The Perfect Couple

Elin Hilderbrand. Little, Brown, $28 (464p) ISBN 978-0-316-37526-9
The summer wedding of the year on Nantucket Island is shattered when the maid of honor’s body washes up on the beach right before the ceremony in Hilderbrand’s deliciously captivating drama. It’s July 4th weekend, and Bronx Zoo assistant director Celeste Otis, a kind young woman of modest upbringing, is set to marry the very privileged Benji Winbury. When Celeste finds her best friend, the vivacious Merritt Monaco, dead, Nantucket police chief Ed Kapenash and stalwart Massachusetts State Police detective Nick Diamantopoulos set about questioning family and friends, some of whom are more forthcoming than others. A tangled web of shocking secrets and steamy affairs is revealed, but is one of them really capable of murder? Using multiple viewpoints, Hilderbrand (The Identicals) realistically mines her flawed, likeable characters’ lives. She gives each a depth and humanity that’s difficult to pull off with an ensemble cast, with character notes such as Celeste’s mother’s desire to see her daughter married before she dies from breast cancer. The author shows similar attention to peripheral characters, such as Lola Budd, who’s dating Chief Ed’s ward and gets a chance to help the investigation and impress the chief. Hilderbrand’s legions of fans will be thrilled by this delightful whodunit, and it will earn her plenty of new ones. (June)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2018
Release date: 06/19/2018
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 512 pages - 978-0-316-52316-5
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