Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Book review : Kill Me Twice - Simon Booker

Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker is the second book in the Morgan Vine series, but I hadn't read the first book and discovered that it can be perfectly enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. Morgan is a journalist who focuses on miscarriages of justice, a theme close to the author's heart, as his ex-wife married a man who spent 26 years in a prison in America for a crime he didn't commit. As well as writing novels, he is a screenwriter, having worked on primetime TV dramas for ITV and BBC1, as well as romantic comedies for American TV. This comes through in his writing, as he focuses on describing the landscapes in perfect detail. This appealed to me even more as the action takes place in and around Dungeness, a place I've visited, and the descriptions of the lighthouse, the little wooden houses, the miniature railway and the beach brought back memories.

Kill Me Twice introduces (or reintroduces) us to single mum Morgan and her twenty-year-old daughter Lissa. The action starts on the very first page when the pair are attacked on a clifftop walk. And this is just the beginning ! 

Morgan works as an investigator, trying to check out the stories of people in prison who claim to be innocent. One such person is Angelica, a young mum accused of murdering her partner, Karl Savage. Various forensic experts have identified the corpse recovered from a fire as that of Karl but, when Morgan's daughter comes across a picture of Karl, she is in for a shock - it's her ex-boyfriend, Pablo !

Morgan sets out to protect her daughter and get Angelica out of custody, but this is not an easy job and her life is frequently put in danger as she follows all the leads, being drawn into a sordid underground web that centres on the prison. The police can't help her so she goes on a one-woman mission to set the world to rights. One thing I did notice that grated slightly is that there is not one single character in the book who appears to be on her side. She is the only "good" character and all the others are either distinctly evil or just substandard hero-helpers. The character of the hotel manager is a great example - he seems like a bog standard nice guy, he has no real part to play in the novel, but even he gets dragged into a quick tale of installing peeping Tom cameras in smoke alarms. I just shook my head and thought "why him?" as it didn't really add anything to the story.

That's my one criticism though. It's a fast-paced book that is big on action. The little flashbacks to Karl Savage's childhood do help you to understand why he ended up so evil, even if you can't feel sorry for him. It's a tense read with plenty of descriptions of people and places to help you really imagine the settings and a feel-good ending that all the bad guys are locked up and you can go to sleep happy. Just one thing disappointed me - the fact that the series ends here. Come on Simon, I'm sure Morgan has a few more great stories in her yet !

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £7.99

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Zaffre (24 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785760785
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785760785
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm


  1. Thanks for your lovely review!

  2. Oh, I do like the sound of this book! Another one to add to my wish list.

    1. I seem to think this was another bargain from The Works so keep your eyes open ! :)


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