The New York Times Book Review
A Perfect Crimeby Peter Abrahams, Sharon Williams (Read by)
The unfaithful wife. With her no-nonsense business savvy and exquisite eye for acquisition, Francie is a rising star in the Boston art world. But her personal life is about to take a decidedly dark turn. . .
The cheating lover. A virile and charismatic radio psychologist, Ned hosts a popular show poised on the brink of syndication. Though married and successful,
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The unfaithful wife. With her no-nonsense business savvy and exquisite eye for acquisition, Francie is a rising star in the Boston art world. But her personal life is about to take a decidedly dark turn. . .
The cheating lover. A virile and charismatic radio psychologist, Ned hosts a popular show poised on the brink of syndication. Though married and successful, he has one fatal weakness. . .
The loyal friend. Anne, a vulnerable and trusting wife and mother, desperately needs to confide in someone. Unfortunately, some secrets aren't meant to be shared. . .
The jealous husband. Exeter, first in his class, Harvard, summa in economics. Now out of work and falling fast, Roger conceives a brilliant, violent plan that could put him back on top. . .
The New York Times Book Review
Art critic Francie Cullingwood is the beautiful, sophisticated and dissatisfied protagonist who seeks sexual satisfaction outside her stale marriage. Her lover is Ned DeMarco, a handsome, touchy-feely psychiatrist who hosts a radio show for the emotionally forlorn. Their passionate arrangement begins to unravel when Roger, Francie's brilliant but angry husband (a Harvard summa who's been fired from his job as a securities analyst), suspects her adultery and hires a hit man, Whitey Truax, to exact revenge on his spouse. Truax, it turns out, is a serial killer with a very short fuse. The tension rises as Abrahams cuts between the plot participants: Ned's wife, Anne, becomes Francie's tennis partner, making Francie aware of the damage the affair is causing, while Ned desperately clings to their involvement and Roger plots his bizarre campaign of retribution.
The initial showdown between Whitey and his potential victims takes place at the adulterous couple's love nest, a New Hampshire cottage that quickly becomes a house of horrors when Whitey suspects Roger of double-crossing him, and runs amok on a killing spree that eventually leads back to Boston.
Abrahams does his best work in a series of well-crafted early scenes that effectively convey the different levels of emotional duplicity among the protagonists, but the actual murders are strictly formulaic. While Francie, Ned and Anne are well-drawn, Abrahams's portrayals of both Roger and his minion lack dimension; they are both plot devices whose ludicrous partnership never carries the ring of credibility. Even so, as he explores Francie's emotional terrain in the wake of tragedy, Abrahams will keep readers very much engaged.
Francie and Ned, both married to others, meet illicitly at a cabin in the New Hampshire woods. Francie decides to end the affair when she discovers that her new tennis partner is Ned's wife, who suspects Ned of being unfaithful but is unaware of Francie's involvement. Francie's husband, Roger, suspects, too -- and plots a deadly trap for the lovers at their remote hideaway.
Edgar-nominee Abrahams (The Fan) weaves a tight web of deception and intrigue involving the two couples, a sheriff whose wife was brutally murdered years ago, and a desperate ex-con who becomes Roger's pawn in his murderous game. A Perfect Crime is fast-paced, tense, even witty as it careens to its bloody conclusion. -- Karen Anderson, Arizona State University West Library, Phoenix
Better-read fans than Roger will know, of course, that the choice of Whitey (whose determined stupidity, a savagely comic echo of Roger's shallow arrogance, is Abrahams's most original touch) is the last thing that will go rightwith Roger's foolproof, but not geniusproof, scheme. One other surefire prediction: With Hard Rain (1987) and The Fan (1995) already turned into Hollywood movies, this property, suitably pruned and tightened, can't be far behind.
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Copyright 1999 by Peter Abrahams
One should not avoid one’s tests, although they are perhaps the most dangerous game one could play and are in the end tests which are taken before ourselves and before no other judge. (Beyond Good and Evil, section 41) —Introduction to the syllabus for Philosophy 322, Superman and Man: Nietzsche and Cobain (Professor Uzig) A rolled-up newspaper spun through the air, defining place. What kind of place? The kind of place often described as leafy or even idyllic, where a boy on a bicycle still tossed the paper onto lawns and porches, sometimes over actual picket fences, where the newspaper still brought news.
“Nat,” called a voice inside one of the houses, a simple 1950s roofed box, much like all the others.
“What is it, Mom?”
“This couldn’t be happening to a better boy,” said Mrs. Smith, the guidance counselor at Clear Creek High. “Or should I say young man?”
She raised her hand, pink and stubby. Was Mrs. Smith going to pinch his cheek? Nat tried not to flinch; he owed her a lot. At the last second, her hand veered away and settled for an upper-arm squeeze instead.
“What a question!” said Miss Brown, the school principal, regarding Mrs. Smith with annoyance. “Young man, of course, as should be perfectly obvious to anyone.” Mrs. Smith and Miss Brown were identical twin sisters, although easily distinguished: Miss Brown had hair the color of shiny pennies, Mrs. Smith’s was gray; Mrs. Smith shook when she laughed, Miss Brown didn’t shake, seldom laughed.
Hiss and pop: fatty juices dripped onopen flames. Miss Brown turned to Nat’s mom, who was laying another row of patties on the grill. “And of all the young men I’ve encountered in my thirty-two years of education, some of them very fine young men indeed, this one is the—well, I won’t say it, comparisons—”
“—being odious,” said Mrs. Smith.
“I’ll finish my own sentences, if it’s all the same to you,” said Miss Brown in a low voice, but not so low that Nat didn’t hear.
Even though the comparison hadn’t been made, to Nat’s relief, and even though he suspected that the adage they’d used might be obscure to his mom, her face, already pink from the heat of midday and the glowing coals, went pinker still. “Thank you,” she said, wiping aside a damp wisp of hair—almost as gray now as Mrs. Smith’s, as Nat could see in the bright sunlight, despite her being so much younger—with the back of her wrist. Then she blinked, that single slow blink she always made when she was feeling shy but believed something was required from her anyway; at least, that was Nat’s interpretation. People didn’t understand how brave she was. “I’m obliged to the both of you,” she said, “for getting him into such a place.”
“Don’t thank us,” said Miss Brown.
“He earned it,” said Mrs. Smith.
“This golden opportunity,” said Miss Brown.
“And everything that’s going to come from it,” said Mrs. Smith. “His own doing, from A to Z.” For proof, she held up the County Register—the Fourth of July special edition, with the red-white-and-blue banner at the top of page one and the winning essay in the DAR’s $2,000 “What I Owe America” contest, open to graduating high-school seniors across the state, printed beneath it in fourteen-point letters. Old Glory, the prize essay, and a picture of the winner: Nat, in his yearbook photo, wearing a blazer borrowed from Mr. Beaman, his mom’s boss, tight across the shoulders. Mrs. Smith brandished the paper against the sky—like a weapon, Nat thought, as though defying an enemy.
But what enemy? There were no enemies here in this tiny backyard on the western edge of their little town, with the land stretching flat into the distance. The distance: where on some days, in some lights—like this day, this Fourth of July, in this light—the summits of the Rockies floated white and baseless in the sky, reminding him of . . . what? Some metaphor that didn’t quite come to mind.
Mr. Beaman himself arrived. Tugging off her apron, Nat’s mom hurried to him, drew him toward Nat. Mr. Beaman was a lawyer, the only one in town other than Mr. Beaman senior. Nat’s mom was his receptionist.
He shook Nat’s hand. “I hear congratulations are in order.”
“Well, I—” said Nat.
“Quite a sum of money,” said Mr. Beaman, giving Nat’s hand a good hard squeeze before letting go.
“A tidy sum,” said Miss Brown.
“Two big ones, Junior,” said Mrs. Smith. “Makes all the difference.”
The difference it made: at Mrs. Smith’s direction, Nat had applied to three colleges—Harvard, because it was number one on the U.S. News and World Report ranking of universities; Inverness, because it was number one on their list of small colleges; and Arapaho State, thirty miles away, in case something went wrong.
The results: admission to Harvard, making Nat the first student ever taken from Clear Creek High, and possibly from the whole county. But Harvard hadn’t offered enough money, not close. Admission to Inverness, also a first, with more money, but still not enough. Arapaho would pay the full shot. That was that: Arapaho. Until this morning. Now, with the $2,000 added to a home equity loan, the savings Nat would accumulate that summer at the mill, and an on-campus job at Inverness, they could swing it. Just. Nat and his mom had each done the figures, figures that covered two sheets of yellow-pad paper still lying on the kitchen table.
Mr. Beaman produced a bottle of pink wine. A ray of sunlight made it glow like a magic potion. A pink day: the wine, Mom’s face, Mrs. Smith’s hands. Pink—the color that separated girls from boys. Inverness was far away. “Glasses, Evie?” said Mr. Beaman.
The long slow blink. “Wineglasses, are you saying?”
“Whatever you’ve got, Evie. Paper cups will do.”
Mr. Beaman unscrewed the bottle, filled five cups. Nat knew almost nothing about wine, but suddenly had a strange thought: I might have to know, from now on. He checked the label, saw pink zinfandel in big letters, also read the serving suggestions—cold, on the rocks, with soda water, with a twist.
“To the big bucks,” said Mr. Beaman. His eyes met Nat’s. Nat couldn’t help recalling that his mother had asked for a raise—from $8.50 to $9.00 an hour—after the Inverness financial aid package had arrived, and been turned down. Mr. Beaman’s eyes slid away.
