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Book Review: The Right To Kill

The Right To Kill was written by James Robert Murphy and published by Create Space in 2015.You may purchase it at Visit the author on Facebook.

The Right to Kill follows the lives of six young boys living on Syracuse, NY’s north side in the 1950s and 60s when the United States was still in its infancy; when families were poor, uneducated, hardworking, lower-class citizens. The boys make a blood-bound pact to “clean up the neighborhood” at all costs. As time goes by, their once simple adventures lead to an escalation in what they deem as morally acceptable and ultimately necessary killings in order to keep the peace. As adults they find themselves at the forefront of the most significant political shift in United States history. By the ruling party’s executive order, “On this fine day,” the U.S. borders are immediately and indefinitely closed. Texas passes the controversial, Right to Kill Act. Anyone in the State of Texas can petition to have someone killed. The catch? The petitioner has to make the kill.

(Note: This review was first published in 2016 but given the current political climate in 2020, it’s a story that is even more relevant than it was back in December of 2015, when it was first published.)

Jim Murphy’s latest book, The Right To Kill, made me cringe. It begins as a dark, grisly, and graphic tale that had me a bit nauseous but then a quick twist in the plot, surprisingly had me cheering on the six misguided and murderous youngsters. Even though this is a work of fiction, the author took me on a chillingly deadly and dark adventure that had me rethinking the human condition and prompted me to re-examine what true human nature really is composed of. One of the most ironic, intriguing and haunting aspects of this story is how timely it is, given the current political climate. The United States, in this fictional version, is much different than the country that we know but it is eerily close to where we could be if the “right” or “wrong” leader took the reins of our country. It really is up to us to decide. This is not a book for young readers or the easily offended but it is a book worth reading. The author’s tongue is placed firmly in cheek in this one and the bits of sexual humor will have you laughing hard but have no doubt, the premise of this tale will stick in your mind and its message will have you considering the real-life possibilities well after the last page is read. This one has the legs that could take it to the bestseller list. I give The Right To Kill 5 out of 5 stars

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