Books by Thomas Perry

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, unive


A SMALL TOWN by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 7, 2020

"A superior live-action version of the Road Runner cartoons with 12 coyotes and noncartoon violence."
Perry's large-scale update of The Bride Wore Black stars a small-town cop who's paid $1 million to track down and kill the 12 inmates who organized and spearheaded a massive prison break. Read full book review >
THE BURGLAR by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 8, 2019

"All the relentless drive of Perry's tales of concealment specialist Jane Whitefield (Poison Flower, 2012, etc.) but there's a less compelling logic behind both the burglar's actions and the murderer's."
In case you've forgotten, Perry (The Bomb Maker, 2018, etc.) reminds you that it takes a thief to catch a killer. Read full book review >
THE BOMB MAKER by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 2, 2018

"Perry (The Old Man, 2017, etc.) provides a hero worth caring about, a villain who stays one step ahead of him, and a supporting cast designed to keep up the nerve-shredding suspense. If the ending feels like a letdown, that's because this ultimate professional rivalry can't possibly continue forever."
The Explosive Ordnance Unit of the LAPD battles a methodical bomber whose principal target seems to be them. Read full book review >
THE OLD MAN by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Swift, unsentimental, and deeply satisfying. Liam Neeson would be perfect in the title role."
Perry (Forty Thieves, 2016, etc.) drives deep into Jack Reacher territory in this stand-alone about a long-ago Army intelligence officer whose less-than-grateful nation just won't let him be. Read full book review >
FORTY THIEVES by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"It's still entertaining and suspenseful to watch Sid and Ronnie and Ed and Nicole hatch plots to protect themselves by eliminating the shadowy figures who've been calling the shots, but their alliance strains belief, and 40 thieves turn out to be too many even for a writer as gifted as Perry to bring to life."
Is Perry mellowing with age? Just as he took off the edge in his latest case for disappearance specialist Jane Whitefield (A String of Beads, 2014, etc.), he almost relaxes in this tale of a husband-and-wife detective duo pursuing a husband-and-wife pair of killers.Read full book review >
A STRING OF BEADS by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 6, 2015

"Perry (The Boyfriend, 2013, etc.) supplies twists and thrills aplenty, but it's hard to feel the suffocating kind of suspense that's his stock in trade when the pursuers seem to be in more danger than the pursued."
A refreshing change of pace for Jane Whitefield McKinnon, who specializes in helping people hide from dangerous pursuers (Poison Flower, 2012, etc.): She's asked to find someone who's already gone to earth.Read full book review >
THE MAYAN SECRETS by Clive Cussler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"Cussler connoisseurs will approve. Others can enjoy it as a stand-alone adventure."
Cussler (The Tombs, 2012, etc.) drops treasure-hunting Sam and Remi Fargo into Mayan mysteries. Read full book review >
THE BOYFRIEND by Thomas Perry
Released: March 5, 2013

"The ending is a letdown, the same way waking up from a brutally suspenseful dream is a letdown. But there's all the pleasure a master craftsman can provide every inch of the way there."
The creator of the murderous Butcher's Boy (The Informant, 2011, etc.) and vanishing enabler Jane Whitefield (Poison Flower, 2012, etc.) summons a new hero to track down a killer with a penchant for strawberry-blonde escorts. Read full book review >
THE TOMBS by Clive Cussler
Released: Sept. 4, 2012

"Even with a plot hole or two, a tacked-on narrative thread about a corporate treasure-hunting enterprise and a believability buy in—the Fargo's bottomless money bucket—Cussler fans can expect more than a few hours of page-turning action."
Cussler and company (The Kingdom, 2011, etc.) send treasure hunters extraordinaire, Sam and Remi Fargo, onto the windy steppes of the ancient Hun empire searching for the tomb of the Scourge of God. Read full book review >
POISON FLOWER by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2012

Jane has so little trouble breaking James Shelby, framed for murdering his wife, out of police custody at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles that you just know something's going to go wrong. But the mishap this time is remarkably fast and unexpected: Three hard types who've been tracking Shelby go after Jane instead. Driving her to a remote desert location, they torture her seeking information about her client, then realize that they can make a queen's ransom by auctioning her off to one of the many criminals she's outwitted by spiriting away their victims or enemies and settling them in new identities (Runner, 2009, etc.). Jane manages to escape and takes refuge in a battered women's shelter in Las Vegas, where she acquires yet another fugitive who must be hidden away. ("I guess I have a knack for making friends" is her laconic comment.) It would be unfair to reveal more about a story whose appeal depends so completely on Perry's ability to keep you from seeing a single inch around the next corner. Suffice it to say that both Jane and the fake cops will put a great many more miles on vehicles they've rented or stolen before Jane confronts the brains behind the frame-up of Shelby in the nation's heartland in a satisfyingly one-dimensional showdown. Read full book review >
THE INFORMANT by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 5, 2011

