Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel (Malcolm Kershaw) - book cover
History & Criticism
  • Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Published : 26 Jan 2021
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN-10 : 0062838199
  • ISBN-13 : 9780062838193
  • Language : English

Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel (Malcolm Kershaw)

A Kirkus Best Fiction Book of the year

"Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force." -Lisa Gardner

"Fiendish good fun." -Anthony Horowitz

From the hugely talented author of Before She Knew Him comes 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 Deathtrap, A. A. Milne's The 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 The Secret History.

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.

Editorial Reviews

"Eight Perfect Murders creates expectations it then subverts, presents suspects only to eliminate them, and in general has its own way with the tropes of the mystery thriller-including that genre mainstay, the unreliable narrator." -- Wall Street Journal

"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)

Readers Top Reviews

Carolina GuFH
Llego antes de lo esperado, pero la calidad del libro deja mucho que desear. El cortado de las hojas se ve como mordido y mal cortado no están del mismo tamaño los cortes. Es la primera vez que veo algo así. Lo leeré, por lo pronto mi crítica fue en relación a la calidad del libro físico
This was beyond what I expected; I could not put this book down. I read it in one sitting and it was a literary masterpiece. Every event (not matter how insignificant it was) tied the book together and it finished beautifully. I feel like even if murder/mystery wasn't your genre; you would still thoroughly enjoy this book. The ending was brilliant and completely unexpected, which is very rare nowadays. I read it cover to cover in about 10 hours and honestly... all I want to do is re-read is again today. 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!

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