Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Peter Swanson’s newest release, Rules for Perfect Murders, I’m delighted to be sharing my review with you today.
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?
Most of Swanson’s novels can be described as psychological thrillers, but this latest novel is best described as a mystery novel. It has an old-school feel to it, and it’s just so damn readable! Immediately after finishing it, I knew it was a book I’d read again. The kind of novel you want to cosy up with and not only solve the mystery but smile every time a classic you’ve read is mentioned – are we looking at a modern day classic!?
As you turn the pages of this novel, you’ll likely enjoy it more and more – a book that gets better with each page – because you’ll see how clever Swanson has been with his plotting. If you’re a regular on this blog, you’ll know I’m not one for rehashing the plot, in the belief that the blurb tells you all you need to know, but I will mention how amazing the main character, Malcom, is. At first he seems your basic narrator, but he’s so much more complex than he first appears, and as you learn more about him, the book only gets better. Is he a reliable narrator, he did write the list of perfect murders after all, or is he going to become the victim of a perfect murder?
Now, you may have heard chatter that this novel spoils other novels, and that is true. If you ask Google, I’m sure you’ll easily find a list of novels mentioned in this one, but they won’t be listed in this review, because I think part of the fun is seeing a novel you’ve read mentioned, and then your brain processes the information the same way as Malcom’s does because you’re both familiar with how a ‘perfect murder’ was carried out. If you haven’t read a few of the novels mentioned [like me] it may make you want to read some of them. Arguably, we should have all read the classic by authors such as Agatha Christie already!
It is fair to be wary when you start this novel, but it will draw you in, it’s dark, it’s layered, and once the plot begins to unravel, you’ll be hooked! The fluid writing, the clever plotting, an expertly told tale, one that will appeal to crime fiction fans and those who enjoy books about books. Swanson is a fantastic author, his books are a joy to read – I absolutely recommend Rules for Perfect Murders!
*My thanks to the publisher (Faber & Faber) for providing me with a copy of this book and inviting me to participate in the blog tour*
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