Thursday, February 18, 2016

Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

First Line: Gertrude was the only person Teo liked.

Teo Avelar is a loner. He lives with his paraplegic mother in the Copacabana district of Rio de Janeiro. He doesn't have many friends... unless you count "Gertrude," the cadaver he's been working on in medical school. Gertrude is the only person he can confide in until he meets Clarice. An aspiring screenwriter, Clarice is almost Teo's polar opposite: spontaneous, exotic, and completely comfortable in speaking her mind.

Teo becomes obsessed with Clarice and begins stalking her. When she rejects him, Teo kidnaps her and takes her on a trip through Brazil that mirrors the screenplay she's writing. He's convinced that all Clarice needs is a little time to realize that they are perfect for each other, but as the trip progresses, things begin turning out in ways he did not foresee.

If you're looking for a book that makes the city of Rio de Janeiro and the vast country of Brazil come to life, look elsewhere. Perfect Days could take place in any urban setting. However, if you're looking to spend some time in the passenger seat with a psychopath at the wheel, you've certainly come to the right place.

You know from the get-go that Teo is one strange-- and potentially very sick-- young man-- unless you believe sharing your secrets with a cadaver is normal. Teo carries out his plans, convinced that he's completely in the right, and his actions almost become dream-like, carrying the reader along on a growing tidal wave of unease and dread. Clarice makes that tidal wave grow, and when Teo kidnaps her, we know she's certain to become a corpse. 

Or is she?

As the days of her captivity pass, readers learn more about her character, and hope begins to sprout.  The balance of power keeps shifting between these two characters until the outcome is not certain at all.  Speaking of that outcome, it was totally unexpected, and I'm sure it won't be to everyone's taste. I'm not sure that it's to mine to be honest. What I do know is that Raphael Montes had me hooked from beginning to end. I'm really looking forward to reading his next book.    

Perfect Days by Raphael Montes
Translated by Alison Entrekin
ISBN: 9781594206405
Penguin Press © 2016
Hardcover, 272 pages

Thriller, Standalone
Rating: B+
Source: publicist  



  1. Well, that certainly sounds like a different sort of story, Cathy. I like the idea of the setting, so I admit it's a bit of a disappointment to know it doesn't really come alive. Still, I give the author 'innovation' credit for that premise. Hmmm....

    1. Yes, the premise carries the book, and carries it well.

  2. I read about this one and then wasn't drawn in by the premise for some reason. If I had decided to read it, I'd likely be looking for setting - which seems would have been fruitless. Think I will take a pass on this one. I feel like I'm a little weary of the psychological thriller type book right now. Not really sure what I need to do about that. Maybe my break next week will help. :-)

    1. Yes, I've read my fill of psychological thrillers for a while. I'm glad I ended my run on a high note with this book!


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