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?
Rules for Perfect Murders is a brilliant thriller which caught my attention completely from the first page. It’s so cleverly written, I can’t see anyone who wouldn’t enjoy it.
One of the things I love about this novel is, of course, that it is in itself about crime novels – someone seems to be murdering people by using a bookseller’s blog post, “My Eight Favourite Murders”, and the author of that post is drawn in to help find out who is doing it. There’s so many classic murder novels included in this book, some of which I’ve read (and including one of my own favourite books, The Secret History by Donna Tartt), and some I haven’t but have always wanted to. As well as the eight books on the list that this book revolves around, there are some other novels included which I’ve enjoyed such as The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, which it’s great to see included too. Basically, as a book lover, reading a book about more books (particularly crime / thrillers!) bodes very well!
The premise of the story, as mentioned above, is very clever and there are other seemingly unrelated narratives which all add to the mystery of the book. The characters – particularly narrator Malcolm – are interesting and likable. I really enjoyed reading about Mal, and slowly discovering more and more about him. I enjoyed the surprises along the way (don’t want to give too much away though) and feel like it ended perfectly – ending this brilliant novel in a satisfying way.
Many thanks to the publisher, Faber & Faber, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.