The Killing Kind by Jane Casey

Today I’m delighted to join the blog tour for The Killing Kind by Jane Casey to celebrate the book’s paperback publication. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invite. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 17 February 2022
Publisher: Harper Collins

About the Book

Ingrid will never forget what John did.
The people he hurt. The way he lied about it so easily. The way she defended him.

Now he’s back.
He says a murderer is after her. He says only he can protect her.

Would you trust him?
The clock is ticking for Ingrid to decide. Because the killer is ready to strike…

My Thoughts

You should almost be able to recite my first line by now – This is the first book I have read by this author … Absolutely true once again but I am very glad that The Killing Kind was my first as it is exactly my kind of book. Dark, packed with tension and with a character who has a definite strength of personality and mind that carries her, and us, through this most twisted and unexpected of tales. This is the story of Ingrid – Barrister, victim … target? After defending John Webster against a stalking charge, Ingrid found herself the object of his undivided attention, a situation which threatened to derail her whole life. She thought he was gone from her life, but it seems the respite was only temporary and his return could well prove to be deadly.

And that’s only the beginning of this whole sordid tale … I really love the way in which the author has built up the tension and used some very canny misdirection to keep the truth from us as readers. Using a perfect blend of present day action and scenes which cut away to give us a fuller picture of the twisted nature of Webster’s behaviour and obsession with Ingrid, Jane Casey creates a setting in which, at times, I felt absolute certainty in Ingrid’s assertions about Webster, whilst also having moments of doubt about how far off the mark she might actually be. There are moments in which you feel an overwhelming sense of fear, but also a twinge of paranoia in the way in which Ingrid is acting. And all of that is understandable when the more we learn about how Webster invaded and destroyed her happy life following the trial.

Jane Casey has done an excellent job of creating the two central characters in this story. Igrid is a formidable women. Strong, direct, confident and very capable at her job, but with an underlying vulnerability which occasionally comes to the fore. There are so many times I could applaud her tenacity, but others where I felt her fear really leap from the page. There was also many times in which I found myself questioning her judgement, but given the circumstances and the threat she faced, it still all felt authentic and believable, even as the tension and danger increased. I did love the scenes watching her at work, getting to understand the way in which her role as a barrister feeds not only into the story, but also what comes to befall her and those around her.

John Webster is the perfect antagonist. Outwardly charming and self assured, there is no doubt in the mind of the reader, as voyeur, of just how twisted and manipulative he is. But as with all good manipulators, there is little in his actions that cannot be explained away as a misunderstanding, or paranoia on behalf of the wounded party. There is no clear evidence that he is outwardly dangerous, but my reaction to him grew more complex with every scene in which he makes an appearance. He is charismatic, but also has that edge that lets you know he could turn on a dime and become someone far, far darker. He is astute, and seemingly open with Ingrid so it is really hard to tell how much of what he tells her is true and how much an act to make her wholly dependent upon him, when all others around her think her just the wrong side of crazy.

Alongside all of the scenes of cat and mouse between Ingrid and Webster are moments that start to make the bigger picture that little bit clearer. There is a plot afoot, short exchanges between as yet unnamed characters, that illustrate the ultimate danger that Ingrid may be in. The who and the why, however, remain a closely guarded secret, revealed at only the pivotal moment, ensuring that the pulsating tension and sense of danger hold right up until the very end of the book.

No matter what you may think you’ve deduced, this book has the capacity to surprise and to unnerve. The author has captured the skin crawling terror of being a victim of a stalker just perfectly, and used the emotional power of this to drive a compelling and totally gripping mystery. I was drawn into the book from the very start, and so caught up in Ingrid’s story that I devoured it in no time flat. With complex, perfectly drawn characters, a really twisted and unpredictable storyline, packed with threat and powered along by perfect pacing, this is most definitely recommended.

About the Author

Jane Casey is no stranger to the crime world. Married to a criminal barrister, she’s got the inside track on some of the country’s most dangerous offenders, giving her writing an unsettlingly realistic feel.

This authenticity has made her novels international bestsellers and critical successes. They have been nominated for several awards and in 2015 Jane won both the Mary Higgins Clark Award and Irish Crime Novel of the Year for The Stranger You Know and After the Fire, respectively. In 2019, Cruel Acts was chosen as Irish Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. It was a Sunday Times bestseller.

Born in Dublin, Jane now lives in southwest London with her family.

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