What Makes a Perfect Murder?

3 01 2012

I’ve always wondered if a perfect murder counts if the killer feels compelled to dish all–and then actually dishes all. (For what is probably my favorite “perfect” murder book, check out Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.”)

Anyway, this book I’m reviewing is “The Crimes of Jordan Wise” by Bill Pronzini. It’s a pretty good perfect-murder book. The protagonist, Jordan Wise, starts with a totally different perfect crime, embezzling. The writing, in first person point of view, is smooth, engaging and accessible. It also caused me to wonder if a perfect crime is really perfect if it wreaks an emotional toll on the killer. What exactly is a perfect crime? Some people think a perfect murder is one in which people don’t know a death, or a crime, even occurred. This seems to be Jordan Wise’s school of thought.

Is a murder perfect if one person finds out but never tells the cops? Again, I guess this depends on individual definitions of perfect. Jordan’s definition seems to shift often, and I don’t think he realizes it. Maybe the point of the book is that no crime can be perfect.

All in all, I definitely recommend this book. I read the ebook version, which apparently had conversion issues from the print version. Namely, the issues are with many letter “u”s and letters “li.” If the print book was scanned for ebook, the program probably saw many “li”s as “u”s. This was not a huge deal to me and made for some entertaining new words. However, it boggles me to think no one would bother to do a simple scan/proofread of the ebook.

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