Dapto Mystery Book Club – March – A Kiss Before Dying

Levin’s 1953 thriller dishes up a handsome young man with great social ambitions who also happens to be a sociopath. Not wanting anything to get in his way on the road to success, he must do the right thing when his girlfriend gets pregnant. But for him the right thing is murder.

The novel is told from the perspectives of the killer and the girl’s two sisters, who try to solve the mystery of her death. Levin’s thrillers are always fun!

This book proved to be a shade off the norm for our club members. A first novel by award-winning author Ira Levin, it did not follow the predictable format of most mystery novels. Rather than have the reader trying to work-out the killer’s motives and methods, Levin made us privy to the murderer and his gruesome act early in the book. We then had to read in frustration as other characters tried to discover his identity and the truth about the victim’s demise. 

It was enjoyed with varying degrees by our members. Everyone experienced the suspense build-up which we all agreed was intentional and very well done. But Noeline found the frustration and, “getting inside” the murderer’s head too confronting, which spoiled the reading enjoyment for her. Bob on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed this book. He loved the way the story was driven by the characters themselves and not the plot or setting. He found the writing style to his liking … providing a challenge as to the killer’s identity within the storyline. It was agreed that this was very cleverly done and could only be attempted successfully by a talented writer.

With the volume of murder mysteries flooding the market today, it was interesting to go back to an earlier time with something that could challenge us, both in style and composition. Which proves something we as readers already know. A good book is a good book, no matter when it was written. So if you are looking for something a little different in a mystery, give A Kiss a try and let us know what you think.

Our next read is Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid. If you would like to join us, feel free to come along. We have numerous copies of this title in the library so why not grab one and join our ranks.

 

 

 

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