The U.S. Debut of Perfect Days

Perfect Days by Raphael Montes
Genre: psychological thriller
Publisher: Penguin Publishing
Date: February 14, 2017
Reviewed by: Brit Gay
Fiction Addict Scorecard: A

Teo is a student in medical school, and his best friend’s name is Gertrude. The real problem—Gertrude is the cadaver in his anatomy lab course. This does not bother Teo. Around Gertrude he does not have to pretend to have the rudimentary emotions that every day people experience.  Teo tries to blend in with those around him by being a good student, a good son to his mother who is paralyzed from the waist down.  Everything changes when he meets Clarice—a carefree girl and self-proclaimed screen writer. After a brief kiss bestowed upon Teo, he becomes obsessed with the idea of a future with this whimsical woman. It is obvious that she is the one. Clarice needs to understand the depth of his newfound love and longing. To prove his devotion, Teo kidnaps Clarice and takes her on a road trip so that she can become his forever.

Perfect Days by Rafael Montes is a psychological thriller that is reminiscent of the many novels involving antagonists with antisocial personality disorder symptoms. Better known by pop culture as sociopathy, Montes brings his audience a novel from the complete point of view of the antagonist. This is exceedingly rare, and a hard task to do well. Engaging readers with a main character that seems devoid of natural emotions is a difficult feat, and Montes takes another step by having the sociopath as the narrator.  Fans of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels will find themselves in a familiar feeling novel they will be sure to enjoy.

There are a few criticisms that I need to point out. Perfect Days being in a similar genre as the Thomas Harris Hannibal series will find the name Clarice repetitive.  I personally would have chosen a different name for my protagonist since there is already a well-known heroine named Clarice in the same genre. With the novel being set in Brazil a name more fitting of the setting would be appropriate.  Another criticism would be about the hotel in which most of the novel takes place.  The resort run by a family of little people with Dwarf in the title. However, having the cabins on their property being named after Snow White’s seven dwarfs is taking things too far. In my opinion this comes across as the author belittling at a group of people and is in bad taste.  Also, all overnight stays seem to take place in hotels or resorts with fantastical names such as Wonderland Hotel or Never-Never Beach. This comes across as a bit lazy of the author. Using local settings would have helped to not break the immersion of the audience and would be more authentic.

Overall I really enjoyed Perfect Days. Once receiving the novel, I devoured it within 3 reading sessions. Honestly, it would have been less time if I wasn’t being responsible with my time. Rafael Montes brings us a fast-paced novel that twists and turns and leaves you begging for more. Perfect Days is now available in paperback. Check it out!

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