The Kills by Richard House - review by James Kidd

James Kidd

What on Earth Is Going on?

The Kills


Picador 1002pp £20

The Kills is a novel that challenges critics, and indeed criticism, in a variety of ways. Its 1,000 pages in hardback form not only strain bicep, forearm and wrist, but also make mincemeat of commonplaces like plot summary. The Kills is a thriller about a fugitive framed for a financial heist he didn’t commit until it becomes a conspiracy about big business interests in Iraq until it mutates into a knowing murder mystery until it does all the above in different voices.

In any case I have already overstepped and forgotten to ask whether The Kills is a novel at all. Its four sections (‘Sutler’, ‘The Massive’, ‘The Kill’, ‘The Hit’) have all been released separately as e-books, making The Kills a compilation of sorts, albeit one that interlocks in extraordinary ways.

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