Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Eight Perfect Murders - Peter Swanson

Eight Perfect Murders is the latest from author Peter Swanson.

From William Morrow Books:

"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.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore 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."

My Thoughts:

I've enjoyed previous books from Peter Swanson and was looking forward to this latest. I thought the premise was excellent. A series of murders based on a list compiled by a bookstore owner? The possibilities are many! I enjoyed seeing what books made the list of eight. Swanson's choices and the exploration of why each title was picked was made for bibliophiles. (But only if you've read the books - otherwise there are spoilers galore)

I initially liked Kershaw, but as the book progressed I began to dislike him. Why? Well, unreliable narrators make for interesting reading. Things can change rapidly was truths and untruths are added to the mix. But in this case, they felt clunky and convenient to me. And rapidly really didn't happen here. Lots of downtime that just felt like filler in between murders. And I thought he was a bit of a git.

But, I did keep reading until the end and Swanson did come up with a nice twist. But it wasn't enough to make me love the book. I must admit to being disappointed given how much I've enjoyed previous works. So, just a middle of the road three for this reader.


bermudaonion said...

I've loved his earlier books, too, so I'm disappointed this one isn't as good.

Luanne said...

Mixed reviews on Goodreads as well.

Kay said...

Hmmm....I've been excited about this one and will still, of course, read it. We shall see how it goes - whenever I get to it. Right now, I'm just delighted with myself for reading anything. I've been a bit off my game in the reading area, but I think that I'm turning it around. Staying off the news sites is helping. Ha!

Ethan said...

I've got this one on my shelf waiting to read. I've enjoyed his others, but I am seeing lots of mixed reaction to this.

Luanne said...

Kay - there have been very mixed reviews, so I will be curious to see what you think. I know what you mean about reading. I too am having issues and find audiobooks are now my favourite way to read. And the news sites - yep, gotta pick one and then stop.

Ethan - We seem to share reading tastes, so I will watch for your thoughts on this one.