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The Informant Audiobook

The Informant: A Butcher's Boy Novel

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Audible Editor 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

What the Critics Say

"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 Rating

4.4 (1024 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brock DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain 12-04-13
    Brock DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain 12-04-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He's a likeable killer"

    The story is about a long-retired, top-level assasin who's forced back into action when a mob boss gives orders for his assassination. The story wasn't overly complex, but it was definitely worth listening to. I liked the pace with which the author wrote. It never felt rushed, and he allowed us inside the mind of Schaeffer as he pondered his next moves. To me, this was one of the best parts of the story. The ending was great, and I didn't see it coming, so that's a big plus as well.

    I will definitely recommend this book to my friends. It's solid 4.5 star listen. The half star deduction is due to a relatively unoriginal storyline, but beyond that the book is a good one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Tempe, AZ, United States 03-23-15
    Mark Tempe, AZ, United States 03-23-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Please, Please, Please!"

    Thomas Perry sir, when are you going to regale us with tales of the level of the Butcher's Boy series or 'Metzger's Dog'? This was a reread (listen) for me, and O, how your craft doth flow! The frisson of surprise that you, the reader are pulling for a professional killer!
    And of course, Michael Kramer's cool narration gives the low down on how the rotten crooks keep it on the down low.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 03-16-13
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 03-16-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lots of killing"

    Entertaining book. Not realistic but plenty of action and relatively well written. Will listen to further Perry novels.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julianne 09-29-13
    Julianne 09-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely incredible! VERY satisfying"

    The Butcher's Boy series of Thomas Perry is my favorite of all time. I also have to say that Michael Kramer is my favorite narrator. In fact, he and Johnathan Davis are the only narrators I ever search for just to listen to their performances. I recommend the Butcher's Boy series is best enjoyed in order, but you can pick them up in any sequence and pick up seamlessly. I am now listening to this wonderful suspense thriller for the second time and enjoying it just as much as the first. Thank you Mr Perry and Mr Kramer. You make a great team.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 08-28-12
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 08-28-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Great conclusion but sometimes slow going"

    The last 30 minutes of this novel pushed it from three stars to four stars. Before that, the author seemed to break into the story too many times with flashbacks into the Butcher's Boy previous encounters. It was almost like he was trying to figure out what was going to happen next and killed a little time (no pun intended) with flashbacks. It happened too often. The Butcher's Boy is not very likable but, when compared with the people he goes up against, he's the lesser of the evils. He's all business but he does betray a softer side several times in this story in his encounters with a female Justice Department agent. Except for the frequent flashbacks the story flows well and the conclusion was one that most listeners will approve. I'll probably give Perry and narrator, Kramer, another try with Sleeping Dogs.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, United States 06-28-12
    Amazon Customer SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, United States 06-28-12
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    "Good Ending to The Butcher's Boy Series"

    I love listening to Thomas Perry books when narrated by Michael Kramer. This is the third book about the Butcher's Boy and I believe a good ending to the Butcher Boy novels.
    If you like Thomas Perry books (I can't quite get into the monotonous narration of the Jane Whitefield novels) you must get Metzgers Dog. This is another book where we really get to like the bad guys. It's amazing how Thomas Perry really makes you root for the bad guy, in this case a killer, a terminator, an assassin. As an example, this assassin is actually in love with his wife and is taking revenge on the other bad guys, the mafia.

    And as we listen, we're thinking, if the mafia had only left this assassin alone he'd be happily married. To want a killer to stay happily married takes good writing. And Thomas Perry manages to do this with style.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Baltimore, MD, United States 06-12-12
    Paul Baltimore, MD, United States 06-12-12
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    "Gotta love the Butcher's Boy character"
    If you could sum up The Informant in three words, what would they be?

    A Good Ending


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    come on, the Butcher's Boy. His deliberateness in how he approaches his life, the simple black and white way he deals with the attacks on him, yet his appeal is still there for a ruthless killer with little remorse. That complexity of why he protects his wife in the UK and Elizabeth, but has not issues with killing (not wounding) anyone in his way.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Kramer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


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

    no


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Burrus 08-31-17
    John Burrus 08-31-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A big hole and several inconsistencies"

    If this had been a stand-alone novel, I probably would have given it something closer to a 4, but there are just too many inconsistencies between this one and the prior ones in the BB series and a big hole in all of them. In the last one, set 10 years before, Waring had moved to Alexandria after her husband died, her son is 4 and her daughter has just been born. In this one, she is said to have moved to McLean after his death (Alexandria is never mentioned), her son is just about to go to college and her daughter is in high school. Waring apparently doesn't recall that she spent a whole evening with BB in the last one because she doesn't recognize him in their early meetings and never recalls that prior evening with him in their numerous other meetings. Didn't Perry or his editors bother to read the prior ones before publishing this?

    Apart from the inconsistencies (there are others), there is one big hole in this one and the others: why does BB, the master of everything relating to his trade, never even consider plastic surgery or at least a disguise? He just walks around large cities and into mob meetings and seems to bump into everyone he ever knew 20 or 30 years ago, all of whom (except Waring) recognize him instantly.

    But it's still enjoyable in a sort of Joe Pike/Jason Bourne sort of way and the narrator is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rahul 08-09-17
    Rahul 08-09-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "butcher's boy trilogy is marvellous"

    Great plot, wonderful narration, one of the most exhilarating trilogies . I am likely to listen all of Thomas Perry's no els and listen to everything Michael Kramer has narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daphne Highland Village, TX, United States 07-01-17
    Daphne Highland Village, TX, United States 07-01-17
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    "Interesting story"

    I thought this story was interesting and fun. I didn't have everything figured out ten pages into it and that is a plus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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