My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What constitutes a ‘perfect murder’ in your opinion? Is it the unbelievability of the crime committed or is it the perfect way a murderer gets away after committing the crime? Is it the Why that you favor or is the How?? What exactly creates the most thrilling excitement in a reader when making a list of 8 perfect murders?
Peter Swanson’s Eight Perfect Murders got me thinking and savoring the book like a stray dog with a bone. This one has to be bought in book format and kept in the shelf as one’s favorite, coz it is just not a thriller that satisfies your craving but it also adds fuel to the already burning fire for a thriller aficionado. Interspersed throughout the novel are books that are classics in the genre, Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders, Strangers on the Train, Double Indemnity, Death Trap, A Secret History and so many more being mentioned throughout that one can’t help but make a list of all the books.
Old Devil’s Bookstore is a specialized bookstore dealing in crime fiction. The part owner of the shop Malcom Kershaw is approached by FBI special agent Gwen Mulvey, as she has found a link to some unsolved murders with a list of perfect murders that was created as a blog post by Malcom few years back. The story flows thru Malcom and things build up slowly as the reader is allowed glimpses into his personal history and grief about the loss of his wife Claire. Malcom himself becomes entangled in the mystery as the murderer is hell bent on completing the list of 8 murders targeting people known to Malcom.
The reveal of the murderer was pure explosion, with my imagination adding a drum-roll too. It was a homage to all the mystery novels that one loves with a “Whole Truth” chapter that can leave a reader speechless.
Each and every character in the book was delightful and the bookstore charms all readers who love spending time just browsing the books or spending time inside this ‘heaven’.
Fair warning to fellow readers though, that spoilers of most books has been explained in the story so if any of you have not read these classics, please do so before reading this book, in fact I actually did wonder if the author could have written the book without that many details but I guess the murders can only make sense with the description. As I had read many of the books or at least seen the movies on which they are based, I didn’t feel that I lost out on anything but this could hinder the joy for those who have not read them before.
An outstanding thriller that is highly recommended for all fans of thriller!
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A chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.
Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.
But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.
To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects—and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.