Imperfect Strangers Mass Market Paperback – Aug 24 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Though Woods's (Heat) latest caper provides all the credibility of a soap opera, the novel also offers some of the guilty pleasures attendant to that TV format. When wine merchant Sandy Kinsolving meets art dealer Peter Martindale on a flight from London to NYC (the novel's primary locations), they are inspired by watching Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train to hatch their own version of that classic plot-in which two strangers each agree to commit murder for the other. It seems that both men have "troublesome" wives, so why doesn't Sandy kill Peter's spouse and Peter return the favor? After one lady is duly offed, however, events careen out of control. In fact, so many subsequent episodes occur (many of them preposterous and too tidily handled) that the murder pact gets lost. As often happens in the world of soaps, a glossy veneer lends an air of sophistication-a corner suite at London's Connaught Hotel, a cashier's check for $28 million-and, also, of unreality. (Even the dialogue begins to smack of Noel Coward.) Enjoyable for a time, the tony tinsel is overtaken by a blandness that ultimately undercuts the novel's would-be dramatic and psychological aspects. BOMC, QPB alternates; Harper Audio.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
A retake of the Alfred Hitchcock movie Strangers on a Train (1951), this would-be thriller by the author of Dead Eyes (HarperCollins, 1994) begins when Sandy Kinsolving and Peter Martindale make a bargain to kill their wives. Before Kinsolving can pull out, his wife is murdered; must he follow through as well? Unfortunately, the author blunts the suspense by allowing his wealthy characters to solve their problems with money rather than wits. Worse, he leaves major plot details unexplained (e.g., Who killed the woman in the gallery, and why? Why did Cara get into the limousine? What happened to the old doorman?) and falls back on a struggle-for-the-gun climax instead of resolution. The fun part of the story involves all the trappings of great wealth: limousines, caviar, chartered jets for cross-country flights, and stays in fancy hotels. For large collections only. [BOMC and Quality Paperback selections; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/94.]-Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Information Svcs., Ridgecrest, Cal.
--Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Information Svcs., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
There were two editorial errors though. One: Sandy's wife is killed while he is waiting in a limo for her. While waiting, he takes a mobile phone call from his brother-in-law, but is OFF the phone at the time of the actual killing. However, he and his bro-i-l both tell the police that they were talking at the time ("I was still talking to him [his bro-i-l] when...the doorman came to get me") and that was simply not the case. I thought at first he was trying to cover himself but that was also not the case.
Second error: Sandy states later in the book that his wife had told him that she had pictures of him [commiting adultery]. Well, that never happened, at least in the conversation written in the book regarding why she wants a divorce and I would think that that would certainly be mentioned.
The book is typical Stuart Woods material, meaning certainly enjoyable but nothing worthy of any awards or high praise. I read this one in about 3 hours on a rainy Sunday. So if you enjoy Grisham-ish books and have a few hours to kill, this is certainly for you.
The basic premise is identical-two strangers plot to "exchange murders".Alexander Kinsolving runs the wine division of the family liquor company and meets Peter Martindale,an expatriate Brit on a plane from London to New York having been summoned home following a stroke suffered by the nonagenerian patriarch of the family.He fears being pushed aside in the resulting restructuring of the business and divorce proceedings are imminent his wife being ready to sell the wine division to a competitor.Martindale,a gallery owner in Frisco wishes to see his wife killed and secure her personal assets.
Kinsolving reneges on the deal after trying to contact his associate but Martindale carries out the murder of Kinsolving's wife and insists that Kinsolving carry out his part of the bargain.Things get massively complicated when Martindale's wife turns out to be Kinsolvings new lover.Things move to a somewhat perfuntory climax on Alcatraz
The book moves briskly but lacks originality of plot and the prose while économical and brisk is flavourless.
It will serve as a light holiday read but will not linger long in the mind.The book is not helped by Kinsolving -its nominal hero-being a bit of a prig and as usual in these things the villain is altogether a more interesting figure.
Chewing gum for the eyes and OK on this level
their readability, sometimes skimming across the surface
of the plot in a most unsatisfactory way -- and other times
he gives us a book like Imperfect Strangers. During the
first few pages of your read, the book will reach out to you
and give you a congenial, isn't-this-fun pat on the back.
Later, it will rest its hand on your shoulders in a warm and
yet clingy way. And then, as you make your way through the
book, page by page, it is going to tighten its grip with
suddenly cold fingers. You will not put this book down.
So before you start it, be sure you are comfortable, the dog
has been fed and the bird cage covered, because you are
going to be there for awhile.
Will Kingsolving finish through with the plan and kill Martindale's wife next? Or will be go to the police and hope they believe him? Won't you be surprised when you find out just who Sandy is really supposed to kill...
Most recent customer reviews
If only this one would be made into a movie, I would be the first in line to see it !!!
Stuart Woods at his best !!
This truly was an 'easy read.' There was suspense but I wouldn't call that the reason for not putting the book down. The story does develop with an interesting twist. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2001 by missannie1686
I enjoy reading most Stuart Woods books. This book is no exception. The short chapters and quick character development make this book a quick read. Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2000 by Drew
woods writes no frills, plot driven thrillers, as suspenful as well crafted t.v. movies. in a twist on the tradition of making movie adaptations of best selling books, the is a... Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2000
I've already read around 10 other Stuart Woods books and can't get enought. Imperfect Strangers kept me reading and in suspense as usual, however I found the ending to be a little... Read morePublished on March 10 2000
The book lives up to its billing as the first great beach book of the season. It's a light, quick read with a fun -- but not funny --plot. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 1998