Robert Mallon has lived for 10 quiet years in affluent Santa Barbara, when an encounter on a beach with a mysterious young woman shatters his peaceful, carefully constructed life. Despite Mallon's desperate attempts, he loses her and becomes obsessed with discovering why. He hires detective Lydia Marks to uncover the secrets of this stranger's life, and what they learn propels them into a terrifying world of sinister secrets and deadly hatreds.
Targeting Mallon is the master hunter Parish, a man with an expert understanding of evil who preys on rich people's desires for dominance and revenge. Mallon is drawn into a lethal struggle with this deadly adversary - and then another, and another, and another.
©2008 Thomas Perry (P)2010 Tantor
“Perry succeeds with Dead Aim on all fronts. It’s both chilling and absorbing, the right mix in a thriller.” (The New York Daily News)
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 14-year-old daughter.
I don't know why I wasn't expecting a lot from this book but I was pleasantly surprised. The really bad guys were really bad and the protagonist had enough likable qualities to keep you rooting for him. Maybe it was because the last book I listened to was so bad that this one seemed exceptional. I liked the story, the characters and the author's ability to make me want to continue listening. The narration was excellent too.
Many of the Amazon reviews downgrade this novel b/o its implausibility. I have to agree that it requires several leaps of faith to accept its premise, but then I've found that many of Dean Koontz's and Stephen King's works are implausible, but I still enjoy them immensely. Perry is a good enough writer that I had no trouble dealing with the unbelievable parts, and I enjoyed the novel without difficulty. And Kramer's narration was excellent.
I enjoyed this book, for the most part, because it was based on an unusual premise... Don't want to spoil it for you. Very well written. Sit back and relax... ignore the far-fetched parts... and the the fact that the narrator's female voices sound a bit like Ronald Reagan... and enjoy the ride.
I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books.
Dead Aim is a stand-alone work. I am sure that Mr. Perry doesn't want to get stuck in a rut writing Butcher's Boy books, but, as a reader, I have to say that I wouldn't mind. This book is still beautifully written, and the narration is flawless. The plot is clever and the suspense builds to the point at which you cannot stop listening. The protagonist, Robert Mallon, is a wealthy loner who gets caught in a nightmarish bind. He is being stalked by the members of a "self-defense" school which is actually a training school for killers. The head of the school is a wonderful villain whom you just love to hate. He is a true psychopath who kills people without emotion and trains gullible young people and rich thrill-seekers to be like him. I must say that this school strains credulity a bit, although it is fiction, so Mr. Perry has license. Once again his sentences are unique, and it is a pure pleasure just to listen to the work of a master writer. There are other parts of this book that strain credulity as well, particularly Mr. Mallon's truly phenomenal naivete about the police. Mallon actually believes that the police want to help him, and he never gets the fact that they are just looking for suspects. He keeps telling them more and more, never realizing the danger in what he is doing. I was also disappointed by the complete lack of humor in the book, because the Butcher's Boy novels are so witty. Nonetheless, Mr. Perry keeps stacking up the drama, the killings, the betrayals and the paranoia, to the point at which no one knows what is true, not Mr. Mallon or the reader. Even a lesser work of Mr. Perry's is something that most mystery/thriller writers would kill to produce. You'll enjoy this, but having started with the Butcher's Boy, you will realize that Mr. Perry has set the bar so high that it's almost unreachable, even by him.
Before I start, I want to go on record (again) that a three-star rating in my book is worth a listen. There are far too many reviewers that rate every listen as 4 or 5 stars...How am I to trust them? Anyway, Dead Aim is a good story that kept my attention. But it is not worth a four or a five star rating. I enjoyed the story while it was playing, but suspect I will have a hard time remembering it two months and four books from now. I will add that somewhere around chapter 10, the is an abrupt story shift that almost had me thinking I had played the wrong book. Maybe I wasn't paying attention or I am riddled with ADHD. Or it could be an audio issue or just bad editing as I did notice a few paragraphs repeated at one point in listening. I gave the narrator 5 stars because he did a great job wit the voices. I always knew who was speaking what, and he didn't butcher the female parts either. And lastly, Perry's ending to this book is like having a hot chocolate molten cake after dinner...very satisfying.
I have become a Perry convert, but not of the Butcher's Boy series. I love the other books, such as this, where invariably, an innocent bystander, minding his own business, somehow becomes involved in a mess of someone else's paranoia or misunderstanding, and goes from boring pacifist to intelligent activist. And, often these "nobodies" turn out to have depth and character they never would have realized, had it not been for strange twists of fate.
The narrator is great--much the same stealth-type characterization as the tone of the books--seemingly monotonous, but just understated--perfect! Love him, but he does need to learn to pronounce "careen" (he says "Karen") and "jewelry" (he says "jew-le-ry"). Kind of jarring.
But these books, unlike the Butcher's Boy book I read, actually develop the characters, and show their foibles; which practically all have. They are really hilarious in a not-laughing-out-loud sort of way. Kind of like Tony Soprano going the the therapist.
I was completely drawn into the story line of Perry's Dead Aim. The main character continues to look for answers and I felt as though I were a part of the process. This is a good read/or listen, as the case may be.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
I hate to write it… but this is NOT a good book and it's not well read. I hate to write it because I am a serious Thomas Perry fan… I'm used to giving him FIVE… count 'em…. FIVE STARS. But this thing, no way.
Perry is a master plotter… But you'd not know it from this flaccid string of implausible coincidences. And the characters, which Perry is famous for creating… none of them came to this mess. Oh well, since Perry doesn't return to the same cast twice, at least we won't read about this gang any more. One thing though… the basic motivation of that ignites the book around a distressed damsel is Perry-Clever… Unfortunately the ignition ran out of gas.
And Michael Kramer… who I normally can't over-praise… Where was his talent? For example, the villain of this muddle is supposed to be Afrikaner. So why does he talk like Dr. No? Like an escapee from some central European castle town? Was Kramer trying to create a story with characterization that might save the book he was paid to read? Dunno…
What I do know is… learn from my experience… SKIP DEAD AIM. But keep buying Perry. I've listened to 12 of his novels and except for Strip and Fidelity, they've all earned over five stars from me (and Fidelity got 4). Everyone has a bad day… Dead Aim is Thomas Perry's.
We loved this book! Toward the middle, I was wondering whether I would, but the ending was amazing. Lots of killing, but how it was done was great. One big sex scene at the biginning that wasn't necessary, but if you can tolorate that, the rest of the book is fantastic.
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