From Thomas Perry, the New York Times best-selling author of the Jane Whitefield series, comes a whip-smart and lethally paced standalone novel, Forty Thieves.
Sid and Ronnie Abel are a first-rate husband-and-wife detective team, both retirees of the LAPD. Ed and Nicole Hoyt are married assassins for hire living in the San Fernando Valley. Except for deadly aim with a handgun, the two couples have little in common - until they are both hired to do damage control on the same murder case. The previous spring, after days of torrential rain, a body was recovered from one of the city's overwhelmed storm sewers. The victim was identified as James Ballantine, a middle-aged African American who worked as a research scientist for a prestigious company and was well liked by his colleagues. But two bullets to the back of the head looked like nothing if not foul play.
Now, with the case turning cold, Ballantine's former employers bring in the Abels to succeed where the police have failed while the Hoyts' mysterious contractors want to make sure that the facts about Ballantine's death stay hidden. As the book races toward a high-octane climax, the Abels must fend for their own lives as they circle ever closer to the truth.
©2016 Thomas Perry. Produced by arrangement with The Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
"Perry keeps readers engrossed with wickedly smart protagonists.... [He] can really write." (San Francisco Examiner)
"There are probably half a dozen suspense writers now alive who can be depended upon to deliver high-voltage shocks, vivid, sympathetic characters, and compelling narrative...Perry is one of them." (Stephen King)
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is my first book by Thomas Perry. The idea of a husband and wife private investigator team who were former LAPD officers against a husband and wife assassin team intrigued me. This hooked me into buying the book.
I think it is great that the P.I. duo of Sid and Veronica Abel have been married for thirty years and have children and grandchildren. It gets tiresome to always have young beautiful heroes. Ed and Nicole Hoyt are the assassin team, not sure of their ages but maybe middle aged. Nicole is the sharpshooter and bomb maker and Ed is a former military instructor with multiple talents. Nicole attended a camp to train people for the military and help them decide if they want a military career. She discovered that she was a natural sharpshooter able to handle a variety of guns. Needless to say, Nicole did not go into the military but joined Ed as an assassin team.
Perry takes these interesting characters and puts them into a fast paced story with a carefully build plot that twists and turns. The suspense builds up constantly as we follow both couples throughout the story. I noted that Perry provides interesting tips in the story such as how to climb a staircase without making a sound. Perry has two sets of interesting characters; I wonder if this will be a stand alone book or will he launch these characters into one or two series. Peter Berkrot does a great job narrating the book.
Liked best = overall set up of story
Liked least = the ending and the unending shoot outs throughout
Felt the ending to be quite unsatisfactory. Don't want to print a spoiler but, personally, I felt the ending was like a Saturday Nigh Live sketch that was entertaining throughout but then suddenly ends as if the writers ran out of material.
Strange accent - almost "country" - and little difference between characters.
As a matter of fact, I could see the basic "hero" characters in a comic-trip type of series. (Like Castle)
I have refrained over the years with respect to the butchering of words - however in this rendering, where the reader tells us, not once but twice, wherein the 'barrister' and not the 'barista' is producing a delightful Starbuck's beverage makes one scream in disbelief.
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.
Sid & Ronnie Able (white hat detectives) meet Ed & Nicole Hoyt (black hat assassins). The pairing's a bit forced for Perry who's usually faultless in his story telling. While I listened to the end, over a long vacation drive, I'd expected more from the Ables and less from the Hoyts. From time to time, Perry suffers from a soft spot in his heart for his villains. This is one of those.
On balance, I'd probably not have bought this book knowing what I do now. Maybe you should pass it up as well. Regardless, I won't spoil the thinner-than-usual Perry-plot by explaining why.
I will listen to it again. And I am sure it will entertain me just as much on the second go-around. It was fun and a new storyline. Listening to it brought back old movies, like the Thin Man series. His Girl Friday. Love a husband and wife team, or a couple team.
Ed & Nicole letting Sid and Ronnie slip by without shooting them when they had the chance. And Ed & Nicole going back to the house to shoot the Russians. I would have kept on going.
I think it was a pretty good performance. He didn't try to over perform on the reading.
I laughed in parts of the book. I had sympathy for Sid & Ronnie's losses of her house and possessions. Experienced some of that myself.
Storyline moves along and kept me listening. I would rewinding and go back over parts during the listen to chuckle at the humor or just because I wanted to hear it again. I enjoyed this book. i hope Mr. Perry does more like this book. I enjoyed the twists he created in the story for the characters. I echo what Ken C said in his review. Good for the beach, airplane, pool, etc...
The is story had a good plot line. The best narrator is interesting and keeps the flow going. There were few lag spots. I recommend it and would read it again.
The story line is just completely lost in the banal banter of two couples who are so lustfully in love after being married for quite a few years that it's just boring. After 8 chapters it's just ridiculous to waste my listening on this book. The poor man who died has just been tossed aside.
And the narrator is just as bad as the story line and the sex lives of the two middle to late middle age couples. His portrayal of the throaty women is just plain irritating.
I bought this book either on sale or on the Audible Book of the Day Deal, which shows how this book ended up on the $2.96 sale price. It's so bad I'm not even going to get a refund. I'm done with it.
Run from this book.
Do you like mystery novels to only show the detective's POV? If so, this is not for you.
Both the villains and the heroes are too conveniently perfect, and cloyingly sweet with each other, especially for the circumstances.
The performer's voice did not work for me at all when the POV was with one of the female characters… which is at least half of the book. He would have been great for a Spencer book or similar.
I just could not listen -- narrator drove me nuts, both a "gee whiz" inflection yet total monotone. $3.99 Daily Deal but I would pay a few bucks more for a different narrator since I usually like Thomas Perry stories.
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