THE KILL CLUB WENDY HEARD
Harlequin Mira have so very kindly given me access to the ARC of The Kill Club by Wendy Heard and asked me to participate in their official BLOG TOUR! It's out on December 17th so in this sneak preview I'll start by telling you all about the book and the author and then I'll dive in with my review:
(Just a note that Jennifer Hillier got 5 stars on Kindig last year for Jar of Hearts so what better author to give a recommendation!)
A haunting thriller about a woman who attempts to save her brother's life by making a dangerous pact with a network of vigilantes who've been hunting down the predators of Los Angeles.
Jazz can’t let her younger brother die.
Their foster mother Carol has always been fanatical, but with Jazz grown up and out of the house, Carol takes a dangerous turn that threatens thirteen-year-old Joaquin’s life. Over and over, child services fails to intervene, and Joaquin is running out of time.
Then Jazz gets a blocked call from someone offering a solution. There are others like her, people the law has failed. They’ve formed an underground network of “helpers,” each agreeing to murder the abuser of another. They're taking back their power and leaving a trail of bodies throughout Los Angeles—dubbed the Blackbird Killings. If Jazz joins them, they’ll take care of Carol for good.
All she has to do is kill a stranger.
Jazz soon learns there's more to fear than getting caught carrying out her assignment. The leader of the club has a zero tolerance policy for mistakes.
And the punishment for disobeying orders is death.
Wendy Heard, author of Hunting Annabelle, was born in San Francisco and has lived most of her life in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found hiking the Griffith Park trails, taking the Metro and then questioning this decision, and haunting local bookstores.
‘First rule of Murder Club – don’t talk about Murder Club.’
Jazz is a woman with a down and out life; thrown into the care system with her brother Joaquin and forced to stay with abusive Carol. She’s had her own brushes with the law and so when a mysterious phone call promises an end to all of her problems for a ‘simple’ favour she jumps at the chance. But when it all goes wrong who can she turn to for help?
The Kill Club is a great premise with a tenacious and realistic main character which kept me hooked throughout. It’s refreshing to have a gritty LGBTQ+ character cast in the lead role and Jazz kept the whole book alive for me. Her sarcasm and wit gave a welcome respite to the tension that was building throughout. You really felt for her as she started to try and fight back with no resources or people on her side and it also gave author Wendy Heard a chance to show the pitfalls of the care system and the police force in an interesting, non-preachy way.
The premise of the story is one that keeps you hooked – would you kill a stranger to keep yourself or those you loved safe? However, while recounting the outline of the plot to a colleague they remarked that they had watched a film with a very similar premise before. Many other reviews have also mentioned other books that it is similar to as well, so perhaps the premise is not as original as I had first imagined.
The pace of the book is great and keeps you guessing, switching perspective now and again to keep it fresh. It’s also not afraid to pull punches and ramp up the stakes to a truly terrifying degree which is great – you read with a true sense of unease as to what will happen next!
My only criticism would be the unmasking of the mastermind behind the ‘Blackbird Club’. We never really get properly into the head of this character and I just felt that you didn’t get a proper motive which left me feeling a little unsatisfied as to why all of this had happened. A little more depth into their backstory and ideology would have made all the difference for me.
Overall The Kill Club is a gritty, action packed read with a great main character. Thank you to NetGalley & Harlequin Mira for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
LINKS TO BUY