Emily's Reviews > The Butcher's Boy

The Butcher's Boy by Thomas Perry
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's review
Oct 16, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011
Read in October, 2011

Reading this book, I couldn't help being constantly, acutely aware that it came out nearly thirty years ago. The characters spend a lot of time leaving phone messages for each other; they get served free refreshments on airplanes; the big casino in Las Vegas is Circus Circus. One of the two protagonists is a young female agent in the Justice Department, and I thought the (male) author of this book did a good job of showing how she tries to get respect and tries to muscle her way through unfamiliar situations and fit in. This character felt like an authentic woman to me, in contrast to the female protagonists of some of today's thrillers, who are blandly tough-as-nails and wear lipstick (ho hum). The Butcher's Boy himself is a hit man on a job gone wrong. His efforts to figure out who is after him unleash an old-school Mafia war. This plotline felt a bit dated to me but the writing kept me reading. Alone in a Las Vegas casino at night: "The coffee shop was still ablaze with lights, but far off in the corner behind a stockade of upturned chairs a black man was following a vacuum cleaner in its jerky foragings behind the tables."
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