Title: Eight Perfect Murders
Author: Peter Swanson
Pages: 270
Publisher: William Morrow
Published date: 3 March 2020

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne's Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox's Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain's Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald's The Drowner, and Donna Tartt's A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape. (Source: Goodreads)

At this point, after reading 5 of his books, I’m confident to say Peter Swanson is my comfort author. His writing style is definitely flawed, but the way he gripped my attention since page 1 makes him in my top favourite authors. 

Eight Perfect Murders is about a series of murders based off of a list on a bookstore blog written by the narrator, Malcolm Kershaw. At the beginning of the story, Malcolm was questioned by the FBI regarding his list of perfect murders he curated years ago from his most favourite thriller books. A blog post meant for entertainment ended up as a trigger behind murder cases. 

I wouldn’t say this is Peter Swanson’s strongest suit, but the more I read, the more I was intrigued. In the early chapters, it felt kinda boring to me. I was afraid I had to DNF (do not finish) the book because I would hate that. Malcolm, the main character felt hollow and emotionless. But as the information about his wife and past were revealed little by little, Malcom took his form. 

In this book, we got to see Malcolm working with a FBI agent named Gwen to find out if the murders were really connected to the blog post written by Malcolm. Just when they figured it out, Gwen was put on hold from the case as she was breaking the rules. This left Malcolm to investigate on his own. At the same time, Malcolm felt like his life was in danger. Was he imagining things or was he followed to his house? 

About halfway through into the book, we realized maybe Malcolm wasn’t as innocent as he claimed to be at the start of the book. I love how Malcolm isn’t those psychotic narrator with creepy thoughts. He is just a normal commoner living his life as a bookstore keeper. There are a few thoughts and opinions Malcolm made that resonate with me which made me biased about him.

In Eight Perfect Murders, Malcolm is an avid thriller reader ever since he was a kid. There were a lot of thriller classics being mentioned; Agatha Christie’s best books—The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and ABC Murders. If you plan on reading those classics, I suggest you to avoid this book like a plague. It spoils a lot, especially The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. It feels like I’ve already read the book because even the plot twist was disclosed. 

As I kept reading until almost the end of Eight Perfect Murders, I was left wondering as to who was the actual murderer. I had a hunch on this person, but even so, with Peter Swanson there could be a possible twist. Even the good guy could be the villain. I would say the plot twist isn’t that impressive, but it was still shocking to know the truth behind his reasoning. 

Personally, I love the ending. I love when characters are vulnerable but courageous at the same time. If you read the book, you’d understand what I mean by this. 

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5