The Killing Circle


Author: Andrew Pyper

Published: 2008

Genre: Thriller

About The Killing Circle: Patrick's son has been kidnapped and he's pretty sure he knows who is responsible.

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Review of The Killing Circle

Patrick Rush is a widower and single parent who dreams of being a novelist. He used to be a literary columnist for a major newspaper but cuts to the Books section have demoted him to television critic. One day, an ad in the classifieds catches his eye and on impulse he answers it.

I've never heard of Conrad White. Never attended a writers' workshop, circle, night class or retreat. It's been years since I've tried to write anything other than what I am contractually obliged to. But something about this day—about the taste of the air in this very room—has signalled that something is coming my way. Has already come.

I call the number at the bottom of the ad. When a voice at the other end asks me what he can do for me, I answer without hesitation.

"I want to write a book," I say.

...from page 23

At the writing circle, Patrick meets an odd group of people but one, Angela, captivates all of them with her story about "a terrible man who does terrible things". Hearing that story spins off a series of events which leads to Patrick's son being kidnapped (which is how the book starts).

Lots of energy and suspense with all of the elements that make thrillers so much fun to read. There were some nice twists and turns too, including one at the end which I don't think anyone would see coming.

Patrick was a complicated and often unsympathetic main character. A wannabe novelist with nothing to write about, who hated his job and felt sorry for himself much of the time. And when he found himself in a heap of trouble it was at least partly brought on by his own unethical behaviour.

The story also had plenty to say about the demise of newspaper book sections, the excessive number of reality TV shows, and the frustrations of those who dream of writing fiction.

This book had much more depth than a typical thriller. It was the first book of Pyper's that I've read but it won't be the last.

Reviewed by Lynn Bornath on 31 July 2008 from a PDF file (which I printed out so I could read on the beach) provided by

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More Reviews

Booklorn, 12 July 2008
“This is one of the best thrillers that I've read in a long time...”
Corey Redekop, Shelf Monkey, 15 July 2008
“Scary, original, and unsettling...”
Mark Leslie, 26 August 2008
“...a fantastic thriller that I quite enjoyed.”
Remi, Gunner's Miscellany, 29 August 2008
“This book is a winner, a break from the serious stuff (we like to say we read) that doesn't feel like a compromise.”
Joanne, The Book Zombie, 22 November 2008
“The Killing Circle is a very well put together novel, with all the right ingredients to make a terrific thriller.”


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Added 31 July 2008.
Updated 23 August 2013.