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The Old Man

The Old Man

4.0 1
by Thomas Perry

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Edgar Award-winning author Thomas Perry writes thrillers that move “almost faster than a speeding bullet” (Wall Street Journal). The Old Man is his latest whip-smart standalone novel.

To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts and a grown daughter he keeps in touch with by phone. But most


Edgar Award-winning author Thomas Perry writes thrillers that move “almost faster than a speeding bullet” (Wall Street Journal). The Old Man is his latest whip-smart standalone novel.

To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts and a grown daughter he keeps in touch with by phone. But most sixty-year-old widowers don’t have multiple driver’s licenses, savings stockpiled in banks across the country, and a bugout kit with two Beretta Nanos stashed in the spare bedroom closet. Most have not spent decades on the run. Thirty-five years ago, as a young hotshot in army intelligence, Chase was sent to Libya to covertly assist a rebel army. When the plan turned sour, Chase reacted according to his own ideas of right and wrong, triggering consequences he could never have anticipated. And someone still wants him dead because of them. Just as he had begun to think himself finally safe, Chase must reawaken his survival instincts to contend with the history he has spent his adult life trying to escape. Armed mercenaries, spectacularly crashed cars, a precarious love interest, and an unforgettable chase scene through the snow—this is lethal plotting from one of the best in crime fiction.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Nobody writes chase scenes like Perry…
Publishers Weekly
Former army intelligence officer Dan Chase, the hero of this engrossing if not flawless thriller from bestseller Perry (Forty Thieves), has lived in a small Vermont town with his two dogs for 35 years. A widower, he’s been in hiding after allegedly stealing $20 million during a mission in Libya. After assassins fail to kill the “old man” (he’s 60), Chase—who has been preparing for such a situation for decades—goes on the run. With numerous false identities and bank accounts across the country, Chase attempts to stay alive long enough to identify exactly who is trying to kill him. Are his pursuers agents of the U.S. government, Libyan operatives, or some other force that has developed an interest in him and the missing money? The unconventionality of the older action hero is refreshing, and the tension throughout is palpable, but the back story of a secondary character—his landlady in the Chicago area—comes across as contrived and unnecessary. Still, readers will eagerly keep turning the pages. Agent: Mel Berger, WME. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Old Man:

“[A] harrowing hunt-and-hide adventure . . . Nobody writes chase scenes like Perry.”—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“This is hardly the first time that Perry has written about a seeming Everyman with a hidden wealth of special training and ratiocinative ability, but the Old Man, who has many names on call and changes them as situations dictate, is surely one of the most appealing . . . This one’s all about suspense and narrative propulsion, but the Old Man will remind Perry devotees of Chinese Gordon, the wacky hero of Metzger’s Dog, Perry’s Edgar-winning comic caper novel. Both men are crazy good thinkers and planners and improvisers, and it’s pure pleasure to watch them at work. Another delight from a writer who never disappoints.”Booklist (starred review)

“Swift, unsentimental, and deeply satisfying. Liam Neeson would be perfect in the title role.”Kirkus Reviews

“Engrossing . . . Readers will eagerly keep turning the pages.”Publishers Weekly

“There are few better ways to begin a new year than with a Thomas Perry novel . . . The Old Man is certainly one of Perry’s better books, which is high praise, considering that he has yet to write a bad one . . . This is a perfect read to raise your pulse and, yes, your paranoia level.”Bookreporter

“Since his Edgar Award-winning debut novel, The Butcher's Boy . . . Thomas Perry has put together a rewarding string of suspense novels with as much cool competence as some of his best protagonists bring to their work . . . Perry's pacing is impeccable. The Old Man rips along with plenty of typical tradecraft details, wet work and disguises, but also takes a breather with interludes in Chicago for the old man to find romance . . . Then it's back to dodging and killing with enough plot twists to keep the train rolling down the track. Perry's a real pro . . . A smart, well-paced thriller.”Shelf Awareness