"Beneath the sky-high body count, the twisty plot is powered by Perry's relentless focus on the question of where the next threat is coming from and how to survive it."
Twenty years after a trio of lowlifes forced him out of retirement (Sleeping Dogs, 1992, etc.), the Butcher's Boy is back. Read full book review >
STRIP by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 13, 2010

"The first half of this shaggy, violent tale is a miracle of dead-eyed invention. It's only when the cast members start running out of options that the story starts running out of steam."
Perry (Fidelity, 2008, etc.) shows the cascade of lethal consequences following a strip-club owner's misidentification of the man who robbed him. Read full book review >
RUNNER by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"For the most part, Jane's many fans, who've missed her ever since Blood Money (2000), will be glad to see her at any price."
After nine years of being AWOL, Jane Whitefield McKinnon, the world's foremost specialist in hiding fugitives from their pursuers, is back with a vengeance. Read full book review >
FIDELITY by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2008

"Mid-grade thrills from a pro's pro."
A private eye's wife and former partner goes back on the job to find out who made her a widow. Read full book review >
SILENCE by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 2, 2007

"Wait till next year, when the normally reliable Perry is bound to come up trumps again."
Finally, a tale that answers the unwelcome question: Is it possible for suspense master Perry (Nightlife, 2006, etc.) to write a routine thriller? Read full book review >
NIGHTLIFE by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 14, 2006

"The hints of romance are less than convincing, but the agonizingly detailed pairing of two determined women, complicated by the intrusion of a freelance killer, is masterful."
A police detective tracks a resourceful serial killer in Perry's latest nail-biter (Dead Aim, 2002, etc.). Read full book review >
DEAD AIM by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 24, 2002

"It's hard to believe Mallon's well-financed curiosity in the first half of this adventure, and the second half is simply superior action-film fare with a body count to match. But nobody who starts this tense, improbable tale will put it down half-finished."
An unusually determined suicide pulls a retired Santa Barbara contractor into a ring of trained killers in this newest stand-alone from the chronicler of the Butcher Boy (Sleeping Dogs, 1992, etc.) and Jane Whitefield (The Face-Changers, 1998, etc.). Read full book review >
PURSUIT by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 26, 2001

"The focus throughout is relentlessly analytical, as if two unbeatable computers were battling it out over the chessboard for stakes of life and death—for themselves and for everybody else unlucky enough to be within range."
The creator of the Butcher Boy and disappearing specialist Jane Whitefield presents a bounty-hunter story that tops the genre as an unlicensed killer goes up against his even more dangerous prey. Read full book review >
DEATH BENEFITS by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 19, 2000

"For most of the running time, though, Perry displays a matchless gift for keeping both his hero and his readers beautifully off-balance. Don't dare let anybody tell you any more about the story before you start it—preferably in time to swallow it all in a sitting."
Perry, who never met a field he couldn't make breathlessly exciting, turns his hand to the insurance business, with hair-raising results. Read full book review >
BLOOD MONEY by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 1, 2000

Jane Whitefield usually makes people disappear (The Face-Changers, 1998, etc.), but this time it's money: mob money that prompts La Cosa Nostra to chase Native American Jane all over the country in a terrifically plotted nail-biter. When trying to explain her remarkable talent for aiding clients to elude the ill-disposed, Jane often credits her Senecan forebears, so many of them expert trackers (and un-trackers). Be that as it may, she's world-class at the vanishing act'so good that by now the process has become addictive. Thus, despite those promises to her beloved husband, Dr. Carey McKinnon, few Whitefield fans will expect her to say no when 18-year-old Rita Shalford asks for help. Waiflike Rita kept house in Miami for Bernie Lupus, ostensible owner of a property that in reality belongs to a "Family" consortium. Waiflike in his own right (though 70), Bernie was for years the mob's money-minder. Now, clinging together for support, he and Rita are on the run because the LCN (La Cosa Nostra) has grown nervous about the booty and distrustful of its minder. Through a friend, they've come to Jane. Not only do they want to disappear, they want that mountain of money wrested from the control of the wicked. But how? What can be done to ten billion dollars to remove it permanently from organized evil-doers? Easy, Jane says. Give it to organized good-doers, the Red Cross and hundreds upon hundreds of other charities, thereby chilling the blood of all self-respecting capos. Well, not so easy, actually, but the fun is in how it gets done, and in Jane's elegant razzle-dazzle, as again and again the mob grabs at her slender form only to come up clutching thin air. Compulsively readable. If Jane seems to know more about everything than anybody else, so be it. You'll like it that way. Read full book review >
THE FACE-CHANGERS by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1998

