The Perfect Couple
By: Elin Hilderbrand
Published: June 19, 2018
From the Cover:
It’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.
But it’s going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom’s famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from The Castaways, Beautiful Day, and A Summer Affair, The Perfect Couple proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.
This is the first Hilderbrand novel I have read (listened to) and it lived up to expectations. I don’t know what it is about books that center around complex family drama, but they constantly grip me. Maybe it’s the juiciness, the shock-factor, or the unpredictability, but I know this. . . I can’t get enough. Combine the family drama with a mysterious and untimely death that hints at murder, and you’ve got my attention.
What made this book so gripping were the characters. Each one was unique and flawed with secrets and imperfections that drove the plot forward at breakneck speed. Throw in a murder investigation into the mix and no character is safe from suspicion. It’s a wild ride, and even though I ended up guessing the “big reveal” at the end, I was not bored at any time. My major critique is that the police proceedings in the book seemed under-researched and unrealistic (What police force decides to end a potential murder investigation after only one day?), even for the small town of Nantucket. Maybe I have read too much crime fiction that has included extensive and professional research and collaboration that this book seemed a little. . . naive. If you’re looking for true crime fiction, you might want to look elsewhere as this book puts more emphasis on romance and family drama.
Beyond the “whodunnit” major plot line lies several other important, but less obvious themes that focus on friendship, family, romantic relationships, caregiving, aging, sickness, jealousy, death, and more. It’s a well- rounded book that hits all of the major points. If you are stuck somewhere cold and want a throwback to the warm summer months, pick this book up and let it take you there.
Beach or mountains? As much as I love reading books about the beach, I’m not the biggest fan of actually going to the beach. I hate the way sand seems to get everywhere, the way the ocean water tastes (come on, no one actually enjoys getting salt water in the mouth, eyes, ears, and nose), and how in the summer I feel like I am just sweating constantly. the whole concept of “laying out” in the sun to get tan while I seem to just sweat profusely is not my idea of a good time. Don’t even get me started on the hassle of applying (and reapplying) sunscreen. So yeah, I guess I might be more of mountains gal, but I’ll never part with my beach reads. . . even in November.