Monday, April 22, 2013
Review of The Perfect Crime by Les Edgerton (Stonegate Ink, 2011)
The key to The Perfect Crime is the plot, which is clever and well executed, with a couple of nice feints and twists. Edgerton not only envisages the perfect heist, but he interweaves three, competing perfect plans each of which is not quite as perfect as its executioner thinks, pitching the protagonists against each other in the process -- the hapless, smarmy C.J. St Ives intent on ripping off his own bank, ‘Reader’ Kincaid who desires the millions in drug money being laundered by St Ives’ bank, and Grady Fogarty who wants revenge for his brother’s death at the hands of Kincaid and a better life for himself after years of poorly rewarded toil. It’s a compelling storyline that hooks the reader in and keeps the pages turning to the nicely resolved ending. The storytelling itself is quite workmanlike and the characterisation somewhat routine and cliche at times, with only Veronica, a retired local cop, breaking the mould. I inwardly groaned when a beautiful, young woman falls for Grady after a brief conversation; does every fifty something year old retired cop in the US snag women half their age? Regardless, it's the smart plot that makes this a book worth reading -- and which leaves you wondering if you could envisage and execute the perfect crime.