Kill Someone by Luke Smitherd is an intense, psychological thriller. Smitherd introduces us to Chris, a 20-something black man who lives with his parents, has a dead-end job in a call center and friends he doesn’t have anything in common with. On one fateful early morning, Chris, home alone as his parents are away, is awakened by a knock at the door. Upon answering it, his life changes forever. The Man in White and Klaus enter his home, tell him a fantastical tale and then gives him a choice – kill someone or some sisters, who’ve been kidnapped, will die slow, torturous deaths. This Process, as the Man in White calls it, appears to be some sick, twisted game thought up by some wealthy man for mere amusement. Many have already participated in it and many more will after Chris. Chris has a decision to make – play the game and save those girls or walk away and do nothing, resulting in their deaths.
Smitherd’s tale takes you on a wild ride, keeps your heart pumping, your breathing rapid as you go through the pain and torture that Chris must endure to save those girls. The story is told as a journal that Chris writes after the events have ended. As such, there is a lot of backstory told mixed with present moments.
These characters – Chris, the Man in White and Klaus – are well-detailed, full and rich. You cheer for Chris’ success, learn to cringingly admire Klaus, and desperately hate all that the Man in White stands for. Smitherd also has an excellent grasp of setting, creating detailed locations to work his plot around. And that plot, from beginning to end, has twists that will frustrate and empower you as a reader. It is the final twist at the end of the book though that will leave unanswerable questions in your mind – If this had been you, given the choices that Chris had been given, what would you have done? What would you do next? How do you want your story to end?
As with all of Smitherd’s books, you are always left curious. His work is edgy, outside the box and definitely worth reading. I highly recommend Kill Someone for thrill-seekers who like that psychological edge.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Psychological Thriller
To Purchase: Amazon