The Perfect Couple

Little, Brown. Jun. 2018. 416p. ISBN 9780316375269. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316375245. F
In this latest novel by Hilderbrand (The Identicals), the wealthy Nantucket-based Winbury family prepares for the wedding of younger son Benji when the maid of honor is discovered dead on the shore the morning of the ceremony. The story opens with the police chief getting the call, and from there the point of view extends a periscopic lens on all of the players in this family drama. The time line effectively jumps back and forth between the investigation and earlier events; as secrets are revealed, the steady pace and heightened intrigue draw in readers. Among the many likable and flawed characters is the memorable mother of the groom, mystery writer and gin heiress Greer. Her pragmatic outlook about her husband's infidelity and full embrace of future daughter-in-law Celeste, who comes from a modest background, adds refreshing realism to a story that could have become melodramatic but doesn't.
VERDICT Smooth storyteller Hilderbrand succeeds in creating another domestic drama with a beach setting and a satisfying conclusion that will please a variety of readers. [See Prepub Alert, 12/11/17.]
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