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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.
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My Review | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Favorite character: Joaquin Benavides Coleman
Joaquin is a 13-year-old boy to whom life handed a basketful of lemons. Instead of letting those lemons define him, he rose above them and is a paragon of all that is good. He proudly displays a Miley Cyrus poster, loves hanging out with his friends, and cannot wait to attend a STEM high school in the fall. Good-natured and kind, he also shows an enormous amount of inner strength that earned my admiration throughout the story.
What I Like About The Kill Club
The Kill Club is an excellent psychological thriller that will leave you tantalizingly unsettled when it ends. There is the traditional, what-will-the-person-with-mental-health-issues-do-next. But, there is also that creepiness that takes hold when you realize the lengths that ordinary people (people who stand near you in a store, on public transportation, or any other general location) will go to in extreme situations. The fear of “could it happen to me” has a way of staying with you.
I loved the unexpected plot twist that is jaw-dropping and intense. I am rarely surprised by where plots go, but this story completely caught me off-guard. I love being surprised, and The Kill Club is full of surprises.
The story is about exploring moral ambiguity – more importantly, how far you would go to save the life of a loved one. Is it okay to kill someone if a loved one may die if you don’t? Not a clear case of self-defense but situations that sit solidly in a moral gray area. Much like the question, “is it okay for someone to steal medicine that a loved one needs to survive if he/she cannot afford it?”
The novel demonstrates the plight of the everyman within the legal system. It’s easy to ignore the injustices that happen every day unless you are forced to confront them. The Kill Club seeks to bridge that gap and bring awareness on a much larger scale.
The characters are very well developed. The main character, Jasmine or Jazz for short, is someone you can empathize with even if you have nothing in common with her. She’s grown hard and edgy as a response to life’s challenges, but she has a pure love for Joaquin, which is redemptive on many levels. I struggled right along with her when she must decide what to do in a morally ambiguous situation.
What I Wish
I wish for more books like this one. Books that are thrilling, action-packed, jaw-dropping stories and still manage to shed light on social problems that occur across our country and need to be addressed.
To Read or Not to Read
If you love an action-packed thrill ride and can handle psychological creepiness – this is the book for you. I can’t say enough positive things about it! It’s a haunting tale that you will not be able to put down.
Thank you to NetGalley and MIRA Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and a special thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing and Justine Sha for my spot on the blog tour.
About the Author
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.
See my “About me” on my site.