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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Perry's Edgar Award-winning debut novel follows a professional hitman on the run from both the mafia and the government.
©2003 Thomas Perry (P)2008 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By richard on 02-26-12

A writer with extreme talents.

This is Mr. Perry's first book, originally published in 1982. Although it's a little dated (a full gas tank, 12 gallons, for $10!) that is the only flaw I can find. Michael Connelly, one heck of a writer himself, has written an introduction to the book, which accurately describes Perry's awesome talent and assuredness. Connelly uses the word "velocity" as a description of plots that delight us, and this is the perfect word for Perry's plot. There are only two main characters, the unnamed professional hitman, and the Justice Department agent Elizabeth Weiser, plus many other characters. Perry cleverly alternates chapters between these two characters to hold our interest, and this is a very successful suspense device. The book flies by. The hitman takes on the Las Vegas mafia families single-handedly, and you believe that he can manage it. He is no non-human superhero, though. He is believable in every way. Likewise, Elizabeth is also a real human being, in the field reluctantly for the first time, and simultaneously doubtful and self-confident. You just have to read Perry's work to see how smoothly he creates these characters. He also sees Las Vegas as what it is, or was thirty years ago. The narration is flawless. Mr. Kramer understands the writer, and has narrated all of Mr. Perry's books. He is fluid and entertaining. He builds the suspense for us. You can never guess the plot's twists and turns. You will at one moment fully suspect that someone with a gun will sneak in the door, and then Mr. Perry surprises you. Even Elizabeth is surprised and hoodwinked. This is a terrific book, and I am sure that I will eventually listen to all of Mr. Perry's books. Great entertainment!

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43 of 45 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By CBDC on 03-05-10

FUN gripping and very well-written

This book is superb in every way: the plot line keeps you hooked; it's told ironically so it's a lot of fun; and it's extraordinarily well-written with all loose ends tied up in a very unpredictable and yet entirely logical way. I recommend it highly.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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