“To Nat,” said Miss Brown.
“To Nat,” said everyone.
“And four great years at Inverness.”
They drank. The wine was cold and sweet. Nat had tasted wine a few times before, but nothing as good as this. He memorized the name of the winery.
“So,” said Mr. Beaman, “what’s the story with this famous place? Tell you the truth, I’d never heard of it.”
“No?” said Nat’s mom; a little wine slopped over the side of her cup.
“Bosh,” said Mrs. Smith. She dug a copy of U.S. News and World Report from her purse, flipped through, thrust the relevant page under his nose. “See?” she said. “Inverness first, Williams second, Haverford third.”
“Elite,” said Miss Brown.
“Crème de la crème,” said Mrs. Smith. “Imagine the people he’s going to meet.”
“Just odd I hadn’t heard of it, that’s all,” said Mr. Beaman.
Miss Brown and Mrs. Smith both pursed their lips, as though keeping something inside. Miss Brown succeeded, Mrs. Smith did not. “You weren’t a bad student, Junior.”
“Not bad?” he said with irritation. “I graduated ninth in my class.”
“As high as that?” said Mrs. Smith. “Nat was first this year, as I probably needn’t mention.”
“But it’s not just a matter of grades and test scores nowadays,” said Miss Brown. “Nat had his basketball, and his coaching Little League, and the job at the mill.”
“The mill? That counts?”
“It all adds up,” said Miss Brown. “We’re talking about—”
“—the whole package,” said Mrs. Smith. Miss Brown narrowed her eyes at Mrs. Smith but said nothing.
Mr. Beaman drained his cup, studying Nat over its rim. It was very quiet for a moment, one of those small-town moments, with no sound at all but that of a jet plane, almost inaudible. Nat caught his mom studying him too, as though she were trying to figure out some stranger. He grinned at her and she grinned back. Her upper left front tooth was slightly chipped, just like his.
“Why don’t you fetch the brochure to show Mr. Beaman, Nat?” she said.
Nat went into the house, one of the neighbors patting him on the back as he mounted the porch stairs. “Go get ’em.”
The Inverness brochure lay on the kitchen table beside the sheets of calculations. The picture on the front showed well-dressed students and a professor sitting under a red-leafed tree. Nat gazed at it, a beautiful photograph, very clear. The professor had tassels on his loafers and so did two of the boys and one girl. He heard Mrs. Smith through the window screen: “. . . best boy ever came out of this town.” Nat left the brochure on the table, went out of the house by the front door.
He stood at the foul line in the driveway. The foul line itself was invisible, had faded away years ago, but his feet went to the right spot; the same way he could walk around the house in the dark. He picked up the ball, eyed the back of the rim hanging on the backboard over the garage door, shot. Missed. Bounced the ball a couple of times. Shot. Missed. Nat took one hundred free throws a day, every day. Shot. Missed. Even the day his father left. Shot. Missed. He had a good shot if open, and was not bad at getting open. He’d been the shooting guard for Clear Creek High since sophomore year. Shot. Hit. And made second-team all-star in the Tri-County League this year, and honorable mention in the region. Shot. Missed. Good enough to play for Arapaho State—the coach had already called. Probably good enough to play for Inverness as well: it was only Division III. He bounced the ball a few times; not looking at it, not really bouncing it anymore. The ball more or less bounced itself, almost shuttling on its own between his hand and the pavement. Now when Nat looked up, he was aware of an invisible current of air, tube-shaped, flowing up from his hand to the basket. All he had to do was bend his knees and boost the ball up into that current. Shoot. Hit. Shoot. Hit. Shoot. Hit. He was an 81 percent foul shooter in competition, and here in the driveway he had once made a hundred straight. Forgetting the cookout, the brochure, the essay, aware only of the invisible air current and the ball that had to be tossed into it, Nat hit shot after shot. Unconscious was what they called it. He became a cog in a machine consisting of ball, himself, air current, basket. The other parts of the machine did most of the work, leaving his mind free to wander. It wandered back to those baseless mountaintops in the sky, and suddenly he had his metaphor: they were like sails of ships whose hulls had sunk beneath the horizon. Not that Nat had ever seen sailing ships on the horizon—he’d laid eyes on the ocean only once, from a plane, when his mom’s sister, who lived in San Bernardino, was in the hospital—but he remembered a description of that effect from his reading.
Nat made twenty-five free throws in a row before emerging prematurely from unconsciousness, emerging the moment he remembered he wouldn’t be playing at Inverness even if he could make the team: he’d have to work after class. He missed the next six, then hit a few, missed one, hit some more, missed some more. The invisible current of air was gone, or flowing elsewhere. He made sixty-eight out of a hundred, the lowest in years, maybe ever. As he put up the last shot a quotation drifted into his mind: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral, act 3, scene 2. The ball rattled off the rim. Behind him a car door slammed.
He turned to the street, and there was Patti, climbing out of her father’s pickup. Her father beeped and drove away. Nat saw they already had an Arapaho State sticker on the back window; Patti was starting there in the fall. The ball rolled toward her down the driveway. She let it go, which wasn’t like her at all, maybe didn’t even see it; normally she’d have picked it up and tried to dribble around him.
Patti had the paper in her hand. She raised it, but only a little. It flapped back down at her side, as though very heavy. “Nat?”
“You’re in the paper.”
“You always were a good writer.”
“I don’t know about that.”
Nat heard Mrs. Smith laughing in the backyard. Patti’s face paled several shades.
“A good everything.”
“Hey, come on.”
“Sorry,” she said. Pause. “Nat?”
“Does . . . does this mean . . . ?”
“It looks like it,” Nat said.
Patti nodded. “Con . . . congra—” She started crying before she got the full word out.
Nat went to her, put his arms around her. “It’ll be all right,” he said.
She shook in his arms. “No, it won’t. You’ll forget all about me.”
“That will never happen.”
Patti cried. Over the top of her head, Nat saw the paperboy, now off duty, bicycling up the street, baseball glove hanging on the handlebar. Nat knew him, the second baseman on his Little League team, the smallest player and the best. The kid grinned, started to wave; then saw what was happening, looked alarmed, and pedaled off quickly, head down.
“You’ll meet all kinds of girls, prettier than me.”
“Prettier and smarter.”
Nat shook his head. Patti wet his shirt with tears. “And richer,” she said. “I hate Mrs. Smith.”
Nat held her close. His mind fed him a view from high above: he and Patti in the driveway, the basketball on the grass, the folks in the backyard, the town mostly hidden by its trees, everything tiny. He didn’t know what to say to her.
That night Patti went to bed with him for the first time. They’d come close before but she’d always held out, not quite ready. After—in her bedroom, her dad in Denver at his brother’s—she didn’t cry at all. She said: “What were we waiting on?” Nat almost told her he loved her then. It was probably the right thing to do, but he still wasn’t sure he really did. He ended up holding her tight instead.
There were plenty of tears in the weeks that followed.
* * *
One funny thing about that mental bird’s-eye view. At the end of the summer, when Nat flew out of Denver—second time on a plane—he looked out the window and saw his town, just as he’d imagined it on the Fourth of July. The mill, the high-school fields, the main street, even his street, even his house and the tiny backyard: he saw it all. No one in the backyard, of course. His mom, Patti, and Mrs. Smith would barely be out of the airport parking lot. Nat was thinking about what that drive would be like when, far below, a lake went by. There was no lake in his town. He’d been looking at someplace else.
