Eddie’s Boy by Thomas Perry [8/10]

Thomas Perry pens stylishly crafted traditional thrillers, often based around very bad people. The pleasures in a Thomas Perry novel – and they are pleasures – consist of intricate, fascinating plots; characters drawn deeply enough to engage as more than plot cyphers; and subject matter drawn from the dark side of humanity. “Eddie’s Boy” (coming out in December) is the fourth instalment of a series nearly four decades old; “The Butcher’s Boy” won the Edgar Best First Mystery Award in 1983. Now Michael Schaeffer, trained long ago to be a mob hit man and astonishingly good at it, is older, settled in the English countryside. When, on the very first page of this juggernaut of action, assassins arrive to kill him, he is forced to resurrect his skills and go looking for those after him, a meticulously plotted journey to Australia and then to the heart of crooked America. I guarantee you’ll not put the book down, and if sometimes Schaeffer’s bleak world curdles inside your stomach, the cat-and-mouse hijinks soon flush the bile away. A thriller reader’s thriller and worth every engrossing minute.

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