The perfect mystery for mystery lovers! I love Peter Swanson’s writing so much that I would read his grocery list—and it would probably give me goosebumps. This book is no exception. The story is about Malcolm, a bookseller and owner of a bookstore that specializes in crime fiction, who wrote a blog post years ago about eight perfect murders in crime fiction—murders that are ingenious or unsolvable in some way. Years later, an FBI agent knocks at his door. She believes a serial killer is copying the murders in Malcolm’s list; three down, five to go. She enlists his help to solve the mystery—though as we soon come to find out, Malcolm has a few secrets of his own.
This is a short, pithy book that clocks in around 270 pages. It features Swanson’s tense prose, pitch-perfect setting (winter in Boston), and a deep dive into the darker side of human nature. It’s not a whiz-bang thriller but it easily kept my attention as the stakes got higher and the twists unraveled. Malcolm is a strangely aloof narrator and it worked well for me; the reader is kept at arm’s length from his emotions, which only served to increase my curiosity. The story is a homage to books in general and murder mysteries in particular, and any reader will love the exploration of the power of fiction to shape our experience of the world. In short: I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!
Out March 3.
(I received a free copy from William Morrow, my opinions are my own)