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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

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Or... How I Fell in Love With a Hit Man

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Toni
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 06-29-09

"Utterly unpredictable"

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Mr. Perry hits us right between the eyes. Again.

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • CBDC
  • Washington, DC USA
  • 03-28-10

Definitely read The Butcher's Boy First

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 01-28-13

Read Butcher Boy First then WOW!

We are totally fortunate that someone with Thomas Perry's crackling intelligence is writing action thrillers. Every twist in this adventure circles imagination like a cuff to jerk it deeper into the plot. We care about these strange characters who started their growth in "Butcher Boy" then lurch up to grab us again ten years later here in "Sleeping Dogs".

Michael Kramer created this ensembles' voices in "Butcher Boy" so who can imagine them differently? And why bother, it is as if the roles were created for Kramer.

We're doubly fortunate that Audible Books can now keep a writer's entire set of works "in print" so-to-speak (no pun intended) so that we can begin our journeys along with the authors' ideas and follow them from the beginning. I have, and insist that you start with "Butcher Boy" before reading this... you will be wickedly happy you did.

I've just downloaded "The Informer" and will start it happily at the gym tomorrow. It's an adventure that got me by the feelings. And BTW... if anything, "Sleeping Dogs" is better than "Butcher's Boy". Hope "The Informant" continues to grow like this.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Perry at his Best!

And Perry's best is darn good! Read "The Butchers Boy" first if you can. Then you'll move straight to this one. I did!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

very good

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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Justin
  • OMAHA, NE, United States
  • 06-15-09

a fun listen.

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.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 02-14-17

Another great novel in The Burcher's Boy series

The Butcher's Boy, Thomas Perry's first novel, was released in 1992. Sleeping Dogs was released a short time later and was obviously written before The Butcher's Boy was released. The Informant, the third novel in the trilogy, was not released until 2011. Sleeping Dogs is an outstanding suspense thriller filled with action. It will probably become an American classic. Michael Kramer's narration is flawless.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Oldie but goodie!

Never read a poor book by Perry. His Butcher's boy , Metzgers dog and all the Jane Whitefields are top notch. There isn’t a single one of his books that doesn’t give good money's worth