Dr. Carey McKinnon, the risk-aversive bridegroom who'd made Jane Whitefield promise to stop the hazardous career of helping people vanish (Shadow Woman, 1997, etc.) now begs her to take his old mentor on the lam—plunging her into her most convoluted, if not exactly her most involving, caper. The police in tow states don't have any doubts that eminent surgeon Dr. Richard Dahlmann murdered his equally eminent colleague, Dr. Sarah Hoffman—which is exactly why he needs to go underground, Carey tells Jane, while the case sorts itself out. But no sooner has Jane spirited Dahlmann out of the hospital where a police-pursuit bullet landed him—no mean feat, especially considering his weakened condition and the security cordon thrown around him—than she realizes that Dahlmann is just whistling in the dark in waiting for the cops to suddenly come to their senses. He's in a frame tight enough to cause serious weight loss—a frame that can only be the work of professionals (presumably the two armed men she passed on their way to Dahlmann's hospital bed) as good at their jobs as Jane is at hers. Why has Dahlmann been the target of such an elaborate campaign? The answer leads Jane not only to a series of three earlier murders nobody had even suspected, but to a ring of "face-changers"—people who, like Jane herself, are dedicated to helping people vanish, though they're a lot less scrupulous about their motives and tactics and selection of clients. In order to vindicate Dahlmann (and get guileless Carey off an impending charge of accessory to murder for helping him escape), Jane will have to stop her furious crisscrossing of the 48 states long enough to unmask the copycats, get evidence of their criminal complicity, and stay one step ahead of her hundreds of pursuers. If this all sounds suspenseful, it is. But it's also tangled, unevenly paced (though endlessly inventive), and ultimately as exhausting for Perry's loyal fans as for his resourceful, long-suffering heroine. Read full book review >
SHADOW WOMAN by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1997

Marriage doesn't stop Jane Whitefield (Dance for the Dead, 1996, etc.) from taking on one last hazardous disappearing act for a client whose pursuers just won't give up. As part of her agreement to tie the knot with her longtime suitor Dr. Carey McKinnon, Jane promises she'll stop helping people to vanish. All she wants is to fade into the woodwork- -which is precisely how she thought she'd already helped Pete Hatcher, the Las Vegas bagman who knew too much about the shady doings of his bosses at Pleasure, Inc. But Hatcher, a sociable fellow who can't resist the ladies, hasn't been able to adapt to the monklike identity Jane created for him in Denver; a few careless moves, and Pleasure's hired killers are onto him. And these aren't ordinary killers: Earl Bliss gets off on tracking and killing people, and his partner, Linda Thompson, keeps up her energy level by inventing erotic fantasies in which she watches Earl kill men she's gotten involved with. When they fail to take out Hatcher, he puts in a frantic call to Jane—who leaves Carey waiting in the old homestead while she goes on the road this one last time. So while Jane's spiriting Hatcher out of Denver and Earl is hustling to pick up her trail—which will lead to a bravura chase on foot through Glacier National Park—Linda takes the search to Jane's home turf by following her paper trail to upstate New York, introducing herself to lonely Carey, and mining Jane's house for every clue she can scrounge about her quarry's current whereabouts—a job made all too easy by the fact that well-meaning Carey hasn't a clue about how to keep a life-or- death secret. Jane's third adventure is another masterfully inverted detective story—you root for the prey instead of the murderous investigators. The suspense is unrelenting. Read full book review >
DANCE FOR THE DEAD by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

