Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman

Book Review

Title: Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 5 Stars

I attempted to read this book a while ago but I wasn’t in the right mood for it but now I’ve getting back into horrors and thrillers I decided to pick it up. The opening to Swipe Right for Murder was interesting as we are introduced to Aidan who is meeting up with some friends after going to a hospital appointment. After having tea with Jackson and Tatiana, Aidan heads back to his room and looks for a hook up in the hotel and finds a boy from school but this meeting is a disaster so he goes looking for another one and finds Benoit. Benoit seems to want something from Aidan but he isn’t sure what, after the sex, food and sleep Aidan awakes to find Benoit dead in the bed. On Benoit’s phone he finds pictures of himself obviously taken from a distance and a sniper sight sweeping around the room. Aidan hides but then Benoit’s phone rings and he makes the idiotic mistake of answering it and I can only put this down to shock but it really sets the tone of the novel.

As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel, I have to admit that this book is really fast paced and I am loving it. The guy on the phone is connected to an organisation known as the Swans and Aidan soon learns that they have a connection to the Stonewall Riots which was a significant time in LGBT history. He believes that Aidan is someone known as Mr. Preston and has something he was supposed to sell to the Swans and gives him another chance to make things right. Aidan in a panic takes some money that Benoit had for the deal and the USB from his computer before fleeing the hotel which is harder than he thought since the Swans seem to have several agents planted there and the police are arriving as well. Aidan ends up meeting with his friend Jackson and tells him about what is going on and they head to another friend, Leo’s place or where he is crashing for the time being. Leo learns that there is a lot of stuff about malware and hacking on the USB and that the Swans seem to be a terrorist organisation and Aidan has got himself mixed up in some heavy shit. However, the guy on the phone seems to be dropping hints to figure out if Aidan is actually one of them or not which might come in handy if he can figure out what the clues means and get hold of the thing they want or Preston before they kill him or his family.

As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel, Aidan doesn’t want to drag his friends into the mess he has found himself in and leaves only to be captured by the men chasing him soon after. There he meets the man I presume was on the phone to him in the hotel and he tries to get Aidan to admit he is Preston which he isn’t but he seems to know far more about Aidan that they have any right to. Aidan knows he is dealing with dangerous people since the Swans just killed several outspoken homophobic public figures and he doesn’t want them to stop that understand what they are trying to do but he doesn’t want to be caught up in it. Aidan is allowed to leave but he is almost killed by one of the men on the way before escaping onto a train where he meets Shiloh. Shiloh seems to be a very understanding young man and help Aidan get back to the hotel where they end up running into Tatiana and Aidan knows he needs to get things like his room card and ID back before he can think about anything else like meeting with his family and their return flight home. Aidan is a great character to be following since his reactions are honest and very similar to what I would do in the same situation and I can’t wait to see where this goes and what he uncovers about the Swans.

As we approach the halfway mark in the novel, Shiloh and Tatiana try to convince Aidan to call the police but he knows there is no chance of that happening because of how powerful the Swans are. Aidan does meet up with his family but they aren’t going to visit his aunt as planned which causes an argument between the family especially when Aidan mentions he lost his wallet and phone. However, this is overshadowed when his face appears on the news in connection with the terrorist attacks, only his sister seems to understand that he needs to end this once and for all. The Swans gives him the choice of bringing them what they want or joining their organisation and Aidan offers to bring them the source code since Mr. Preston has been in touch with him about meeting and sorting this whole mess out. Aidan ignores the advice of others and goes to meet Preston but he learns on route that his phone is nearby meaning he might have been followed or there is a simpler explanation for it but I can’t wait to find out and see what happens in the end. I did think Aidan comes across a little naïve especially when he is talking with Shiloh who he seems to have a connection with. Learning more about his history and relationship with his former best friend’s father was interesting especially how it ended and how Aidan has ended up where he is.

As we cross into the second half of the novel, Aidan goes to the meeting spot only to walk straight into another ambush where the Swans try to kill him, for the second time Aidan has to kill someone in order to escape with his own life. However, he learns that it was Shiloh taking pictures of him at the beginning of the book and he believes that Shiloh is one of the bad guys and confronts him about it with the gun. A panic attack stops this encounter and lands Aidan in the hospital where he comes face to face with the FBI who explain the entire situation. It turns out that Mr. Preston was supposed to be a digital persona to lure out the Swans and for a time the FBI were unaware that Aidan was real person. When they learn he is they use him to their advantage to lure out Benoit not counting for them to make contact first which blew the whole sting but they couldn’t reveal the investigation and let the Swans know about their agent inside who happens to be Shiloh. In the debriefing, Aidan learns more but they ask him to help them more to bring down the leader of the Swans although Aidan and the FBI are concerned since Shiloh hasn’t checked in with them since the most recent attack as he broke cover in order to save Aidan.

As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel, Aidan gets another phone call from Scotty, the leader of the Swans while he is with the FBI trying to convince him to come to their side and he isn’t sure who is or isn’t telling him the truth. He ends up agreeing to work with the FBI not yet knowing if he is going to turn on them when he agrees to go and meet Scotty in person. There he finally gets the sense that Shiloh might have turned on the FBI like Scotty claimed when he begins a rant about how the world needs to change and how he is going to do it. Aidan tries to dig for information on what they are going to do next but ultimately fails Scotty’s test and Shiloh knows what Scotty wants him to do and tells Aidan to play dead when it happens. Aidan is as clueless as ever until Scotty tells Shiloh to shoot Aidan and prove his allegiance to the Swans which he does but his warning of playing dead finally makes sense to Aidan and I am excited to see how Milman brings the novel to its conclusion and what is going to happen to both Aidan and Shiloh in the end. The writing is so fast paced in this novel you can literally fly through it as I’ve read the majority of the book in a single sitting and I will definitely be awaiting Milman’s next book because this is turning out to be amazing and I don’t know why I put it down in the first place.

As we cross into the final section of the novel, we get to see everything explode with Aidan right in the centre of it. However, it wasn’t the dramatic ending I loved the most it was watching Aidan’s life after and how he came to terms with everything in his past and grew as a person. While Aidan is a clueless and naïve teenager for most of the novel at the end we see him grow into a decent young man with purpose who takes some of the Swan’s ideals for a better world and uses them in a healthy manner to educate others, showing sympathy and love to them rather than anger and finding causes that he truly believes in to fight for like suicide prevention. Overall, Swipe Right for Murder did start out as a comedic thriller but quickly evolved into something far more heartfelt and honest and I absolutely adored it.

Buy it here:

Paperback/Hardcover: amazon.co.uk                                amazon.com

Kindle Edition: amazon.co.uk                                          amazon.com

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