By Seth Margolis
Avon Books, 1997
Hardcover, 348 pages
Julia Mallet is a self sufficient, confident woman who works at an ad agency and is raising her daughter Emily on her own. Julia’s six closest friends have come to Manhattan to help celebrate her thirty-fifth birthday with her. Back in their college days the group were close knit and called themselves, “The Madison Seven.”
Now at Julia’s party someone has the idea that it would be fun to go back into the past and recreate the times they shared. They call the party, “Come-As-You-Were” and everyone wears attire from the past.
Julia has the unique ability of being able to hypnotize her friends back in college. It was a skill she learned when she was young, in order to help her father cope with the pain he suffered when he was dying of cancer.
At her friends coaxing, Julia hypnotizes them all at the first, first taking them back to their free spirited college days and then further into their childhoods. It is all meant to be in fun and the friends each treat it as such.
But less than twenty-four hours after the birthday party a woman in Julia’s neighborhood is murdered senselessly. The murderer has left a chilling sign behind at the scene that speaks volumes to Julia- it is a result of a post-hypnotic suggestion that she believes she inadvertently planted in the minds of her six closest friends.
All at once Julia fears there is a murderer among the group of men and women friends she has always loved and trusted. She no longer feels safe anymore.
The police are baffled by the clue left at the scene of the crime. Leading the investigation is N.Y.P.D. detective Ray Burgess, a man with personal problems of his own in the form of an estranged wife.
Julia and Ray are drawn together by circumstance but Julia is afraid to confide in him and voice her suspicions about her friends for fear of what might happen.
As the murders continue, Julia attempts to control her developing romantic feeling for Ray while trying also to figure out the scary truth- is one of her closest friends a cold blooded murderer?
Perfect Angel has some twists and turns and everything is not as it seems. If you like psychological suspense you will love this taut thriller. I give it a big thumbs up!