“Riveting . . . Dan’s story takes us on a tense, often chilling ride across the United States and all the way to hostile regions of Libya.”Big Thrill

Library Journal
About 30 years ago, an American operative transferred $20 million to a Libyan strongman obliged to send it on to rebels in Libya. The strongman reneged; the American clawed back the cash. His army intel contacts cut him off and the man disappeared off the grid. A reckoning comes calling in small-town Vermont where he now lives as Dan Chassen, an apparent retiree with two dogs and a grown daughter. Thriller junkies will relish the smart and slippery plotting of this baby boomer hero. Fit, strong, a dog lover, and a family man, Chassen outthinks and outfights his enemies. VERDICT Revered as a master of suspense with many best sellers (Forty Thieves) and an Edgar Award (for The Butcher's Boy), Perry plays his plot with virtuosic deftness, thrilling readers to the core. [See Prepub Alert, 7/18/16; nine-city tour; library marketing.]—Barbara Conaty, Falls Church, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Perry (Forty Thieves, 2016, etc.) drives deep into Jack Reacher territory in this stand-alone about a long-ago Army intelligence officer whose less-than-grateful nation just won’t let him be.Dispatched to Libya a generation ago to deliver $20 million to Faris Hamzah for distribution to rebel fighters, Michael Kohler watched as Hamzah sat on the money, purchasing a Rolls-Royce, financing a cadre of personal bodyguards, and doing everything except pass the bundle to the intended recipients. So Kohler grabbed the rest of the money and hightailed it back to the USA. His offers to return the money to the National Security Agency fell on the deaf ears of bureaucrats who informed him that he was a wanted criminal who’d better turn himself in and face the music. So Kohler went off the grid as Dan Chase, of Norwich, Vermont, invested the money cautiously, and set up several false identities, just in case. Ten years after his wife died, his past catches up with him in the shape of two Arab-looking men who break into his house while he’s supposed to be asleep. After taking care of business with brutal efficiency, he goes on the lam once more. As Peter Caldwell he drives to Chicago, where he meets Zoe McDonald, who’s quickly drawn to him. They make some sweet memories together as Henry and Marcia Dixon; then it’s time once more for Henry to leave. Julian Carson, the special ops contractor assigned to locate Dixon and set him up for the kill, ends up sympathizing with him instead—especially after he helps arrange the return of the $20 million and sees that it doesn’t lessen the pressure on Dixon—and passes on the information that allows the Dixons to escape, though it doesn’t exactly feel like an escape to Marcia. They retreat to an isolated cabin in Big Bear; Carson quits the assignment and marries his Arkansas sweetheart. Both men wait for the inevitable, and in the fullness of time, it arrives with guns ablaze. Swift, unsentimental, and deeply satisfying. Liam Neeson would be perfect in the title role.

Product Details

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.40(d)

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Meet the Author

Thomas Perry is the bestselling author of over twenty novels, including the critically acclaimed Jane Whitefield series, Forty Thieves, and The Butcher’s Boy, which won the Edgar Award. He lives in Southern California.

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The Old Man 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Great characters, as usual.. The one thing I hate about the fast paced story is I run out of book.
brf1948 18 days ago
I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Thomas Perry and Grove Atlantic Mysterious Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all, for sharing your work with me. 60 year old Dan Chase's daughter told him, after the death of his wife ten years ago, that an old man should have a dog. He figures this is advice he should follow - she is a Doctor, after all - so he adopts litter-mates Dave and Carol, and rears them to fit his lifestyle, fill his days and complete his bug-out kit. Dan is a good teacher. He wasn't always 60 years old.... and he didn't always play with his stock portfolio. We follow him and his critters through multiple clashes with armed Libyan mercenaries, misinformed American agents, car crashes and an unforgettable trip through the mountains of Big Bear with his quite attractive new love interest. This is a really good book, a fast read, and a writer I am most pleased to have 'discovered' through Netgalley. Thomas Perry has a stockpile of reads that can get us through a cold winter. Thanks, Netgalley!