Silence
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Silence

3.8 39
by Thomas Perry
     
 

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Six years ago, Jack Till helped Wendy Harper disappear. But now her ex-boyfriend and former business partner, Eric Fuller, is being framed for her presumed murder in an effort to smoke her out, and Till must find her before tango-dancing assassins Paul and Sylvie Turner do.

The Turners are merely hired to do a job, though, and prefer to remain anonymous. When

Overview


Six years ago, Jack Till helped Wendy Harper disappear. But now her ex-boyfriend and former business partner, Eric Fuller, is being framed for her presumed murder in an effort to smoke her out, and Till must find her before tango-dancing assassins Paul and Sylvie Turner do.

The Turners are merely hired to do a job, though, and prefer to remain anonymous. When they find that a middleman has let the true employer know their identities, finishing the job is no longer enough. Their fee just went up.

Full of masterful plotting and unnerving psychological insight, Silence is a mesmerizing thrill ride.

Editorial Reviews

Nelson DeMille
"An ingeniously plotted and tightly written novel of taut psychological suspense . . . Catnip for true fans of the mystery/suspense genre."

Associated Press Staff
"[Perry’s] appeal lies in his intricate plotting and original, often irresistible characters. In Silence, he is at the top of his game . . . Paul and Sylvie Turner [are] two of the most interesting villains you never want to meet . . . Clear prose and page-turning suspense make [Silence] a quick and enjoyable summer read."

author of The Night Gardner George Pelecanos
"Silence is ingenious, a runaway train-paced thriller from the devilish Thomas Perry."
New York Times Janet Maslin
"Mr. Perry is known for good reason as a careful, incisive writer of psychological crime stories. And Silence is another prime example. As Mr. Perry spins an elaborate web of cat-and-mouse machinations, his story is driven as much by the characters’ fears and neuroses as by ordinary motives . . . Expertly wrought . . . Silence cross-cuts between Till’s search for Wendy and scenes of the Turners in sinister pursuit. Mr. Perry renders these dynamics in his typically lean, perceptive style, to the point where none of the principals make a false move . . . Steadily surprising."

Robert B. Parker
"Thomas Perry is, quite simply, brilliant. And as each book comes out he becomes more so. Silence is a case in point. Don’t miss it."

Janet Maslin
Silence moves suspensefully from near miss to near miss, with the rival hunters never far from one another in either deductive or geographical terms. That does not make it a terribly eventful book, nor does it yield a compact one. Longer than usual for its genre, Silence takes the richly methodical approach that works so well for Mr. Perry and remains steadily surprising. Only in his determination to create a two-sided story does the book show any strain. Either team, particularly the Turners, could have sustained a book alone.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Kramer's smooth, slightly sardonic delivery is a good fit for Perry's latest mixture of dark humor and suspense. The chase thriller focuses on four characters-the hunted (private eye Jack Till and Wendy Harper, a beauty he helped "disappear" from assassins six years before) and the hunters (the bickering, tango-dancing hit team of Paul and Sylvie Turner who've been assigned to wipe out Wendy). Kramer barely alters his reading voice for Till and Wendy, adding a wary flatness for the sleuth and a softer tone of uncertainty for the hapless woman-in-jeopardy. For the Turners, however, he shows a bit more vocal dexterity. Paul has the deep, vaguely hollow sound of a very effective con man, while Sylvie's bogus East Coast socialite drawl loses much of its cool refinement when the going gets rough. The plot is tricky-Wendy is forced from hiding when her former partner is accused of her murder-but as convoluted and complex as it gets, Kramer's well-paced presentation makes every twist register. Simultaneous release with the Harcourt hardcover (Reviews, May 28). (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Associated Press
"[Perry’s] appeal lies in his intricate plotting and original, often irresistible characters. In Silence, he is at the top of his game . . . Paul and Sylvie Turner [are] two of the most interesting villains you never want to meet . . . Clear prose and page-turning suspense make [Silence] a quick and enjoyable summer read."

