Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 6th, 2021
Synopsis: When a student disappears and is presumed dead, her professor passes off her manuscript as his own—only to find out it implicates him in an unsolved murder in this new thriller from the USA Today bestselling author of The Request.
After years of struggling to write following the deaths of his wife and son, English professor Connor Nye publishes his first novel, a thriller about the murder of a young woman.
There’s just one problem: Connor didn’t write the book. His missing student did. And then she appears on his doorstep, alive and well, threatening to expose him.
Connor’s problems escalate when police insist details in the novel implicate him in a murder from two years ago. Soon Connor discovers the crime is part of a disturbing scandal on campus and faces an impossible dilemma—admit he didn’t write the book and lose his job or keep of the lie and risk everything. When another murder occurs, Connor must clear his name by unraveling the horrifying secrets in his student’s manuscript.
This is a suspenseful, provocative novel about the sexual harassment that still runs rampant in academia—and the lengths those in power will go to cover it up. (Goodreads)
Kill All Your Darlings is a fun, addictive read, filled with flawed characters and suspect motives. The main character, Connor doesn’t have the best judgement in the world, but while normally this would annoy me, I found him sympathetic because of the death of his wife and son. You’re probably asking how someone who plagiarizes his missing student’s thesis, could possibly garner even a droplet of sympathy, let’s just say what leads him to do this is complicated. Yes it’s stupid and immoral, but it’s done at a time when he’s not thinking clearly. Madeline, the student in question who turns up two years after her mysterious disappearance, I was less keen about due to her initial snarky attitude, but she grew on me as the story progressed. While I figured out fairly early on, the “who” in the mystery, the why remained elusive until the final chapters. The timely topic of sexual harassment on college campuses is a very important part of the book and Bell does a credible job writing the rest of the storyline around it. The pacing of the story was solidly fast right up to the satisfying ending and I flew through it in two sittings. Kill All Your Darlings will undoubtedly please David Bell fans, and for any of you looking for an exciting psychological suspense mystery and enjoy authors like Harlan Coben, I highly recommend you give this a try.