Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As usual, Perry (The Butcher's Boy) cuts to the chase. In the opening scene of this riveting mystery thriller, Jane Whitefield, an expert at helping people in danger disappear, slugs it out with three brawny hoodlums in an L.A. courthouse. At that point, she has traveled across half the country trying to protect Timmy Phillips, an eight-year-old heir to millions, from the stop-at-nothing professional killers on their trail. The same criminals, led by a powerful ex-cop named Barraclough, murdered Timmy's adoptive parents. Now they want Mary Perkins, a fugitive savings-and-loan fleecer who also asks Whitefield for help. Perry launches a complex pursuit, during which Whitefield relies on her Seneca heritage for insight and on friends for crucial assistance. A love interest highlights the personal price Whitefield pays for doing her secretive, dangerous work. The nail-biting climax takes place on a snowy night in a location that seems tailor-made for film: the rusting remains of a huge steel mill near Buffalo. The denouement may strike some readers as too neat, but it's a minor quibble. With his distinctive protagonist, thoroughly amoral villains and the unrelenting action, Perry scores again. 75,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (Apr.)
Jane's attempt to help an orphan boy overlaps with her work for a woman accused of stealing $50 million in Perry's (Vanishing Act, LJ 12/94) latest thriller.
An explosive second outing for Jane Whitefield, the Senecan specialist in helping people disappear (Vanishing Act, 1995).
The story kicks off with a whoosh as Jane succeeds in saving the life of her latest client, eight-year-old Timothy Phillips, by producing him in an L.A. court that's about to declare him dead so that whoever's been plundering his trust fund can breathe easy. Once Timmy's story is read into the record, he's safe, but it's been a high-casualty operation, and Jane's in no mood for getting accosted at the airport by Mary Perkins, who begs Jane to help her elude the killers following her. It isn't until the two women are halfway across the country that Jane has the time to hear Mary's story: During the unregulated '80s, she bilked unwary banks of millions through a pyramid of lovingly detailed real- estate schemes, and now that she's already done time for the feds, who weren't able to shake the money loose from her, some monstrous freelancer has decided to take a turn. Jane gets Mary parked in a new town with shiny new credit cards, and even takes a few days back in her upstate New York hometown to entertain a marriage proposal from her hitherto platonic friend Dr. Carey McKinnon, but then it's back to business as she goes after the trustee who's been looting Timmy Phillips's estate. The looting, though, turns out to be even deeper and deadlier than she imaginedand it naturally leads her straight back to Mary and the ominous, insatiable security firm that's getting closer and closer to her. The plotting is a miracle of unrelenting tension; the breathless, knowing prose is pitch-perfect; and Jane's fierce righteousness is perfectly balanced by a mind-boggling wealth of detail about how to plunder trusts, defraud banks, and disappear.
Five more of Jane's adventures are already stockpiled for annual release. Truly a treasure for Randomas long as they never let the peerlessly devious author get behind them.
From the Publisher
"Bean's performance is engaging. She mixes her pace and tones adeptly, allowing listeners to fully appreciate the richness of Whitefield's character.... This is an entertaining novel that benefits from Bean's narration." ---AudioFile