BOOK NOOK: If a book ever came with an unconditional guarantee, this could be the one

Reading dazzling novels is one of life’s simple pleasures. “Kill For Me, Kill For You” by Steve Cavanagh is just such a book. This convoluted thriller written by a former attorney in Northern Ireland has been one of the reading highlights of my year so far.

Cavanagh is best known for his books featuring Eddie Flynn, a series of legal thrillers, with eight titles to date. He also writes standalone mysteries and his latest book is one of those. “Kill For Me, Kill For You” is set mostly in New York City and one gets the sense the author was inspired to some degree by the filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.

The story is told primarily from the alternating points of view of two women, Amanda, and Ruth. Occasionally we’ll also pivot to another point of view, that of Ruth’s husband, Scott, or, now and then, the viewpoint of a cop, a homicide investigator named Farrow.

Amanda is a young mother who has experienced a devastating tragedy. As the story opens she is stalking a man. She has a gun, she is on the subway. The man she is hunting has done something horrible, or at least she believes he is the one who murdered her daughter.

The alleged perpetrator has expensive lawyers who have derailed all efforts to prosecute him. Amanda has decided to take the law into her own hands. She has lost all hope in our system of justice.

Meanwhile Ruth is providing our other main point of view. She is happily married to Scott. Scott is a successful lawyer - he devotes a regular night each week to hanging with his buddies, “poker, bowling, pool.” Ruth puts up with it. Then one night while Scott is out with his chums an intruder breaks in and attacks Ruth.

Ruth is stabbed repeatedly but somehow survives. Farrow, the homicide cop, is amazed she lived. Ruth’s assailant fits the profile of a killer who has been attacking women in Manhattan. Ruth is the only victim who is still living and can describe the culprit and Farrow is wondering how that can be, did something scare off her attacker?

Now Farrow has met both women. He had been checking in with Amanda ever since her daughter was murdered. Her daughter had been abducted during an outing with her dad, Luis. Luis then became so overwhelmed by guilt that he took his own life. Farrow is convinced this same alleged perpetrator murdered Luis and Amanda’s daughter. A heartbreaking situation.

Okay, that is our setup. It would be a disservice to readers and to the author of this sizzling tale to reveal any more about the plot. Suffice it to say that Steve Cavanagh has written one of the most delightfully clever, remorselessly ingenious, devastatingly entertaining thrillers of 2024. If you enjoy a deeply satisfying whodunnit with a mind boggling twist at the end do not miss this one.

His ending is exhilarating, bewildering, and utterly unexpected. Steve Cavanagh has truly mastered this genre.

Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit Contact him at

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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