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Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel

Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel

Scritto da Peter Swanson

Narrato da Graham Halstead


Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel

Scritto da Peter Swanson

Narrato da Graham Halstead

valutazioni:
4/5 (413 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
8 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Mar 3, 2020
ISBN:
9780062838223
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

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 Death Trap, A. A. Milne's 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 A 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.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Mar 3, 2020
ISBN:
9780062838223
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

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.

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413 valutazioni / 27 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    I am not a huge fan of open-ended narratives, but the entirety of the plot was more than enough to compensate for that. I feel that reading has this exact impact on everyone - and it is just a person's strength of will that decides whether or not he or she gives in to the urge of doing as the book suggests. In this sense, any book becomes both a blessing and a curse. All in all, Peter Swanson did a marvelous job with this - highly recommended!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this, the first book I've read by the author. I didn't realize this before now: I like reading books about books. I've made a list of the eight perfect murder mysteries and want to read those, even the ones I've already read. Just a note about those (other reviewers have mentioned this): there are spoilers about those mysteries, in case that matters; it doesn't to me. I also listened to the audiobook narrated by Graham Halstead -- I think he does a good job with this and enhanced my enjoyment of the story.
  • (4/5)
    I loved the beginning and structure, but I was too hyped on reviews and a previous Agatha Christie book beforehand that made me somewhat underwhelmed with the ending. But it still had a good plot and its my favourite kind of narration style.
  • (5/5)
    Gripping story great characters and narrator. I couldn’t stop until it was finished
  • (5/5)
    Really well told story, with several interesting twists and several plausible perpetrators.
  • (2/5)
    This is the perfect example of that moment when the ending ruins the whole book
  • (5/5)
    EXCELLENT!! I loved this story and the narrator was excellent! What a plot twist..
  • (3/5)
    The story is okay. It's not fantastic, but it has it's twists and oops. But i just hate the name dropping. I get that it was written recently and i got the story now, but what if i read it in a few years? All those references will not be relevant anymore.
  • (4/5)
    This is a really tight mystery: excellent characters, plot, red herrings, etc. I love the literary tie ins. When it becomes apparent to a bookshop owner that a serial killer is using an one of this old blog posts to commit a series of murders, he is pulled in to an investigation and a possible battle for survival.
  • (3/5)
    Catnip for the classic mystery fan, Peter Swanson’s sixth book Eight Perfect Murders pays homage to some treasured works from the genre by incorporating them into his tale of a copycat killer. Swanson employs the main character Malcom Krenshaw as a guide to the original stories and as the singular point-of-view into a few mysteries of his own. As a niche bookstore owner whose intelligence and knowledge of the literature are extensive, Malcolm is approached by an FBI agent who is following a hunch about some recent murders. In one of his blogs, Malcolm had written about some famous fictional murders so cleverly crafted that they would be virtually unsolvable if they were to be committed in real life. Agent Gwen Mulvey discovered Malcolm’s list during her investigation, and she wants to verify her hypothesis that his list was used as a serial killer’s guide. She also seeks to eliminate him as a suspect or potential next target. Together they retrace the evidence to figure out who might want to send Malcolm a macabre message. Meanwhile, the reader learns that Malcolm’s past is riddled with secrets that he is concealing from Mulvey as he trails along. These are slowly revealed as he narrates his past actions and hidden connections to the serial murders. Swanson does a good job portraying a multidimensional character who tantalizingly divulges the truth—but only on his own terms. The reader must rely on Krenshaw to relate the tale, and he is by turns charming and detestable as he admits his attempts at deception. Eight Perfect Murders is an intriguing story on its own, and Swanson’s inclusion of the most beloved stories from the mystery/suspense canon acts as both an enrichment and a detriment to his novel. Devotees will delight to be in on all the allusions and the esoteric knowledge they share. Those who have the titular books (and other well-known works described as well) still on their TBR lists will despair at having their major plot twists spoiled before experiencing them firsthand. Swanson’s heavy reliance on the merits of the masters also invites scrutiny of his own novel. Calling them to mind serves to demonstrate that, although it is a quite enjoyable read, Swanson’s own efforts cannot help but suffer from such a comparison. Thanks to the author and William Morrow for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
  • (4/5)
    To quote FBI agent Gwen Mulvey speaking to Malcolm Kershaw, the book's narrator, when asked about "The Red House Mystery": "It was good. Clever, I guess, and I didn't guess the ending." That's my view of this book.However, and not to reveal too much, I'd caution potential readers to consider the following observation by Malcolm Kershaw: "I don't trust narrators any more than I trust the actual people in my life. we never get the whole truth, not from anybody".Beware the unreliable narrator!
  • (5/5)
    The voice of Malcolm Kershaw in Peter Swanson's Eight Perfect Murders won me over immediately even though it's crystal clear within the first few sentences that he's an unreliable narrator. (He even admits it.) Furthermore, he's the owner of a bookstore specializing in mysteries, and he doesn't read the genre. Interesting, eh? So the more readers fall under Mal's spell, the more they wonder just how much they can trust what he's telling them.The city of Boston came alive for me as I read, and I loved all the literary and mystery allusions. By about the halfway mark, if readers stop and think about it, the identity of the killer is rather obvious, but I found myself not wanting to think about it and just let the story take me along for a very enjoyable ride.One of my favorite passages in the book is this: "Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books don't just take you back to the time in which they were written; they can take you back to different versions of yourself." I've found this to be true. If you're in the mood for a damaged main character with a compelling voice who will draw you into the world of books and mysteries and killers on the loose, pick up a copy of Eight Perfect Murders. It's a good'un, and I'm hoping to hear from Mal Kershaw again.
  • (3/5)
    Malcolm Kershaw runs a mystery book store in Boston and years ago published a list of eight perfect murders. Now the FBI is questioning him about unsolved murders that mimic his list.
  • (4/5)