What People are Saying About This
Very intriguing. Subtle intricacies draw the reader in! Truly a "Perfect" crime. --Amy Dennen, Barnes & Noble #2572, Erie PA
I really enjoyed the book. It gripped me in Chapter 1 and I couldn't stop 'till I finished. --Karla Kieser, Barnes & Noble #2714, Champaign IL
A keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat type of thriller. You're never sure what will be around the next twist. Believable characters in situations that you hope never to find yourself in. It keeps you guessing and re-guessing right up to the end. --Sharon Getz, Barnes & Noble #2890, Bel Air MD
It was great. --Heidi Bailey, Barnes & Noble #1885, West Long Branch NJ
Well written and certainly held my attention. I will pass it on to others in the store. --Betty L Hall, Barnes & Noble #1866, Palm Desert CA
Excellent read! Intricate, definite character developments and no slow segments. --Nancy Caudill, Doubleday #1691, The Woodlands
love, hate, betrayal and a little madness. I really enjoyed the story and the way it was put together. --Robyn Fish, B. Dalton #0449, Boca Raton FL
Good story--plot developed well. The ending was great. Held my interest. --Elaine Stephens, Bookstop #1816, Boca Raton FL
Wonderful read! The characters are well drawn, interesting and except for Roger, likeable. It's the sort of book that obliterates any planning; you just need to keep on reading it. --Thomas Ledwith, Barnes & Noble #2646, Princeton NJ
Good thriller with a twist at the end. --Pat Figley, Barnes & Noble #2751, Thousand Oaks
I have to agree with King--Abrahams is going to be big. I really enjoyed PC--wish Hitchcock was around to make the movie. --Dotty Johnson, Barnes & Noble #2658, Little Rock
Exciting. Kept you interested and guessing to the very end. Intriguing form to let you think you know what everyone's thoughts are while keeping enough back to shock you with the action. --Kelly Lamberty, Barnes & Noble #2720, Madison WI
Terrific. Spellbinding. Super. --Kirby V. Leeds, Barnes & Noble #2619, New York NY
A very entertaining read. Kept a fast pace throughout the story. --Rita Reed, Barnes & Noble #2729, Rancho Cucamonga
Riveting! Great "bad guy"--almost an anti-hero. The idyllic setting on the island changes the romantic notion of getting away from it all. --Sandi Locke, Barnes & Noble #2642, Valencia
Storyline was fascinating. Characters were well developed. I can suggest it to my customers. --Keith Boharski, B. Dalton #0450, Bozeman MT
Exciting. Found it interesting that a male author should make his male characters so negative. Roger was particularly despicable. Whitey probably blows his nose on his sleeve. And Ned! Francie was the only one that didn't know he was a womanizer. I enjoyed it! A great twist at the end. --Susan Wilson, B. Dalton #0590, Ft. Lauderdale FL
Enjoyed it and will be able to recommend it to my customers. --Nancy Kenish, B. Dalton #0903, Westerville
readable and entertaining. I look forward to reading The Fan and Pressure Drop. --Deborah Casotti, Barnes & Noble #2642, Santa Clarita CA
This tale of an adulterous affair and jealous husband is mind boggling at times with Roger's ingenius way to kill his wife and her lover. I couldn't put it down. --Susan Robertson, Barnes & Noble #1917, Colonie NY
It certainly was.... Perfect. Most enjoyable. I must find more Abrahams. --Peggy Brown, Barnes & Noble #1887, Livingston NJ
A new twist to a devious plan of crime. This would be a great made for TV movie. Very exciting and thrilling. --Yvonne Ramos, Bookstar #1834, Torrance CA
Fast-paced story with believable characters. Some nice twists and turns. --Hester Jeswald, Barnes & Noble #2737, Sarasota FL
Excellent choice. This book was fast-paced and held my interest. I liked the way Abrahams wove his story and kept you guessing. --Karen Persell, Barnes & Noble #2592, Plantation FL
Francie is a survivor. Roger reminds me of the typical "If I can't have you, no one will" person. I believe it could be a big hit among suspense fans. --Renee Daniel, B. Dalton #1165, Bethesda MD
A great summer read. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns. Its been a long time since a book kept me interested. --Sara R. Mott, Barnes & Noble #2686, Midland TX
Very good--entertaining. Another Grisham!!! --JEAN THIEL, Barnes & Noble #2681, Ocala FL
I liked it! I've seen this plot in movies and have read about the nonmotive-switcheroo before. It's very entertaining and no less in this one by Abrahams. I definitely would suggest this one to co-workers. --Michelle Estes, Barnes & Noble #2612, Sioux Falls
Pretty good, quick, exciting read. --Jackie Crane, Barnes & Noble #2586, Plano TX
Wnat an intriguing book. I couldn't put it down. I found it to be much better than his previous two books, which I also read. The characters and the plot really keep you going until the very end. --Beth Vargo, B. Dalton, Brooklyn Center MN
Very good read. I almost couldn't put it down. The author doesn't give away a thing and the ending is masterful. --James Weber, Barnes & Noble #2820, Roseville MN
Enjoyed it very much. Manipulated his characters perfectly. Left you wondering what would happen until the very last page. Liked it better than "The Fan". His books are solid, very enjoyable, well paced, with plenty of twists and turns. I'll definitely recommend this to my customers who read this genre. --Mark Smith, B. Dalton #0786, Knoxville TN
The only thing "perfect" is the suspense and the many plot twists. Outstanding. Finished it in one sitting. --Henry Foster, Barnes & Noble #2710, Montgomery AL
Strong and interesting female protagonist. Well-written plot that keeps you guessing. I found myself hoping Francie would find peace and happiness. Have always been a fan of this author! Great step-by-step account of planning "The Perfect Crime". You become a partner in the meticulous planning and experience how wrong it can still go! --Sherry Klinkner, Barnes & Noble #2720, Madison WI
Excellent suspense. I couldn't put it down. Surprise ending. The author is able to manipulate readers just as he does with his characters. Would recommend this to anyone who likes intrigue, murder, lust and reckoning. --Fay Eckman, Barnes & Noble #1921, Amherst
The character development was really great. Each of the characters was very intriguing. Quite often when there are passages varying from one character to the next, I will be bored by at least one and skim quickly to get to the good news. I didn't do that with this novel. I read each word. --Julie Maguire, Barnes & Noble #2831, Ellicott City MD
A perfect book. Good idea nd even better when implemented. Abrahams kept me guessing. Never knew what was to happen next, unlike some thrillers I've read recently. I will recommend to both customers and friends. --Michael Cutillo, Barnes & Noble #480, Boston MA
I love the way this book reads! I am not a Grisham fan; maybe that's why I enjoyed this so much! I like the dialogue and particularly, the "amount of substance". It was a true thriller and from one who doesn't always enjoy thrillers, I loved this one. --Debbie Ramirez, Barnes & Noble #2882, Aliso Viejo
Anne's death and Ned's betrayal. I usually see the surprises coming in novels, but both of these caught me completely unaware. --Karen Denny, Barnes & Noble #2743, Huntington Beach CA
The book arrived on Saturday and it was history. It grabbed me immediately and I could not put it down. Mr. Abraham's has the storytelling down to a science. I found myself talking out loud as I read and reading as fast as I could. --Frank Troncale, Barnes & Noble #2737, Sarasota FL
This is my first time reading Abrahams. This book only lasted me one day. Could not put it down--I enjoy how the characters interact and the book moves fast. --Lola Petermann, B. Dalton #0241, Salt Lake City UT
This is not a book that can be easily put down! The characters were interesting, especially the diabolical Roger. In the end, Francie, who is the cool, calm, collected one throughout the book, falls apart making an interesting role change. That is, as she remains solid throughout the story, the other characters seem to be coming unravelled. The ending completes the cycle with a calm Francie with her new love. --Barbara Pepe, Barnes & Noble #2609, Freehold NJ
The perfect read. The tension mounts at a good pace, the characters are believable and unforgettable (especially the manipulative Roger and his co-dependent cohort Whitey). The murder gone awry is a surprise that propels the thriller to an inevitable, yet satisfying climax. --BILL EVANS, Barnes & Noble #2632, Naples FL
This was a real winner. Grabbed me from the first page and never stopped. Good characters, good plot, great suspense. Hope we hear more from Abrahams. --Katherine Balek, B. Dalton, St. Charles IL
An excellent, thrilling book. I found this book as exciting as Diehl's books--one of my favourite authors. I would highly recommend this book to our customers. --Julianne Baumann, Barnes & Noble #1974, Del Mar
This book was an entertaining read. --Susan McHugh, B. Dalton #0212, Westland
Excellent. I read it in one day. I feel sorry for the people who have to wait to get the book. Roger is diabolical and disgusting! Francie is like someone you know. I loved the story. --Susan Christensen, Barnes & Noble #1971, Redwood City CA
Although I was in the middle of at least 1 or 2 other novels at the time, I got A Perfect Crime. I began reading it almost right away. King is right on in his praise of Abraham's clever and elegant suspense writing style. Definitely best-seller material. --Nancy Schruers, Barnes & Noble #2572, Erie
A smoothly-flowing plot with tension and twists. The macabre humour creates just the right distance between the reader and the major cast. A believable set of motivations and potentials. A well written, attention keeper. --Jeanne Whitney, B. Dalton #0271, Montgomery AL
The interplay of characters, along with a fast moving plot lead up to a "twist of fate" ending that makes this book a must to read. --Julius Katz, Barnes & Noble #1831, La Mesa
Quick read and pretty good story--you want to know what happens. --Tiffany Jonas, Bookstop #2526, Austin TX
What a great read! I finished it in 3 sittings. Moved very quickly--good characters, believable situations. I would recommend this to my customers without hesitation. --Susan Diffenderfer, Barnes & Noble #1955, Alpharetta GA
Great book! Suspenseful and compelling. I couldn't put it down. I will be looking for more of Abraham's books. --Dottie Hanson, Barnes & Noble #2717, Huntsville AL
Very compelling. Read it in one evening. Francie's fight scene near the end should make her the next Xena. The story is very well told and moves quickly. He could be our next James Patterson. --Vanessa Williams, B. Dalton #0820, Atlanta GA
