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Eight Perfect Murders

A Novel
Written by: Peter Swanson
Narrated by: Graham Halstead
Series: Malcolm Kershaw, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Fiendish good fun." (Anthony Horowitz)

From the hugely talented author of Before She Knew Him comes a chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

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 ABC 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. There is 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.

©2020 Peter Swanson (P)2020 HarperAudio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Woooooooooow

This is a chef kisses to the thriller genre I love this book and I feel like I want it reread it immediately wow it was so good. Twisted and page turner

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it!<br />

What a great read/listen. l didn't want it to end!
Mystery fans will enjoy the twists.

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Entertaining

This was a very good story. I found myself listening for longer lengths of time than I had initially intended to because I wanted to hear what happened next. There were a number of twists which I really enjoyed. I liked the narrator's voice and I think he did a good job, but I felt that he wasn't very good at doing the different voices.

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A phenomenal ride

From the very beginning I was hooked. I couldn’t get through this book fast enough. It was twisty and full of sharp turns. The ending threw me for a loop and I have to say the narrator did a phenomenal job in setting us up. 10/10

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twists and turns

love the twists and turns of this book. I love a good mystery and this meets what I enjoy in a mystery.

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  • K
  • 2020-04-09

A Good Fun Read

I really enjoyed this book and even though the ending wasn't a total surprise to me, it kept me listening right to the end. I binged the book in 24 hours. I'm also going back to review some of the books that were referenced in this one A good, solid read!

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it was a struggle

I read reviews and some compared it to you by caroline kepnes, this is not the case. it took a few hours to understand what this had to do with murders but it wasn't as intriguing. it couldn't keep my attention so I couldnt finish it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • shelley
  • 2020-03-04

It was ok...

This wasn’t a bad book, I just can’t say that it was a particularly good book either. I don’t know if Swanson will ever write another book as phenomenal as The Kind Worth Killing bit I expected so much more than this book. It did not hold my attention and a few times I had to go back and relisten to parts as my mind was wandering.
I don’t recommend this book.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 2020-03-03

Not my cup of tea!

I've enjoyed some of Peter Swanson's prior novels, but although I finished EIGHT PERFECT MURDERS I neither liked nor enjoyed it. The publisher's summary sets up the novel well so I'll not comment on the plot except to say I prefer protagonists who are one the right side of questions of morality or who are at least not not totally evil. Narration is excellent.

Additional comments: I loved Peter Swanson's The Kind Worth Killing and Before She Knew Him. My issue with with Eight Perfect Murders and the protagonist Malcolm Kershaw is the celebration of a murderer without any conscience about what he is doing. One of the most honored novels of the last decade is You by Caroline Kepnes which I also rated one star because of protagonist Joe Goldberg's murders without conscience. On the other hand I loved Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl with protagonist Amy Dunne. As evil and free of conscience as Amy Dunne is she did not murder others. In any case I realize I'm in a distinct minority and am fine with that.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Susan 🎧Audible-a-holic🎧 Crowe
  • 2020-03-04

What just happened????

This book is a mystery/thriller lover's dream come true. The main character owns a book store and his specialty is mystery/thrillers.

I'm still unsure how I feel about this book. I do know that i am a bit disappointed. The book was really good until the end.
I had to listen to that last chapter one more time, thinking i'd just missed something.
Peter Swanson spoiled me with The Kind Worth Killing, Nothing has measured up since. I notice this is listed as "Book 1". I will listen to Book 2. I'm curious to see where this is going.

Graham Halstead is an excellent narrator for this book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Billy
  • 2020-03-10

So Much Potential Squandered

I'm just going to cut to the chase here: save the credit/money. This book had an excellent premise. Literary murders, especially ones with ties to classics of the mystery/thriller genre, that somehow rope in a bookseller - it's a fairly good mix. But this book takes that rich soil and manages to dry it out. The narrator is naive to a point that is untenable for the story he's trying to tell. The story itself is riddled with "that's now how any of this works" occurrences, and the the mere fact I made it to the end is only due to the narrator. The narrator, by the way, is a solid 8/10 (his female voices can be a bit flat). On the whole a real disappointment.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Romina Bojaxhi
  • 2020-03-09

Another great book from Peter Swanson

The narrator makes the story even better than it is! His voice keeps you guessing. I didn’t not enjoy the ending as much because it was a bit confusing and you’re left with questions of who actually did it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sara
  • 2020-03-07

Fantastic!!

I'm actually shocked that I couldn't stop listening to this. The storyline was way better than I expected and I loved the book lovers aspect of this story. When I die, it may be because my book shelves finally cave in on me! The narration was great! I did have a slight issue keeping up with who was who.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alice
  • 2020-03-05

If you love classic mysteries

Just loved this! A perfect blend of references to classics and a great twist (or two, or three). While the story line evolves and keeps you guessing, I gathered some things about the conclusion - but here is the important part - this book is more than just the end and who done it. I would have read it for the characters, the way the pacing kept you going, interested, all along the way. Wonderful writing. I heard a rumor that this could be the beginning of a series, and although I'm not sure I could picture it, but oh my gosh I don't want to get my hopes up!! I really want to hang out with Malcolm again, and find out what happens at the bookstore.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alison
  • 2020-03-05

Excellent!

I love Peter Swanson and am in awe at the consistency and frequency in which he turns out really entertaining novels. My stars are based on my level of enjoyment. This is not my favorite of his novels but is definitely better than other novels which I have given 5 stars.

I like a slow burn and this was certainly that. The storyline was fairly unique. Bonus points, as always, if you’re from New England because there are so
many references. The main character’s development was really good. I figured the main mystery but there were some surprises.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jay
  • 2020-03-18

Really good!!

I sincerely enjoyed the premise the narration the story everything was really good. I recommend this for people who like a good mystery.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Txcrudeman
  • 2020-03-09

Excellent Read

Awonderful tale. Well written, and with believable characters. Highly recommend this one! You won't be bored or disappointed.

2 people found this helpful