The idea for Kill Swap came to me, as the author’s note in the book states, when I was lying awake at four o’clock one morning. I’m not an insomniac, at least not much of one, but I do sometimes find myself snapping into consciousness at around 3 or 4 a.m. with my brain whirling full of thoughts, often bad ones (what my friend Peter Crowther calls “the rats”).
On this occasion, what waltzed into my head was a simple idea: what reason would someone have to kill a person they’d never met? I was due to write another Barrington Stoke title at this point anyway, and I suddenly realised I had the germ of a story right there. I freely admit that the initial part of the tale is a crib from Strangers On A Train (as pointed out in the review below) but the rest of it, with all its twists and turns, is pure spontaneous, original invention.
- Kill Swap [Barrington Stoke, January 2007] – ISBN 978-1842994474
- “Barrington Stoke is a new venture publishing short novels for reluctant readers. Universally excellent, its list features thrillers by such leading authors such as Robert Swindells, Kaye Umansky, Terry Deary and Catherine McPhail. James Lovegrove’s Kill Swap is typically clever and gripping.”Jack’s father is in debt to a gangster. He rings a mysterious company called Trouble Fix and is told that the gangster will be murdered if Jack murders a banker in turn. It’s like Strangers on a Train crossed with Big Brother, as the plot twists in an unexpected direction. Written in clear, terse prose, and typeset in easy-to-read paragraphs, this is hard-edged, fast-paced reading that does credit to an excellent enterprise.
“[The book is] pure gold for boys who have read everything by Anthony Horowitz… or have not been able to tackle him yet.” – Amanda Craig, The Times
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• Filed under Books • 01/01/2007 •