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The Informant: An Otto Penzler Book…

The Informant: An Otto Penzler Book (Butcher's Boy)

by Thomas Perry

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192661,408 (4.03)3
  1. 10
    Hit Man by Lawrence Block (crazybatcow)
    crazybatcow: Very similar main characters. Similar sense of "justice" being delivered.

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Ok, the Butcher's Boy is back.

The whole time I was reading this book, I felt snippets of Michael Mann's film, Heat, playing in the back of my mind. You know, where the good guy and bad guy had this unique connection throughout their encounters. In this book, Elizabeth Waring from the Justice Dept is back, and solving mafia-related murders which are linked to the unknown and never-before-apprehended killer who she encountered over 10 years ago, in Perry's other Butcher's Boy books.

I love the pace, dialogue and characterization in this novel, more than some of his other recent ones. I esp liked the thoughts in the mind of the killer, who, after all, is just trying to live out the rest of his days peacefully in rural England, finally married to a semi-aristocrat he hooked up with in the previous book, until the dang mafia showed up again, in his world, to attempt to kill him.

This is a good stand alone, but is a far richer reading experience if you've read the earlier 2 novels as well.
( )
  cjazzlee | Nov 13, 2015 |
My second Thomas Perry book and another superb one. I have a few of his on my Kindle backlog to read now!

Like the first book of his I read there's a prominent woman in the story - the goodie - who shares center stage with the baddie. She's a justice dept analyst, he's a (very good) assassin. Superbly paced story, intriguing story line, great detail (especially the many assassinations!), and an abrupt for good ending. Lots of nasties with Italian "family" names! Set mainly in the US.

Highly recommended. ( )
  martinhughharvey | Jul 5, 2015 |
Advanced reader copy.

The Butcher’s Boy, retired assassin, wants nothing more than to be left alone. Having found a woman he loves, in a country removed from his former territory, he has no other aspirations than to leave things be. I understand that. He’s getting older, slower, and has everything he needs; until an up-and-coming Mafia chief thinks that by killing the Butcher’s Boy he can claim more power.

The adopted son of a hitman/butcher, the acolyte, now calling himself Schaeffer, embarks on a campaign to eliminate the mafia boss who has put out a major contract on him. It’s virtually the entire crime world against him for having set up and destroyed Belacontana, a major crime figure, mostly as a way to protect himself. Now everyone seeks to ingratiate himself with Frank Tosca, the new Belacontana wanna-be. Schaeffer needs to make searching for him too expensive. (Parker does something similar in The Outfit by Richard Stark, if less violently.)

I have read several of the Butcher’s Boy series. This, while the latest, could stand alone, although I recommend reading them in order for a better historical sense of the characters, particularly that of Elizabeth Waring, the Justice Department investigator who is beginning to have the best sense of just who the Butcher’s Boy is. Some of the scenes might strain credibility, e.g., his running up the hill (he’s fifty) to get away from the lodge. Then again, there’s something to be said for staying in shape. (Personally, my idea of staying in shape is conforming to the contours of my reading chair.) Waring wants to get Schaeffer in a corner where his only protection will be to turn informant against those who formerly hired him.

I’ve also read several of Perry’s Jane Whitefield series and the similarities are obvious: the lone, competent, anti-hero competing successfully against large odds. It’s an appealing scenario, especially with Perry’s love of the outdoors and use of natural resources in the denouement.

I must admit to having become quite a fan of Thomas Perry and am reading my way through all his titles. Not Crime and Punishment, but very enjoyable. The order of the Butcher series is Butcher’s Boy, Sleeping Dogs, and The Informant. Read them all. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
The last (maybe) of the Butcher's Boy series. A page turner, as they say. Still hard to believe that a hit man was the "hero" of a series. Morality aside, the suspense over his survival made this a very good read. Perhaps there will be another? ( )
  rwt42 | Oct 31, 2012 |
There are several "recaps" of things that happened in earlier books, and perhaps more about the Butcher Boy's childhood than expected - both are well handled and don't feel repetitive. And it means you can enjoy this book without having read either of the other two. though, why you wouldn't want to read the other two is beyond me.

Waring is a more fully fleshed character in this book - more distinctive and developed enough that you become just as concerned about what will happen to her as you are about what will happen to the Butcher's Boy. This was a very pleasant surprise because she seemed to be right on the edge of being a "real" character in the earlier books, and it was nice to see her have a place in this story other than as someone to hinder the Butcher's Boy.

This is the best of the 3 in the series - the characters are all so engaging that it's hard to believe you're not really supposed to be rooting for the Butcher's Boy. If you like this book, you'll probably enjoy Lawrence Block's Keller series. And, maybe, even Lee Child's Jack Reacher books. The "justice" being delivered is similar in them all. ( )
  crazybatcow | Jan 17, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0547569335, Hardcover)

In Thomas Perry’s Edgar-winning debut The Butcher’s Boy, a professional killer betrayed by the Mafia leaves countless mobsters dead and then disappears. Justice Department official Elizabeth Waring is the only one who believes he ever existed. Many years later, the Butcher’s Boy finds his peaceful life threatened when a Mafia hit team finally catches up with him. He knows they won’t stop coming and decides to take the fight to their door. 

Soon Waring, now high up in the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department, receives a surprise latenight visit from the Butcher’s Boy. Knowing she keeps track of the Mafia, he asks her whom his attackers worked for, offering information that will help her crack an unsolved murder in return. So begins a new assault on organized crime and an uneasy alliance between opposite sides of the law. As the Butcher’s Boy works his way ever closer to his quarry in an effort to protect his new way of life, Waring is in a race against time, either to convince him to become a protected informant—or to take him out of commission for good.

Recommended Summer Reading from the Author of The Informant

Thomas Perry's Summer Reading List:

1) Lawrence Block, A Drop of the Hard Stuff. In this novel, Block brings back Matt Scudder, one of his great characters. Scudder has been sober for quite a few years, and now he is presented with a murder mystery within his circle of New York Alcoholics Anonymous members. The dialogue in this book is so concise and perfect in tone that the reader will wish he could follow Scudder around and overhear more of it. Block is one of the most respected mystery writers in America, and this new book, which was published in May, is a lesson in how to write.

2) Joe Gores, Spade and Archer. This is the final book of a fine writer who won three Edgar Awards and wrote numerous excellent books. He was also an expert on Dashiell Hammett, and in this is a prequel to The Maltese Falcon he writes in Hammett's style.

3) Josh Bazell, Beat the Reaper. Published in 2009, this first novel was written by a brilliant young man whose day job is being a doctor. It's original, witty, and maybe just a little bit crazy at times--the perfect book for summer. I believe we'll be reading Bazell's books for a long time, so it's time to begin.

4) Deon Meyer, Thirteen Hours. Meyer, who is South African, is gradually being noticed by other writers as a major talent. Thirteen Hours is one of the most suspenseful books I've ever read, and is a good introduction to his work.

5) John Sandford, Storm Prey. I chose this book, which came out in 2010, because it's recent, because it includes both Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, and because I haven't yet read the book that came out in May, Buried Prey. But you can choose from any of his 40 others, and it will be well worth your time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Years after the Butcher's Boy wipes out several mobsters and disappears, Justice Department official Elizabeth Waring is approached by the mythical hit man, who asks her for crucial information in exchange for helping her to crack an unsolved murder case.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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