This review is spoiler free.
“Someone killed my wife, and what have I done about it?”
Published: 2019, by Atlantic Books.
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Fiction, Contemporary
Contains: Death, Violence, Anger, Blood/Gore, Abuse, Child Abuse, Neglect, Strong Language, Hospitals, Grief
‘Kill [redacted]’ tells the story of Michael, a man who lost his wife in a terrorist attack on a London train. Since then, he has been seeing a therapist to help him come to terms with his grief. However, Michael can’t seem to move on from those he feels is responsible for the bombers. His therapist suggests that he writes his feelings down to help him forgive, but Michael believes otherwise.
Initially, I was so excited for this read, having adored the premise and potential that it holds. However, reality was a little disappointing.
Michael is not, in any way, a pleasant character. He has no redeeming qualities to him, being an extremely disturbed character and lead me to feel incredibly uncomfortable reading about him. Although, the intention was there to do that, it made for a difficult read. Considering the grief he is going through, there would be a lot of angry elements to his character, but some of the decisions Michael makes aren’t agreeable and somewhat upsetting. Michael is incredibly selfish from beginning to end, with very little character progression to redeem him from the disturbing natures of his character. There’s very little we can say about him, other than the fact he’s overcome with anger and makes extremely poor decisions without any understanding of what he had done. Although, this suited his character at the beginning of the novel, I’d have liked to have witnessed him progress more at the end, feeling a sense of pride towards him. However, all that happened was more frustration and grief.
For a novel that is based entirely off one character’s life, we know very little about the other characters which didn’t work in the novel’s favour. Angela, his therapist, is someone we know very little about outside of their sessions, and yet she seemed to make zero progress with him from beginning to end. Michael’s relationship with his daughter, Amy, also suffered greatly. We knew so little about her that it made it very difficult to pity them both.
The plot itself seems to drag a lot of the time, making very little progress until the final one-hundred pages. It pains me to say that quite a lot of this novel could have been cut, or possibly worked more effectively as a flash fiction. The premise itself, although interesting, just didn’t work in reality and made for a struggling read; it took too long to get to the point that I hardly cared for it by the end of the novel. Similarly, the diary entries itself were interesting at first, but the book’s length didn’t work in its favour. Also, the lack of page numbers in my edition were an issue, adding to my struggles and motivations to read.
Overall, I deeply disliked this read. The characters were unlikable, the length of the book was excessive and the plot hardly developed. I also wouldn’t recommend this read for anyone currently experiencing grief or loss.