THE OLD MAN by Thomas Perry


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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.

Dispatched to Libya a generation ago to deliver $20 million to Faris Hamzah for distribution to rebel fighters, Michael Kohler watched as Hamzah sat on the money, purchasing a Rolls-Royce, financing a cadre of personal bodyguards, and doing everything except pass the bundle to the intended recipients. So Kohler grabbed the rest of the money and hightailed it back to the USA. His offers to return the money to the National Security Agency fell on the deaf ears of bureaucrats who informed him that he was a wanted criminal who’d better turn himself in and face the music. So Kohler went off the grid as Dan Chase, of Norwich, Vermont, invested the money cautiously, and set up several false identities, just in case. Ten years after his wife died, his past catches up with him in the shape of two Arab-looking men who break into his house while he’s supposed to be asleep. After taking care of business with brutal efficiency, he goes on the lam once more. As Peter Caldwell he drives to Chicago, where he meets Zoe McDonald, who’s quickly drawn to him. They make some sweet memories together as Henry and Marcia Dixon; then it’s time once more for Henry to leave. Julian Carson, the special ops contractor assigned to locate Dixon and set him up for the kill, ends up sympathizing with him instead—especially after he helps arrange the return of the $20 million and sees that it doesn’t lessen the pressure on Dixon—and passes on the information that allows the Dixons to escape, though it doesn’t exactly feel like an escape to Marcia. They retreat to an isolated cabin in Big Bear; Carson quits the assignment and marries his Arkansas sweetheart. Both men wait for the inevitable, and in the fullness of time, it arrives with guns ablaze.

Swift, unsentimental, and deeply satisfying. Liam Neeson would be perfect in the title role.

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-8021-2586-6
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2016


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