The Butcher's Boy escapes back to the States with more reasons to kill. Until the odds turn terrifyingly against him...until the Mafia, the cops, the FBI, and the damn Justice Department want his hide...until he's locked into a cross-country odyssey of fear and death that could tear his world to pieces.
©2008 Thomas Perry; (P)2009 Tantor
That's the title of my review of Thomas Perry's first novel, THE BUTCHER'S BOY. SLEEPING DOGS is the sequel.
This book is every bit as well-written as the first and only slightly less surprising. I think that's because THE BUTCHER'S BOY is (as far as I know) unique in mystery fiction. "Slightly less surprising" is still very high praise.
I listened to THE BUTCHER'S BOY and SLEEPING DOGS back to back. The finale of SLEEPING DOGS strikes me as perfect. See if you don't agree.
63 y/o psychologist with two sons, living in SF Bay Area. I absolutely love all the feedback I've been getting for my reviews. It's very gratifying. Thanks to all of you.
Thomas Perry is a masterful writer who has by now essentially created his own genre. How many books have you read in which the protagonist is a professional hit man, through whom we see much of the story? We don't identify with him, as he is a cold-blooded killer, but the Butcher's Boy is a truly remarkable creation, and Mr. Perry is able to build the suspense in this book to the point at which you can barely stand it, but, at the same time, you never want it to end. The book is also funny, at times, and one chapter in particular is LOL funny. Elizabeth Waring is carefully drawn and holds our interest continually. The scene toward the end in which he is stuck in her house for a whole evening is brilliant, full of so much tension, fraught with the feelings of a single mother looking for a father for her kids, and the Butcher's Boy, who really just wants to stay alive and get out of the country and back to the Honorable Meg. The scene, as many do, crackles with energy. The plot is once again quite believable, although one might think eventually that one man whipping the Mob and the FBI and the Justice Department at the same time might be a bit of a stretch. In the hands of Mr. Perry and Mr. Kramer, not a bit. Every time we think that Mr. Perry has to whip out the deus ex machina, he somehow outfoxes us, as the Butcher's Boy keeps inventing new ways to wriggle out of a jam that seems impossible.
Mr. Kramer is once again the perfect reader for this series. His voice is easy to listen to. He may not have that many voices, but he has enough to satisfy you. And, the plot and the characters are so intriguing that you are on the edge of your seat for hours. I can't imagine a thriller reader who will not enjoy these books, and to see the emergence of a truly gifted author is a real pleasure. I know it takes him a long time to write these, and I can see why, but I'm not sure that I can wait long enough for the next one.
I don't know if I could finish reading a novel ever again. I am so addicted to listening to books I have little interest in reading!
I do like this series, alot. There two story lines running parallel and occasionally intersecting. The Butcher's Boy, a stone cold killer who only believes in killing for profit or survival and despises the death of innocents. He is not a complete sociopath, his conscience is simply void when it comes to the mafia and those corrupted by the Mafia.
Perry does a wonderful job describing the complications and difficulties a retired hit man incurrs with his personal life. He is a great anti-hero.
The second story line involves Elizabeth Waring, a Justice Dept investigator, Mafia expert, widow, and single mother of two toddlers. She is smart, wise and clever, but she is not in charge and so must deal with other well meaning detectives, competing police agencies and meddling politicians. Nevertheless, she poses the biggest threat to the Butcher's Boy.
What happens when these two lives intersect is the real mystery, and one well worth your time.
Really good book; events that happened in the Butcher's Boy are referred to and summarized, but you really need to have read that book. Both are great. I couldn't quite believe this one ended as it did, and yet in retrospect I don't know how else it could have ended. I recommend it - so long as you read BB's first.
Born to read
this is the second book about Michael - the hitman
he has been retired in England for 10 years but is spotted by his enemies.
Another great story.
this was a fun story that went along the lines of most popular tv shows today that deal with detective work. point being, if you love csi then this is your book. plenty of twists and turns that are sure to keep your attention. i wasn't a big fan of the style this book was written in, however. the author seems to dwell on alot of irrelevant details, which made me feel like he was trying to lengthen up the story. however, it was an entertaining listen.
I really enjoyed the series from The Butcher's Boy thru The Informant. I consider this series a must for every library. He presents a cold blooded killer as likable. Michael Kramer is a treat to listen to, he makes the book come alive. I wish Thomas Perry would write another in this series. I would suggest he drop back to the early days when Eddie took in the boy and bring us forward to the first in the series. I failed to find fault with some inaccuracies of reality for instance "door locks", give me a break, it is a great series. Do some of these critics not watch movies? Do they hold politicians to this same standard? I think not!!!!
This edition of the Butcher's Boy series is an incredible piece of writitng that just had me mesmerized. I loved being carried along in this stream of coincidences and mistaken identities as the Butcher's Boy once again makes his way across the U.S. on a mission, and my suspension of disbelief was firmly in place as I listened.
I don't know how to give a review of this book beyond my astonishment that I thought it was so good. It's both a simple and complex plot, and the characters are coming from different angles at the same information, with the listener in the background just drinking it in and thinking (at least I was), "No! That's not it at all!" We want to root for the government girl (Elizabeth), of course, but we want to root for the the assassin-protagonist (the Butcher's Boy), too. And in all of this, there is poignancy, sadness, suspense, and an undertone of humor that I think is a little bit of Thomas Perry's magic.
I recommend that you read the first installment (The Butcher's Boy) to have a full appreciation of this one, but I don't think it's totally necessary. Perry gives enough information when referring to events of 10 years before that you wouldn't be lost.
And of course, Michael Kramer's narration is superb.
Expecting a likable and entertaining murderer without a conscience, and being a huge fan of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley series, I found this a ho-hum listen. The Butcher's Boy could have been clever and entertaining, even though he was a murderer; but, he was deadly dull and not the least entertaining. It was an effort to find him likable. If he had some personality, it would be worthwhile. But, as popular as this series seems to be, I find it pales in comparison to the truly complicated, entertaining yet twisted Thomas Ripley. I have tried two recommended Perry books, that may be enough for me.
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