Kill Me

Stephen White, Author . Dutton $25.95 (402p) ISBN 978-0-525-94930-5

Bestseller White (Missing Persons ) takes an endlessly debatable question—at what point would a decline in your quality of life cause you to want to end your life?—and leverages it into a clever, absorbing thriller. The anonymous narrator is in his prime, a happily married father of a young girl given to high-risk sports. An assortment of grim fates and a near-escape of his own make him consider the question. A shadowy group called Death Angel Inc. contracts to guarantee that if the life of the "insured" should reach a certain agreed-upon level, they will terminate that life. Fascinated and impressed by the Death Angels' knowledge and reach, he eventually negotiates terms with them. This Faustian bargain doesn't take long to reveal its dark side, and White pays almost equal attention to the philosophical and the physical as his hero has to both approach the conditions that would trigger his contract's death clause yet remain healthy enough to fight back. Some finely scripted action scenes build to a telegraphed ending that weakens the book only slightly. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 10/17/2005
Release date: 03/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
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