    I’ll confess... I have a weak spot for bibliomysteries. Any time a plot revolves around books (The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, etc.) I find myself getting more quickly pulled into the story, and perhaps rate it more highly than I would if it didn’t have books as a major theme. While Eight Perfect Murders is probably a 3.5 star rating, it gets a half star bump for revolving about books, or more accurately, a list of books.Malcolm Kershaw is the owner of the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston. On a bleak, snowy day, FBI agent Gwen Mulvey comes into his shop, asking for Malcolms help in unraveling a mystery that none of her colleagues are giving any credibility to. She believes that someone is murdering people based on a blog post that Malcolm wrote years ago called Eight Perfect Murders. The blog post was a list of books, that in his opinion, showcased eight of the most perfect murders ever written in mystery fiction. The murderer, according to Gwen, is re-enacting the murders from each of these books, and those murders are creeping ever more closely to Malcolm.Malcolm, who has his own secrets to hide, agrees to help Agent Mulvey figure out if these murders really are connected to the books listed in the blog post, who the victims really are (if any), and protect his own secrets as well.Eight Perfect Murders is a fun read, especially for those of us who like mystery books, a book that gives us moments of the 4th wall being momentarily broken down, an unreliable narrator, and a murderer who you both root for and rail against.The ending, while not brilliant, is an homage to one of the books at the center of the plot, A.A. Milne’s The Red House Mystery, though in my opinion, it would have been better if the very last section of the very last chapter had been edited out.
  • (3/5)
    I was introduced to some new to me mysteries, but overall, I’d say this book is ho-hum. found the fact an FBI agent worked with a private individual on solving crimes implausible. I could see the FBI agent consulting with an expert on mysteries, but the expert not being an active participant. The concept of how two murderers were able to manipulate each other into action didn’t ring true. What did feel true was the bookstore and the love of books.
  • (4/5)
    Wow, how do I describe this book without engaging in multiple spoilers. Let's just say it has lots of references to books and their plots. There are lots of unexpected twists, and expect the unexpected. Nothing is as it seems. I really enjoyed this book. 
  • (4/5)
    In this tale, Boston bookseller Malcolm Kershaw describes how the FBI involved him in an investigation into a series of murders that appear to be inspired by a list of books he wrote about involving "perfect murders." However, things are not what they appear, and after a number of twists, we learn who the real killer is, as well as why that individual committed numerous crimes through the years. It was an entertaining read.
  • (5/5)
    Old Devils Bookstore owner Malcolm Kershaw is dragged into an investigation involving several murders. Years before, he had written a blog post listing eight mysteries that contain, in his opinion, perfect unsolvable murders. It seems that someone has found his old blog post and is now committing the murders from those eight books. Investigators not only want his expertise on the books and their murders, but they are also suspecting that may be connected in some way.First of all, this is a book for classic mystery lovers. I mean the readers of Agatha Christie and the like. It really fed my love for those types of stories. The books mentioned in Malcolm’s blog post are discussed in detail and in relation to the unsolved murders. I really loved this, and I also loved all of the contemporary mystery-thriller authors' names dropped into the narrative (Michael Connelly, for example). Seeing that Malcolm thought about and mentioned authors that I love was pure happiness to the fangirl in me. As a sidenote, I will say that the discussions about these books tell all about how the murders took place and even how the books ended. So if there are any on Malcolm’s list that you still want to read, be warned about spoilers.This book went so fast for me. I just inhaled it. I really liked Malcolm, even though he was a little on the strange side. I think this complexity made him super interesting and even a little more endearing to me. He has so many secrets that I didn't foresee and his story got better and more fun with the every secret that was revealed. I don't really want to discuss anything more specific about the book because I'd for sure be giving away plot points.The fun in this story is absolutely in the telling and watching it unfold. I loved the way that Peter Swanson structured this story: is it a novel or is it Malcolm's memoir? Is Malcolm a reliable storyteller or not? I recommend sitting down when you have a chunk of time to read and just go to town. It's so freaking good.
  • (3/5)
    I liked the premise. A bookshop seller crafts a blog post of the 8 books with the most perfect murders committed and years later a serial killer uses his list to commit murder. Engaging, quick read which didn't quite deliver as I hoped.
  • (4/5)
    This is a mystery/suspense novel that is calculated to appeal not only to fans of the genre but to bibliophiles and those who love fiction set in a literary context. Oh, and its narrator and protagonist is a fabulously unreliable one, though in ways I don't want to disclose here...That protagonist is a bookseller, Malcolm Kershaw, who has found himself running a mystery bookstore in Boston's Beacon Hill. One snowy day, just as he's about to close up shop and leave the resident feline to its own devices, a woman who identifies herself as an FBI agent walks in. It seems as if she has identified a pattern to a series of odd murders -- murders that don't even seem to be a "series" in the strict term -- and it all has to do with Kershaw's favorite mystery plots, summarized in a blog post dating back several years...Now, you might think that this is the starting point for a reasonably entertaining mystery as the duo go off in quest of the culprit. In reality? This is simply the surface: the bit of the iceberg sticking above the waterline. What lies below is far more intriguing, chilling and dangerous. And that includes not only the killer, but Kershaw himself. This is a dark, twisting and compelling yarn, and by far the best written (yet) by this author. Read it this winter, during a snowstorm, for the full effect...
  • (4/5)
    What a fun read! Malcolm Kershaw runs a mystery bookstore in Boston. A female FBI agent walks in near closing time one day to ask about a blog post he wrote some years back for the store on "Eight Perfect Murders." She sees a pattern between random murders and the post which discusses such crime classics as Strangers on the Train and The A. B. C. Murders. Readers ponder the reliability of the narrator among other things. It includes some aspects of a psychological thriller. Lovers of crime classics will want to dip into this one which may or may not leave them guessing until the last page due to twists and turns along the way. I needed its edginess as the moment. Did I mention there's a cat? I won an advance copy through GoodReads. Although requiring no review, the giveaway encourages winners to write an honest one.
  • (5/5)
    A truly deserving five star rating. I’m so glad I got to read(listen to) this book.
  • (3/5)
    I'm sad, I thought I would like this more. To be honest, I was more interested in reading the list of thriller books that were listed in this book rather than this book itself. The premise of this book is awesome but the delivery was a bit dull and dreary.

