Thomas Perry won the 1983 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel with his debut of The Butcher's Boy. In this long-anticipated third installment, the mafia hitman emerges from retirement to tie up the loose ends of a score he thought was settled 10 years before. Also returning is Elizabeth Waring, who's been moving up the ladder in the Department of Justice by stepping on the toes of organized crime.
Fans of the audiobook series can breathe a sigh of relief, as Michael Kramer continues his fine work narrating the ruthlessly efficient assassin's bloody march toward freedom. Raspy and gruff without any cheesy wise guy embellishment, Kramer's smooth rumble makes for a slick Butcher's Boy who is clearly a head and shoulders above the slimy Cosa Nostra soldiers sent to dispatch him. He goes to Waring to update his intel on the whereabouts of the under-boss who sent the henchmen, giving her some 20-year-old dirt on the older generation in exchange. As the Butcher's Boy steadily murders first the clowns sent to catch him, then the bosses that sent the clowns, Waring races against the rising body count to either turn the Butcher's Boy into a Justice Department informant or just turn him in.
Kramer has a finely tuned ear for Perry's pacing, and falls lock-step into the rhythms of this righteous killing spree. Sure, the Butcher's Boy has murdered untold numbers of people on behalf of the mob, but all he wants now is freedom from the mob. Michael Kramer finds space to make him respectable and even likable. Thomas Perry has updated the character for middle age without making him any less clever or more insecure. The author and the character both have their priorities in the right place, forgoing glamorous punch lines for the perfect kill shot and showing a willingness to sacrifice everything for the goal at hand, perhaps even Elizabeth Waring. Megan Volpert
Married and living in England under the name Michael Schaeffer, the assassin known as the Butcher's Boy is the target of a Mafia hit team sent to exact revenge for his deadly campaign against the Balacontano family years earlier. Schaeffer kills all three attackers, but he knows more will come and needs to find whoever sent them to end it once and for all.
Soon Elizabeth Waring, now high up in the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department, receives a surprise late-night visit from the Butcher's Boy. Knowing she keeps track of the Mafia, he asks her who the three men work for. Not knowing they have been murdered, she gives him a name: Frank Tosca, an aspirant to the Balacontano throne. In exchange, he tells her about a murder Tosca committed over 20 years ago.
So begins a new assault on organized crime, and the uneasy alliance between the Butcher's Boy and Waring, who trade current information for old secrets. As the Butcher's Boy works his way ever closer to his quarry in an effort to protect his new way of life, Waring finds herself in a race against time, either to convince him to become a protected informant or to take him out of commission for good.
©2011 Thomas Perry (P)2011 Tantor
"Perry offers a compelling, rapid-fire plot, credible Mafia and FBI secondary characters, an indictment of self-serving officialdom, and the old soul-shattering moral dilemma: what is truth?" (Publishers Weekly)
We listened to the three Butcher's Boy books. We loved the first and last one, and the middle one was so-so. What we really liked was the ending of the third book, and the conclusion to the B.B.'s forage into the world. We recommend it!
Yes, The delivery that Michael Kramer gives adds to the underlying coldness of the hit man which I found riveting.
I found "The Gray Man' series by Mark Greaney to be of the same quality. The narrator makes it seem perfectly plausible that the main character can just calmly perform the super human acts that he does. The action is fast paced.
My favorite scene was at the end but I don't want to give it away. Suffice it to say, I like how the author worked out how the Butcher Boy could retire.
Yes, it was hard to tear myself away from the book.
The author presents interesting ways in which the main character gets out of seemingly impossible situations. The author also manages to make the "bad guy" look like a good guy even though he really is not. He straddles a fine line and does it remarkable well.
If you like thrillers and mysteries that keep you entertained and guessing, then you add this to your library.
The gravity and near-monotone of the reader's voice add to the drama, although the slowness of his pace can sometimes be a bit irritating. The ins and outs of the plot yield surprises, and the pacing of the narrative keeps it all rolling along at a good clip.
The butcher's boy is a sympathetic bad guy and a great projection screen for your average guy omnipotent power fantasy. The female protagonist, though, is a flat, one-dimensional fantasy, less a screen for projection and identification, or even fascination, than a soft foil for the bad guys.
As far as thrillers are concerned this is little short of excellent. One feels that we should be less admiring of the 'BOY"however he evokes powerful sympathy. One is left with the feeling the world is a better place for his being in it, although there are times that we wish he had been less acomadating to his prime employers. well written, fast moving, an excellent plot and narrated very well, in all, a great book I will be looking for more.
Love history, good mysteries, spiritual, in general well written books. Shy away from romance novels.
This book is part of the Butcher's Boy series. It is a fast hard hitting story and I would enjoy reading others like it.
I listen to books all the time, When I am driving, cleaning, cooking or doing anything quiet. I am AUDOBSESSED!
I could not put this book down! The butchers boy kept me listening late into the night. It is extremely violent, but most of it was justified. The whole Mafia connection was interesting too. Naration excellent. I love this book.
I am going to start buying other Thomas Perry books after this one. The story, based on a hit man with whom I had total empathy (he takes out bad guys right?), moves along at a brisk pace and develops the two main characters wonderfully. Michael Kramer has an interesting narration: he delivers his words in almost a monotone that is totally effecting. He lets the words and the story move the listener along. I loved the way he delivered the story! This is a fast paced book, I found I liked both main characters considerably, they were intelligent, wily, and resourceful, and Kramer's narration makes this a total winner.
I became an audiobook reader 9 years ago when I worked for a mission agency. When you wake up in the jungle in PNG because of the heat, can't get out of the mosquito net because of malaria carrying mosquitos and/or snakes, Audiobooks ara a great way to pass the time. Nowdays I don't read if I can listen,
Love the Butcher's Boy concept of riding the center line dealing to the baddies while avoiding the goodies with a healthy respect.
Michael Kramer does a creditable job with this book as he does with other Perry books.
For years I have bought lots of
I don't know where Thomas Perry has been but I think it's a shame that his books haven't had greater exposure. I would love to see them on the screen one day.
Listening since 2004. Mystery, thrillers and anything that can blend with a walk, jog, exercise, long drive or a wait at the airport.
Violnce plenty. Point of voilence...the plot...very sloppy. Characters impossible to relate to. Avoid it unless you love raw violence.
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