Review – The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper


Patrick Rush, a former bright light at the National Star now demoted to the reality TV beat, is still recovering from his wife’s death when he joins a writers’ group in Toronto. His goal: to write the book he’s always felt lived within him. Trouble is, Patrick has no story to tell. And while the circle’s members show similarly little literary promise, there is one exception: Angela. Her unsettling readings tell of a shadowy childhood tragedy and an unremitting fear of the Sandman, a “terrible man who does terrible things.” It’s the stuff of nightmares or horror films. Or is it?
Over the weeks that follow, a string of unsolved murders seem increasingly connected to Patrick. And then the circle’s members start to go missing, one by one. Still haunted by loss–and by a crime only those in the circle could know of–Patrick finds himself in a fictional world made horrifically real. But nothing will put him in greater danger than that ancient curse of natural born readers: the need to know how the story ends.


This story starts out quite innocently enough, Patrick Rush, a middle-aged widower and single dad, believes himself to be a talented writer wasting his life working for a newspaper, if that weren’t bad enough, he is actually travelling down and out on that career ladder. Deciding to follow his aspirations of becoming a writer, Patrick joins a writing group who meet weekly to share their work. But very soon he comes to realize that he has nothing to contribute, however another member, Angela, is a very skilled writer who has been weaving a thriller about a killer named Sandman, that keeps Patrick returning just to hear how it ends up.

Fast forward a few years, and Patrick is now a successful writer, living the life he always wanted. But his happiness is soon to be over, as the events from Angela’s story start to blur together with real life. A serial killer is on the loose and Patrick fears he is being targeted. Members of the original writing circle are turning up dead, and Patrick seems to be loosing control of his perfect life.

The Killing Circle is a very well put together novel, with all the right ingredients to make a terrific thriller. Twists and turns around every corner and a plot that keeps you guessing until the end. I enjoyed this story very much and was very satisfied with the ending. The only thing holding this novel back was the absence of characters whom you could empathize with. Although the main character was interesting, I thought he was a bit overly self-involved. Could have used a little more back-story to show how he became the person he was. Overall, The Killing Circle was an enjoyable read, the plot was fully strong enough to pull the reader along until the last page.

About The Author

Andrew Pyper is the author of three bestselling novels, Lost Girls (a New York Times Notable Book), The Trade Mission, and The Wildfire Season, as well as Kiss Me, a collection of short stories. Lost Girls and The Killing Circle are currently in development for feature films. Andrew Pyper lives in Toronto.

Author Website

Published by Doubleday Canada

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. This one sounds pretty good to me.

The Bookworm said...

nice new blog look!
this book sounds very good, that cover is creepy.
great review ;)

chrisa511 said...

This sounds really good! Going straight onto the wishlist :)

Lenore Appelhans said...

Hmmm...for a good plot I can handle a couple of self involved characters :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Oh, interesting. I really want to read this one now. It sounds very good. And the cover IS creepy...yet very cool.


Kathleen said...

The cover looks similar to the cover for Blindness by Jose Saramago.

Ladytink_534 said...

Ooh very cool! Sounds like it would be a good movie too.