Kill a Stranger by Simon Kernick | Blog Tour Review | #KillAStranger

Published by Headline
Available in ebook, audio, hardback (26 November 2020) | paperback (24 June 2021)
384 pages
Source: Copy received for review via Netgalley


They took your fiancée.
They framed you for murder.

You’re given one chance to save her. To clear your name.
You must kill someone for them.

They give you the time and place.
The weapon. The target.

You have less than 24 hours.
You only know that no-one can be trusted…and nothing is what it seems.

A masterclass in page-turning suspense, this twisting and addictive read will leave you guessing until the very last chapter.


My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the tour invitation and to the publisher for the Netgalley copy to review.

I’ve read so many of Simon Kernick’s books over the years, being particularly fond of his Tina Boyd character. This however is a standalone and one of those fast paced, mess with your head thrillers that he is so well known for.

Matt is a struggling actor and not a terribly successful one, however whilst on his travels he has met and fallen in love with Kate, the part owner of a hotel in Sri Lanka. When they find out that that Kate is pregnant they return to the UK and this is where the action begins.

Imagine coming home late one night and instead of finding your fiancee sleeping in the bed, there is a the dead body of a strange woman – brutally murdered. This is the nightmare scenario that Matt is faced with and his world is turned upside down. Who is this woman and where is Kate?

There are just so many twists and double twists in this story that I actually gave up trying to work anything out and just went with it. Matt is put in an impossible situation and has no idea who he can really trust but has to rely on his instincts to try and get through it and rescue Kate.

Blackmail, murder, abduction, corruption, and with dodgy people at every turn, there is never a dull moment in this thriller. I felt quite sorry for Matt, he wasn’t perfect by any means but he wasn’t a natural at the murder game and to find himself thrust into this nightmare tested him beyond the limit. Of course when dead bodies keep popping up, the police get involved and in the middle of all this mess, there is a detective also trying to work out what the heck is going on.

To Kill a Stranger was a thrilling, entertaining and an exciting read told from three perspectives. Too many people were keeping secrets from each other and there were one or two characters that I was never sure quite sure of and whether they were as innocent in all the shenanigans as they seemed to be. As the story progresses, past deeds and backstory are revealed which add more questions.

I really enjoyed this – its one of those addictive reads that I didn’t want to put down.


I’ve always been a huge crime fiction and thriller fan so I wrote a crime novel that, unfortunately, pretty much every literary agent and publisher in the land rejected. So I wrote another one with exactly the same result. I have enough rejection letters to decorate a whole house- three hundred in all-but finally I struck gold with my first novel, The Business of Dying, about a cop who moonlights as a hit man named Dennis Milne. It was released in 2002 (seven years after I first tried to get published!) and was described as ‘the crime debut of the year’ by The Independent, which was a very nice compliment.

Since then I’ve written a book a year (fifteen in all now) as well as a total of three novellas. I specialise in very fast-paced thrillers set over a short space of time which I like to think grab the reader from the very first page and don’t let go. My fifth novel, Relentless, was a Richard and Judy summer read, and the ninth and tenth, The Last Ten Seconds and The Payback, both reached number 1 in the UK book charts, so they’re good, I promise!

I don’t have a series as such and most of the books can be read as standalones, but I do have recurring characters. Dennis Milne, my vigilante cop, returns in A Good Day to Die and The Payback, and my female detective, Tina Boyd- a woman who finds herself in dangerous situations seemingly at every turn- appears in the vast majority of the recent books.

Author Links:
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Book Links: | Hive Books | Waterstones


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