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3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  773 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Thomas Perry’s novels of suspense have been celebrated for their “dazzling ingenuity” (The New York Times Book Review) and for writing that is “as sharp as a sushi knife” (Los Angeles Times). By turns horrifying and erotic, Perry’s new thriller takes us on a dangerous cat-and-mouse game that pits two women against each other: a beautiful serial killer and the detective who ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,280)
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Sep 28, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent thriller where Perry gets inside the head of a serial killer. He made it so logical that it was scary. The back story that slowly emerges is both horrifying yet so mundane & likely. Perry also wrote from the point of view of those trying to catch her & that was interesting, too. Clues were read properly, misread, or so easily wiped away. I was very impressed by the way the lead investigator, Catherine, read her suspect & not at all surprised by the more typical thin ...more
Nov 13, 2015 Valerie rated it really liked it
I just finished this book by Thomas Perry which I missed when it first came out. It is quite the story about a female serial killer who grew up in less than good circumstances. Her mother abandoned her when she was a minor adolescent, and the girl was forced to figure out how to live on her own. She had to scrap her plans for college and everything else she had planned to do with her life. Most of the people she killed were men, but she had a fixation on a female FBI agent, Catherine Hobbes, who ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Dennis rated it did not like it
This book could have been over half way through. I think the author was paid by the word.
Frederick Masterman
Apr 08, 2009 Frederick Masterman rated it really liked it
This was my first Thomas Perry book, and I was impressed enought to want to pursue his other works, in particular other books with Joe Pitt as protagonist. In Nightlife, the two young women around whom the story revolves are a study in contrasts: Catherine, a dedicated police officer and Tanya, a malevolent sociopath. Each is troubled by her past, each is struggling with total self-reliance and the search for personal peace. The sociopath degenerates steadily as the story progresses, and when sh ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Thomas Perry, author of the Edgar Award?winning The Butcher's Boy, the five-volume Jane Whitefield series, and other best-selling novels, has taken typical elements of an ordinary crime thriller and given them an unusual, erotic twist. The New York Times compares Nightlife's psychological impact to that of The Silence of the Lambs and Mystic River: we're not dealing with a stock killer but a rather ordinary young woman turned bad. Critics agree that Perry successfully delves deep inside the fema

Jul 06, 2011 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, crime, read_2011
'Night Life' was my first exposure to Thomas Perry and what an introduction it was! 'Night Life' tells the story of a serial killer a little less true to form and very unassuming whose pursued by legacy cop Catherine Hobbs (long standing family history on the force). Eventually the female serial killer turns on Catherine and becomes the hunter with the results truly startling. I loved the way Thomas made the killer change persona's and craft her victims into accomplices before growing tired and ...more
Dec 22, 2012 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sgt. Catherine Hobbs a Portland Oregon Detective gets the case of what is probably murder, but there is a near total absence of clues with which to work. L. A. P.I. Joe Pitt is hired by a relative of the victim to identify the killer and travels to Portland and is passed on to Hobbs to find out what she has discovered. Meanwhile the killer has moved on and changed identities and picked up another victim. Hobbs soon discovers that she has a serial killer on her hands and is hot on the trail, but ...more
Feb 12, 2016 Gabe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would've rated this book 3.25 maybe even going all the way up to 3.5 stars, if fractional rating would be an option, but since is not, I'll stick with just 3 stars, as it won't make it up to 4 stars based on my own standards and I'll explain below why...

This is a good book, a good read, from a well known and skilled author, one of my favorites I would say, so if you like the thriller, murder investigation, suspense and action style, you'd like and enjoy this book as I did as well... So is a go
Oct 16, 2015 Meredith rated it really liked it
I almost gave this book 3 stars, because while in general this was a very enjoyable read, the ending was weak…kind of a problem for Perry in many of his works…he gets to a certain point in the story line and then just can figure out how to exit gracefully. However, the rest of the book was so well done that I have to give it the 4th star. This book is from his back catalog, before the Jane Whitefield series, but it prefigures some aspects of that series and is interesting from that regard. And t ...more
Nightlife is a book by Thomas Perry featuring a serial killer and a policewoman determined to catch her. Yes, the serial killer is a "her" and Perry goes to great lengths to explain what drives Charlene to kill - usually being sorely aggrieved. The policewoman and the serial killer circle closer and closer until an explosive, twisty, finale.

Charlene Buckner grew up poor, getting dragged to beauty pageants by her flaky mom. She goes on to use the acting skills to attract men. When she is eventual
Jan 21, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
Nightlife is a great example of why I enjoy reading Thomas Perry's books so much. They are intelligently plotted crime thrillers with interesting characters. Even the "bad guys" (eg., The Buthcher's Boy) have some quality that you can admire or sympathize with. One of the hallmarks of Perry's books is identity changes. In most of his books, the good or bad guy carries out his/her mission by being able to switch identities to elude their pursuers.
Nightlife is a complex crime hunt with numerous pl
Sep 16, 2008 Gregory rated it really liked it
This is a pretty good, sexy and interesting thriller by Thomas Perry, who has written a bunch of these and keeps churning them out. Perry's most popular books have been the five-book set of "Jane Whiteside" novels, about a Native American woman who is skilled in helping people in danger "disappear" when they are being pursued by bad guys of all sorts -- kind of a one-woman Witness Protection Program, only better. Perry's books are not "literary" but are a lot of fun, and underlying them are two ...more
Aug 20, 2013 Elliott rated it did not like it
The writing was good/clear, but the plot lacked any and all surprises. The characters are well imagined and the author draws his message out well. This is a mystery/crime novel though, and I didn't find the good guy character (in this case a female detective Catherine Hobbes) in any insurmountable bind or situation.

