- File Size: 3301 KB
- Print Length: 293 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062838202
- Publisher: William Morrow (March 3, 2020)
- Publication Date: March 3, 2020
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07TD5CGZQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,222 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel (Malcolm Kershaw) Kindle Edition
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- Part of: Malcolm Kershaw (1 Books)
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From the Publisher
“A devious whodunit” (New York Times Book Review)
“Engagingly original… This [is a] multilayered mystery that brims with duplicity, betrayal and revenge – all bubbling slowly to the surface… Swanson has a bent for revenge and murder. Fans won’t be disappointed.” (USA Today)
“Fiendish good fun.” (Anthony Horowitz)
“Eight Perfect Murders is an ever-unfolding puzzle… Mal frequently confides in the reader, showing that he knows more than he is letting the FBI believe. But what exactly does Mal know, and what might he be guilty of? These questions will plague readers and follow them throughout the book.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Clever and surprising… Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next. A marriage that may not be what it seems [and] friends who may not be what they seem… With mounting tension and fraying nerves, it careens to the final stunning conclusion. A true tour de force.” (Lisa Gardner)
“Fiendishly clever catnip for any lover of classic crime fiction.” (Seattle Times)
“Probably what you need right now is a good murder mystery. One that is bookish, engrossing, not overly gory and impossible to solve. Peter Swanson delivers all of this in Eight Perfect Murders… Swanson drops in lovely clues, but good luck figuring it out. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
“A devilish premise combined with jaw-dropping execution… Mystery fans will be salivating as the plot unfolds, trying to outsmart the confoundingly unreliable narrative… Swanson hits every note in this homage to the old-school crime novel, and the turnabout ending will leave readers reeling in delight.” (Booklist (starred review))
“The pleasures of following, and trying to anticipate, a narrator who's constantly second- and third-guessing himself and everyone around him are authentic and intense… You wish the mounting complications, like a magician's showiest routine, could go on forever.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review)) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Peter Swanson is the author of seven novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; Before She Knew Him, and Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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But you know what? I was willing to go with it because it is Peter Swanson. The master who gave us The Kind Worth Killing, Her Every Fear and Before She Knew Him. The problem with this book is that it doesn’t resemble the work we come to expect from Swanson. At all.
The writing is stale. The plot lines are disintegrated. You don’t enjoy the stoicism of the main character as you do with his previous novels. The main character actually TALKS about his stoicism repeatedly.
Too much repetition. Too much shallow details that lead to nowhere. No surprises. Just some shadows of Swanson’s signature style here and there. Disappointed beyond words.
I only hope that he needed to get this fascination with those novels out of his system, I read Strangers on a Train based on his recommendation in a previous interview, so maybe this half- baked idea was nagging him to get it in a novel and now it’s done, and we can move forward. Still, the fact that this book appears to be the first in a series is seriously worrying. I hated, hated, the blandness of Malcolm Kershaw.
I don't like to leave a crappy review without explaining why but I also don't like to provide spoilers. So it's hard to say why I didn't like this book. Ultimately the author didn't make me believe and didn't surprise me. Every "twist" was either foretold or just wasn't captivating. And the bit with his partners wife being interested in him - why? Why bother with that at all, it served no relevance to the story and moved nothing forward.
Go reread your favorite mystery and skip this one. You'll be much happier.
The writing was disjointed at points and a little clunky. The 'surprise ending' was obvious from the first chapter. There were several useless characters who merely showed up to deliver a few lines then went nowhere. Similarly, there were plotlines, such as The middle school teacher, that were obviously meant to advance The plot, but ended up reading like a few short stories. The writing moved along smoothly at points, but overall it dragged. None of the characters appealed to me enough to create the tension necessary for a thriller, they were flat.
