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.)
"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
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
Perry (Butcher's Boy) launches another excellent series starring protagonist Jack Till, a highly respected and now retired homicide detective who works as a private investigator. Though he's initially hired to find the murderer of a call girl, the action quickly escalates into a search for a clever, manipulative hit man. The intensity of the story takes an occasional short break whenever the gentle side of Till is revealed in interactions with his 24-year-old daughter, who has Down syndrome. The pacing is rapid, Till is an intrepid hero, and the ending is satisfying. Reader Robertson Dean (winner of nine Earphones Awards, 2010 Best Voice in History & Historical Fiction) continues his track record as an excellent narrator who can effectively switch among a variety of characters. VERDICT Enthusiastically recommended for the vast fan base that Perry has built up as well as those who enjoy a battle of wits between adversaries. ["A guaranteed winner," read the starred review of the Mysterious Pr: Grove hc, LJ 3/15/13.—Ed.]—Deb West, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA
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.