Kill the Next One by Federico Axat

imageTed McKay had it all: a beautiful wife, two daughters, a high-paying job. But after being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor he finds himself with a gun to his temple, ready to pull the trigger. Then the doorbell rings.

A stranger makes him a proposition: why not kill two deserving men before dying? The first target is a criminal, and the second is a man with terminal cancer who, like Ted, wants to die. After executing these kills, Ted will become someone else’s next target, like a kind of suicidal daisy chain. Ted understands the stranger’s logic: it’s easier for a victim’s family to deal with a murder than with a suicide. However, after killing his targets, Ted’s reality begins to unravel.


Ted thinks he is getting involved in a twisted version of ‘paying it forward’ but is it al that straight forward?  For Ted it seems like a win-win deal but as things start to play out it’s a lot more complicated than that.

This book is one that messes with your head.  There are a lot of WTF moments, then when you think you have it figured out you sit back and go “Ahhhh” then just as fast you are back to scratching your head wondering what happened, flip back a page or two, plow on and it all gets straight again….. then rinse and repeat.   Ted seems to be either suffering from the effects of a brain tumor or he’s just nuts and it takes a while to figure out what is happening.  Separating the threads of fantasy from reality is a long and hard process.

It’s a hard book to review without giving away much of the plot because that is the whole part of this book, there are so many things going on you can’t really say because then it gives it away. There are twists so sharp at times it makes your head spin!  I do love how you see only one piece of the picture at a time, trying to solve it like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces that seem to be missing. The writer did an amazing job in creating the shattered mind of Ted, making you feel just as lost as he is.  When things do finally click into place it’s done in such a way that it’s complex but simple at the same time.  The picture of the maze on the cover of the book is the perfect analogy of what the story is like, one big maze in Ted’s brain.  I loved the complexity of the story and for such a short book the writer made it seems like a lot longer that what it actually is.  I felt for Ted at the end and how it ended.  I do have two words of warning, at the end there is some graphic descriptions of animal cruelty, and the second is, beware of the possum!

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5/5 stars


Buy: Amazon

Buy: Amazon UK