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Editorial Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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.

Prolong the suspense - listen to Thomas Perry's first two books in this series: The Butcher's Boy and Sleeping Dogs.
©2011 Thomas Perry (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Best in class thriller

So i skipped to this one because of the reviews and I was not disappointed. I can be a bit squeamish however this book is not overly graphic. Based on the summary I put off getting it for a while and in this respect it really exceeded my expectations. It is fast paced throughout. I will only say that the ending seemed a bit abrupt to me, though this is only a minor gripe.

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Give me more!

Great story. Great performance.. Now I have check out the first two in the series.

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As Thrilling as any Michael Connelly

Would you consider the audio edition of The Informant to be better than the print version?

That is true of any book for me. It's all in the narration. If the voice doesn't grab me, or convince me, I won't purchase it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Informant?

When he saves the woman who had been hunting him.

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

He did them all so well, but The Informant himself is what sold me to purchase the book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

In the men's room with the honest wise guy. He showed his metal. He was a man of honor.

Any additional comments?

I was testing out books, looking for something like Michael Connelly's books. I have read and listened to all of Michael Connelly's works, two and three times. It's was the Narration of, The Informant, that sold it for me. I listened to this book first and then searched for others by Thomas Perry. I did purchase Butcher's Boy not knowing Michael Connelly was going to give a recommend to this author and such a great one at that. I liked the Butcher's Boy but I like this one, The Informant, much better. <br/><br/>There are books I thought looked interesting but I didn't purchase because I didn't like the narration. The voice was wrong. The narrator wasn't matched well to the material or wasn't as good as I was hoping to hear. <br/><br/>Due to audible I am enjoying the written word so much more. I would read a book maybe every other month and now I am going through books like a scholar. I listen to each book several times. This is perfect for me.<br/><br/>More Thomas Perry, more Michael Kramer please.

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A fun read

The butcher boy is an unforgettable character. There is something fascinating about assassin stories and here is one you can root for, albeit in a semi-guilty way. The book is well written, chilling and humorous at the same time, fast paced and original. I enjoyed each one in the series.

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We loved this one!

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!

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  • Maureen
  • Silver Spring, MD, United States
  • 08-27-12

Butcher's Boy Series ranks in top 10 thrillers

Would you consider the audio edition of The Informant to be better than the print version?

Yes, The delivery that Michael Kramer gives adds to the underlying coldness of the hit man which I found riveting.

What other book might you compare The Informant to and why?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it was hard to tear myself away from the book.

Any additional comments?

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. <br/>If you like thrillers and mysteries that keep you entertained and guessing, then you add this to your library.

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Great intrigue.

What made the experience of listening to The Informant the most enjoyable?

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.<br/>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.

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  • lloyd
  • mollymook, Australia
  • 08-11-12

alonzo

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.

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  • Echo
  • Massachusetts
  • 08-07-12

Hitman Forced Out of Retirement

Would you listen to The Informant again? Why?

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.

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riveting!

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.