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FIDELITY by Thomas Perry

FIDELITY

By Thomas Perry

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-15-101292-3
Publisher: Otto Penzler/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A private eye’s wife and former partner goes back on the job to find out who made her a widow.

The shock Emily Kramer feels when her husband is shot down on a strange street deepens when she learns that he’s cleaned out his retirement account, their savings account, even the household account, and that Kramer Investigations is broke as well. Clearly Phil Kramer was hiding something big from her. Phil has been a man of many secrets, any of which could have gotten him killed. Nor is Emily the only one who’s looking for them, as she realizes when a masked man takes her prisoner, interrogates her about Phil’s work and threatens to kill her if she doesn’t share the information he insists she must have about his last case. Jerry Hobart, the hit man who killed her husband, has accepted a new contract to kill Emily. But he’s decided that instead of collecting $200,000 from millionaire Theodore Forrest for a simple job, he’d rather uncover the secret that made Phil’s life so dangerous that Ted Forrest couldn’t afford to leave him alive. The pattern soon resolves itself into one of Perry’s patented triangular competitions. Emily races to track down her husband’s biggest secret before the masked man can find it. Jerry, discounting her claims that she knows nothing, keeps her in his sights while he hunts the information that will make her dispensable. And Forrest takes strong measures to make sure that the unsavory details of the case Phil worked for him nine years ago never see the light of day. The characters aren’t among Perry’s most memorable, and the suspense is moderate by his high standards. But the back stories the tale requires are integrated into the action a lot more smoothly than they were in Silence (2007).

Mid-grade thrills from a pro’s pro.