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The Informant

A Butcher's Boy Mystery by Thomas Perry

The Informant by Thomas Perry

Review: Michael Schaeffer, as he now calls himself, once known as the Butcher's Boy while employed as a professional killer in the Mafia, comes out of "retirement" to seek revenge on the one who ordered his death in The Informant, the third mystery in this series by Thomas Perry.

Schaeffer was an orphan, raised by a neighborhood butcher who taught him the art of killing. By the time he was a teenager, he was an expert in the use of knives and firearms. Hired on by the mob as a contract killer, he efficiently dispatched countless men … until a price was put on his head. Acquiring a new identity and setting up life in England, he thought he had left his past behind. Until he recognizes two men, who are clearly intent on killing him. Schaeffer kills them both, then heads to New York to find out who issued his death order.

Back in the US, he meets with Elizabeth Waring, a member of the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department and offers up a trade: he'll help her with an unsolved cold case if she gives him the name of the head of the New York Mafia. They strike an uneasy alliance but the odds are heavily stacked against them, though in very different ways. Can they both get what they want — which is almost certainly in direct conflict with what they other wants — without compromising their own code of ethics?

The Informant is certainly an exciting, fast-paced thriller, but after Schaeffer has cornered and killed his umpteenth victim, one has to wonder, is he really that good or are his adversaries really that inept? A little more stealth and a lot less bloodshed would have gone a long ways towards making this incredible storyline just a tad more credible. The mutual cooperation between the Butcher's Boy and Waring is intriguing for the foundation of the plot, as each has their own agenda … and though they clearly don't trust each other, they must rely on the information they respectively give and receive. In the end, though, possibly the best way to experience this novel is to simply to sit back and enjoy the ride and not dwell too much on the details as they go racing by.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Informant.

Acknowledgment: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided a copy of The Informant for this review.

Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Silence by Thomas PerrySilence
Harcourt (Hardcover), July 2007
ISBN-13: 9780151012893; ISBN-10: 015101289X

Mystery Book Review: Poison Flower by Thomas PerryPoison Flower
Mysterious Press (Hardcover), March 2012
ISBN-13: 9780802126054; ISBN-10: 0802126057

Location(s) referenced in The Informant:

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The Informant by Thomas Perry

The Informant by A Butcher's Boy Mystery

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-547-56933-8
Publication Date:
List Price: $27.00

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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