18 May 2013
Review: 'Perfect Strangers' by Tasmina Perry (2012)
Just an innocent invitation...
When Sophie Ellis is asked to house-sit at a luxurious Knightsbridge townhouse, it appears to be the offer of a lifetime. Drawn into the glittering circle of the home's owner, she meets wealthy American businessman Nick Cooper and is swept up into a thrilling and passionate affair.
But when Nick is found dead in his hotel suite, Sophie is suddenly the prime suspect for his murder, and soon realises Nick was not the man he seemed. Racing to find the truth and clear her name, Sophie must elude not only the authorities but also a group of dangerous players who believe Sophie has something that they want. And who won't stop until she's caught...
I am a true sucker for romance and happy endings; have been for as long as I can remember. This becomes instantly apparent from my favourite books and films: all of them have to do with love and, most importantly, have that happily ever after some people find too unrealistic or predictable. I know precisely why these are the kind of tales I love to lose myself in: I want to find that kind of happiness in my life, and I thoroughly enjoy reading about other people’s (even if they are just fictional characters) roads to their own happy endings. Why would I want to read about murder, financial troubles, war...? There’s already enough trouble in this world, so in that little corner of my mind there’s simply not allowed to be any. So, when I received this review copy of Tasmina Perry’s novel ‘Perfect Strangers’ from the lovely people at Headline, I at first wasn’t completely sure whether this novel would be something I’d enjoy. How wrong was I!
Sophie Ellis is a rich Chelsea socialite who seems to have it all. However, when her family loses all their money and her father suddenly dies of a heart-attack, Sophie’s life changes significantly. She decides to pick up the pieces and go on as quick as possible, so when she is asked to house-sit for a new friend in Knightsbridge, she gladly accepts. At a glamorous party she meets handsome stranger Nick Cooper with whom she starts a passionate love affair. Yet, when Sophie finds Nick’s lifeless body in the shower one morning and she is automatically considered one of the main murder suspects, her life is once again turned upside down. This time, however, it turns out to be slightly more difficult to find her way out...
I hadn’t read a novel by Tasmina Perry before, and I was pleasantly surprised. From the first couple of pages I was captivated by the story and its exciting and intriguing plot. Who killed Nick, and why? What was going to happen to Sophie? I didn’t want to put the novel down, and all the twists and turns which I seriously did not see coming only strengthened this longing to keep on reading. I really liked Sophie; she isn’t your average Chelsea girl, which becomes clear from the start. She is thrown into a situation no one wants to find themselves in and I think it is very impressive how she deals with everything that is going on in her life. I adore fictional heroines who are strong, know how to take care of themselves and want to do the right thing; Sophie fits this picture perfectly. I found myself rooting for her straight away and hoping she would be able to find the real killer and go on with her life.
Tasmina Perry turns out to be one of those authors I have definitely been missing out on. Even though I initially thought this novel might not be the kind of thing I would like, I found out that chick lits with a touch of crime might after all be books I can really enjoy and get lost in. ‘Perfect Strangers’ encompasses a great mix of mystery, excitement, drama and a touch of romance and keeps on throwing new twists and turns your way. If you’re looking for a novel that includes both glamour and intrigue, then be sure to pick up this book. I certainly can’t wait to get my hands on the next Tasmina Perry novel!