Nine Lives by Peter Swanson – Book Review

Title: Nine Lives

Author: Peter Swanson

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Publication Date: 1st March 2022

Rating: 4.5/5



If you’re on the list you’re marked for death…

The envelope is unremarkable. There is no return address. It contains a single, folded, sheet of white paper.

The envelope drops through the mail slot like any other piece of post. But for the nine complete strangers who receive it – each of them recognising just one name, their own, on the enclosed list – it will be the most life altering letter they ever receive. It could also be the last, as one by one, they start to meet their end.

But why?


I’ve really enjoyed Swanson’s books in the past so I was excited to read this twist on a classic mystery and it did not disappoint! The story follows nine people, each of whom receive a list in the mail with their name on it – plus eight other names they don’t recognise. Then these people begin dying, or rather getting murdered and it becomes a race against time to find the killer before the next death.

I like classic mystery, à la Agatha Christie, but what I like even more is an interesting or fresh perspective on the genre and that’s exactly what Nine Lives is. It’s one of those books you can easily fly through in one sitting, due to the propulsive, race against time nature of the story and it’s likely you will because it is very difficult to put down. The chapters are short and snappy, and each character feels fully formed and intriguing, despite the brevity of some of their appearances. It plays around with the concept of Christie’s And Then There Were None whilst still feeling very much like an original take in its own right. I also loved the clever inclusion of other famous books, both children and adult. If you are looking for a smart, fun, concise and endlessly compelling mystery then I highly recommend giving Nine Lives a read!


I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Waterstones |Blackwells

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