Perfection

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Overview

Walter Satterthwait gives his readers a feast of different flavors. His modern-day private-eye series was followed by his historical mysteries. In real life, Lizzie Borden may actually have killed her parents, but Satterthwait turns her into a high-spirited amateur sleuth. Satterthwait's Left Bank in 1920s Paris is alive with artists like Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. And he has even dug up Hitler and his true-to-life Nazi pals (but, never fear, the good guys still win).

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Walter Satterthwait gives his readers a feast of different flavors. His modern-day private-eye series was followed by his historical mysteries. In real life, Lizzie Borden may ... actually have killed her parents, but Satterthwait turns her into a high-spirited amateur sleuth. Satterthwait's Left Bank in 1920s Paris is alive with artists like Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. And he has even dug up Hitler and his true-to-life Nazi pals (but, never fear, the good guys still win). Now Satterthwait turns his hand to this terrific thriller, Perfection, with a pair of true-to-life police detectives for us to root for. In a small Florida city, a most baffling killer insists that his victims meet very specific criteria. Satterthwait teases the reader---and police detectives Sophia Tregaskis and Jim Fallon too; he shows us the killer in his own home, reliving the satisfaction of his latest murder. We watch him scouting his neighboring supermarket for the next person who will require perfection. Even childhood episodes that made him the monster he is don't help us---or the two police detectives---learn who and where he is. When the pair finally does track him through his past, chance---or the devil---stacks the odds against them with a vicious hurricane and the thrill of uncertainty until the very end. Read more Show Less

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New York 2006 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. Signed by Author(s) Hardcover. Book Condition: NEW and UNREAD, Dust Jacket Condition: NEW and Mylar covered. 1st ... Edition/1st Printing, SIGNED and DATED: 2/11/06 (The Month of Publication ) by Walter Satterthwait on the Full Title Page. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Walter Satterthwait gives his readers a feast of different flavors. His modern-day private-eye series was followed by his historical mysteries. In real life, Lizzie Borden may actually have killed her parents, but Satterthwait turns her into a high-spirited amateur sleuth. Satterthwait's Left Bank in 1920s Paris is alive with artists like Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. And he has even dug up Hitler and his true-to-life Nazi pals (but, never fear, the good guys still win).

Now Satterthwait turns his hand to this terrific thriller, Perfection, with a pair of true-to-life police detectives for us to root for. In a small Florida city, a most baffling killer insists that his victims meet very specific criteria. Satterthwait teases the reader—-and police detectives Sophia Tregaskis and Jim Fallon too; he shows us the killer in his own home, reliving the satisfaction of his latest murder. We watch him scouting his neighboring supermarket for the next person who will require "perfection."

Even childhood episodes that made him the monster he is don't help us—-or the two police detectives—-learn who and where he is. When the pair finally does track him through his past, chance—-or the devil—-stacks the odds against them with a vicious hurricane and the thrill of uncertainty until the very end.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this grisly, stand-alone thriller from Satterthwait (Masquerade), Florida detective Sophia Tregaskis and her older partner, former NYPD officer James Fallon, investigate a serial killer with a hatred of overweight women. Beautiful, enigmatic Dr. Eva Swanson, a psychologist, offers her services in profiling the killer. Some suspense builds as the detectives slowly comprehend who the suspect could be. The book's dialogue serves the needs of the plot, but the characters are pretty much clich s. Tregaskis continually employs Greek phrases when she thinks of her Greek mother; the brilliant serial killer is also a gourmet and lover of fine wine (and has an unfortunate tendency to refer to victims as "Wibble-Wobbles"). The narrative hurtles along smoothly if unpleasantly until the end, when a plot twist that requires far too much suspension of disbelief stops the story in its tracks, calling into question the entire novel and leaving the reader feeling more than a little cheated. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Tired of seeing lissome females menaced by serial killers? Here's an equal-opportunity psycho who targets plus-size victims. Sgt. Jim Fallon and Det. Sophia Tregaskis, of the St. Anselm (Florida) Police Department, have a mess on their hands. Literally. The crime scene at 25 Pelican Way is the most horrific Fallon's ever seen or Sophia's ever imagined. It seems that the killer attacks women of size-Marcy Fleming is only his first-and uses the fearsome implements in his black leather satchel to shape their bodies to a more svelte model. Working intermittently with Dr. Eva Swanson, a psychologist Marcy had briefly consulted, the two detectives reverse the killer's procedure, building up a picture of him piece by piece. The sleuthing is routine, one unrevealing witness pointing the way to the next, and the salt-and-pepper rapport between politically incorrect veteran Fallon and ardent Greek-American Sophia (an obvious Nia Vardalos role) straight out of Central Casting. Worse, the killer's psychosis, when it's finally explained, is muddled and unconvincing, more successful for its shock value than its insight into the dark places of the human soul. Satterthwait, whose specialty is witty period pieces (Cavalcade, 2005, etc.), doesn't bring much edge to this anthology of scenes from your favorite suspense films (Psycho, Speed, The Silence of the Lambs, etc.). The results fall short of perfection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312352448
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/7/2006
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.79 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Satterthwait has lived on both U.S. coasts, as well as in six other countries. He is the author of several crime novels that feature characters ranging from a modern private eye to Houdini, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ernest Hemingway, and Adolf Hitler, to name just a few. He lives in Southern California.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    solid suspense thriller

    Veteran cops who thought they had seen everything want to puke some do. The killer removed the fat from the obese woman as St. Anselm, Florida detective Sophia Tregaskis thinks the murder reminds her of a flensing operation performed by whalers on whales. Her partner former NYPD detective James Fallon takes charge of the crime scene. The clues are few if any. Two more identical deaths of obese females follow, making it obvious that a serial killer targets overweight women. To aid the cops, psychologist Dr. Eva Swanson begins profiling the killer. --- As they dig for clues, James admires his partner for holding up and providing insight into the case, as the culprit is quite clever. As the city panics, the Mayor and police chief, encouraged by the demands of the media to catch the killer or resign, pressure the two lead sleuths. Sophia has learned so much from her veteran partner, the consummate professional not allowing anything to intrude on uncovering the identity of the killer except his desire for his much younger partner, but his top priority remains stopping the ritual-like murders before another victim surfaces. --- In this day and age in which serial killers are common in police procedural novels few match up to the centerfold Lector or the real things, but the ¿sophisticated¿ culprit of PERFECTIONS he comes reasonably close especially as he dines and wines on quality food and drink,. Readers and Sophia appreciate James professional and methodical sleuthing for instance lecturing a cop who carelessly parked his car on a crime scene lawn. Though the climatic final twist is somewhere in the realm of Rod Serling plausibility, fans, except overweight females, will enjoy this solid suspense thriller. --- Harriet Klausner

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