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.*
Always got a book on the go - Love most sci-fi genres, a psychological thriller or apocyliptic tale; or just great fictional writing...
Luke Smitherd never fails to disappoint, every story he writes is so clearly his - because his stamp is all over them in his style of writing... But every story is so different to the last and so different to anything else out there, that I really do wonder where he gets his ideas from, in the same way I wondered about Stephen King years ago. Brilliant.... Slightly insane??!!
Like 'How to be a Vigilante' this story is not sci-fi/ supernatural but a slightly off-centre real world story. This one centred around a young man, picked for being very normal, to play a sick game where the penalty for someone else, no matter what he does, is horrific pain and or death... But he has to choose who. Luke has a knack of getting straight into his stories and ensuring that, as a reader, you feel empathy with the main character very quickly, so I was drawn in from page 1 and didn't want to put it down.
Very dark.... very thought provoking - because you get close to the main character quickly and because of the first person, journal type approach to writing, this really makes you feel you're on the terrible journey with him, thinking through the options, who would you choose, could you do it? No I decided!!!!!!!
If you've not tried his books before, go for it, you will not be disappointed - I've recommended his other books to friends and family and they too have thoroughly enjoyed as he is refreshingly different - and I'm now recommending this one as well.
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.
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
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
Yet another book from Luke that was brilliant.
Lots of will he, won't he. Good twists. Sad to find the book ending.
Recommend reading. Not many books on the market like this authors. Devoured most of his books now. Each as good as the last.
I'm really enjoying all of the stories that Luke presents to us. Often dark with some twists thrown in. An easy, but thought provoking read. He's knocked it out of the park again with Kill Someone.
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 know my reviews of Luke Smitherd are boring but I just love his work. Really gripping, great story.
A bit longer would have been better aim without book again and glad Matt is back.
can't wait for the next book.
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.
"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.
Really enjoy Luke Smitherd's writing and Matt Addis is great as the narrator. Looking forward to more from both.
"Thought provoking and suspenseful"
This book got me thinking and imagining myself in the narrator's shoes, which is a great quality in a novel. I enjoyed the story arc and feel that the ending was fitting. The pacing was a tiny bit halting at times, but I am very satisfied and pleased to have experienced this story.
Captivating and thought provoking. Enjoyed authors narrative at the end. Interesting feeling to laugh at the end of a heavy, intense story.
I loved the author's afterword. Very clever. It's probably why I'm taking the time to review the book. The originality and suspense of the story was intriguing. It's also a long time since a character has mentioned mortal sin or quoted John Henry Newman.
He made the character of Chris come alive.
No. But I thought about it. It's a book that sticks with you. I'll remember the plot for a long time.
"Great read and an excellent listen!"
I prefer print, but this audio version was well done and I enjoyed it immensely.
This book really doesn't compare to other books I have read, it's originality stands out quite a bit from most other books.
Matt Addis did an excellent job at narration, but his performance of the Man in White was my favorite.
As much as I enjoyed reading this book, I really enjoyed listening to it as well. I have not been a huge audiobook fan in the past and mostly struggle to make it through them, but this book was an exception. The excellent narration coupled with such an original and thought provoking idea had me engrossed in listening, even though I knew the story already. I highly recommend reading and/or listening to this one! If you haven't read any of Luke Smitherd's other works you should check those out as well.
"Amazingly thought provoking"
This is a phenomenal audio book from top to bottom. The writing is great, the narration is spot on and the production value is so good you just do not notice it.
With the mechanics so well done, I found myself falling deeply into the story and the questions it raised. At times, I even had to rewind the audio because I had lost myself in my own contemplation of how I would handle the unfolding situation and had stopped processing the continuing story. This is not to say I was not invested in the story or characters. I was engrossed by how it would play out and was ultimately not disappointed. The questions raised and unexpected considerations brought to my attention by the story however, were just so compelling I had to think about them immediately.
Still my new fave writer. Read this guys work. So original. 4 more words required. Demanding audible!
"A listen like no other, in a thought provoking way"
I average 1 book a week, almost always in the suspense genre. I've never come across another book with anything close to this plot line. It was very refreshing.
The first person account is ideal for this book. You really get a sense of Chris's feelings about his dilemma.
Through out the whole book I tried to come up with who I would choose and why. It's been 3 days since I finished it and I'm still not sure. Chris does get a bit whiny for me at times, but I'm not totally sure that I wouldn't be a bit whiny too if I were in his situation. The "not being sure" and the "what would I do" is exactly what Luke was going for.
I will say that there are a few VERY minor oopsies. I'm not going to elaborate. See if you can figure them out while you are listening and I strongly suggest that you do listen to this book and I strongly suggest that you continue to listen after the book ends, Luke is a hilarious guy. Just an FYI - I would have written this review even if I didn't listen all the way to the end the recording.
The Stone Man is my next listen and I'm really hoping it's as entertaining as this one.
"So long reality..."
There is nothing like coming to that moment when you realize everything you have known isn't what you thought it was. As always, Mr. Smitherd has been able to unfold another "Made you think" moment wrapped in a captivating story. Well done as always!
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