You are here
Home > Product Reviews > Book Reviews > Book Review: Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell

Book Review: Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell

kill all your darlings

If you purchase a product or service from this website, 50PLUSTODAY may receive an "affiliate commission". We disclose this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

This month’s recommendation from Great Thoughts, Great Readers:

Kill All Your Darlings

by David Bell


Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell is a suspenseful thriller with a stunning plot. It even includes one of my favorite literary tropes of a book within a book.  This allows for you to engage on a deeper level and keeps you rapidly turning the pages! You can’t help but wonder if life is imitating art or art is imitating life as events rapidly deteriora for all involved.

Connor Nye is a professor at a small-town college, currently experiencing one of the lowest points in his life. He experienced a heartbreaking personal tragedy, but is still under tremendous pressure to publish a book or face unemployment.  When one of his students goes missing after turning in a wonderful novel for her thesis, he is faced with a hard decision.

Even though he knows it is wrong, Connor publishes Madeline’s book under his name. He rationalizes this morally wrong deception given her long standing status as a missing person who is presumed dead. Unfortunately, Madeline reappears with the sole purpose of getting Connor to pay her for plagiarizing her ideas. Unbeknownst to Connor, the book that she wrote and he published contains confidential details from an ongoing real life murder case.

As if dealing with the grief of losing his family was not enough, Connor is now a prime suspect in a murder he knows nothing about. Telling the police that he did not write the book will ruin his reputation, but seeming uncooperative could get him arrested for murder.  This dilemma has him torn asunder.  You are drawn in further to see if he can possibly remedy the destructive path he created.

Kill All Your Darlings is full of flawed characters who have secrets galore.  Just when you think you have something figured out you find out you were mistaken. The characterization, plotting, and storytelling are simply masterful, Bell has truly written a credit to the genre. This was a wholly original story that also managed to poke fun at the thriller genre.  David Bell never fails to produce a heart pounding novel fully of twisty and suspenseful surprises, grab Kill All Your Darlings and carve out some time as you will read it start to finish in one sitting!

I was provided a free advance reader copy from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. The opinions shared in this review are my own.


About the Author

david bell

David Bell is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of 13 novels, including: The Request, Layover, Somebody’s Daughter, Bring Her Home, Since She Went Away, Somebody I Used to Know, The Forgotten Girl, Never Come Back, The Hiding Place, and Cemetery Girl. He lives in Bowling Green, Ohio with his wife, writer Molly McCafferty. Learn more at



About Andrea Peskind Katz from GREAT THOUGHTS, GREAT READERS:

great thoughts, great readersAndrea Peskind Katz runs Great Thoughts, Great Readers, a Book Salon presented via her private FB group where approximately 5000 prolific readers and authors interact. She also founded, a lifestyle website blog focusing on Great Books and Great Travel. To quote Robert Frost, she created her “second act” career to “unite my avocation and my vocation”. After 20 years in high pressure sales, Andrea retired to spend time doing what she loves best: hanging with her family, reading good books.

Each month, Andrea chooses a book for 50PlusToday  that is either written by or for 50Plus individuals.

Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell


story line


writing style




We'd love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.