
This was my first novel by this author but if the rest are as good as this one it definitely will not be my last. Fans of Stephen King and Dean Koontz will really enjoy this book. How many people in anger have said... I could Kill (insert name of person that ticked you off here)? I bet most people have at some point in their lives.But when it truly comes down to it could you truly... KILL SOMEONE? Enjoy the ride. I know I did.
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