Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin

I find murder fascinating, not in a 'you should be worried' way but in 'a what the hell was going through their minds to make them actually kill someone' kind of way. Will they get away with it? And will they ever kill again? of course they always do, Agatha Christie taught me that. I'm always on the look out for a new murder mystery to sink in to. A Kiss Before Dying was written by Ira Levin and tells the story of a young man who has his eyes on a young girls inheritance and will go to any length to get his hands on it and I mean anything.

The  subject matter of this book reminds me very much of Patrica Highsmith, seeing things through the eyes of the killer, slowly exploring his mind as he plans the death of his pregnant fiance. Also, they are written around the same era, 1950s America, which was full of murderous monsters or so these writers would have you believe. The story is cleverly told in three parts and is exceptionally well paced. It pulls you in straight away and keeps hold of your attention, never becoming boring or repetitive, keeping you glued right to the very end. This was Ira Levin's first novel and it's a very good debut, he is a master of the suspense thriller. The books tension builds and builds and builds to a highly exciting and rewarding climax. This is the third book of his that I've read and I've loved every one.
This is the man himself, Ira Levine, I like his mustache.
Spoiler waring, if you haven't read this book and intended to do so stop reading now, or not, do whatever the hell you want. Anyway as I said the story is told in three parts, each one exploring the killers relationship with three different sisters as he desperately tries to get his hands on their, clearly very large, inheritance. Levin covers every angle in this book, from the killers perspective to the novice sleuth, who feels some dirty work is at hand, with possible the weakest evidence I've ever read. But Levin makes it work with his well rounded believable characters. The fact that the killers name isn't reveal until over half way through the book leads the sleuth and the reader down numerous wrong paths and is done wonderful well, turning everything completely on it's head, so unexpected and exciting. I love a good twist and I loved this book, read it!

1 comment:

  1. Great review - I absolutely loved this book as it was so different from what I expected. Ira Levin is a GENIUS!!!