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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  957 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Thirteen bodies are discovered inside a small Louisville restaurant just after closing time. The ferocity and apparent randomness of the crime prompt the police to call in criminology professor Daniel Millikan-they want a profile of the murderer. Millikan determines that the crime was committed not by a psychopath but by a professional killer of consummate skill and total ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 18th 2001 by Random House (first published December 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Leon Aldrich
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Everyone has their own flavors for novels, so I understand why some rate this novel with one star. But in fairness, when I look over the bookshelves of the reviewer, invariably they haven't read much of the genre they are reviewing. I don't see any Parker, Connelly, Sanford, Lee, or Baldacci. Just to name a few. In short, they aren't qualified to rate a novel with one star unless they can back it up with a list of novels at least slightly superior.

It drives me ape-shit bonkers to see reviews lik
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent thriller by Perry, although the ending wasn't as good as it could have been. Instead of ending properly, Perry dragged it on longer than I would have liked. I didn't buy the reason for it, either. Still, it was a great ride. The way he followed the 2 killers was very good. The impeccable, if warped, logic of one hit man was especially chilling.

As usual, it was very well read with very real & memorable characters. Even the supporting characters were full blown & vibrant.
Pursuit was a great suspense novel. It's basically a story of two professional hit men going toe to toe. Both are great at what they do and it's fascinating to see how they go about trying to outsmart the other one.

The story starts out with a shooting in a restaurant. A former cop/homicide expert is in town for a talk and the local cops give him a call just to get his take on the crime. He walks through the scene and determines that it's not some random crime but instead a professional that was
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Overal: I found this book to read like a roller coaster. There were some excellent high points. But, the low points dragged on and on and on. At the highs, the author had you captivated about the plot; the characters. But, then he'd take off into endless chapters and chapters of background information. It did nothing to enhance the plot and/or characters. All it did for me was slow down the storyline and force me to put the book down because I was losing interest.
Scott Parsons
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel by Thomas Perry whom I have recently rediscovered after a long hiatus. It pits killer John Varney against pursuer Roy Prescott. Exceptionally well written. We kind of know how it will end but Varney has more lives than a cat and many tricks up his sleeve. Varney and Prescott are both guns for hire but Prescott is on the side of good in tracking down a murderer even if he too leaves a few bodies in his wake. Recommended but not for goody-two-shoes types.
Richard White
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Very good. Would recommend.
Heidi Pedersen
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a page-turning thriller, especially if you love reading about a battle of strategies and wits of the 'good' guy versus the 'bad' guy...especially when both of them are street-smart and cunning.

Our bad guy here is Varney, and he's a doozy. He's completely without emotion; he talks often about mimicking other people's expressions to blend in. He also considers himself a killer at the top of his game - he can plot and carry out any murder, or series of murders, without leaving evidence, and
Jan 23, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really read this book, I would say I endured it. This one had the distinct feeling of a suspense/psychological thriller relayed in deadpan. Droning on and on and then the conclusion wraps everything up neat as pin in less than a chapter. I found myself wondering at what stage in his career the author was in when he produced this. There were moments when you could tell he thought he was on a roll in a descriptive sense. He carries on about the look of a person or a street and then the 'b ...more
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I like Thomas Perry, this is one of his weaker efforts - at least from my female point of view. Like the title suggests, the hero pursues the hitman, completely unhinging the previously perfect killer. That in itself was unbelievable, as was the fact that they end of across the river from eachother for months. The book is about 100 pages too long, with insignifcant scenes and an almost never ending pursuit. If you want macho, this if for you. If not, pass.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the best chase stories I’ve had the pleasure to come across. Well worth the read or cd. 10 of 10 stars for this thriller!
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After enjoying Perry's Jane Whitefield series, I looked for older Thomas Perry offerings and was pleasantly surprised by Pursuit. Police discover a puzzling restaurant murder scene, one in which all restaurant patrons and employees were killed. Renowned forensics expert Daniel Milliken is in town for a speech, so they invite him to view and comment on the murder scene. He can't get it out of his mind; it's too neat, too professional to have been a one time occurrence. Months later, when one of t ...more
Clayton Yuen
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very intricate thriller novel with two highly-trained killers, one good and one bad. The author is so detailed in the setup of each "campaign" that it make you believe that Thomas Perry is a former assassin!?!

Very very interesting with the killing parts, the connector part were ..... okay ..... , altogether making a unique sort of adventure. I'll have to read more Thomas Perry books to see the dark side of the novelist!!!
mike hoops
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Constant action

From start to finish a good read to be enjoyed, believable entertaining unpredictable I have enjoyed this author, he gets better
Jon T Oliver
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Found a new author!

