Today there’s an undertone of social injustices plaguing our world with a threatening yet taboo sense of doom that seems unspeakable by most. Discussions on suicide, PTSD and human trafficking have either seemed hushed or handled controversially…that is, until Kurt Brindley came along. His novel, The Good Kill is an emblem of progress for all those who dare rise up against the enslaving silence in our society in hopes of sparking change. Brindley harnesses these frightening topics by the reigns and skillfully tames them into a narrative where readers can discuss, comprehend and conquer these social demons. Equally riveting as it is revealing, The Good Kill exposes the love and logic behind hateful underground crimes that we witness today; it is a story about innocent youth, broken military vigilantes and even senile pastors learning how to fight for the family, friendships, “God and Country” that they believe in.
To list the pros of this book would take pages: well-developed humour and characters, the enriched yet simple vocabulary and varying points of view were amongst my favourite parts. As cruel as the bodyguards’ P.O.Vs were, Happy’s incessant blabber juxtaposed against his silent counterpart, Mcknight, made for hilarious comic relief amidst the novel’s heavy nature. Another high point was the incredible imagery: you could tell from the fine-tuned metaphors and vividly painted scenes that Kurt is a natural born poet and has many poetry novels to prove it. I aspire to one day write as impressively as Brindley however I also aspire to do it in fewer words.
The overkill in The Good Kill might be its one downfall as several sentences take up so many lines that they might as well be paragraphs…hard-to-follow ones for that matter. Various typos were appearing because too much energy was being devoted to unnecessary “fluff” scenes rather than editing the core content. But readers realize there’s a method to the madness once they reach the final stretch of the novel; perhaps the reason the author spent so long elaborating is because other authors pale in light of his strategic foreshadowing and symbolism skills.
It turns out that many of the seemingly unrelated moments from the start were setting up a series of plot twists no one could have ever seen coming. That shouldn’t surprise anybody considering that, from chapter two onwards, we see Brindley use advanced writing techniques to simultaneously advance the two subplots; he’s clearly in the habit of skillfully planting one scene with easter eggs in preparation for future events. There is also plausible foreshadowing in the dream chapters filled with unbeatable obstacles. They allude to Killian’s future fights not only against gangsters but also against inner demons that no one can save him from except for himself. So after all this strategizing and foreshadowing, readers should expect that, in the end, Brindley will expertly weave every character into an enthralling tale of justice, romance and action.
The Good Kill offers it all: plot twists, cathartic relief and 80 chapters of strategic narrative around sensitive issues that our society needs to do a better job discussing. I have no reservations that you should read it…but I do have one about this quote from the novel’s corresponding bookmark. It says: “A good novel tells us the truth about its hero but a bad novel tells us the story of its author.” Frankly, I disagree. The Good Kill is a great book telling the story of heroic Killian AND of a heroic author brave enough to spark change in the social silence surrounding traumas currently facing mankind. For that, I say kudos to Kurt Brindley and may the best successes come to his ensuing Killian Lebon novels.