The Boyfriend

The Boyfriend

4.0 9
by Thomas Perry

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Jack Till, who has retired from the LAPD after a respected career as a homicide detective, now works as a private investigator, comfortable chasing down routine cases while visiting his 24-year-old daughter, Holly, who has Down Syndrome. But when the parents of a recently murdered young girl, about Holly's age, ask for his help when the police come up empty, Till


Jack Till, who has retired from the LAPD after a respected career as a homicide detective, now works as a private investigator, comfortable chasing down routine cases while visiting his 24-year-old daughter, Holly, who has Down Syndrome. But when the parents of a recently murdered young girl, about Holly's age, ask for his help when the police come up empty, Till reluctantly takes the case.

It was discovered after her death that the victim had been working as a high-class prostitute, and the police are content to assume she was killed by a client, common in such a dangerous line of work. Yet as Till digs deeper, he realizes that the victim is just one of several young female escorts killed in different cities in the exact same way – all had strawberry blonde hair, and all were shot with a 9mm handgun in the sanctity of their apartments.

Till must find his way around the tawdry and secretive online escort business, and decode ads placed by young women who all use false names, sometimes advertise using other women's pictures, and move from city to city every few months. Yet when Till is finally able to catch up with the killer, he finds that the man he's after is far more dangerous and volatile than he ever could have imagined. As the body count rises, Till must risk his life to find this seductive and ruthless killer whose murderous spree masks a far deadlier agenda.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Thriller fans are not to be trifled with. We know what we want—clever protagonists, cunning killers, white-knuckle action and endlessly inventive variations on the fundamental strategies of a deadly cat-and-mouse game. Thomas Perry delivers all that good stuff in The Boyfriend
Publishers Weekly
This highly original and clever thriller from Edgar-winner Perry (Strip) focuses on Jack Till, a retired LAPD homicide detective turned PI, who prefers routine cases that keep him close to his grown daughter with Down syndrome. Reluctantly, Till agrees to investigate the recent murder of a high-class prostitute for her distraught parents. Toiling through the myriad sex market Web sites, Till sees a pattern across the country—attractive escorts who resemble each other, quietly killed in their homes. Till suspects the women were killed by a hit man, 28-year-old Joey Moreland, who insinuates himself into their lives as a boyfriend, then moves on after murdering them. Perry again proves himself a master stylist and plotter, as he effortlessly builds suspense and delves deeply into his characters, showing Till’s cunning and how Moreland grew up to be a soulless killer. Agent: Robert Lescher, Lescher & Lescher, Ltd. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Perry is a marvelous plotter, and he builds suspense with all the subtlety of a master chef nursing a risotto to buttery perfection, but what really separates him from the thriller field is his ability to fold psychological complexity into the onrushing narrative." ---Booklist Starred Review
Library Journal
Private investigator Jack Till is hired by the parents of Catherine Hamilton to find her killer. Once a Los Angeles homicide detective, Till is a gutsy, no-nonsense PI who knows the ropes, but has a soft side when it comes to his daughter Holly, who has Down Syndrome. He relentlessly pursues leads to find Catherine's killer, stepping into the sordid territory of high-priced call girls, from Los Angeles to Phoenix to Boston to Miami. Before long, he discovers that it isn't just a case of call girls being murdered by their clients. The pattern is in the girls' looks, all beautiful strawberry blondes, and in a custom-made necklace and anklet each of the dead girls was wearing. Should he be looking for a serial killer? He uncovers yet another twist. This killer, a loner named Joey Moreland, is actually using the call girls as cover for his real job—hit man. The chase is on, and the action ramps up as Till matches wits with a killer who changes identities, knows how to disappear, and has been trained by a paramilitary recluse named Holcomb. VERDICT Perry, the Edgar-winning author of 21 novels (Butcher's Boy), has delivered another fast-paced thriller with unpredictable twists and turns. A guaranteed winner.—Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO
Kirkus Reviews
The creator of the murderous Butcher's Boy (The Informant, 2011, etc.) and vanishing enabler Jane Whitefield (Poison Flower, 2012, etc.) summons a new hero to track down a killer with a penchant for strawberry-blonde escorts. Catherine Hamilton may have been a call girl, but her parents are devastated by her murder. They offer LA shamus Jack Till $100,000 to find her killer. Jack, whose background is limited to his years as a homicide cop and whose private life, to an adult daughter with Down Syndrome and an ex-wife who left him right after Holly was diagnosed, quickly discovers that Catherine's death was only the latest in a pattern that includes at least five earlier victims in cities across the country, all strawberry blondes, all available online and all, Jack concludes, shot by the same boyfriend who'd moved in with them for at least a month apiece. Why does he kill, what makes him treat his victims as he does, and how can Jack catch him before he kills again? As Jack's figuring out the answers to these questions, Perry reveals them directly to his readers via a series of flashbacks to Joey Moreland's early years, his criminal apprenticeship and his wholehearted embrace of his lethal vocation. He makes it clear, however, that the very limited amount Jack can learn about his flexible, resourceful, well-financed quarry won't be enough to anticipate his next move. The ending is a letdown, the same way waking up from a brutally suspenseful dream is a letdown. But there's all the pleasure a master craftsman can provide every inch of the way there.