A book of the 90s. The men are drunks, adulterers and killers; the women passionate and caring about life. Lots of turns and surprises. --Charles Kemberling, Barnes & Noble #2850, Philadelphia PA
What a scintillating novel! I could not put it down! I was as wrapped up in the plot as the characters were. Peter Abrahams is a master storyteller. Not only is his plot line gripping, but his characterizations are brilliant, too; the way he develops thecharacters only heightened my interest. I started to feel for Francie--the adulteress who found she still had a heart (and a good one at that). I also started to fear Roger -- the truly twisted, devious genius who would eventually bring about his own downfall. I found myself saying aloud "Oh, no!" or "Oh my God" every time he effected something truly awful. I also felt deeply for Anne--the sweet, innocent housewife turned unwitting, tragic victim.I liked the pace of this novel, and I'm sure it will capture other readers just as it did me. Peter Abrahams deserves a big send-off for this book; I think it's one we can really get behind. Kudos to him on a truly brilliant novel! --Shawn Higginbotham, Barnes & Noble #2867, Alexandria VA
One of the most appealing aspects of the First Look program for me has always been the access that it gives me to unusual...different...exciting books by gifted writers which I well might otherwise miss. Peter Abrahams' latest psychological thriller A Perfect Crime is certainly case in point. I've never read him before. Now that I have, he's moved well-up on my list of writers whom I can unreservedly recommend to my customers who are King/Koonz fans.Frankly, "eternal triangle" plotting frequently gets to be a bit old-hat. However, make that entanglement a quadrangle (as Abrahams so deftly does in A Perfect Crime), and the possibilities for suspense, chills and disaster suddenly become enormously intriguing. One of the strengths of this novel, I think, is that we can become inescapably involved in its intricate and genuinely melodramatic cat-and-mouse premise with its terrifying consequences because we are so thoroughly caught up in the lives of the characters whom Abrahams has created. What could have been the stuff of soap opera in lesser hands is made both intensely real and understandably human by his larger talents. I can certainly see why Stephen King was so impressed. Roger and Francie, Ned and Anne are utterly believable as people, and making their on-the-surface unlikely interinvolvement seem so utterly plausible (first Francie and Roger's problems which not only lead to her affair with Ned but her subsequent friendship with Anne and Roger's monstrously chilling manipulation of them all) is a major reason for the ultimate success of the book. A PERFECT CRIME is an unforgettable excursion into nightmare territo ry, and the need for some sort of safe arrival at journey's end kept me engrossed and fascinated right up to its very last page. --Eleanor V Miller , Barnes & Noble #2745, Henderson NV
I was surprised and delighted that it was not. (DO NOT USE) --Chris Gensch, B. Dalton #0367, St. Paul MN
I really enjoyed this book. I don't usually like murder mysteries, but this one kept me reading. Just when I thought one thing would happen--I went in a different direction. Abrahams keep you guessing. --Patti Brooks, Barnes & Noble #2795, Greensboro NC
A perfect book. Just put together one stop at a time and what an ending! I loved it. Now I have to read Mr. Abrahams' other books. --Norman Goldman, Barnes & Noble #2583, Encino CA
This was fantastic!! What a great thriller. I will be recommending this one a lot. I went through so many emotions while reading my character sympathy changed with each chapter. This is without a doubt one of the best reads of the year! --Jan Logan, B. Dalton #0533, Warren MI
Powerful thriller that you can't put down. Loved it. The suspense and Abraham's left me wanting more. I didn't want the story to end. By far the best book I've read in a long time. --Regina Rossi, Barnes & Noble #2885, Citrus Heights CA
A fantastic premise seen through to the end. Abrahams captures the brilliant but one-track mind of serial killers. The characters have real depth and we can truly feel for what all of them, villains included, are going through. Not a cookie-cutter killer; instead a real thinking person with real and obvious motivations. Gripping from start to finish. My only regret is that is wasn't longer. A book I will recommend at every opportunity. --Bob Brinkman, B. Dalton #0027, Las Vegas NV
This was an interesting twist on the typical murder story--following the murder before it happened. Abrahams created amazing characters you could really get into. --CHERYL STRONG, Barnes & Noble #2834, West Melbourne FL
This novel is a perfect 10--so well written, tightly constructed with no loose ends. I wanted to start reading it again immediately after finishing it. Great work! --Ronald J Ognibene, Barnes & Noble #1867, West Melbourne FL
Wow! An amazing page turner. this would make an excellent screenplay... as it stands, it's an incredible book. --Stephanie O'Brien, Barnes & Noble #2860, Columbus
I was first attracted to this book because of its locale, as I grew up in Boston. But soon I was hooked.... Good thriller. --Patricia Gasior, Barnes & Noble #2733, La Mesa CA
the natural born killer who kills when the opportunity presents itself or the genius killer who creates situations and plans every detail of each moment of the murder? This book has both and they're both pretty nightmarish! --Bonnie Jensen, Barnes & Noble #1964, Portland
Pretty good thriller of adultery, friendship (be careful who you befriend), death and psychotics. It just goes to show you that if you are going to cheat on your spouse, cancel your Internet service first. --Rick Mogil, Barnes & Noble #1988, Northridge CA
I could not put the book down! I thought the characters were very well rounded. I will recommend to customers who like to read Diehl. --Julie McGrath, Barnes & Noble #2571, Reno NV
This is a perfect book. One of the best FL ¦TITLEs I've ever received. Skillfully written and scary! King was right about this one and Abrahams has another new fan. Me! I will, without fail, recommend this ¦TITLE to all my customers upon its release. --KEITH HILL, Barnes & Noble #1857, North Miami FL
Fantastic. All the way through the book I felt as if I were reading a script for an Alfred Hitchhock movie. It's a lot like Dial M for Murder. Very enjoyable. I will recommend it heavily! --Mitch Guthrie, B. Dalton #0508, Cincinnati
Very intriguing story. The cross connections between characters becomes so complex, but the whole story is very believable. I found it compelling enough to read cover to cover in one day. --Linda Floersch, Barnes & Noble #2677, Idaho Falls ID
This was an enjoyable read. Drew me in very quickly much like a M.H. Clark mystery. --Jana Miller, Barnes & Noble #2851, Bakersfield CA
Interesting book, though the ending was predictable. A refreshingly likable heroine, though she is a victim of circumstances. I will recommend it to those customers who enjoy sensual thrillers, and look for smart stories focusing on the psychological side of murder, rather than the process of solving such cases. --Morgan Adams, Barnes & Noble #2729, Rancho Cucamonga CA
An excellent yarn with psychological inputs, leaving you with a preconceived knowledge as to the eventual outcome with a few unexpected twists along the way. Quite entertaining and a must read! --FRANK CAREY, Barnes & Noble #2793, Coral Springs FL
I lost a full night's sleep with this one! --Wendy Ellerman, Barnes & Noble #2570, Mobile AL
This was one of the scariest books I've ever read. Towards the end, I couldn't put it down. There were so many twists I just had to see how it ended. It was very entertaining. --Dara Hepter, Barnes & Noble #2866, Annapolis MD
Fun book. As a mystery and suspense reader, I always try to guess how a book will end. I knew immediately that this owuld not be a perfect crime. The fun came from seeing how these characters would interact to see how it would be screwed up. This perfectly conceived crime ended with so many loose ends, I really enjoyed the conclusion with so many possibilities. --Rita Raye Ng, B. Dalton #0450, Bozeman MT
This one really caught my attention from the get-go. The characters were perfectly drawn--each unveiling made the utmost sense in relation to the character's psychological makeup. Most suspenseful and enjoyable. --Kelly Bren, Barnes & Noble #2720, Madison WI
Wow! What a book. This is going to be big. Way more suspenseful than The Fan. --Sarah Mosley, B. Dalton #0475, Toledo OH
I absolutely loved this book; it was a great combination of thriller and psychological profile of relationships. I read this while on a cross-country car drive and on vacation, and it was wonderfully escapist, and I ate it up! I will definitely be recommending this to others! --Ann-Marie Simundson, Barnes & Noble #2705, Louisville KY
Great page turner. I thought I'd get bored when Roger hooked up with Whitey, but I didn't! Stayed exciting all the way through. --SANDIE ABRAMSON, Barnes & Noble #2793, Coral Springs FL
Oh man, this just blew me away! If this doesn't become a bestseller, it should be. I will recommend this book to everyone. It can't miss! --Timothy N Hauer, Barnes & Noble, Birmingham
Definitely a page turner. I know it will be a great success and look forward to handselling it to all our readers who loved a good thriller. --Guida G Golby, Barnes & Noble #2629, W. Bloomfield
Read this in 2 days! I could not put it down. Abrahams is a very talented author who weaves a subtle, cunning, intriguing tale with the intensity of a time bomb. I know I will personally handsell many.... --Karen Cutler, Barnes & Noble #2882, Aliso Viejo
I enjoyed this book. Great plot. --Jean Bride, B. Dalton #0494, West Burlington IA
I thoroughly enjoyed my first First Look Member book selection, A Perfect Crime. The story was well writen and planned, with a few ingenious twists and turns that even I couldn't have predicted. I did find the characters to be a bit transparent, but the villan was wholly unlikeable, something I'm sure Abrahams intended. As with many selections of summer fiction I've read lately, the ending seemed to fall victim to what I would call "Hollywoodization." As I finished up the book I kept telling myself, "What a perfect Hollywood script this would make." Hey, I guess that's what sells books these days. --Sean Michael Jeffries, Barnes & Noble #2542, Ladue MO
A most enjoyable thriller. Abraham's style is fluent and makes for easy reading. I am not a quick reader and was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the pages were turning. The characters fit together very well and the strong storyline left no loose ends at the conclusion. --Trevor Phillips, Barnes & Noble #2709, Los Angeles
