Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. Many thanks to Josh at Faber and Faber for the tour invite and my review copy of the book.
Eight classic murders.A single crime obsessive.Countless thrilling twists.
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’m a huge Peter Swanson fan and it was the highlight of my trip to the Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate last year when I met him alongside my blogging besties Emma Welton (damppebbles). So I was desperate to read his latest thriller and what an absolute treat it was!
Malcolm Kershaw owns a mystery bookshop called Old Devils and has also written a blog for the store. In one post he delivered an article entitled My Eight Favourite Murders. This list forms the basis of an FBI investigation when it looks like someone is using the murders within it for their own criminal purposes. And what a brilliant idea that was! Obviously if you haven’t read any of the real life books that these murders are featured in, and are planning to at some stage, then please do be aware that there are major spoilers contained within the pages of this book. I had heard of most of the books but not read many of them and that was fine for me! And as Malcolm searches for the killer it becomes obvious that it’s not been an unintentional connection to his list.
Rules For Perfect Murders was full of unexpected twists for me after a slowish start where I wasn’t quite sure where it was going or why. But I’m glad I stuck with it as by the first surprising twist I was completely engrossed in this clever, literary thriller. Peter Swanson has a very distinctive style of storytelling so you know that he’s hiding many secrets within the pages of his narrative that bubble to the surface when you are least expecting them to! I loved the premise of the list of perfect murders being used to plan real life crimes within this narrative and it worked perfectly for me. I had no idea who to trust or whether or not Malcolm was a reliable narrator. The ending was suitably fitting for what had proceeded those final few pages and left me thinking, carrying the story along in my own head, which is always a sign that a book has engaged me enough to believe in its characters and settings throughout.
Rules for Perfect Murders is a gripping and intriguing thriller with a strong storyline and an interesting protagonist. Definitely worth a read!
PETER SWANSON’s novels include The Girl With a Clock for a Heart, nominated for an LA Times book award, The Kind Worth Killing, a Richard and Judy pick and the iBooks store’s thriller of the year in 2015, and, most recently, Before She Knew Him. He lives with his wife and cat in Somerville, Massachusetts.