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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  654 ratings  ·  74 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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Frederick Masterman
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

'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
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
This book could have been over half way through. I think the author was paid by the word.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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!
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
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
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
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
Mostly engaging, though some of the flashbacks about Tanya's mother were a bit belabored.
Randy Holmberg
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.
Perry loves playing cat-and-mouse with his characters. When I first discovered him earlier this year, it was the hired killer and the Justice Department Mafia investigator that chased each other. In Nightlife, we have a psychotic female killer and her nemesis, a Portland detective. Perry uses the form as a fugue of character, personality, relentless plotting and tense action scenes that present violence as almost a daily occurrence. Perry especially works on audio in the car, except you can miss ...more
Julie Kellner
What a ride Thomas Perry does it again a truly exciting read
An engrossing story with interesting characters. Filled with thrills, suspense and a few curve balls. I would say the overall theme of this book is that nothing is as it appears. The serial killer is a woman and the police spend a lot of time considering her a witness or a victim herself because a woman could not perform some of the heinous acts that have been committed. I thoroughly enjoyed this book but the ending was a bit hackneyed, that is the only reason I give it a four instead of five. I ...more
Pat King
It has been a while since I read a Perry book and he is just a good as I remembered. This is a tightly plotted, riveting crime story. Most original...and this won't spoil it for you...a FEMALE serial killer.

Other, earlier Perry works are remembered fondly and recommended...The Butcher's Boy, Metzgers Dog, Sleeping Dogs to name a few.
Wow - what a superb character study. Fascinating look into the minds of two women and, for the most part, I think the author got it right. He's either in tune with his feminine side or he has a couple of goods friends who are female and he listens to them. The audio version is well read. My only quibble is at the ending, apparently a scene break indicator is missing. The pacing is ruined by the lack of a pause. It's so bad, it's jarring. Otherwise, an excellent read and highly recommended.
When a run-of-the-mill business man in Portland is shot to death in his bathtub, Police Detective Catherine Hobbs looks to the obvious - his mob connected cousin. But the doer looks like it's a pair of doers and one's a woman and that isn't making sense. Then other random killings start happening… There is almost no one who can create the brilliant and yet flawed characters that Thomas Perry can and, at the same time, put them in a story that has whiplash inducing twists and turns.
i know psychopaths are a common attraction -- books and movies teem with them -- but i find it impossible to muster even the tiniest interest in them. do i read empathetically? i think i do. i can't empathize with psychopaths. i barely made it to the end of In Cold Blood, though i did read the Ripley trilogy. but then, ripley is cool, as is hannibal lecter. they are psychopaths who care for *something*, so i can care for them.
Casey Ols
This book came with another one of Perry's novel's, (Butcher's Boy) As with Butcher's Boy I couldn't get through the story. It just dragged on with useless information and scene's seemed to change so quickly that it was hard to follow. I will never pick up another book by Perry. I am not saying that he is a bad writer, I am just saying that I don't like his style of writing and it is confusing to me.
I love most of Perry's work. Love love love the Butcher Boy series! So I was very much looking forward to this book. Well.... I did get through it, but it was tough slogging. This book could have been 100 pages shorter, with many portions that didn't advance either the character development or the story taken out. Then, after reading and reading and reading, the book ends very abruptly!
This is the first book I've read from Thomas Perry, and I must say I'm impressed. This was a really good book, and I will definitely read it again. The book was easy to read when I got started, but if I stopped, and left it for a day or two it was a little problematic to pick it up again. Other than that it was a great book, and I really enjoyed reading it.
Dec 20, 2012 Susan added it
Good story line until the end when the protagonist has the maintenance man let her inside Catherine Hobbes's apartment. Catherine was very careful especially since the protagonist had burned her home down and killed several people. Catherine would have had security locks on the door and a simple key from the maintenance man would not have opened the door.
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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
More about Thomas Perry...
Vanishing Act (Jane Whitefield, #1) The Butcher's Boy (Butcher's Boy, #1) Dance for the Dead (Jane Whitefield, #2) Shadow Woman (Jane Whitefield, #3) The Face-Changers (Jane Whitefield, #4)

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