Library Journal
Jack Till must now find the woman he helped disappear six years ago before a tango-dancing assassin couple do. Edgar and Gumshoe Award winner Perry lives in Southern California. Six-city author appearances. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Finally, a tale that answers the unwelcome question: Is it possible for suspense master Perry (Nightlife, 2006, etc.) to write a routine thriller?Following the suspicious disappearance of one of restaurateur Wendy Harper's waitresses six years ago, a brush with an assailant's baseball bat persuaded her that it was time to do some disappearing of her own. Now recently discovered evidence has implicated her ex-partner/ex-fiance Eric Fuller in her murder, and the only way to clear him is to get her to come forward. It's obvious to everyone but the LAPD and the prosecutor that the evidence is a plant specifically designed to flush her out of hiding. But Jack Till, the ex-cop private eye who helped her vanish, feels he has no choice but to hunt her down and bring her back. So far so breathless, and Perry's first set piece, which brings husband-and-wife hit team Paul and Sylvie Turner to Las Vegas in search of their target, is a beaut. But then things start to go wrong-not for Jack or Wendy, but for readers in search of thrills. The assassins waste their energy in conjugal spats ("Let's kill them now and rent a room"). Perry, whose control of pace is usually unequaled, begins to clutter the story with so many flashbacks providing unnecessary information about his leads that you wonder if you're going to hear about the car-rental agent's childhood. As both Jack and the killers close in on Wendy, the suspense wanes instead of building. After spending half his story ignoring the question of why someone still wants Wendy dead after six years, the obliging author crosses every T of the mastermind's identity and motivation, utterly demystifying him in the process. As they approach the finish line,the killers are more bedeviled than the heroes. Wait till next year, when the normally reliable Perry is bound to come up trumps again.
From the Publisher
"A treat.... [Perry's] complex characters...are all the more attractive for being so devious and untrustworthy." ---The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151012893
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
07/02/2007
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt


1
THE SMALL NEON LIGHT outside that said BANQUE was turned off. Wendy Harper armed the alarm system, flipped the light switch to throw the dining room into darkness, slipped outside, tugged the big front door shut, and locked it. David the bartender and the last three kitchen men loitered, leaning against the pillars beside the entrance of the old bank building, talking quietly while they waited for her. “Thanks, everybody,” she said. “Eric and I really appreciated all of your work tonight.”

