Dec 03, 2020SC_bookworm_0 rated this title 3 out of 5 stars
I really liked this book, and the main reason I liked it is because I kept having to second-guess the main character. It's a great feeling, you know, when there isn't a single person in the story you can trust. I also liked that while the main character was responsible for deaths, he wasn't a cold-blooded killer, and everything that happened wasn't entirely his fault. It's one thing to make a main character secretly an unhinged serial killer, and another for the character to be totally in their right mind and have an ulterior motive. It made Malcom positively frightening, knowing that behind his quiet and "innocent" demeanor, there was a killer. And I loved it.
And now I want to talk about something slightly controversial for myself: the involvement of other old, classic crime novels in this book.
Here's why I liked it: The "eight perfect murders" were weaved expertly through the story, and while they were the base of the entire plot, there wasn't too much taken from the other stories. Everything was explained thoroughly and I didn't have to read the other books to know what was going on in this book.
But. Spoilers!! I suddenly know all about these classic mystery novels that I would have liked to read. I know all the endings, and how the crime was pulled off, and whatnot. I especially would have liked to read Strangers on a Train, but now, because of this book, I literally know how the crime was done.
Additionally, many of the scenes were just long discussions or Mal's inner monologue, making this book similar in style to Agatha Christie's novels. And these scenes are important, of course, but this book was severely lacking "in the moment" or "action" scenes. Even at the most climactic moment of the story, Mal is casually chatting with the killer, and I didn't really feel the fear or thrill, which I wanted from a novel like this one.