This is Mr. Perry's first book, originally published in 1982. Although it's a little dated (a full gas tank, 12 gallons, for $10!) that is the only fl..Show More »aw I can find. Michael Connelly, one heck of a writer himself, has written an introduction to the book, which accurately describes Perry's awesome talent and assuredness. Connelly uses the word "velocity" as a description of plots that delight us, and this is the perfect word for Perry's plot. There are only two main characters, the unnamed professional hitman, and the Justice Department agent Elizabeth Weiser, plus many other characters. Perry cleverly alternates chapters between these two characters to hold our interest, and this is a very successful suspense device. The book flies by. The hitman takes on the Las Vegas mafia families single-handedly, and you believe that he can manage it. He is no non-human superhero, though. He is believable in every way. Likewise, Elizabeth is also a real human being, in the field reluctantly for the first time, and simultaneously doubtful and self-confident. You just have to read Perry's work to see how smoothly he creates these characters. He also sees Las Vegas as what it is, or was thirty years ago. The narration is flawless. Mr. Kramer understands the writer, and has narrated all of Mr. Perry's books. He is fluid and entertaining. He builds the suspense for us. You can never guess the plot's twists and turns. You will at one moment fully suspect that someone with a gun will sneak in the door, and then Mr. Perry surprises you. Even Elizabeth is surprised and hoodwinked. This is a terrific book, and I am sure that I will eventually listen to all of Mr. Perry's books. Great entertainment!
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 bel..Show More »ieves 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.
I was aware of the Butcher's Boy for many years before allowing myself to be pulled in by the fact that this was an Edgar Award winning novel by a fir..Show More »st time published author (pretty sure my facts are correct--or close enough to count as correct). Anyway, I was hooked after page one and by the end was pretty darn sure I'd read the last word on the Butcher's Boy. I mean, who can keep a series going about a non-feeling, clinical-like, loner hit-man? Well, evidently, Thomas Perry can and did. When Sleeping Dogs came out I was in literary-thriller heaven and counted myself lucky that Perry managed a second book on the B Boy. However, last week, I sumbled upon The Informant while browsing. I couldn't hit the select button fast enough. I've been listending to it every spare chance I get and for a third time I am not dissapointed. Neither Perry, nor the Butcher's Boy series has lost a step. If you're familiar with the series, you know what to expect. If you're not, but you like mystery-thrillers, start with the Butcher's Boy first, Sleeping Dogs next and then The Informant. I give this series my highest recommendation. Oh--and I rarely comment on the readers/actors, but Michael Kramer is perfect for this series and this character. You go boy!