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Though he is a very smart man (his IQ is 181, "on a bad day"), Roger Cullingwood is remarkably unperceptive. It takes months for him to realize that his wife Francie is involved with another man. But once he recognizes the affair, he hatches a plot to kill her--the perfect crime of the title--in less time than it takes him to finish the London Times crossword puzzle. It makes perfect sense that Roger wouldn't dream of doing the dirty deed himself; there's a paroled killer conveniently on hand, an easily manipulated psychotic named Whitey Truax. It's when Anne Franklin, the wife of Francie's lover, blunders into the murder scene Roger has so carefully contrived that the novel begins to get interesting. There are a few diversions to entertain the reader en route to the bloody denouement, including a couple of lively tennis matches. In one of the book's many coincidences, Francie ends up partnered with her lover's wife in a championship tournament. The sex is better than the violence, but what Abrahams excels at is pace; you could start and finish A Perfect Crime on the New York to Los Angeles redeye and still have time for a nap before the plane lands. --Jane Adams
A Boston woman's ill-advised affair with a talk-show host leads to murder and mayhem in this initially absorbing but somewhat contrived thriller from the author of The Fan and Lights Out. 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. Agent, Molly Friedrich; 100,000 first printing.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is a page turning thriller with a host of quirky, interesting characters. When two unhappy marriages give rise to the adulterous relationship between the husband in one... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2013 by Lawyeraau
Summary: an average thriller. The other book I read by Abrahams, The Tutor, was far, far superior.
Let's start with the plus: the book was exciting and definitely an... Read more
This is a perfect novel about cheaters and what happens when they are found out, but with a twist of an ending. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2002 by Darren Jacks
In "A Perfect Crime" Peter Abrahams gives us several well-developed characters, then sets them on a collision course that is as unpredictable as it is inevitable. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2001 by Diane Davis
The way I see it, the genius with the 181 IQ(on a bad day), was actually the village idiot, and the only really good person in the book was unjustly treated. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2001 by Kenri A. Mugleston
This plot took many turns and twists. The characters were well-developed and believable. I couldn't put this book down and was sad to see it end. Read morePublished on Dec 16 2000
Others have noted the writer's beautifully crafted prose, exquisitely drawn characterizations, brilliantly rendered sequences, wonderful ear for dialogue. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2000 by mayday
Good book! Fast paced with twisting plot! I highly recommend!Published on Sept. 28 2000 by trainee jackie