    The characters were kinda boring. I didn't care much about the relationship between Mal and Gwen. I liked the two employes at Old Devel's bookstore, but they were not essential to the story at all. As for the ending, I didn't hate it. Everything made sense, but it didn't seem natural to me. I feel like much of this book was rushed, but saying nothing at all.
  • (4/5)
    Eight Perfect MurdersByPeter SwansonWhat it's all about...Eight perfect murders are plotted and and committed by a very clever former mystery lover. An FBI agent just happens to wander upon this issue and tracks down the person who initiates this list. Why I wanted to read it...I love every Peter Swanson book that he has ever written however this was my least favorite one. I think it was the list aspect of it. What made me truly enjoy this book...I did like all of the book suggestions, though, but not the way this book was written. Why you should read it, too...Readers who love books in lists should enjoy this one. I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.
  • (3/5)
    I came across this book on insta. I have never read a #Whodunnit like this one.
    I would have liked it to be just a bit shorter. I did get just a wee a bit weary of it. I mean, I quite liked it; it's not going to go up on my list of Best Murder Mysteries, but it definitely keeps you on edge.
    Another point in its favour is that it's a book about books and book stores.
    I finished it in a day. And that is what thrillers should make you do.
    Thank you @scribd_books for this #AudioBook
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    My Rating- 3⭐
  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    This book is quieter and less twisty than The Kind Worth Killing and also less psychologically disturbing. The name- and plot-dropping of classic and contemporary mystery writers throughout is fun and the narrator winks more than a few times at the reader. A fast read but not a page turner; more like an homage to the creativity of mystery writers than a gripping mystery novel itself.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)
    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.