What about Swanson's own imagination? Extremely limited from what is on display here. Since so much of the book is based on the works of more skilled and much more interesting and imaginative writers Swanson had to surpass all of them in my estimation in order to succeed. He failed. His ideas are pedestrian or derivative of movies and TV shows. The overarching plot and the slow reveal of Malcolm’s true personality is a retread of every damn "unreliable narrator" book published in the past ten years. He even alludes to Gone Girl as a "clue" that Malcolm is just as unreliable as the narrator in that book. And makes it seem like Gillian Flynn invented the concept. I was rolling my eyes. Nothing was surprising at all. The movie-of-the-week style motivations of the protagonist and the horrible secrets of the victims “who deserved to die” was neither creepy nor spinechilling. It was just banal.
Finally the biggest insult of all. In Malcolm Kershaw he has created a bookseller who doesn't read the books he sells, who pretends to have read them when having conversations with his customers and employees. Swanson gives an entirely lame reason for Malcolm’s decision to stop reading crime fiction that is in conflict with his personality. Most likely this is meant as an indication that Malcolm is not to be trusted at all. But not only did I not trust him, I thoroughly despised him.
Top international reviews
This will be the book that I compare all other murder mystery books to. You do not need to be familiar with the '8 perfect murder' books referenced in this book. If anything; it just gives you motivation to read (or re-read them) after you finish this book.
Very well done Peter Swanson! HUGE fan!
Well done. Thrilling to the final page.
I found about this book unexpectedly and was not disappointed at all. The writing, the mystery, the characters- this is a page turner. However unfortunately to understand this plot, 8 prominent classic murder mysteries (some of which coincidentally are on my to read list) are deconstructed and the plot points are revealed in detail. Might want to tick that list before starting this one!
Why would the FBI be interested in Malcolm Kershaw, an expert on classic mystery books and co-owner of Old Devils Bookstore? Because years ago he compiled a list of his top books with perfect murder plots for the store blog. And now, some unsolved murders are baring a strong resemblance to that list.
As Malcolm gets dragged into the investigation, it quickly becomes apparent that this is not a coincidence. Could the killer know him? Is it a customer from the store? Is he himself a suspect? As the bodies begin to pile up so does Malcolm’s suspicion of everyone around him.
I fell for this book fast and hard. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. There are just so many great elements to this story. I loved the book store setting and the references to some great classics, which I immediately wanted to pick up. Can't recommend this one enough!
Eight Perfect Murders is a fun book that plays tribute to murder mysteries , thrillers and to readers everywhere.
Malcolm who runs a mystery bookstore , The Old Devil ( how I wish I could go there and browse) writes a blog entitle My Eight Favourite Murders. What a list it is !
Someone is following that list and the FBI is investigating. It leads back to Malc. Twists and turns and not the ending I was guessing !!!!!!!!!!!
I don't want to give anything away so get your copy !
I have written down all the books mentioned and off I go to read the ones I have missed.
Cant wait to get my hard copy of Eight Perfect Murders !!
Thanks to NetGalley and Faber and Faber Limited , Faber & Faber for an intriguing fun read !!
Malcolm Kershaw works at a bookstore and would consider himself an aficionado of mystery novels. One day when the FBI comes to him to ask about one of his blog posts “eight perfect murders” things start to unravel for Malcolm. He created the post based of books he thinks contain the most perfect untraceable murders but now murders are occurring that look eerily close to the eight perfect murders he suggests. Is he a suspect? Or is someone watching Malcom
Malcom's every move?
As a huge Peter Swanson fan, I was not disappointed. Malcom is our only narrator and he controls the pace of this story. He's an unreliable narrator and it was hard to predict where things would go! Nothing was as it seems and I was hooked right up till the very end.
Be prepared that there are several spoilers for classic mystery novels (including at least 3 Agatha Christie books)! But the addition of all the classic mystery’s just add to the story!
This book is clever because Swanson jumps between small and big reveals constantly! The plot never stops unraveling and that’s what makes it fun.
One of my auto buy authors who never seems to disappoint.