With shades of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, this story opens with nine people receiving a list of names without an explanation. It soon becomes obvious what the list means as they start to die, one by one, in mysterious circumstances. If you haven't read Christie's book, there is a spoiler towards the end of Nine Lives, so be aware.
The people on the list do not know each other and there is no obvious link between them. One is a member of the FBI but their detective work is limited as they go into hiding as a potential victim themselves. So there are nine rather mundane people going about their lives and the reader gets a snapshot before they are bumped off.
The book is clearly written with short chapters from the point of view each of the nine characters. Given this, it is a little difficult to remember some of those who are unremarkable and thus it is hard have empathy for any character really. The brevity of the chapters keeps the pace and works well in this way.
A quick mystery whodunnit, perhaps a little tenuous in the motivation, but a fairly good read for fans of Swanson, even if this isn't one of his better novels.
See more of What I'm Reading
Published by Faber on 3 March 2022.
Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.
Best Selling Psychological Fiction
Reviews by Year of Publication
All 1844 1866 1889 1897 1932 1935 1942 1946 1950 1951 1953 1954 1960 1962 1969 1971 1974 1977 1978 1983 1984 1985 1989 1991 1994 1995 1996 1997 2000 2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022