Mike Barresi's Reviews > The Informant

The Informant by Thomas Perry
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Apr 07, 2011

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bookshelves: thriller


He pivoted to the left and brought the knife around so his body added force to the thrust, and the eight-inch blade was lodged to the handle in the space just below Delamina's rib cage. He stepped forward with it and pushed upward. As he did, he said quietly, "I'm the one you sent people to find. Go join them." Delamina went limp, fell to the kitchen floor, and lay there, his eyes open and losing focus.

This is the Butcher's Boy's first killing in Thomas Perry's new suspense thrill, The Informant. I've never read any of the previous Butcher's Boy novels, so it's my first time seeing the notorious hit man in action. Cold, calculated and lethal to say the least. The Butcher's Boy takes the old adage, 'if you're going to shoot, shoot" to heart. His philosophy is more, "if you're going to shoot, shoot and then shoot some more and maybe once again." But the Butcher's Boy never has to shoot more than is required because he's literally deadly with the gun and knife and whatever else he needs to end the other person's life. And yet, he's likable.

The Butcher's Boy, was trained to kill by Eddie Mastrewski, a butcher that took him in after his parents died when he was a child. By his mid-teens, the Butcher's Boy, begins going on assigments with Eddie, learning the skills and resources that will make him the most fearsome killer.

In The Informant, the Mafia is out to kill him at all costs. Twenty years ago he worked as a hit man for the Mafia in their most important and difficult murders and now they want him and all his secrets, dead. Frank Tosca wants to become the next leader of the new La Cosa Nostra and the best way to get there is to kill the Butcher's Boy. Tosca is a throwback to the Mafia of old, only he's more ruthless. But no one's as ruthless as the unnamed assassin, code name the Butcher's Boy.

But the Butcher's Boy has a strange partner along the way Justice Department's Elizabeth Waring. Though Waring and the killer never really form a partnership in the true sense, they do trade information that allows the other to keep on with their tasks; the Butcher's Boy killing the Mafioso and Waring, bringing the Mafioso down. For the past twenty years, Waring has worked at the Justice Department's Organized Crime and Racketeering Division and she knows all of the big time players in La Cosa Nostra. She's also familiar with the Butcher's Boy from his past dealings with the Mafia.

I question a few integral aspects of the book. Why does the Butcher's Boy have any care in the world for Waring? How does an Assistant DA not take a tip from Waring, the well respected twenty year veteran?

Perry may not have Lee Child's ability to create stories with finely tuned language, but in the end, this is a thriller that works. It worked enough that I'm excited to go back and see how this all started in Perry's first book in the series, aptly named, The Butcher's Boy.

*eBook provided for review courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley
**Cover design by Brian Moore of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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