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Richard House's 'The Kills' challenges what a thriller can be
Richard House's 'The Kills' challenges what a thriller can be

Released last year in England and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Richard House's "The Kills" is a sprawling, 1,000-page epic that forgoes the formulaic machinations of the lowbrow thriller and aspires to high art. "The Kills" is divided into four book-length sections with overlapping narratives. They can be read in any order, which is usually code for "unresolved conclusion" — but have no fear, there are plenty of unhappy endings in "The Kills." The first section, "Sutler," opens with a very bad day in Iraq. The principals aren't soldiers but contractors for a Halliburton-like multinational corporation called HOSCO...

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