Excellent read! Once I got time to concentrate on the book, I couldn't put it down. Loved the twist at the end with Anne being the one murdered and then Joe getting his ultimate revenge on Whitey when Francie killed him. I need to read his other books. --Whittnae Schultz, Barnes & Noble #2705, Louisville KY
Very entertaining read. Will recommend this to my customers. --Ken Matthews, Barnes and Noble, Pensacola
Held my interest throughout. I especially liked the part about the people in the puzzle club chat room and how their conversation foreshadowed what was to come. --Carol Curren, Barnes & Noble #2609, Freehold NJ
Abrahams has the language at his command and this is what makes a great thriller! Leading us page after page where he wants to take us--chilling us with a "perfect crime" its got to be absolutely unconnected! Tantalizing us with Whitey's thoughts about a girl with a coiling tattoo on the breast. Exhausting us b/c we can't put this story down and go to bed. --Jan Dalton, Barnes & Noble #2688, Columbia MD
great story, great characters (some of whom could classify for an Elmore Leonard novel). --Kathy Vergano, B. Dalton #0795, Anderson SC
I just finished the book and wanted to put down my immediate impressions. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to read it--I was put off by Roger's weirdness. But I continued in horrified fascination and eventually, couldn't stop. It was a beautifully woven plot. It flowed seamlessly with nothing contrived about the story or the characters. In short, it was an excellent mystery, well written, and all too believable. --Sharon Petty, B. Dalton #0463, La Crosse WI
When the husband, Roger, was drawn as such a perfect villain, I suspected that he would not get what he wanted. The wife, Francie, was cheating on her husband, but she was so conflicted, she was the most sympathetic character in the book. I continued to read, hoping that Roger wouldn't succeed in killing Francie, and kept reading to see if the ending would fit. Kept my interest up the end. --Paula Emmons, Barnes & Noble #1987, Ventura
Excellent, although I had a difficult time liking any of the characters except Nora. The story definitely kept me going. Very good thriller. --LJ Roberts, Barnes & Noble #1922, Oakland CA
A book that makes one think twice about having an affair! --Jennifer Beemer, Barnes & Noble #2631, Durham NC
It has been quite some time since I was so thoroughly captured by a book. Not only will I look forward to Abraham's next thriller, I am going to read his previous novels. The character development, along with the story, are both subtle, yet conclusive. --Arthur Zierk, Barnes & Noble #2746, Peoria AZ
A very exciting page turner--it really kept my attention. I loved the interaction between the two couples. --Amy Offenberg, Barnes & Noble #2781, Phoenix AZ
This was one of those books I couldn't put down, but I also didn't want it to end! Brilliantly written, intricately plotted, and GREAT characters--especially the bad guys! I will be reading more of Abraham's work, and recommending this one to my customers as soon as it's published. --Thomas Lassiter, Barnes & Noble #2890, Baltimore MD
Normally, I don't like to know whodunnit ahead of time, but in this case, I make an exception. It was wonderful and creepy watching this psychopath develop and plot his nefarious crime, using a truly unpleasant pawn. The character development was excellent; I liked the fact that noe of the main characters were portrayed as being strictly good or bad. --Colleen Lashway, Barnes & Noble #2649, Honolulu HI
murder, mystery and mayhem! You will not be able to stop reading once you start! --Rob Weil, Barnes & Noble #2597, Paramus NJ
Great, gripping and thrilling. --Caroline Jarrell, B. Dalton #0055, Springfield VA
I really liked this book. It kept me interested 'till the very end. This is a book that I will definitely recommend to my friends. --Tom Nayder, Barnes & Noble #2844, Merritt Island FL
The twists and turns in this story were unexpected, for the most part, and gave it an interesting liveliness. Abrahams' writing style feels tense and to the point--but the best writing is when Roger is thinking. I've not seen such a clear portrayal of a bright person outthinking himself. And I loved the justaposition of Roger's thoughts with Whitey's thoughts. Neither one gave the other any credit in the brains department. --Linda Smit, Barnes & Noble #2683, Jacksonville FL
Couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the underlying comparison of the mind and thoughts of Roger and Whitey. --Cecelia Harris, Barnes & Noble #2885, Citrus Heights CA
I enjoyed A Perfect Crime immensely. I liked the story enough to not want it to end. Abrahams' writing style made for a relaxing yet engulfing read. The plot development was a bit unpredictable, which I liked. I also liked the way he let the readers peek into the psyche of the characters so that we know not only what they did, but why. Like King, he was able to create a perspective from a truly psychotic character with realism and insight. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to turn corners in their books without knowing what they're going to find. --Christina Amaon, Barnes & Noble #2729, Rancho Cucamonga CA
Excellent--I read lots of these types of books--A Perfect Crime was one of the best I've read. --Carolyn Stotelmyer, Barnes & Noble #1966, Dunwoody GA
a good thriller needs some twists and turns to keep it interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers. --Anne Guy, Barnes & Noble #2570, Mobile AL
reminiscent of the thrillers from the 40s and 50s. --Beth Beverly, Barnes & Noble #2705, Louisville KY
Undoubtedly destined to become a best seller. This is one of the most intricate plots I've read lately, and should put Abrahams at the head of every avid mystery reader's list of favorite authors. I was particularly impressed with his ability to express the most intimate thoughts and feelings of the various characters. The introduction of Whitey Truax was to be expected, but Chief Joe Savard, a perfect canny small-town police chief is the "steadiest" of all those characters. Truly a "can't put it down, page turner." This book does deserve a spectacular launch. It demands your attention and holds it right to the "poetic justice" final action scene. It also proves that a real life perfect crime is still but a pipe dream. --Raymond A. Harper, Jr., B. Dalton,
A real page turner. This will be an easy handseller! --Tammy Culp, Bookstar #1834, Torrance CA
I didn't expect to like this book very much, but this book sucked me right in! Not only were the characters engaging the murder plot itself was fascinating and novel. I read a lot of thrillers and I would put this one up there with the best. I thought I knew exactly where he was going, but he threw me for a loop. I will be recommending this book. --Colleen Kinnear, B. Dalton #0183, Lakewood CO
Being a huge fan of the mystery/thriller genre, I am often unimpressed by not-as-famous authors that I try. This was not the case with this book. I picked it up, planning on skimming it and putting it in my "to read" pile, however, once I started it, I couldn't put it down and read it right through in one sitting. A great premise that actually followed through!! I hate it when a great idea is ruined by poor plot turns or characterization. A good read. It makes me want to go out and buy all of Abraham's books. --CAthy Nezuh, Barnes & Noble #1906, Auburn MA
A great read. Storyline kept me up late reading! --Zipporah Lax, Barnes & Noble #1857, N. Miami Beach FL
A highly intelligent novel that is gripping and reads quickly--a rarity, but highly entertaining. The characters are intriguing and believable while all of the descriptive passages feed the imagination. Thank you for continuing to share such brilliant work with us "First Look" members. --Robin Welch, Barnes & Noble #2676, San Luis Obispo CA
Psychological development of each character is vivid and well presented throughout the story. A compelling well-paced thriller. --Barbara Gayle, B. Dalton,
I just finished the book. The suspense is top-notch and well plotted. I couldn't put it down for a minute. Keep sending more! --Daniel Lynch, Barnes & Noble #1956, Newport Beach CA
I enjoyed this book immensely. I will definitely be recommending it to our customers. When I finished the book, I brought it in to the store for others to read. I love being in First Look and if I can't get into a book, I give it to a coworker for them to read and send in the review. That way, more of us benefit. --Jane Edmonson, B. Dalton #0577, Kansas City MO
Wonderfully compelling. Marvelously written. A triumph in literary excitement. --Freddy Ciccone, Barnes & Noble #2628, New York
I agree with all of the reviews you sent! I read it in 3 days; my mom loved it; 2 good friends also had rave reviews. This book is what I call a "heart pounder." --Beverly Davenport, Barnes & Noble #2743, Huntington Beach CA
Wonderful. Kept me guessing all the time. I couldn't put it down. --Sarah Davis, Barnes & Noble #2724, Boardman
Wow! Captivating--one of the better murder mysteries I've read in a long time. Good character development, excellent twist of the story in regards to who the victim was. Nicely tied together. Interesting characters whose psychologies were critical to the story. --Amy Lynne Doerr, Bookstar #1933, Mesa AZ
Perfect choice for some of my customers. I am certain it will sell well. --Keith Boharski, B. Dalton #0450, Bozeman MT
I just finished reading this book and it is one of the best books I have read in a while. A perfect book to read in one sitting. You can't put it down! I will recommend it to my customers. --Michelle Kopp, B. Dalton #0846, Chicago Ridge IL
Great! Kept wanting to stop reading and had to keep on going. Hope we get an author appearance! --Sammy Simpson, Barnes & Noble #2560, Phoenix AZ
Game, set, match! A Perfect Crime has all the elements for a smash--well-drawn characters, love, deceit, revenge, money, lust, a tightly woven plot, great dialogue. An easy recommendation. --Dan Cooley, B. Dalton #0579, Culver City CA
Couldn't put it down! This suspenseful thriller is totally unlike so many "murder" books out right now. Very well written with believable characters. Will definitely recommend A Perfect Crime to our customers. --Sara R. Mott, Barnes & Noble #2686, Midland TX
Great ending. Good ideas. --Jan Gloor, Barnes & Noble #2755, Littleton CO
A Perfect Crime is the perfect beach/pool book. It's well-paced and filled with twists and turns; it kept me absolutely glued to it from start to finish! I eagerly await Peter Abrahams' next publication. This is definitely one to put on staff recommendation. --Kathryn Evans, Barnes & Noble #2607, Tukwila WA
