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Publisher's Summary

He came to England to rest. He calls himself Michael Shaeffer, says he's a retired American businessman. He goes to the races, dates a kinky aristocrat, and sleeps with dozens of weapons. Ten years ago it was different. Then, he was the Butcher's Boy, the highly skilled mob hit man who pulled a slaughter job on some double-crossing clients and started a mob war. Ever since, there's been a price on his head. Now, after a decade, they've found him. The Butcher's Boy escapes back to the States with more reasons to kill. Until the odds turn terrifyingly against him...until the Mafia, the cops, the FBI, and the damn Justice Department want his hide...until he's locked into a cross-country odyssey of fear and death that could tear his world to pieces.
©2008 Thomas Perry (P)2009 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Charles Atkinson on 03-21-12

Or... How I Fell in Love With a Hit Man

I do like this series, alot. There two story lines running parallel and occasionally intersecting. The Butcher's Boy, a stone cold killer who only believes in killing for profit or survival and despises the death of innocents. He is not a complete sociopath, his conscience is simply void when it comes to the mafia and those corrupted by the Mafia.

Perry does a wonderful job describing the complications and difficulties a retired hit man incurrs with his personal life. He is a great anti-hero.

The second story line involves Elizabeth Waring, a Justice Dept investigator, Mafia expert, widow, and single mother of two toddlers. She is smart, wise and clever, but she is not in charge and so must deal with other well meaning detectives, competing police agencies and meddling politicians. Nevertheless, she poses the biggest threat to the Butcher's Boy.

What happens when these two lives intersect is the real mystery, and one well worth your time.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Richard Delman on 03-11-12

Mr. Perry hits us right between the eyes. Again.

Thomas Perry is a masterful writer who has by now essentially created his own genre. How many books have you read in which the protagonist is a professional hit man, through whom we see much of the story? We don't identify with him, as he is a cold-blooded killer, but the Butcher's Boy is a truly remarkable creation, and Mr. Perry is able to build the suspense in this book to the point at which you can barely stand it, but, at the same time, you never want it to end. The book is also funny, at times, and one chapter in particular is LOL funny. Elizabeth Waring is carefully drawn and holds our interest continually. The scene toward the end in which he is stuck in her house for a whole evening is brilliant, full of so much tension, fraught with the feelings of a single mother looking for a father for her kids, and the Butcher's Boy, who really just wants to stay alive and get out of the country and back to the Honorable Meg. The scene, as many do, crackles with energy. The plot is once again quite believable, although one might think eventually that one man whipping the Mob and the FBI and the Justice Department at the same time might be a bit of a stretch. In the hands of Mr. Perry and Mr. Kramer, not a bit. Every time we think that Mr. Perry has to whip out the deus ex machina, he somehow outfoxes us, as the Butcher's Boy keeps inventing new ways to wriggle out of a jam that seems impossible.
Mr. Kramer is once again the perfect reader for this series. His voice is easy to listen to. He may not have that many voices, but he has enough to satisfy you. And, the plot and the characters are so intriguing that you are on the edge of your seat for hours. I can't imagine a thriller reader who will not enjoy these books, and to see the emergence of a truly gifted author is a real pleasure. I know it takes him a long time to write these, and I can see why, but I'm not sure that I can wait long enough for the next one.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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