Book reviews

 

kill.pngArgentinian author Federico Axat’s story, Kill the Next One starts will a great idea.

Ted McKay seemingly has everything anyone could wish for, he has a happy marriage, two daughters, a luxurious home and a successful business. However, Ted also has a brain tumour and at the beginning of this story, is about to shoot himself.

He is interrupted just as he brings the gun to his head by a knock at the door, which of course he answers…

The man at the door somehow knows what Ted is about to do and puts a proposition to him. If Ted kills two people, the first a murderer who got away with his crime, and a second person who is ill but would rather be murdered than commit suicide, then the next person in the chain will do the same thing, kill a criminal who has escaped punishment, then kill Ted, making his death less guilt-ridden for his family.

Without thinking too much about the implications or possible complications, Ted kills the two people on his list, despite a disturbing sense of familiarity with both of his victims.

Without giving too much of the rest of the story away, Ted is an unreliable narrator. The story unfolded this way and that, and while there were hints of how things turned out, there was no way of knowing anything for certain.

The story was translated from Spanish, which gave everything a sense of being slightly off-centre. The words didn’t flow as smoothly in English as I imagine they would when read in Spanish.

One reviewer compared this story to Hitchcock, Jules Verne and episodes of Lost, so I had high hopes of not being able to put this book down. (Just by the way, Lost is the last television series I watched, and I’m still dirty about the ending. What a cop-out!). However, my opinion is that this reviewer was misguided. Kill the Next One was okay, but to compare it to Hitchcock, Jules Verne or Lost is far-fetched. I think the story started well but the idea was far better than the outcome. A very nasty bit of animal torture in the last few chapters deserves a warning too.

If I had to describe this book in one word I would go with frustrating.

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Comments on: "Kill the Next One by Federico Axat" (8)

  1. You’re right, the premise does sound really interesting. I’ve read several books recently that were translated from foreign languages (“Beside the Sea,” “Piercing,” and “Convenience Store Woman”) and I might read this book despite your ‘meh’ review, I’m just glad you warned me that there’s very little closure at the end (and about the animal torture.)

  2. Oh dear, that’s a shame! I was starting to think this sounded like a very intriguing book, but I’m not ready to spend time on one that can be summed up as frustrating!

  3. Let me know what you think of the book if you do read it. Do you recommend any of the other books? Sometimes reading a story that has been translated from another language seems so unfamiliar that it is hard to feel a connection. Kill the Next One felt very cold to me.

  4. I agree, Sarah. I don’t have enough reading time as it is, so don’t want to waste it!

  5. I highly recommend “Beside the Sea” by Veronique Olmi, it’s a incredibly disturbing look at a woman with two young sons having a mental breakdown. I thought “Convenience Store Woman” and “Piercing” were just all right. Another book I really enjoyed that was translated from another language (Swedish) was “Handling the Undead” by John Ajvide Lindqvist, very original take on the zombie genre! πŸ™‚

  6. I’ve added Beside the Sea and Handling the Undead to my list to look out for, will give the other two a miss πŸ™‚

  7. Sounds good! πŸ™‚ I hope you like them!

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