Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Too Close to Miss (Mara Cunningham Series, #1)” as Want to Read:
Too Close to Miss (Mara Cunningham Series, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Too Close to Miss (Mara Cunningham Series #1)

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  323 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Mara Cunningham knew that sleeping with a married man was a bad idea. But when her lover shows up in the hospital after his wife and son are murdered, the rumors about her turn dangerous. Now she's the prime suspect in a double homicide, and the real killers will stop at nothing to silence her. Mara's race against time takes her from the dense heart of Boston to the dark w ...more
Kindle Edition, 579 pages
Published November 28th 2011
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Too Close to Miss, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Too Close to Miss

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 11, 2011 Tom rated it it was amazing
A fast-moving noir thriller with style to spare. Mara Cunningham is an appealing protagonist, who manages to keep her head even when she's in way over it. Too Close to Miss sends her on a ride through Boston, uncovering the details of the attempted murder of her lover (and the successful murder of his wife and son). Too Close to Miss is an exciting and engaging debut novel, worth reading both by fans of the genre and those who would like to give it a try.
Dec 06, 2011 Bryan rated it really liked it
Disclaimer 1: The author is an online acquaintance. I like his blogging/commentary and I fully expected this book to be well written.

Disclaimer 2: I hate thrillers. I have had difficulty making it through Ludlum, Forsythe, etc. I especially hate thrillers with no politics and no threat of nuclear explosions.

Combining the two disclaimers, I expected to say that this was a really well written thriller that would be enjoyed by people who like thrillers, but that I was not one. Much to my surprise I
Ray Charbonneau
Dec 07, 2011 Ray Charbonneau rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
It's only 99 cents, so if you rate it by cost/enjoyment ratio, it's clearly at least a 4.

Basic genre stuff, where the genre is "spunky woman mysteries". Falls in with Kinsey Millhone, Stephanie Plum, etc... Comparable in quality to any of those (actually, significantly better than the latter Plum novels).
Dec 16, 2011 Flannery rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: The author is a friend of mine. It also takes place in Boston. Those two things would automatically earn any book two stars.

But this book doesn't need my pity stars. It's earned all 4 on its own merits.

It's fast, it's tight, it's exciting. I couldn't put it down. The protagonist is a believable, likeable, flawed protagonist. The fight scenes, the tight spots (both figurative and literal), and the vulnerable moments leap off the page in vivid detail. Perich's Mara Cunningham coul
Dec 23, 2011 Mike rated it it was amazing
A compelling, incisively smart, and witty thriller; in some ways comparable to Lawrence Shames' work in its balance of character arc, plot, and immersion in a particular city (in this case, Boston). The story takes about two chapters to grab your interest fully, at which point you'll be hooked to the finish. Among the book's virtues is a legitimately likeable (yet imperfect) protagonist, a richly evocative setting, and a number of legitimately surprising plot twists which are nonetheless perfect ...more
Jan 05, 2012 Sylvia rated it liked it
I was happy while reading this book, and when finished, I was happy that I’d read it. It’s a satisfying thriller. My interest in thrillers and mysteries and detective stories is uneven because the formula (and there is a formula) often feels worn and done. I can see where it’s going after five pages. This story, however, does formula in the right way. All the familiar steps of a mystery are there, but they’re handled with finesse and that made the story feel really good to read. Kinda like danci ...more
Nikki Frankel
Jan 24, 2012 Nikki Frankel rated it liked it
I get a kick out of stories set in Boston as I've lived here for several years. Unfortunately, the delightful details of my favorite city were not enough to keep me fully interested in this book. It is a quick read and the prose is well written, but the plot was slow to develop. I found it difficult to relate to the narrator. So much of the story relies on the reader caring about the narrator's fate and thus this was not an out of the park home run for me. I was also disappointed at the ending i ...more
Chris Moyer
Mar 01, 2012 Chris Moyer rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this quite a bit, it was fast-paced, twisty and engaging. I hadn't solved the mystery on page one, and was feeling the thrill until the end.

My only complaint would be that a few bits felt too telegraphed. Yes, I got it, the narrator is a woman, very clever and doesn't give up.