Also Catherine's love interest seems like a cookie-cutter caricature of a Robert Mitchum film noir character, which was annoying. Calvin Dunn, the character with the best build-up to
Mar 01, 2009 Joyce added it
Shelves: librarybook
Perry's one great theme is always the mystery of what lies beneath appearances, what secrets we're keeping about ourselves, and whether we can ever hope to truly know even our closest loved ones. In novel after novel over the decades he's rung the changes on this concept, each book carving out with meticulous craftsmanship another facet of the issue.

This is probably the weakest of his work that I've read to date, not much more than a paint-by-numbers serial killer procedural that could have been
May 07, 2014 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Thomas Perry read and what a read it was!! Hooked from page one, my 5:30 wake ups for work have been extra exhausting as this book is a "real page turner"!
It's dam scary, psychologically spooks the hell out anyone who reads it as it really could happen.
What happened to the kid warped her perception of reality. Pretty as a picture, manipulator, quick learner come killer, serial killer, transformer and more!
Get, read it and try to get a few hours sleep in there!
Lisa H.
Jul 25, 2013 Lisa H. rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Tough call on rating - really a 3.5, but on the high side. ;) Thomas Perry has a twisty brain, and I like that.

Strong and *believable* female characters. Charlene/Tanya/Nancy/Judith is a sociopath, but you grow to understand why she's wired that way. Detective Sergeant Catherine Hobbes is good at her job, but still finds her instincts second-guessed by her co-workers, superiors, and Joe Pitt, the private investigator hired to look into a murder Hobbes is working on, and to whom Hobbes is growin
Wendy Schlegel
Good story. A very strong female main character. The author wrote in such a way that you got involved in the life of the main character. The antagonist is well thought out and described in great detail. The reader could understand how the charcters mind worked and was able to anticipate what was going to happen.
Phyllis Fredericksen
Undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever read! It will capture you and draw you in. When I started reading, I almost put it down, but, being very stubborn, I continued and then I couldn't put it down at all. Plot and characters are soooo good! I am always amazed at how well Perry captures the woman's viewpoint. Very well done!
Aug 19, 2013 Jean rated it really liked it
Shelves: fabulous
Thomas Perry writes with such ease that one becomes easily invested in the outcome of this fast-paced thriller. Jane Whitefield was one of my favourite Thomas Perry characters so it was with trepidation that I started reading Nightlife as it does not feature her. But. It is as good as if not better than any of his previous thrillers.
Catherine Hobbes is a detective looking for a pretty blonde who is linked to the murder of a Portland businessman. As Catherine follows the clues she realizes that t
Mar 18, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
OK the weird part is that the killer is a woman, and as we (those of us who haunt the 364.1523s) know, women tend to NOT be serial killers.

There was creepy stuff about identity theft, and I really wanted to read this after Terry basically ignored me for a day and a half while he read this one. As it turns out, he went to high school w/Perry's brother or something like that, which is neither here nor there...

In any case, I like the relationship between Catherine and Joe, although at the end I was
Doug Cummings
Apr 16, 2008 Doug Cummings rated it it was amazing
This is a terrific read. Perry is a master of the chase and how to keep developing his characters through their actions on the road. The pace of this book is unrelenting and the profile of tough detective Catherine Hobbes, her interaction with the killer and her developing relationship with PI Joe Pitt is enough to make her a character I'd like to see again. She's also a smart, intuitive detective pitted against a worthy adversary. I seldom read female protagonists but Perry creates fascinating ...more
Mark Giordano
Dec 11, 2015 Mark Giordano rated it it was ok
I can't explain why, but this book just did not keep my attention. It wasn't a bad story nor was it poorly written but I'd pick it up to read and it never really kept my interest. I think this is the first Thomas Perry book I've read, so I won't necessarily steer clear of him in the future, but I'll have to read a second novel to make a determination whether it was the book or his writing style.
Vidya Bolz
Nov 19, 2015 Vidya Bolz rated it liked it
Not as good as the other Tom Perry books, too many page stuffings with unnecessary cases and character history not too convincing. But some good action parts.
Alex Rogers
Sep 04, 2015 Alex Rogers rated it liked it
Enjoyable read - nothing too challenging but a decent crime story with a bit of a difference (woman serial killer).
Oct 13, 2013 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got into Thomas Perry's (no relation) books when I was looking for an example of good voice acting and I selected Perry's "Dead Aim", an audio book narrated by my friend Michael Kramer whose voice over was excellent. I was surprised that I really enjoyed the book because I rarely read fiction. So I resolved to read fiction once in awhile to take a break from reality. I enjoyed "Nightlife", another murder mystery, but not as much as "Dead Aim" which was written later. I think that was because the ...more
Bruce Gleba
Jan 22, 2016 Bruce Gleba rated it it was ok
Ok read - seemed like he just wanted to end the book as the ending was not well written.
May 06, 2014 Stacey rated it really liked it
Mostly engaging, though some of the flashbacks about Tanya's mother were a bit belabored.
Steve Lavapies
Jul 09, 2015 Steve Lavapies rated it really liked it
Interesting character of a cold-blooded murderer and the search for her.
Nov 10, 2015 Kim rated it liked it
Very long and drawn out.. Great plot could have ended a few chapters earlier..The ending sucked...
Randy Holmberg
Feb 06, 2014 Randy Holmberg rated it really liked it
Another solid book by Thomas Perry. While this book is not part of the Jane Whitfield saga, it is still very good. Normally books about female serial killers are very cliche, however Perry keeps it fresh and original. Would recommend to anyone who likes a good thriller novel.
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Thomas Perry was born in Tonawanda, New York in 1947. He received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester in 1974. He has worked as a park maintenance man, factory laborer, commercial fisherman, university administrator and teacher, and a writer and producer of prime time network television shows. He lives in Southern California with his wife ...more
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