Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Perfect Couple (Elin Hilderbrand)

I used to be a pretty faithful reader of Elin Hilderbrand but had stopped for a few years. I was intrigued enough to begin again after finding out that The Perfect Couple was her first murder mystery. Would she be successful at this initial foray into a new genre after being known as the Queen of Beach Reads? The answer is mostly yes, but don't think that this novel isn't ideal for the beach, too!

As does every Hilderbrand novel, this one takes place in Nantucket (which happens to be the author's home). Everyone gathers on the island for the fantastically rich wedding of Celeste and Benji; however, the festivities come to a grinding halt the morning of the big day when the maid of honor turns up dead. The novel abruptly switches from what could have been a breezy summer wedding book into a murder mystery, jumping between time periods and alternating narrators as the police rush to solve the case.

Much of The Perfect Couple works, especially Hilderbrand's writing, which is always interesting and believable. The mystery itself is also rock solid; I thought for sure that I had it all figured out, and then not five minutes later, Hilderbrand explained my whole theory away. The ending, however, was abrupt, and the entire mystery was over in just a few pages. I also would have appreciated an epilogue to tie up the loose ends of all the many characters. But all in all, this is a pulse-pounding book that's perfect reading on or off the beach.