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A Perfect Crime Hardcover – 2000

3.7 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0140282009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140282009
  • ASIN: B002C01VNQ
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,099,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. H. Bayliss on August 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What makes this book so readable is its pervasive and sly sense of humor. The author doesn't take himself too seriously and writes hilarious scenes with Roger, Francis' stuffy Harvard husband who spends the day locked up in his basement competing with other high IQ crossword puzzle nerds and writing "IQ 181" on his resume. The interior monologues that cover Roger's thoughts as he plots the perfect murder of his adulterous wife are hilarious. The other character who gets a good dose of the humor is the lovable villain, Whitney (Donald!) who is a total nutcase, convicted murderer and very caught up in his own proficiency level. Exactly when he thinks he's humming along doing something brilliant, we see that he's drinking too much and wandering far from his simple mission to kill Francis.
Some have criticized the coincidences and gimmicks, but I really didn't find them intrusive at all. I think that kind of critique misses the point that the author is creating a somewhat absurd set of circumstances to highlight some of the plotting and conventions of detective stories. For sure, his style is engaging and his characters very well drawn. This book was enjoyable from start to finish and a pageturner to boot.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Others have noted the writer's beautifully crafted prose, exquisitely drawn characterizations, brilliantly rendered sequences, wonderful ear for dialogue. Peter Abrahams may specialize in genre fiction, but he's as gifted an artist and as textured a stylist as any writer of mainline, literary fiction.
A Perfect Crime focuses on the violent consequences of deceiving oneself and misleading others in the context of an adulterous affair. America's premier, fictional adulteress, Hester Prynne, wore the Scarlet Letter openly, and it became the symbol of her redemption. Dimmesdale's scarlet letter, invisible to the eye, burned through his breast and became the fatal emblem of his sin. Francie's scarlet letter is the voice of a conscience that she barely hears and rarely heeds, an echo that whispers of loyalty and friendship in the world of wealth and social status into whose selfish and shallow sophistication she's been successfully acculturated.
Mired in a loveless marriage, for whose failure she bears an equal responsiblity, Francie begins an affair with Ned whom she imagines she loves but who serves as her means of gratifying her unfulfilled sexual needs even as Ned uses Francie to gratify his own desire for a classy and erotically passionate woman whose attentions flatter his ego, Ned having tired of Anne, his somewhat drab, unassertive wife.
When their pas de deux begins to wear thin, Francie tries to bail out of the relationship, persuading herself that she's doing so out of concern for Anne with whom, by chance, she's become acquainted.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read several books by Mr. Abrahams and appreciate his work. In fact, I read this one despite the fact that Stephen King recommended it. And I found that "A Perfect Crime" was certainly worth the read!

As another reviewer mentioned, this book has a marvelous undertone of humor--particularly involving Roger, the brilliant fool of a husband who wants to do away with his cheating wife. Following Roger made me snicker as he concurrently increased my vocabulary. Yes, Roger's a total toad, but no one is a saint in this "immorality tale" of adultery (except the suspicious yet kind-minded Anne).

All of the elements of this story snap together and fit, so that the end reading experience is a totally satisfying one. As suggested by the title, it's "perfect" - as in perfectly enjoyable.

And just because there is a humorous thread does not mean the story is devoid of suspense. No indeed! In fact, when the maniacal Whitey was in the cottage, I felt some genuinely dark anticipation, wondering what poor unfortunate would (or wouldn't) discover Whitey at the scene.

However you choose to view this book, it is a fun read due to the talent of Mr. Abrahams. I just LOVED this one! And I'm not even a Harvard grad with an IQ of 188.
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Format: Hardcover
The quality of the writing grabs you on the first page. Characters are drawn with deft accuracy and keen insight. The plot is beautifully developed. It's suspenseful but not in a predictable way: you see what's coming, but trust me: you're still surprised. The grace with which Abrahams accomplishes what seems to be effortlessly unfolding left me thoroughly impressed. The author does not resort to cheap tactics, no easy outs: it's just solid writing. This guy is now near the top of my list of all-time favorite authors. My only question is, why isn't he more acclaimed? If you thought Grisham was good, this makes him pale in comparison. If you think Grisham is mediocre, RUN to your keyboard and order this book, and you can thank me later.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last as I really enjoyed this book. It is true that there are some scenes which are a bit too coincidental, but in this case I didn't even care. Perhaps I would have in the hands of a lesser writer, but I found Abrahams' writing style to be top notch.

It is the story of the affair between Francie and Ned who are both married to other people. Everything gets more and more complicated as their lives become entwined. Deception, jealousy, madness and murder...this one has it all!!

If you are looking for a well-written entertaining thriller,and are not too picky about everything being 100% realistic (it is fiction, after all!) look no further!!
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