The characters come to life in your mind--it is easy to picture everything happening and then all of a sudden a twist is added. A Perfect Crime is the perfect preface for the phrase, "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." A one-night read. A bestseller for sure. Thanks for the opportunity to pass rave reviews on to others. Tell Peter to keep the thrillers coming!! --Saundra Theobold, Bookstop #2545, Dallas TX
A suspenseful book about betrayal and revenge. It was a terrifying look into the minds of the characters. Some of the characters were warm and appealing while others showed true menace through and through. (DO NOT USE) --Shelby Bush, Barnes & Noble #2676, San Luis Obispo CA
I felt the book was exciting, gripping and I could not put it down. It is a Grisham, Crichton quality read. I hope Abrahams get what he deserves--a top 10 book. --Hal Greenberg, Barnes & Noble #2595,
This was a great Sunday read. I sat on my porch and enjoyed myself with this wonderful book. Great plot and characters. I told others at my store to put it on the top of their piles and read it first. Thanks for sharing. --Adrienne Brastad, Barnes & Noble #2573, Seattle WA
This was a very edge-of-your-seat thriller. I really enjoyed this! --Sara Radisky, Barnes & Noble #2604, Colma CA
The details making up the story are great. The way they interweave with each other. It's like reading a story within a story. I hope his next thriller picks up where this one left off. This book has the makings of a bestseller. Thank you for letting me read such an intriguing story. --Tonya Powers, B. Dalton #0394, Muscatine IA
I thought A Perfect Crime a well written book. I applaud Mr. Abrahams cleverness in plot construction. His villain was as masterful as any I've read. An excellent plot. --Peggy Hartsook, Barnes & Noble #1987, Ventura CA
I couldn't put this one down! Abrahams has made my "top pick" list with just one book. I look forward to his next spine-tingling thriller. --Christina Outlaw, Barnes & Noble #2808, Montague MI
I started this novel and didn't think I would like it. Boy was I wrong. I quickly got caught up in the twists and turns of the plot. Watching the plotting of a brillant mind and then its disintegration was mesmerizing. This is a book I will enjoy recommending to customers and fellow booksellers. --Terrie Kelly, Barnes & Noble #2823, Irvine
I have to hand it to Abrahams. He knows how to get a reader's attention. He just writes a suspense you can't put down. Lately I haven't had time to read, but I stayed up real late to finish this one. The movement of the plot and characters towards the wild card conclusion was superb. --Cheryl Higashimura, Barnes & Noble #2743, Huntington Beach CA
Intense and well written. Hard to put down, harder to forget! --Brian Sealey, Barnes & Noble #2781, Phoenix AZ
It's perfect! --Peggy Brown, Barnes & Noble #1887, Livingston NJ
I read it in one day! Calling this book a "page-turner" may be the understatement of the year! Abraham's rich characters and compelling narrative make this one of my favorite books of the year. --Jay John Byrne, Barnes & Noble #2583, Encino CA
Excellent book! I want to read Mr. Abraham's other books. A Perfect Crime is pretty much the "perfect book." Plot & characters that grab your interest from the start and sustains that level of reader involvement until the end. I will happily recommend this book to customers. --Nancy Crawford, B. Dalton #0510, Springfield IL
It was a definite page-turner. --Sarah Kline, Barnes & Noble #2603, Santa Rosa CA
I loved it. --Susan Randant, B. Dalton #0157, Fairview Heights IL
Suspenseful with a twisted ending you could never imagine. --Theresa Ayayo, Barnes & Noble #2597, Paramus NJ
From beginning to end I was unable to put it down. This novel always kept me guessing, and unable to predict what would happen next. --Veronica Stevens, B. Dalton #0362, Moorestown NJ
I was pleasantly surprised at how good this book turned out to be. It was definitely a page tuner. Would be a great movie. --Sue Cowen, Barnes & Noble #2709, Los Angeles CA
At first, it's just the story of two people people cheating on their spouses and it doesn't seem a crime will even be committed. Then, as it unfolds it seems the perfect crime may be committed. The suspense builds, but there is almost a touch of comedy as Whitey bungles things when he first enters the cottage. Maybe there won't be a murder? Everything changes and the apprehension rises. The ending is totally unexpected. I read it in one day. --Mary Ann Przetak, Barnes & Noble #2542, Ladue MO
This is the first time I have ever read Peter Abrahams. I was immediately impressed with his spare prose and deep character development, which show that Abrahams is a real craftsman. Even if this book were not to receive much publicity, it has a good shot at becoming what we call a "word of mouth" bestseller locally. I work in a library, too, so I will be sure to suggest A Perfect Crime when doing reader's advisory work with our library patrons. --Chris Jordan, Barnes & Noble #2653, Olympia WA
First book that immediately got my interest in a long time. The story was not predictable--very good book. --Misty Hedgepath, B. Dalton #0766, Irving TX
A wonderful character study between the "crime planner" and the man he chooses to carry out the crime. Both men are so sure of their own abilities that it is a wonderful clash of IQ extremes. The novel held the reader in suspense right through to the conclusion. --Carol Hanner, B. Dalton #0034, Atlanta GA
A perfect book. Abrahams is a plotter extraordinaire with a burning imagination. Enjoyed it immensely--would definitely recommend it as a "must read staff rec" book. --Sandi Gerrity, Barnes & Noble #2690, San Francisco CA
I was completely involved witht he plot and characters in this book. Very well-written--couldn't put it down. Very frightening and disturbing! --Yolanda Jolley, Barnes & Noble #2832, Tacoma
What a great, wild ride. This book is perfect! --Beverly Kramer, Barnes & Noble #2664, Marlton NJ
Don't read this one on a dark, stormy night! A real suspenseful, nail-biting thriller. I was hypnotized as I turned each--the message was "don't put me down--keep reading!" And I did--boy, was I tired the next morning! --Barbara Rohrs, Barnes & Noble #1996, Sacramento CA
A page-turner extraordinaire! Keeps you guessing until the very end! I loved it. --Lisa Zupke, Barnes & Noble #2594, Greenfield WI
"Gripping" is the perfect word for A Perfect Crime. Once the ride begins, you can't stop because of all the great, little added surprises. The author, Peter Abrahams, is knew to me, but I feel we will become old friends. --Pegi Canady, Barnes & Noble #0000, Santa Clarita
Great read. Amazing journey into the minds of the killer and his pawn. Should be an out-of-the-box best seller. This author is definitely a "keeper." Don't let him get away. --Steve Vallee, Barnes & Noble #2611, Fort Collins CO
I really enjoyed this book. It has a little of everything, including interesting twists and turns. It takes the reader on a pretty wild ride. A spellbinding thriller. --Nancy Hines, Barnes & Noble #2743, Huntington Beach CA
At first i thought ( in all my wisdom) that I already knew how this book was going to end. However, I found myself getting caught in the mental webs of Roger and Whitey. I found that I didn't know what was going to happen. I like to read books where you don't know every thought and move a character makes. Those little gaps leave room for the element of surprise. I like that. I do like to know a little more about the after effects. How exactly did it all wrap up? What happened to Ned our friendly adulterer? Over all I really enjoyed the book. I can judge a book by how fast I read it . I almost couldn't put it down. A girl's gotta sleep sometime! --Hope Ziemkiewicz, Barnes & Noble #2521, Mayfield Hts. OH
I was pleasantly surprised by A Perfect Crime. I'd never read any of his work before, but now I'm eager to check out the backlist. This one will go on my Staff Recommends as soon as it hits the store! --Candi Ruppert, Barnes & Noble #2812, Charlotte NC
Loved it! Can't wait to start selling the book this fall. My coworkers won't give the book back--they keep passing it around to each other. I want my friends to read it as well. Thanks for another great read. --Lynn Cline, Barnes & Noble #2686, Midland TX
A Perfect Crime is one of the best books I have received from First Look! From chapter one, Abrahams catches and holds the reader's interest. The book moves along with intriguing, entangled events that keep the reader spellbound--could not put it down! This book is a must for anyone who likes suspense and thilling climactic endings. It belongs on the bookstore shelves with the best suspensful thrillers!! --Debie West, Bookstar #1856, Las Vegas NV
Plot emerged with good pace, as it precisely enticed me along to its satisfying conclusion. I was especially taken by the secondary characters. Anne, the betrayed wife, became more real and as her role evolved, made the most moving and lasting impression. Roger, as the cuckolded husband, the master manipulator extraordinaire, delicately handling his many reins and then the tangling, crashing end. Thank you Mr. Abrahams for an entertaining and riveting summer read. --Nancy Paquin, Barnes & Noble #2746, Peoria AZ
Very good. Keeps you guessing until the end. I've put it on the employee shelf at work for others to enjoy! --Linda Sharpsten, Barnes & Noble #2677, Idaho Falls ID
You know from the title that something will go wrong. The author does a fine job of setting up the crime and the "criminal"--and you just have to wait to see what will take place. I really enjoyed the book. --Elaine Munsch, Barnes & Noble #2705, Louisville KY
Had me up most of the night to finish it. Enjoyed the characters and the suspense throughout the book. It certainly is one I would recommend to customers. I have made it my staff selection for August, which gives our customers an additional discount on the book. --Charlotte Cooper, Barnes & Noble #1898, Norwalk CT
Absolutely great reading--I hated to put this page-turner down. I just wanted to read and read until I found out exactly what happened to everyone and why. After I raced toward the conclusion, I was sad to realize there was no more to read!! Mr. Abrahams has the uncanny ability of "becoming" each character and writing as if he truly were that person. The character of Roger was brilliantly evil--especially as we "worked" through his rationalizations of non-feelings into simple, straightforward, mathematical equations. I'll be reading The Fan and Lights Out soon. --IVONNE M EHRLICH, Barnes & Noble #2834, Melbourne FL