As a binge reader once I find an author with a new set of tools, I keep on. I suspect I willread a lot of Thomas Perry.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say I am a big fan of this author! I really enjoyed the chase of the killers.
Feb 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
couldn't finish
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, american
I've enjoyed all of Thomas Perry's mysteries, beginning with the Jane Whitefield series, which are still my favorites. This one is good, too.
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the latest LA Weekly Literary Supplement, Thomas Perry wrote an essay In a Jam: How Suspense Keeps the Novel on Edge.

Here's the first part:

Suspense isn’t a pleasant sensation. We go to great lengths to manage our lives in ways that will keep us from having to go through periods of uncertainty — particularly when it’s prolonged, and when the stakes are high. But in reading fiction, especially a novel, we crave this sensation of increasing tension, and the higher the stakes, the better. We love
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
It was dry and unemotional. The story itself was detailed and well thought out - yet I did not find it enjoyable. The only thing that makes me smile as I think about the book is the author's need to darken and soil the character of one of the minor female characters just before she is murdered by the story's psychopath. It seems that he (Thomas Perry) did not want to cause undue agitation to the average reader by killing off a character who has become familiar to them. So she ends up mentally re ...more
Gary Sedivy
Perry does not usually write with two-person point of view. In this, both protagonists' thoughts, feelings, and plans are shown. I don't think it worked as well as some of the Jane Whitefield novels. The action was decently presented. The preparations Prescott made were elaborate, but little time was spent in the story letting you see how he did it, not even a hint. Varney, the bad guy, got in situations set up for him by Prescott, and you went through the set-up and action with Varney, not know ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Varney trained, from age 11, to be a hired killer and he's very good at it. Prescott hunts bad people down to kill them, and he's very good at it. After a gruesome multiple murder in Louisville, the police consultant recognized the killer is smart and very methodical; he gives the father of the primary victim Prescott's name & number. And the chase is on. Prescott is always successful because he gets inside the head of the killer to track then kill him, but Varney is lucky and escapes a coup ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm about 1/5 into this book and I don't really care about any of it. I just don't care. I picked this one up at the library to give the Author a second chance - his other book (STRIP) that I recently finished was good - but it got hard to follow about 1/2 way thru due to the dozen characters with similar names. This time, I'm not sure I'll ever find out how many characters emerge...because I don't see myself finishing it.

I put it aside the day I started it and have read a different book complet
Jul 01, 2010 rated it liked it
A massacre in a family restaurant. The police investigating the crime finds very little evidence that could lead them to the killer. The wealthy father of one of the victims wants revenge. What better way than to hire a killer to catch a killer.
The book narrates the evolution of Varney, theserial killer for hire - none of them was meant to elicit sympathy for him; but very little is explained about Roy Prescott, and what little there was, was intended to point out the guy wearing the white hat.
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boston Globe calls Thomas Perry, “... the best suspense writer in the business. . . . Pursuit is relentless, filled with twists and turns, that rare page-turner that keeps one reading late into the night to finish.” There is nothing I can say to add to that excellent description. Originally I enjoyed Perry's audiobooks narrated by Michael Kramer (still one of my very favorite narrators), but on this one Tom Weiner has done as admirable job. I'm always eager to read/hear another Thomas Perry ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
This was the first book written by Thomas Perry I have read. What a wild ride! Thirteen people were murdered in a Louisville restaurant. What kind of weirdo could have performed such a crime? The father of one of the victims tries to hire criminology professor Daniel Millikan to hunt down the killer. Daniel Millikan can't, but he knows who can. Roy Prescott is not your typical good guy crime solver. Definitely makes for a good story.
You know, every once in awhile you just want to read a thriller. Bad guy does bad things, good guy chases him down. This one was a little different from that. Roy Prescott, the guy hired to chase down the bad guy, isn't quite a good guy. He's so used to getting into these guys' heads to follow them that you can tell it's affected him. But, Prescott is good at what he does and it makes the book enjoyable.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was a thriller from the very beginning!! I listen to these audio books in my car and can say this one kept me in the car when arriving at my destination to listen to "just one more track"!! Another great recommendation from a friend--have not been disappointed with any suggested "reads". The end was a bit anti-climatic for me after all the action, but still a great story!! Definitely a 10 out of 10 for me.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've read several books by this author, and can say with certainty this was my least favorite. It went on and on, I didn't like any of the characters, and the ending was like "eh, I guess I'm finished writing this." I was disappointed, as the others were engrossing and the characters much more engaging.
Pamela Gibson
Oct 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Halfway through the book and I still can't tell who will win. He moves the reader into the minds of his characters better than any other modern suspense writer. Probably not a good one to read at Halloween, or any time you're feeling paranoid...Finished and have reread twice. It still produces tension, even though I know who dunnit.
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Just as other Thomas Perry books the characters are well developed, story is wonderfully suspenseful.

Prescott is looking for a professional killer. A very good pro - Varney made himself into a killer. Intense daily workout regimen. The killer can be anywhere after the initial killings in Louisville so can Prescott find him?
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Thomas Perry is the author of 25 novels. He 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 as a writer and producer of prime time network television shows.
He lives in
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