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Imperfect Strangers
By Stuart Woods

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Imperfect Strangers

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Imperfect Strangers
Large Print Edition
By Stuart Woods
Wheeler Publishing (1995), 398 pages
ISBN: 978-1568952031
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - November 14, 2010

Sandy Kinsolving meets Peter Martindale on a plane from London to the US. They happen to sit next to each other and watch Alfred Hitchcock's classic Stranger on a Train where two strangers meet. Sandy and Peter are drunk or nearly so and tell each other that they have the same problem depicted in the movie. Each is dissatisfied with his wife and, as in the movie, they decide that each will kill the other's wife. This will make it possible for the husband to have an alibi. The murderer will not be suspected because, as far as the police or anyone else knows, he had no relationship with the victim and did not even know her.

They discuss why the Hitchcock murderers failed. The problem was that one of the husbands changes his mind and did not want the other to kill his wife, and the other man was a psychopath. They decide that they will be able to avoid the problems and kill each other's wife. Sandy tells Peter how and when he can kill his wife. They give each other an out. They can call and cancel the deal.

As the day for the murder approaches, Sandy decides to cancel. He calls and leaves a message for Peter at his hotel. He later calls Peter's hotel again and is assured that Peter got the message. He is also told that when Peter read the message, he smiled. However, when the evening arrives for Sandy's wife to be killed, she is killed, just as he and Peter arranged. The police suspect Sandy of being involved because he inherits an enormous amount of money with her death, but the officers admit to each other that they have little chance of proving his guilt.

Without revealing too much detail about the rest of this engrossing tale, Peter admits killing Sandy's wife and insists that Sandy kill his wife. He says that if Sandy refuses to do so, he will hurt him and his son. He tells Sandy that he gave his lawyer a detailed description of what happened to be opened upon his death, so if Sandy kills him he will go to jail as an accomplice to his wife's murder. Sandy meets a very attractive woman and the two fall in love. It turns out that the woman is Peter's wife.

What will Sandy do? How can he save himself, Peter's wife, and his son from Peter? Will the police find out the truth or part of it?


Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of sixteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes Wagner and Drazin's latest book Let's Study Onkelos on www.ou.org/torah.


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