Jane's Reviews > The Informant

The Informant by Thomas Perry
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's review
Apr 26, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: mystery, thriller

Here's the review posted on my library's book reviews blog, MADreads:


Thomas Perry has been writing mystery/thrillers since the early 80s and somehow I have never read one of his books. Not sure why. He's written a series of books with protagonist Jane Whitefield - an extremely competent woman who helps people in trouble disappear - that I've meant to read many times and somehow just never did. Recently I got a galley of his newest, The Informant, and finally had my chance to read what I've been missing. Turns out I've been missing out on a very good author. Good news is now I have a good-sized backlist to delve into.

The Informant is the third book in The Butchers Boy series. What's most interesting to me as a reader is that Perry has allowed the timeline in the books to match the timeline of publication. The Butcher's Boy came out 20 years ago (was in fact Perry's first book). That debut first introduced the killer for hire who runs afoul of the mob and his adversary Elizabeth Waring, an analyst in the Justice Department. 20 years later the assassin has been living a quiet life in Bath, England as Michael Schaeffer. He is forced out of retirement when a new mobster attempts to make a name for himself by killing the Butcher's Boy.

Schaeffer's return once again draws Elizabeth into the hunt for this killer who has always eluded capture. The problem for her is that while twenty years in the Justice Dept. have given her a chance to move up in the ranks, she's still just a civil servant as far as her new boss Dale Hunsecker is concerned. Hunsecker is a political appointee who attempts to hamstring Waring at every turn. Though her job may be in jeopardy, Elizabeth can't let the Butcher's Boy go one more time. If she can catch him, she can turn him into the best mob informant her department has ever seen.

Though I have not yet read the first two books in this series, I had no problem in following the action. Perry does a great job of setting the scene and drawing his characters. Though one is an assassin and the other a representative of the law, I found myself rooting for both Michael and Elizabeth and consider the best scenes in the book to be the ones where they are in each other's presence playing a cat and mouse game. Good stuff. I can hardly wait to go back and read how this relationship started.

So if you're like me and you haven't yet discovered Thomas Perry, wait no more. If you're someone who's been suggesting the author to me for years - and there are a couple of you - you were right and I was wrong. How about the rest of you? Are there authors you held off on reading that you later discovered that you loved? Anyone else I've been missing? I'm always looking for suggestions (even when it takes me time to read them).
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Comments (showing 1-2)

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message 2: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Keeping the series moving with real time intrigues me; that's one thing that has always bothered me about Grafton's Milhone series. Sounds good.

message 1: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Keeping the series moving with real time intrigues me; that's one thing that has always bothered me about Grafton's Milhone series. Sounds good.

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