The characters were great! So many shocking discoveries. First meeting each character separately, each one only knowing one or the other (or about the other). Anne being killed instead of Francie, Ned having two affairs. To begin it all, Francie and Anne meeting and then Ned finding them together. Brilliant is a fitting description! --Amy Templer, B. Dalton #1150, St. Peters MO
I literally could not put this book down. I liked the interesting characters and fast pace. I'll definitely recommend it. --Travis Kelly, Barnes & Noble #1864, Santa Barbara CA
Awesome book. --Heidi Bailey, Barnes & Noble #1885, West Long Branch NJ
Wow! What a book! Suspenseful, thrilling! This is a great book for me to recommend. --Beverly Larsen, Barnes & Noble #1948, Escondido CA
thrilling, well written, reeled me in from page 1w. --Debra Williams, Barnes & Noble #2675,
I was hooked from the beginning. I enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to the finished edition. --JOHN PALMER, Barnes & Noble #2802, SAN ANTONIO TX
I am so glad that First Look introduced me to this author. Abrahams' Perfect Crime kept me involved and guessing. His characters were well developed and kept me wanting to learn more about them. Each new detail revealed filled in part of the picture and enlarged the canvas. --Jason Scroggs, Barnes & Noble #2723, Joliet IL
Just wanted to drop a quick line to tell you guys how much we enjoy these new releases. Keep up the great work! --Stacey Newman, B. Dalton #0147, Tampa FL
Riveting, engrossing. It pulled me in and kept me there 'til the end! --Tammy Warner, Barnes & Noble #2560, Phoenix AZ
Suspenseful--I loved it! --Michelle Carney, Barnes & Noble #1885, West Long Branch NJ
I'm glad I saved this book until I started my summer schedule. It was a great one to take my mind off the regular day. --David McCoy, Barnes & Noble #2890, Baltimore MD
I loved this book!!! I read it while traveling to Vegas. After losing my gambling money, I spent the rest of my time reading this great book! As a bookseller, I will definitely recommend this book to my customers. --Nancy Jacenko, Barnes & Noble #2746, Peoria AZ
This was a light and entertaining book despite the subject matter. I really felt for some of the characters (especially Anne) or, as a matter of fact, if it weren't for Roger being a little far fetched, I could see a lot of this happening! --Linda O'Keefe, Barnes & Noble #2649, Honolulu HI
A great book. I loved the suspense. It kept me on the edge of my seat. As a veteran of suspense and mysteries that's not easy to do. I'll definitely recommend this to my customers. --Stephanie Renfro, Barnes & Noble #2649, Honolulu HI
Maybe not the perfect crime, but certainly a perfect plot and a perfect thriller. Thoroughly engrossing. --Henry Foster, Barnes & Noble #2710, Montgomery AL
I enjoyed this book a lot, even more so when it ended in a way I would not or could not have predicted. I would recommend this to my customers. --Peggy Marks, Bookstar #1834, Torrance CA
Ketp me turning the pages. --Claudia Garcia, Barnes & Noble #2746, Peoria AZ
Well crafted thriller with several skillfully developed turning points! Abrahams' initial character development convinced me that I wanted (and needed) to care about the main characters. I love a book like this one. I love how the author (by degrees, let's say) kept raising the stakes. By the midway point, I was hooked and was being reeled in--to where, I did not know! To say this is a "nail biter" would be an understatement. I will surely recommend this book. --Cliff Livingston, Barnes & Noble #1866, Palm Desert CA
Great summer read. Abrahams does remind you of Hitchcock for nail biting suspense. --Margaret Freeze, Barnes & Noble #2724, Boardman OH
Hitchcockian suspense is right!! This was one I did not want to put down, but was sorry when it ended. Great, believable characters. Couldn't tell how it would end, but did like the ending. A definite recommend, as well as his other books. --Nancy Moore, B. Dalton #0337, Rock Springs WY
I took this book along with several others on my vacation. Once I picked up A Perfect Crime, I couldn't put it down. The others all went unread. Very suspenseful! --Casey Marcarello, Barnes & Noble #2729, Rancho Cucamonga
WOW!!! AND MORE WOW!!! I USUALLY DON'T GO FOR THE HORRIFIC, BUT ONCE I PICKED UP A PERFECT CRIME, I COULD NOT LET GO. YOU CAN COUNT ON ME TO HANDSELL THIS ONE AS SOON AS WE GET IN THE STORE, OR MAYBE EVEN BEFORE IT COMES IN!! WOULD MAKE A REALLY GREAT TV MOVIE--HAS IT BEEN CONSIDERED. THANKS FOR THE GREAT READ. --Bernadette Myers, B. Dalton #0486, State College PA
Thank you for sending me an advance edition of A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams. I read it in two days and thought it was terrific. I've already started recommending that people watch for the book's release this fall. The intricate plot and ironic twists made this novel a very compelling read! --Cheryse Ong, B. Dalton #1536, Braintree MA
Just got back from vacation and took A Perfect Crime with me, what a great book. I enjoyed it from the first to the last page and will definitely be recommending it to my customers. --Donna Entwisle, B. Dalton #0387, Laurel MD
Perfect Crime was perfect escapism. The plot's twists and turns kept me guessing and had me laughing at times. And what an ending... This book will be fun to recommend to my customers. Thanks for sending the book, Alex. --J. Alexander Black, B. Dalton #0547, Orem UT
I really, really enjoyed this book all the way up until the last chapter or two. It seemed to end abruptly opening up new issues when there wasn't time to deal with them (i.e. Ned's affair with that other lady, the start of Francie's relationship with Savard). Other than the end I thought that this was very well written. The story was very descriptive and well thought out. A lot of times with stories like these, you can tell what is going to happen. I didn't really have a clue which made it a lot more fun to read! The part about Anne being at the cottage surprised me the most because she had found the directions much earlierand I would have expected (in most stories) for her to have gone there right away. Conclusion--Very Good. I will read another book by Abrahams. --Jennifer Kussner, Barnes & Noble #2720, Madison WI
First, I love this idea of e-mailing our responses rather than sending the card. I have a tendency to lose the card or pass it on to fellow booksellers so they may enjoy firstlook. This is great! I wanted to let you know I have just recenlty finished A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams and "The Broken Hearts Club" by Ethan Black. WOW!!! When I started reading A Perfect Crime I wasn't so sure but the more I read, the more I was hooked. There's nothing more I love in a book thanto be surprised. And I was!!!! Kept me up until the wee hours of the morning just so I could finish it. I'm glad I stuck with this one. --Sandi Kotai, Barnes & Noble #2718, Westminster CO
Peter Abrahams has crafted a biliant, believable story. The characters are fully drawn, both good and bad (and combinations thereof). Francie is a strong, flawed heroine. The plot twists are always challenging. A great read! --Lari Robling, Barnes & Noble #2697, Fairless Hills PA
I'm a bookseller for B.Dalton Bookseller and I read the copy you sent me of Perfect Crime. I absolutely enjoyed it. Great details, it wasn't hard to image at all. The plot and story were interesting. I really enjoyed reading this book and believe its a great movie plot! --Veronica Flores, B. Dalton #1512, Miami FL
I also agree with Stephen King's review.I loved A Perfect Crime. Near the end I stayed up all night to finish it. I think I'll also try some of his other books.Thanks for the first look program. I really enjoy the books and getting them in advance. --CLAIRE MCBRIDE, Barnes & Noble #2796, St Augustine FL
Although I experienced a problem getting through the first few chapters, I swiftly and eagerly finished A Perfect Crime. I wish Mr. Abrahams had found another way to introduce the existence of the painting, 'oh garden, my garden.' Because of the awkward beginning to the book, I found myself disliking Francie right off the bat and for all the wrong reasons. I'm not sure she was as much of a snob as she at first appeared.Perhaps this was just the author's misdirection, but until I finished chapter 6, I felt the book was a bit stiff, rambling, and uninteresting. You have Stephen King's endorsement to thank for encouraging me to finish the book. It's almost as if two authors wrote A Perfect Crime. If the beginning had been as good as the rest of the book I would have flown through it at one or two sittings.The intricate plotting of not only the planned crime, but the derailment of the planned crime as well, and the consequences thus incurred were superb. The beginning almost seemed to have been written as an afterthought and then tacked onto the front of an otherwise exquisite story. I eagerly await the publication in October so I can recommend this book to customers. --Charlie Campbell, Barnes & Noble #2705, Louisville KY
I did indeed read A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams, and I enjoyed it. It was a fast read, and the details were vivid. I did think the two characters, Whitey and Roger were a bit predictable in their behavior as criminals, but still it was enjoyable and fast-paced. I liked the female characters in this novel, they seemed as full as the male characters, which isn't always the case in these types of novels written by men. Mr. Abrahms does a good job of developing a female character in a believable and realistic way. --Christine Glaze, Barnes & Noble #1839, Plano TX
It wasn't long into A Perfect Crime that I realized I had another thriller I couldn't put down. Many of the same elements are present in both works, but additionally, Mr. Abrahams has generated a very high, almost screaming, level of suspense, which is justicing on the cake of a well-plotted, superbly characterized novel. Whitey has got to be the most memorable character I've come across in a very long time. This work would also make a terrific movie if the author writes the screenplay himself. There are books which are well-written and those which are well-crafted. A Perfect Crime is an example of the latter. I will be recommending this novel and have already decided it will be listed as a staff recommendation in our store. Please, Mr. Abrahams, give us more!! --Charles "Chick" Mangan, Barnes & Noble #1866, Palm Desert CA
I just finished reading A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams....WOW! A complex plot and compelling characters drive the reader to read on late into the night. A great read. --Rob Baker, Barnes & Noble, Chamapaign IL
Excellent Book!!!! It's full of suspense and excitement. Couldn't put it down until I had finished it. Have lent it to several friends. All have said that they enjoyed the book. Will definitely recommend this book to others. --Sonya Berger, Barnes & Noble #2734, Springdale
