Rules for Perfect Murders - Peter Swanson
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
If you want to get away with murder, play by the rules. A series of unsolved murders with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels. The deaths lead FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey to mystery bookshop Old Devils. Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted online an article titled 'My Eight Favourite Murders,' and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list - which includes Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?
I don’t think I have the literary training or refinement to have done this book justice. I felt completely out of my depth. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all and was very over heavy on classical references to books. There was an abundance of quotes, nods to authors, and I’m sure a lot more that I didn’t even notice or pick up on. The plot seemed at points very overly complicated, and I did feel at times that the FBI agent and Mal were really trying to shoehorn the murders into the similarities they wanted to find between the books on the list of Mal’s ‘Eight Perfect Murders’. Some of their theories did seem a bit fanciful. However, toward the end, it did seem to be a little clearer. This isn’t a book that you can just read, though, and go with. You really need to concentrate and keep up with what is going on. You need to remember things that have been said no matter how small as they might be significant later on. There were sections that I found incredibly dull, and I wondered whether to give up on the book entirely and then there were others that I felt drawn in by. I enjoyed Mal’s history with his wife, Claire, for example. This was quite fascinating, so when he started to narrate what actually happened to her, I felt glued to the book. Likewise, with the end of the book, when everything starts to come together. I thought I’d stop reading last night at around 70% and read the rest today, but I found myself unable to put it down as I needed to know the final outcome. I’m not 100% sure I’m entirely understanding or following what even happened at the end of the book and it has left me a bit open-mouthed and confused. Was he, wasn’t he, huh? I have no idea so just go with Helen! This was an ok read and kept my attention just enough to make it pleasant but not quite enough to take my mind off everything happening in my personal life at the moment, which is what I need. It also wasn’t quite what I expected and certainly wasn’t anywhere near as good as the other Peter Swanson book that I have read that prompted me to request this in the first place.