Victor, Juan, and Billy, the three kitchen men, gave Wendy shy, murmured answers and began to walk toward their cars, but David stayed at her side as she walked to the far end of the parking lot where she had left her car. She was surprised at how hot the night was, even though it was after three o’clock. The dark fronds of the tall, thin coconut palms beside the Banque parking lot were absolutely motionless in the still night air, and it felt as though the asphalt was exhaling the heat it had stored during the day.
She got in her car, started the engine, and locked the doors. She backed out of her space and waited until David was in his car, then waved to him, pulled out of the lot to La Cienega, and turned to head toward Sunset. Wendy checked her rearview mirror frequently, and sometimes abruptly. Whenever she passed a car idling on a side street or pulling out onto La Cienega, she kept track of it until it turned and disappeared.
She felt gratitude for the patience of the restaurant crew. They seemed to be watching over her late at night. Eric and I thank you, she thought. Eric and I. That was a big part of what had changed. For all of the time since Banque had opened—in fact, for all of her years in the restaurant business—she and Eric had gone home together. It had not mattered to her if it was three in the afternoon or three at night because he had been there. But tonight she had seen Eric leave at midnight.
The kitchen had already shut down, but the bar was still noisy and active when she had crossed the dining room to oversee the end of food service. One of the busboys opened the kitchen door and held it open for someone to pass with a bin of heavy dishes. Beyond the door she could see the white-suited helpers and Victor, the kitchen-floor man, beginning to scrub the tables and scrape the grill. She saw Eric. He had already taken off his white coat and changed into a short-sleeved blue shirt.
When she looked at him, even from a distance, she felt a physical sensation, as if he’d touched her. She could almost feel his short blond hair, nearly a crew cut but soft as cat fur, a little wet after a night in the heat and steam and exertion. He was athletic and strong, a head taller than any of the cleanup crew working around him. He was moving away from her. As he passed Victor and Juan, he smiled and gave each of them a pat on the arm that turned into an affectionate shoulder squeeze, and said something to each of them. She could not read his lips, but she knew roughly what he was saying. Even though Eric was becoming a famous chef, he had started as a busboy not so many years ago, and it was too soon for him to forget. The door swung shut.
As she drove toward their house she began to feel her anxiety grow with each block. She went up above Sunset onto the narrow, dark and winding roads in the hills, and she began to look for danger without knowing what form it would take. Could a car follow her on these streets with its headlights off? For the past two weeks she had been going home by different routes, and leaving the restaurant at different times every night. It was probably Olivia’s fault. She had been with Wendy since the opening of the restaurant and been her friend through everything, but she had lost her nerve. She had kept reminding Wendy of what could happen, how easy it would be to do, and how hard it would be to prevent. She had left town two weeks ago.
As Wendy drove past the houses in her neighborhood, she studied each one separately, looking for tiny changes. This was an area where every house was different, some of them three stories high and dug into the hillside, and others almost invisible beyond tall hedges. When she turned the last curve, she could already see the house that she and Eric had bought less than a year ago. One of the things she had liked about the house was that it had seemed so substantial, but now it didn’t feel to her like a place of safety. Tonight the house would be big and empty, and most of it dark. But she had nowhere else to go.
She slowed and turned into the driveway. Recently she’d had automatic lights installed along the front and side of the house that went on when the night came, but they had not had the right effect. The bright beams under the floodlights left big spaces between them and beyond them that seemed much darker than before. She would have to remember to do something about that tomorrow. Maybe there should be more lights, or bulbs that were dimmer and more diffuse. She reminded herself that she was being foolish to keep changing things. She and Eric had once planned to stay in this house forever, but that was not going to happen.
She parked her car in the garage and walked toward the side door. She liked the Japanese-style natural wood timbers that jutted out from the eaves. She had patterned that look after the enclosed garden behind the restaurant. The garden was her little surprise for customers who had come in the front door between the Corinthian columns and walked across the marble floor of the bank lobby.
As she walked toward the door under the jasmine vine, she crossed the boundary of its perfume, and the air was thick with it. She looked down to separate the key from the others on her ring, and looked up to see the man.
She could see he was holding something as he took a step out from the dark pocket under the arbor, and then his swing began and the motion made her recognize that the something was a baseball bat. Wendy threw up her arms and jerked back in a reflex to protect her face, but the man had not been swinging at her face.
There was an explosion of pain in her left thigh above the knee, and the bat swept her legs out from under her. She hit the pavement on her left hip, but she tried to scramble, to crawl away from him. The second blow hit her forearm. When it collapsed, she knew the small bones had been broken. She could see him now, the broad shoulders, the dark sport coat, the face like the face of a statue in the dim light. “What?” she asked. “What do you want?” The bat swung again, and it hit her just below the hip. The pain splashed a red haze over her vision for an instant, then faded. The blow obliterated her disbelief, her sense that this could not be happening. She knew he was crippling her, and in another swing, she would be beyond hope. She would be immobile, and then he would kill her. He raised his bat again. She exerted a huge effort, pulled herself to her feet and tried to run, but all she could manage was a painful, limping hobble. In three steps, his strong hand grasped her arm and dragged her backward.
She tried to jerk her arm away, but his hand closed its grip on her blouse at the shoulder. He still had the bat in his other hand, but he swung her in a quick circle. The blouse tore, much of it came away in his hand, and her momentum flung her to the pavement of the driveway. This time she was in the center of a pool of light from a floodlight mounted under the eaves of the house.
The man knelt, held her down with the bat, and hit her with his free hand, delivering four quick punches to her face and shoulders. She was groggy. She tasted blood, and couldn’t seem to spit it all out, and there was more in her eyes. She was in hot, throbbing pain. Both her arms felt weak and useless.
With the glare above and behind him, she could only see him in silhouette, raising the bat again. When he brought it downward, she flinched and half­-­rolled away from it. The bat hit the concrete beside her head with a hollow sound, bounced up and skinned the back of her head. This time he stood with one foot on either side of her, raised the bat above his head. She could see this swing was going to crush her ­skull.

The world ignited and burned with new light. The man, the bat, the house behind him, the concrete beside her face were all lit as though it were daylight. The man’s face lifted to squint up the street, and he stepped out of her vision. She heard his footsteps, fast­-­running, going away from her. She heard the bang of a car door, and then another, and then ­voices.

