Faber & Faber 2014
First Love is Deadly
What if your college sweetheart, the girl of your dreams, suddenly disappeared?
20 years later she’s back, she’s in trouble and she says you are the only one who can help her…
Some time ago I read The Kind Worth Killing and thought it was fantastic. Shortly after I picked up this book, the author’s debut but I’d heard it wasn’t as good so it sat and sat on my shelf, until now and frankly, more fool me!
I really enjoyed this twisty crime thriller. The plot, based on the premise of one true love sees George reunited with Liana – his first love from college. There they spent 3 blissful months together before she left under strange circumstances. George neither forgot her or got over her and now she is back and George, despite what he knows about her quickly finds himself under her spell once again.
What follows is a sharp, rollercoaster story of crime and deceit. George is unwittingly used as a pawn to a mastermind fraudster but he can’t shake the feelings of first love and his belief that these feelings must be reciprocated.
Sounds a little far fetched I know but trust me, this one works. A strong plot and a great damaged protagonist in George made the story feel authentic and I was intrigued right through to the final pages.
Written in the 3rd person, the story is told in the present day with interludes of when George and Liana met at college – a fascinating story itself – I enjoyed both parts equally.
I would definitely recommend this book. The Kind Worth Killing received a lot of well deserved positive publicity – this book less so – has anyone else read it? And what about Swanson’s 3rd, 4th and 5th books – has anyone read those – do I need to add them to my ginormous TBR? Based on the 2 books I have read I am thinking the answer must be yes!
About the Author
Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Her Every Fear an NPR book of the year; and his most recent Before She Knew Him. His books have been translated into over 30 languages, and his stories, poetry and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly , Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine and Yankee Magazine.
A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.