Overall, though, a fun read.
May 03, 2012 Joanna rated it really liked it
I'm not a huge fan of "thrillers" so I was impressed that I was so entertained by Too Close to Miss. Some of the character development was slightly lacking - I noticed I was getting confused keeping track of some of the outlying characters, but this is pretty typical for a thriller novel for me.

The story was really fast paced and I loved the backdrop of Boston. I was legitimately excited to pick up the book and read and I really enjoyed the strong female protagonist. I look forward to reading mo
May 24, 2012 Antriksh rated it liked it
I love thrillers. I loved Dan Brown's books. I read a lot of this genre.

Too Close To Miss is a very well-researched and well-written novel. The plot s quite complex, the characters are very believable etc. The reason for my mediocre rating, however, are:

- The book did not get even a bit exciting until about 30% in, although it had a promising start.
- The plot was a bit too complex and revolved around legal matters, which isn't my thing.
- The long dialogue scenes where characters talk about legal
Jul 14, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it

A female newspaper photographer receives a call in the middle of the night telling her that her married paramour has been shot and is in the Hospital. She goes there and learns that his wife and son were murdered at the time of his shooting. She begins to investigate the murders and what lead up to them. In her past she was an investigative and political reporter so she has the skills for such an investigation. She is also a self-defense instructor. Just knowing this will give the reader many h
May 19, 2012 Kathy rated it liked it
All in all a good mystery thriller. Easy quick read. Not too many characters to remember and a good ending.

May 25, 2012 Jerome rated it liked it
Shelves: free
This book was pretty good. It got a little slow at certain parts but overall it kept me interested enough to finish. The end wrapped up pretty fast and have maybe been drawn out a little longer for more closure. The overall motivation of the bad guys wasn't very interesting when all said and done.
May 21, 2012 Christy rated it liked it
This was better than some of the books I've read but not as good as others in the thriller genre. It was slow to get going for me and I found all of Mara's building and/or repeating injuries almost laughable by the end. Some of the characters were hard to keep up with as there was little to no background on them. I did like that I didn't know if the betrayals of "friends" was truly over (Saul) until the book ended. However, I feel like Mara is a bit shallow or underdeveloped in that she only has ...more
Jun 11, 2012 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Pretty solid, good story interesting characters. My biggest problem is that you get hit over the head with the fact that the protagonist had been sleeping with the victim. As if you could forget, some reminder starts practically the first 10 chapters. That aside, it was a fun, quick read.
Dava Stewart
May 25, 2012 Dava Stewart rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2012 JC rated it really liked it
Picked this up from Amazon for free, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I really enjoyed it. The book starts out at a fast pace and doesn't slow down. The writing was perfect by any means, but I found the storyline quite compelling. I'd recommend this book if you're into mystery novels.
Sandy Maynard
Jul 20, 2012 Sandy Maynard rated it liked it
solid mystery, the main character was a little bit like superwoman and was able to get herself out of some unrealistic situations, took place in boston
Aug 15, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
This book had me hooked from the beginning but then I found it dragging by the end. A lot of characters with all different stories I actually had to go back through the book and find out who some of the folks were. Either way it was pretty fast paced and full of action. I can't say that I felt bad for the main character since she was sleeping with a married man but that's all a part of the story. This is a decent thriller though with a lot of twists and turns.
Norma Budden
Jul 30, 2012 Norma Budden rated it it was amazing
At times, I dared not breathe while reading Too Close to Miss, a title which you'll find has a few connotations after you've read the last page.

I can imagine John Perich writing his book with one or, possibly, two sentences as the summary of what will happen - but the story I embarked on fed my imagination throughout the day and into the wee hours of the morning. I couldn't get enough of this mystery.

A lawyer's wife and 5-year-old son had been murdered, the lawyer having sustained injuries which
Aug 16, 2012 Theresa rated it liked it
Would like to give it 3 & 1/2 stars. In the beginning I couldn't get to the next page fast enough but three-quarters of the way through when the pieces started to fall into place, it slowed down a little for me.
Oct 04, 2012 Peggy rated it liked it
At first I didn't like this book I thought I can't wait to finish it I thought Mara's character had no brains for someone that was an investigative reporter she should have known better then get herself into the trouble she did. once I got about half way through it I couldn't put it down the person I thought was the bad guy turned up dead so I had to find out who did this. Getting passed Mara's lack of better judgement and her stupid luck it is a good who done it.
Jan 09, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
It was very hard to put down, but the details got very confusing at the end! Lots of bad guys, a few good guys, and several in-betweens!
Feb 18, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it
Too Close to Miss by John Perich is an exciting thriller that takes place in the heart of Boston. Mara Cunningham, photographer for the Tribune, knows that carrying on a relationship with a married man is a mistake and has put that behind. That is, until she gets a call in the middle of the night to tell her that man, a prominent attorney, has been shot. Mara will do anything to find out who shot him and why. But will she be too late?

