Jane Casey | The Killing Kind

The Book:

The Killing Kind by Jane Casey
Published: May 2021 by HarperCollins

Torrie’s Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Plot (Goodreads):

Ingrid will never forget what John did.
The people he hurt. The way he lied about it so easily. The way she defended him.

Now he’s back.
He says a murderer is after her. He says only he can protect her.

Would you trust him?
The clock is ticking for Ingrid to decide. Because the killer is ready to strike…

How did The Killing Kind end?

Click here for book spoilers for The Killing Kind
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Killing Kind, I suggest you turn back now.

Ingrid successfully defended John Webster 4 years prior. He was accused of stalking and harassment and he was found not guilty. John and his ex-lover (who was the victim in the trial) intimidated Ingrid after the trial, and police officer Adam Nash saved her.

For a few years, John harasses Ingrid. At one point, her house catches on fire and her fiancé’s supposed lover is killed in the home (Mark is the fiancé, Flora Pole is the lover he is accused of having an affair with). Ingrid believes John set the fire. The police can’t arrest him because he’s good at covering his tracks. Eventually, he is arrested and sent to jail for an unrelated incident regarding fraud.

When John gets out of jail, things pick up again. First, a close colleague of Ingrid’s is killed under suspicious circumstances. Then a woman (named Vicki) is killed in Ingrid’s home. Then a judge from an old rape case is killed under suspicious circumstances. Ingrid feels watched and has a few close calls herself.

Ingrid works closely with officer Adam Nash to track down John Webster and figure out who is behind everything. For a point, Ingrid tepidly trusts John Webster to help her understand the mind of killers and he helps her track people down. He swears he is only trying to protect her and that she can trust him, but she is constantly weary of him.

In the end, Adam Nash is no longer a Police Officer. He has a relationship with Webster’s ex (the victim from the original trial) and ended up quitting as a result. Adam blamed Ingrid for getting John Webster off and not protecting the victim (his prior girlfriend). Adam used a website about failures of the justice system to find others that disliked Ingrid, and brought them together to harass her and eventually kill her.

Tess was the best friend of a rape victim. Ingrid was the junior barrister on this case, and the rapist was found not guilty. Ingrid’s main part in the trial was cross-examining Tess, and she ripped Tess to shreds. When the rape victim (Tess’s friend) committed suicide after the not guilty verdict, Tess had it out for Ingrid and the whole defense team. Ingrid tracks Tess down, and during the confrontation, John Webster shows up. Tess trips and falls out a window, dying in a freak accident.

In addition to Tess, Adam was working with Christopher Pole, the father of Flora (Mark’s supposed affair), who was killed in the fire at Mark & Ingrid’s home. Christopher believes that Ingrid knew about the affair and killed Flora with the fire on purpose. He holds Ingrid responsible for his daughter’s death.

Christopher caused the suspicious death of Ingrid’s co-worker at the start of the novel, and framed a homeless man that looked like John Webster. The idea was that Tess would have an alibi (since she was related to that death), and it would also frame John Webster. The hope was that all the deaths would be linked to John Webster tormenting Ingrid.

At the end, Adam and Christopher get Ingrid alone and plan to kill her in a fire and frame John Webster. John calls the police and tell them Ingrid is in trouble. She escapes the fire, and the police find Adam and Christopher beaten and tied up, with John long gone.

Ingrid tracks John Webster down and most of the truth is revealed. He made up the affair between Mark and Flora by sending Flora emails and texts that appeared to be from Mark. He pretended to be Mark and invited Flora over to the house, with the hope that Ingrid would find her and accuse Mark of an affair. Flora likely lit candles and they caused an accidental fire that killed her.

Ingrid also found out there were some undercover officers around her that had been people she was suspicious of. They didn’t help protect her or those around her much though.

As for Vicki, Adam and Christopher (and Tess) are blamed for her death, but it can’t be proven. Ultimately, Ingrid discovers that Harry’s wife Vicky (the other Vicky, spelled differently) killed her, because Harry and Vicki were having an affair. Ingrid figured this out because she had left her bracelet at a bar during Harry and Vicky’s engagement party, and the bracelet ended up back in her apartment near the knife rack that held the knife that killed Vicki. Also, the note Ingrid left Vicki, which referenced the affair with Harry, was never found by the police.

Torrie’s Review:

In June of this year, I went to Ireland, and in a bookstore, I asked a staff member for a mystery recommendation by an Irish author. Somehow I ended up with this book set in London, though I do believe Jane Casey is Irish. I wanted to like this book, so badly. It had a lot going for it. I loved Ingrid’s character, she is a fierce woman, and fantastic at her job. I loved how she grew over the novel in confidence as well as her reflection on her career. I liked how the author approached the idea of “Justice” and the inability for the justice system to always get it right. Ingrid’s moment at the end with John Webster was the best part of the book.

I also really enjoyed John Webster’s character. He was very flawed and complicated and just fun. Yes he is a psychopath, and no I wouldn’t want to be friends with him, but he somehow made the book a tad lighthearted, because he doesn’t take things too seriously. I enjoyed his complicated relationship with Ingrid.

Unfortunately, this book also had a lot of issues. I loosely figured out the mystery by page 50 – and for a 471 page book, that’s not ideal. The clues were too heavy handed and the red herrings were too obvious. I think the solution itself wasn’t bad, but I would have enjoyed it more if it was a surprise. I found the emails unnecessary, they provided a major clue to the resolution as well.

The pacing of the book was another problem. I found myself skimming so much of this book. It was much too long and there were too many unnecessary scenes and details. The book needed a serious edit, probably 100 pages needed to be cut to make this more enjoyable. By page 150, when I was pretty sure I knew enough of the ending to be satisfied, I almost stopped reading, but I just needed to be sure I was correct, so I slogged through the rest of it.

Ultimately, I’d give this book a 2.5 for my experience, but I do think others would like it, so I rounded up to a 3, because I do think some people should give it a shot. If you like wordy mysteries with a bit of thrill, this might be for you. Might be good for those that enjoyed Tana French’s The Witch Elm, the pacing is similar.

We're trying to grow our mailing list. If you join us and stick around, you will automatically be entered into two giveaways as a token of our thanks. And that's just the start!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *