Eight Perfect Murder by Peter Swanson Review

I heard that this was quite different from Peter Swanson usual novels, but I really loved Before She Knew Him so I thought I would give this one a try. I agree that it’s different however if you are a fan of classic mystery novels and “whodunits” you will most likely enjoy this one!

I must warn you that there are spoilers of classic mystery novels, so if you haven’t read them, you might want to read them before reading this one. I didn’t mind since I will mostly forget everything soon anyways lol but just be warned.

The story is narrated solely by Mal, therefore, we are only getting his version of the story. This initially made me suspicious, especially after he mentioned The murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie since we only have one version of the events. I usually really love difference POVs but I must say it really worked in this book.

Overall, this novel wasn’t a page-turner thriller, it was really a classic mystery setup, and the story was predictable in a sense, but you must absolutely read until the end. I was definitely surprised by how everything came together and ended. Great execution!

Thank you to Faber & Faber for providing me with an electronic ARC of this book via NetGalley. As usual, my reviews are my honest and unbiased opinions.


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 Bookshop 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.


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