Product Details

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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.

Robertson Dean has recorded hundreds of audiobooks in almost every genre. He's been nominated for several Audie Awards, won nine Earphones Awards, and was named one of AudioFile magazine's Best Voices of 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, where he records books and acts in film, TV, and (especially) on stage.

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The Boyfriend 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
Jack Till is a retired detective, now private investigator. He is hired by some parents to find the killer of their daughter who worked as an escort. Till uses the on-line ad system to search for clues as to why someone might have wanted to kill her. As his eyes fog over he picks up a pattern with other escorts. Soon Till is trying to get to the other escorts before they too are killed. When Jack realizes the killer's motives, he knows that the killer is a cold calculating expert that has a lot bigger motives than just murdering escorts. He has other targets in mind and the escorts may just be loose ends. This makes him a lot more dangerous than most of the bad guys Jack has chased in the past. Besides Jack's chase, the story focuses on the story of the killer (Joey Moreland), how he came to be and what his motives are. Perry does a good job of this though the reader never gains any sympathy for Moreland. He also has a few action packed scenes with Jack racing to try to learn Moreland's identity and trying to prevent some of the things Moreland does. This is a very good investigative mystery with dabs of breakneck action thrown in. I would have given it a full five stars but I felt that Jack slips away from the "good guy" path a few times in the story. Still I give it a strong four stars.
Senna119 More than 1 year ago
First book I read of Thomas Perry's and I couldn't put it down
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
The protagonist and his adversary in this newest terrific, suspenseful read from Thomas Perry have many similarities: Both Jack Till, retired LAPD homicide detective now working as a private investigator, and the man he nicknames The Boyfriend are both highly intelligent, patient, meticulous, proficient with various kinds of weaponry, and very lethal. Mostly they are both loners. Till, however, has a daughter with Down Syndrome of whom he is very protective. His wife had left them and divorced him shortly after she was diagnosed, unable to cope. Holly is now 28 years old, employed at a florist shop and living in a group home where she is well looked after. Till had retired after 23 years as a cop, and now embarks upon a relentless search for a killer. The man Till is seeking is completely cold-blooded. He preys upon young, beautiful women, all of a very similar physical type, and all ‘working girls,’ albeit highly-paid escorts earning several thousand dollars a day, as opposed to streetwalkers. And all very vulnerable to the young, good-looking charmer, to their peril. He has apparently killed several of them in all different parts of the country. He has come to Till’s attention when the parents of the latest victim seek his help, when the police have, literally, no clues as to his identify. He agrees to take the case and undertakes the investigation, and soon uncovers the connection to the other murders. After 23 years as a cop, he “had an instinctive sense that this man was something he hadn’t seen before.” Thomas Perry is the author, among his 21 previous books, of the wonderful Jane Whitefield series, and his newest is as much a page-turner as were those novels. He manages an ending that is wonderfully elegant. This was a terrific read, and is highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suspenseful. I love all Thomas Perry books. This was top-notch!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great action book, reddit in one day!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
25.00 for a nook book? Insane, not gonna happen!
booksaremylifePN More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much, Thomas Perry has always Been one of my favorite authors.