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Publisher's Summary

He came to England to rest. He calls himself Michael Shaeffer, says he's a retired American businessman. He goes to the races, dates a kinky aristocrat, and sleeps with dozens of weapons. Ten years ago it was different. Then, he was the Butcher's Boy, the highly skilled mob hit man who pulled a slaughter job on some double-crossing clients and started a mob war. Ever since, there's been a price on his head. Now, after a decade, they've found him.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

It is possible to root for the "bad guy"!

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.

Amazing!

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The Butcher's Boy is no Thomas Ripley

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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Entertaining

Very good pulp fiction with over the top action. Need to leave reality behind and just enjoy the excitement. I have next in series in my library.

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  • David
  • Northridge, CA, United States
  • 11-22-12

A Must - Read 'em All!

Gripping doesn't even begin to describe this second installment of the Butcher's Boy trilogy.

If Michael Kramer's fantastic narration helps you connect the similarities between the BB and Richard Stark's mysterious, unflappable, single-minded protagonist Parker - then so be it. It's a worthy successor.
Can't recommend these books to thriller fans highly enough!

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I was not disappointed!!!

Where does Sleeping Dogs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Sleeping Dogs is one of my most recent favorites of this genre. It kept me listening even when I needed turn it off and do other things, I couldn't wait to get back to it.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

It did in the sense that the main character was not always aware of what was really going on. He made a lot of wrong assumptions that led to a lot more deaths. I just kept waiting for him to put it all together.

Which character – as performed by Michael Kramer – was your favorite?

The "Butcher's Boy" himself. His complicated thinking. You should really not like him, yet you find yourself rooting for him.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, it didn't feel like that kind of story. It was engaging right from the beginning, and you keep wondering when two of the main characters might meet. That was also a great part. Not what I expected and I am glad for that.

Any additional comments?

I am now really looking forward to reading the last in this trilogy, The Informant. I have it downloaded from the library so I will be into it yet this week!

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You can't miss with Thomas Perry!

As part of the "Butcher's Boy" trilogy, it was a hard book to put down. I listened to all three, back to back to back. Perry's stories are always fast moving and intense and we are exposed to another world, where people live off the grid. Some are predators, some are survivors, all living in secret just to stay alive. And while the Butcher's Boy is a professional assassin, in the end, you are rooting for his survival.

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  • Thelma
  • Watkinsville, GA, United States
  • 09-25-12

I have added this author to my favorite list.

What made the experience of listening to Sleeping Dogs the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sleeping Dogs?

Knowing Michael would be free to live another day.

Which character – as performed by Michael Kramer – was your favorite?

The Butcher's Boy hands down.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

NO

Any additional comments?

I plan to listen to all his books.

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  • Shirley
  • Gautier, MS, United States
  • 08-15-12

The assassin is back!

Thomas Perry gives us an assassin that you want to root for! The man is a killing machine, and you hoping he gets away, one more time. You cheer for the bad guy as he goes through his adventure, one close call after another all the way to the ending.

  • Overall

Calm, cool and collected...

This book is even better than the first in the series (Butcher's Boy) and, while the story does stand alone, I'd suggest reading the first book before this one to fully appreciate the main character's situation. Without that "history" you won't like him nearly as much as you could... and if you don't like the main character of this book, you'll probably not like the book very much since he's really the only "feature".

If you liked any of Block's Keller books, you'll like this one just as much... they are so similar in tone and pacing that they could have been written by the same author. Sleeping Dogs is more modern than Butcher's Boy (but not as modern as Block's Hitman) so, while there are car phones, there still aren't any cells around, and that does affect the story a bit.

I wish there were more books like this out there: with calm, cool and collected protagonists getting "justice" the only way they know how and where the author doesn't try to stog morals down your throat. The narrator is perfect for this book - clear and concise and doesn't over-dramatize events.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Sleepy narrator

Good story, but it was hard to get past the narrators monotone voice without inflection. If you can handle that I like the Butcher Boy stories.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful