Mysterious Press, $25.00, 298 pages, ISBN 978-0-8021-2606-1
There are people in the world who are so expert in their chosen fields of work that they have the skill and the ability to make the most difficult tasks look easy. You know the ones I mean: the accountant who takes the most insurmountable stack of receipts and sloppy bookkeeping and turn them into an on-time, precise and neatly done books or tax returns . . . the master carpenter who quickly assembles a beautiful and plumb building, set of stairs or set of cabinets from a pile of lumber . . . or the classroom teacher who captivates the minds and attentions of twenty-five or thirty students at once and inspires them to greater accomplishments than the students ever thought they were capable of. These are only a few examples. There’s many more out there to choose from. But this is a book review column, so we’re going to discuss a wordsmith, one who may not be in the mass-market paperback rack at the supermarket, but who’s been a reliable and superb thriller and crime fiction writer for several decades. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and has an Edgar Award on his mantel to go with various other awards for his twenty-plus books. His name is Thomas Perry, and his newest book, The Boyfriend, has just been published. It’s a chase and pursuit story in which Jack Till, a retired LAPD Homicide Detective is hired by the grieving parents of a murdered young woman to try and find her killer after the police have shelved the case because the woman was a high-priced call girl. After a cursory examination that came up blank, the cops have put her case in the ‘open-unsolved’ file and moved on, allowing for the risk associated with her profession. But the parents aren’t willing to settle for that. They still love their daughter, in spite of her chosen profession and plunk down a check for $100,000 on Till’s desk to catch her killer. It strikes a nerve with him because he has a daughter with Down Syndrome. As Till gets deeper into the case however, he discovers other similar murders and gets drawn ever deeper into the online dating service industry and discovers that he has a serial killer on his hands. A killer who stalks only a certain type of woman, and that sets off a coast-to-coast manhunt for a viscous and demented killer. This is an excellent and exciting and entertaining read that’ll keep you reading long after your coffee goes cold, or the ice melts in your iced tea. It’s proof positive that an expert makes the difficult seem easy. Thomas Perry is an expert wordsmith and his latest yarn is great!