Copyright © 2007 by Thomas Perry

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at www.harcourt.com/contact or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

What People are saying about this

George Pelecanos
 "Silence is ingenious, a runaway train-paced thriller from the devilish Thomas Perry."--(George Pelecanos, author of The Night Gardner)
From the Publisher
"A treat.... [Perry's] complex characters...are all the more attractive for being so devious and untrustworthy." —-The New York Times
Janet Maslin
"Mr. Perry is known for good reason as a careful, incisive writer of psychological crime stories. And Silence is another prime example. As Mr. Perry spins an elaborate web of cat-and-mouse machinations, his story is driven as much by the characters’ fears and neuroses as by ordinary motives . . . Expertly wrought . . . Silence cross-cuts between Till’s search for Wendy and scenes of the Turners in sinister pursuit. Mr. Perry renders these dynamics in his typically lean, perceptive style, to the point where none of the principals make a false move . . . Steadily surprising."--(Janet Maslin, New York Times)

Meet the Author

Thomas Perry is the author of many critically acclaimed novels, including the Edgar Award-winning The Butcher's Boy and the national bestsellers Death Benefits and Pursuit.

Audiobook veteran Michael Kramer has recorded more than two hundred audiobooks for trade publishers and many more for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner and an Audie Award nominee, he earned a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for his reading of Savages by Don Winslow.

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Silence 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Six years ago, when he was still a detective working for LAPD, Jack Till mentored restaurateur Wendy Harper in the art of disappearing with a new identity before adversaries could kill her. Everyone who knew Wendy assumed she was murdered most believed her boyfriend and Banque Restaurant business partner at the time Eric Fuller killed her as he gained the most with her death. No evidence could prove he committed a homicide until now. Someone has set up an elaborate scheme to frame Eric with Wendy¿s murder.-------------- Jack is hired to track down Wendy and to persuade her to make an appearance that would exonerate her former boyfriend. At the same time, Jack knows that there remain people who want her dead he thinks they framed Eric to force Wendy to surface. He especially is concerned with tango-dancing couple Paul and Sylvie Turner, professional hit persons hired to kill Wendy, but they have an ax to grind with their client for exposing them as assassins rather than dancers. ---------------- Most mystery readers will agree that the latest work from award winning Thomas Perry will be on the short list of the genre¿s best novels of 2007. Jack is terrific as he must follow a trail left by his ¿student¿ while also not leading the killers to her. Exciting and never slowing down until the final dance step, fans will read this terrific gourmet tale in one delightful sitting.------------ Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book lived up to the authors reputation. It was exciting, with twists in the plot that kept you wondering right up the the very end! I couldn't put the book down and neither will the next person who purchases this book. Outstanding book. I've loved Perry's book 'I've read and have every one!' I can't wait for the next one to come up. Please hurry Mr. Perry!
NancyT More than 1 year ago
This book featured a different storyline and was exciting till the end. I enjoyed the main characters, both good and bad. And the twists and turns keep you really involved. I truly hated for it to end. If you want a different type of thriller...Silence is it!
Anonymous 24 days ago
The twists and turns in the story makes it so much fun. But for me the icing on the cake was Paul and Sylvie Turner. It's not normal when you find yourself drawn in by the antagonists of the story. When they say opposites attract, they weren't kidding. I almost wish for a book following them after the events in this story.
Anonymous 9 months ago
There seemed to be too much retelling of the past. The story stalled out several times due to this.
omniverousreader More than 1 year ago
He is an excellent writer. have never been disappointed in any of his books. Love the unique plots, the exciting pace and the great writing. Don't miss this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very well written suspense/mystery with a very likable protagonist and a couple of very diabolically eccentric killers.
Bookworm34JM More than 1 year ago
Some of it was predictable but I enjoyed it. Plan to look for more Thomas Perry books. A few surprises in store.
Renee Norlund More than 1 year ago
Good read - enjoyed, however, seemed a little wordy. Probably could have been a lot less pages as not necessary to describe walls and furniture and insignificant things that had nothing to do with plot. But I would read more of his books as he has an interesting plot.
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Carol Greene More than 1 year ago
Pretty good read, I really tried to think that Jack Till was the super hero he portrayed but he really made some big blunders in protecting his charge, I just don't like stupid, all in all i enjoyed the end and most of book,,,,,,,,,,,
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