This is a fascinating thriller that kept my interest for about
Jul 10, 2013 Quillracer rated it it was ok
This book merits 3 stars for an interesting plot with some novel twists.

But I never quite got a good feel for Mara Cunningham, who was a journalist, photojournalist, or crime scene photographer, (depending on which chapter I was reading). Other than knowing she has red hair, I don’t have an idea what she looks like. Is she tall or short, stocky or slim, with long flowing hair or a short bob? She never became ‘real’ to me, was just a character on the page.

Several threads in the plot didn’t quite
Sarah Osman
Jun 23, 2013 Sarah Osman rated it it was amazing
I loved every part of this book. I'm a slow reader yet I finished it in less than two days. It surely is a page turner. Last time I checked, it was available for free on iBooks. I recommend downloading it!
Auston Habershaw
Jun 18, 2015 Auston Habershaw rated it really liked it
This is an excellent thriller in a kind of modern noir style. The main character is excellent and, for me, is the chief selling point of the book. What reservations I have are largely part and parcel of the fact that I'm not really a thriller fan, so take what I say with that in mind. Nevertheless, it moves quickly, the action is gritty, and the author's style is excellent.
Roger L. Boese
A cute miss in a compelling mystery

Features a heroine in a plot that twist, turns a thickens with every turn. Her feats are a little unbelievable at times but one becomes convinced by the story.
Jan Lewis
Mar 02, 2016 Jan Lewis rated it liked it
Fairly entertaining mystery about a newspaper photographer who finds herself entrenched in the attempted murder of her previous "lover" and murder of his wife and son. I found myself going back to recap who some of the characters were on more than one occasion as I kept losing sight of who was whom. Some fairly tense moments that will keep you reading although after a few of those, you wonder what kind of person would continually put themselves in harms way. Overall a decent read.
Boots S
Mara Cunningham is a photographer for the Tribune and meets and sleeps with Daniel, a high profile lawyer(and married). At 2 AM, she receives a call that Daniel has been shot and is in the hospital. His wife and child were killed. Daniel leaves the hospital to attend the funeral and then disappears. Mara starts an investigation. She is assaulted (her assailant is hurt more than she), she is locked in a basement, but escapes; she is kidnapped, tied to a bed, but manages to strangle her kidnapper. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
TOO HARD TO HANDLE - out now! 2 5 Jul 11, 2013 01:28PM  
Author Q&A 6 19 Aug 04, 2012 04:39PM  
  • The Fourth Law
  • Backyard Bones (Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries, #2)
  • North Slope
  • A Dangerous Harbor
  • Irrefutable
  • Nowhere to Hide
  • Volcano Watch (The Forensic Geology Series, #3)
  • The Somali Doctrine
  • Edited for Death (Amy Hobbes #1)
  • Pushed Too Far (Val Ryker #1)
  • Every Precious Thing (Logan Harper, #2)
  • Confession Is Murder
  • Guns
  • Rabbit in the Road
  • I Kill Rich People
  • Golden Chariot
  • A Deceit to Die For
  • A Real Piece of Work  (Dakota Stevens, #1)
While working in a variety of Boston-area tech startups, John Perich has still found time to write and publish several gritty crime thrillers, particularly the Mara Cunningham series (Too Close To Miss in 2011; Too Hard to Handle in 2012).

A Baltimore native but a Massachusetts resident, John teaches and practices jiu-jitsu, turns a winking eye to pop culture on Overthinking It, samples whiskey ind
More about John Perich...

Other Books in the Series

Mara Cunningham Series (3 books)
  • Too Hard to Handle (Mara Cunningham Series, #2)
  • Too Late to Run (Mara Cunningham Series, #3)

Share This Book