Easy language is used to articulate complicated psychological states. Bold, minimalist, clean. A good story with a weak, but surprising ending. Characters you can relate to, event the bad guys. --Casandra Meehan, Barnes & Noble #2905, West Nyack NY
A perfect story. Characters that are real--a story out of the newspaper--all in a swiftly paced drama. Read this one in a single session. --Tom Norwood, Barnes & Noble #2676, San Luis Obispo CA
I didn't read the book in one sitting. I actually was able to get up, once. The unfortunate thing about a book like this is that now I have to dig up and read all his other books. --Gene Dolce, Barnes & Noble #2889, Yonkers
I really enjoyed this book, right from the beginning. Roger was such a nasty character that it made me sympathize with Francie's predicament. Abrahams has created characters that are realistic, making the story interesting and readable through the end. Not amongst the very best I've read all year, but definitely something to recommend. --Melissa Young, B. Dalton #0834, Dayton OH
I haven't read anything by Abrahmas before. I loved the plot and thought the suspense was really great. I n fact I stayed up al evening to finish the book. I was well written. It's one I would love to recommend to our customers. I truly loved this book. Four stars. --Ruth Fishman, B. Dalton #0861, Owenings Mills MD
I liked the "cat and mouse" element in this story. Although it wasn't an original premise, the author put so many twists into it that it seemed fresh. It was gripping, tense...and I couldn't put it down. I will recommend this to my customers. I read it in one evening. --Jacki Leach, B. Dalton #0357, Portland OR
A wonderful read--a one-weekend read. --Monty Seagren, Barnes & Noble #2857, Bismark ND
I would have enjoyed this more as a movie than as a book. The writing was very cinematic. For a thriller, though, the book was predictable I guessed very move of the characters before it happened. I also did not believe in the "genius" of the husband character. It was a quick read. --Arthur Riscen, Barnes & Noble #2597, Paramus NJ
Roger was especially unlikeable unlovable, a total loser. I felt Whitey was more human than Roger. It's hard to get that past that and I had trouble spending reading any section that spent too much time on him, but the rest of the book fabulous There were great twists and turns that kept me up late. --Kari Elling, B. Dalton #1537, Mankato MN
I found the book intriguing and hard to put down, although the ending seemed pushed on the reader. Abrahams has crafted a novel of suspense that will hold you to the last page. --George Bennett, Barnes & Noble #2649, Honolulu HI
Very suspenseful, could not put it down. Great novel. --Daniel Lynch, Barnes & Noble #1956, Newport Beach CA
Excellent story. I read it in one sitting. Gripping, a suspenseful thriller that really delivers. --Karen Gallegos, Barnes & Noble #2712, Falls Church VA
Could not put it down. Very suspenseful. --Casey Marcarello, Barnes & Noble #2729, Rancho Cucamonga
A great yarn. Cleverly written. Suspenseful to the end. --Nancy Schultz, Barnes & Noble #2573, Seattle WA
Excellent book. I would definitely recommend this book to staff and public alike. Took me three night to finish. Fast-paced full of suspense till the very end. --Cindy Park, Barnes & Noble #2553, Cerritos CA
I enjoyed this book, not only because its suspense kept me up late at night as I just couldn't put it down, but its psychological understanding of quirky people made you identify with people you know--the too smart, too violent and too nice. I would happily recommend this book to anyone who likes a thoughtful thriller, especially if they think they are too smart by half. --IRENE MORETTI, Barnes & Noble #2793, Coral Springs FL
A nail biter! This one had me Whooping out loud. The tension was palpable. I had just seen "Hard Rain" I am sure that A Perfect Crime would--will--make a perfectly wonderful movie. --Sandra K Taylor, Barnes & Noble #2664, Marlton NJ
Engrossing story of what happens when a demented control freak meets a killer and the people who get in their way. This is the first book that I have read without stopping in a long time. I read a lot of mysteries but the surprises in this one made me gasp out loud. I will recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-written scary book. Will make a great movie. --David March, B. Dalton #117, Marietta GA
The last chapter didn't work for me. But the rest of the book really held my attention. I liked the ironies between Francie and Anne. Although for someone who's not too with it , Whitey figures out way too easily that Roger was the one who had visited his mom. I liked much of the foreshadowing that hit me over the head enough for me to predict, but hidden enough for me to feel like I'd figured something out. A good book. --Linda Justice, Barnes & Noble #2611, Fort Collins CO
I had been reading some pretty boring books lately and was looking for a good page tuner. This book was everything the reviews predicted. I was completely enthralled. --Sarah Kline, Barnes & Noble #2603, Santa Rosa CA
Some of the key elements reminded me of the movie "A Perfect Murder." The surprise just didn't draw me in. Something was missing, but I can't put my finger on it. --Paula Buschkamp, Barnes & Noble #2535, Lincoln NE
Mystery/suspense novels have a lot of standard features. What makes one stand out over others is its characters and its presentation. Abraham's smooth timing and shifts in point -of-view were flawless, and his characters diverse and believable. The "equal but opposite" nature of Roger (brilliant planner, unable to account for other people's characters or to think on the spot) and Whitey (supremely intuitive, but unable to think ahead or take his uown uncontrollable character into account) was particularly well done. This novel has all the makings of being readily translated into a film script. --Gregory Heitert, Barnes & Noble #2720, Madison WI
Excellent mystery written from the perspective of the suspect. As I read this I couldn't help but think how this would make an excellent movie. This was my first read of the author's, Peter Abrahams. I enjoyed it so much I put it on our store's Staff Recommendation list at 30% off. --Bill Neff, Barnes & Noble #2844, Merritt Island FL
A vivid picture of the scenes surrounded by truly believable characters. Sucks you into the pages and chills your bones. --Julie King, Barnes & Noble #2560, Phoenix AZ
This was a wonderful book. I've received may books from First Look and read some of them, but his was the first one I've told others they must read. I've tried to get my hands on others of this author's books; so far have found one Thanks for the opportunity to read some great advances. --Julie Johnson, B. Dalton #0614, Cedar Falls IA
An enjoyable thriller, hard to put down. Abrahams creates well-rounded, believable characters. They are "normal" people, living "normal" lives, who find events spinning out of their control. His situations are realistic and his dialogue flows easily. My one complaint about the story would be the implied romance between Savard and Francie the end of the books seemed forced, as if the author felt he needed "upbeat" ending. --Julie Sass, Barnes & Noble #2518, Woodbury MN
This thriller had many surprising twists. Well written and suspenseful, I was up nights reading right to the shocking conclusion loved it. --Cindi Dean, Barnes & Noble #2564, Minneapolis MN
A very enjoyable read. The characters were drawn out well, believable, even the more sympathetic players having major flaws. Roger is one of those devious minds you love following. I especially like his interview with Sandy. I'm sure I'll flash back to it when hiring my holiday temps. One thing that bothered me was all of the men in the book were slimeballs. At least Chief Savard redeems us in the end. --Richard Vallejo, Barnes & Noble #1863, Charlotte NC
I read the book in one sitting and found myself caring for the characters and hoping for the best. Francie is a strong woman, trying to make the right choice, struggling. You want her to be happy. I will recommend this book to our loyal mystery and thriller readers. --Laura Nelson, Barnes & Noble #2720, Madison WI
A Perfect Crime is a perfect little thriller. The characters are so well-written that even the villains have a certain appeal. Roger and Whitey are the Abbot and Costello or the Laurel and Hardy of crime. The book proves the old adage, "be careful whose toes you step on..." The are so many wonderful plot twists that if the book were a food, it would certainly be a pretzel. I intend to make it a staff recommendation when released and look forward to Mr. Abraham's' next book. --Michael Fiore, Barnes & Noble #2834, W Melbourne FL
Meet the Author
Peter Abrahams is the author of The Tutor, The Last of the Dixie Heroes, A Perfect Crime, Crying Wolf, and The Fan, which was made into a major motion picture starring Robert DeNiro. He lives on Cape Cod with his wife and four children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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B&N's description is for the wrong book. The book actually wasn't bad, but definitely had some plot holes and much unbelievability.
I just got finished with this book, and I was optimistic when I checked it out of the library. The reason I did so was because Stephen King recommended it at the end of On Writing; if it entertained S.K., surely to God it would entertain me. And it did for a while. A Perfect Crime started out strong, but it fizzled out fast. I didn't like any of the characters except Nora, and she was more of a plot device than a character (what a shame); Abrahams seemed to be rather timid about how to go forward in some instances in the storyline. It had a good flow, but by the time I was three quarters of the way through I just wanted him to wrap it up. Oh yeah, and the ending sucked, and my suspicions were confirmed that Francie is just a tramp.
Interesting enough to keep reading but it may have been better titled: When An Idiot Plans Murder. Really was a twisted plot.
This book was a big disappointed. It's mainly about a woman having an affair and yet portrayed as if she has a conscience. The 'Perfect Crime' is far from perfect, it has more loopholes than the US tax code. There is no mystery, no suspense. You know what's going to happen 20-25 pages before it happens. A complete disappointment
I had high hopes for this novel, based on the other reviews. However, I found the plot a little too predictable. The book was entertaining enough to keep me reading, but I doubt I'll read it again or recommend it to my friends.