Perfect Strangers swizzles crime thriller, Harlequin romance, and 'Devil-Wears-Shopaholic'.
Sophie is a stereotyped ‘Chelsea girl’, flung into a worldwide murder mystery and criminal investigation-stroke-social scandal. Perry adeptly sets the pieces of her puzzle in place, and off we go to compose it. If you've any desire to solve a mystery, or see it solved, you’ll race through the 600 pages like there’s no tomorrow. The prose is simplistic; few words have more than two syllables, but it’s the knowledge that somehow Sophie and her co-protagonist Ruth—a ruthless journalist set on solving the case—will get their men and triumph over greedy, unabashed evil.
However banal, Sophie’s love for her just-dead father—and his for her—mark an appeal. For all the book’s label-dropping and platitudes, their relationship-with-a-secret is a welcome addition. Perfect Strangers insists, with the subtlety of a plunging knife (or as the book would call it, ‘an expensive-looking knife’), that life is about love and not money. It delights in naming brands, carats, and costs, but champions love as much as its mystery.