An explosive second outing for Jane Whitefield, the Senecan specialist in helping people disappear (Vanishing Act, 1995). The story kicks off with a whoosh as Jane succeeds in saving the life of her latest client, eight-year-old Timothy Phillips, by producing him in an L.A. court that's about to declare him dead so that whoever's been plundering his trust fund can breathe easy. Once Timmy's story is read into the record, he's safe, but it's been a high-casualty operation, and Jane's in no mood for getting accosted at the airport by Mary Perkins, who begs Jane to help her elude the killers following her. It isn't until the two women are halfway across the country that Jane has the time to hear Mary's story: During the unregulated '80s, she bilked unwary banks of millions through a pyramid of lovingly detailed real- estate schemes, and now that she's already done time for the feds, who weren't able to shake the money loose from her, some monstrous freelancer has decided to take a turn. Jane gets Mary parked in a new town with shiny new credit cards, and even takes a few days back in her upstate New York hometown to entertain a marriage proposal from her hitherto platonic friend Dr. Carey McKinnon, but then it's back to business as she goes after the trustee who's been looting Timmy Phillips's estate. The looting, though, turns out to be even deeper and deadlier than she imagined—and it naturally leads her straight back to Mary and the ominous, insatiable security firm that's getting closer and closer to her. The plotting is a miracle of unrelenting tension; the breathless, knowing prose is pitch-perfect; and Jane's fierce righteousness is perfectly balanced by a mind-boggling wealth of detail about how to plunder trusts, defraud banks, and disappear. Five more of Jane's adventures are already stockpiled for annual release. Truly a treasure for Random—as long as they never let the peerlessly devious author get behind them. (First printing of 75,000) Read full book review >
VANISHING ACT by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

A most intriguing heroine, with an even more intriguing vocation, is the centerpiece for what could be Perry's most successful thriller since his Edgar-winning debut, Butcher's Boy (1982). Jane Whitefield is a Native American whose special talent is making people disappear. A battered wife, an informer on the run from the Mob, just about anyone with a real need to change identities and vanish can turn to Whitefield and find an avenue to remove them from the world. Because Whitefield is part Seneca and uses her Indian heritage and contacts to further her clients' interests, readers will get some insight into Native American life, but most are likely to be even more fascinated by the entire process of changing one's identity and becoming someone else. Whitefield comes home from helping a woman escape her brutal, sadistic husband to find a man called John Felker waiting for her. Claiming to be an ex-cop turned accountant, he says he's discovered half a million dollars in a bank account under his name and fears he is being set up as the fall guy for an embezzling scheme. He says there's a contract out on his life as well. Staying just one step ahead of four dangerous pursuers, Whitefield helps Felker vanish, but not before—against all her instincts and rules- -becoming romantically involved with him. Then things start to go horribly wrong, and the woman who always helped people disappear now has to turn her talents to finding her most recent client, a man who was not at all what he seemed to be. When events rush to a climax deep in the Northern Woods of the Adirondacks in upstate New York, she must rely on the tracking and survival skills of her ancestors—or die. A fine thriller, and Whitefield surely warrants a return appearance. Read full book review >
SLEEPING DOGS by Thomas Perry
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 24, 1992

Since his Edgar-winning debut with Butcher's Boy (1982), Perry has inked a series of bold seriocomic thrillers (Metzger's Dog, Big Fish, Island) with ever more guffaws than grit. Here, though, he resurrects the anonymous hit-man hero of Butcher's Boy and sends him on a brawny, bloody vendetta whose rare humor is determinedly dark, even dour. In the decade since he fled to England after killing 20 mobsters in revenge for a double-cross, the ``Butcher's Boy'' has been living a life of cautious ease. One day at the races, though, he's spotted by a young American mafiosi who decides to bag the still-hunted assassin—leading to the would-be capo's instant death and soon to a pitch-black comedy of errors as the killer flies to America to settle with the mobsters he thinks are hot on his trail. A virtual juggernaut of vengeance, he lands in New York, buys a gun, and kills the young mafiosi's boss. He then jets to L.A., where, deplaning, he spots a gunman he assumes is another mafiosi- -and so he zooms on to Santa Fe and kills the head of the West Coast mob. The Butcher Boy then flies to Buffalo to buy a new I.D. but is spotted by yet another mobster, resulting in further carnage. All this gore-giddy mayhem is tethered by rich details of hit-man procedure and by flashbacks of the Butcher Boy's apprentice days, and is spun into unexpected twists by one big plot joke: The man in L.A. was not a mobster but a federal agent put on the killer's tail by his old nemesis, Justice Dept. star Elizabeth Waring. When the Butcher Boy realizes this, he decides to kill Waring—leading to lots more deaths and a tense climax that promises yet another sequel. Tough and energetic, but suffering from a moral black hole at the center: the Butcher Boy himself, a finally unsympathetic antihero whose nonstop killing makes him little more than a thinking person's Terminator. Read full book review >