I needed a break from thinking about anything, politics, health, family, etc. This romance-type of story is set in a murder mystery and it sounded perfect. It was actually almost just what I needed but it was really disappointing.
The Perfect Couple
by Elin Hilderbrand
read by Erin Bennett 12h 8m
rating: – D (romance/crime)
Hilderbrand usually writes romance and there is a series associated with this novel which, from what I understand, uses the same characters but without much of an connecting plot to the books. But I haven’t read any others because I’m allergic to romance.
Unfortunately I was hooked by the mystery hype and it’s really much more of a romance – it just happens to have a murder at the core of the plot. What happens is that the maid of honor in the heroine’s wedding is found dead and there are plenty of suspects in this group of very upscale New Yorkers gathered together at a mansion in Nantucket. The police and detectives are involved and do their jobs in forensics and there are interviews. But the romance takes up probably 70% of the tale.
The characters, from 3rd person omniscient points of view, are not terribly well defined. Even the main characters are somewhat stereotyped and the setting is something I’d expect from Danielle Steele. Hilderbrand does, at times, include some interesting insights about personalities and psychologies but these ideas are not developed.
The structure is comprised of two alternating parts. One part is the day before the wedding (when the body is found) and subsequent investigation. The other part deals with weeks and months leading up to death, when motives are established. The dates are clearly noted at the beginning of each chapter.
The language is at about a 5th grade level describing adult content. It’s not graphic in any way but it does get schmaltzy, repetitive and somewhat juvenile.
Finally, except for the ending, the plot’s not bad. It’s generally predictable with only a couple of light minor surprises. And it’s compelling for some reason, maybe the who-done-it part and because the premise is rather unusual. The final denouement is a bit hard to figure out prior to getting there because the threads come together. And then it’s turns back into a romance and is totally disappointing.