Thomas Perry's Pursuit
is a dark tale of two killers, one a cold- blooded hit man and the other, the hero, something much murkier. When 13 people are mowed down in a restaurant, a police consultant realizes that it's the work of a professional who's tried to make a contract hit look like a random mass killing. Enter Roy Prescott, an expert in hunting down criminals using methods generally frowned on by law enforcement. Prescott uses the national media and the unknown killer's ego to draw his attention, then plays a game of cat-and- mouse with him in which the stakes quickly grow higher. Perry, best-known for his fine Jane Whitefield
series, has a precise feel for characters who work for vengeance and justice outside the law, and Prescott easily gains the reader's sympathy while maintaining his bad-guy, good-guy mystique.
Pursuit may draw some comparisons with Lawrence Block's wry Hit Man and Hit List, but while Block is always excellent, it's Perry's work that'll have you waking up in a cold sweat. --Barrie Trinkle
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From Publishers Weekly
The massacre of 13 people in a Louisville restaurant opens Perry's latest psychological thriller (after Death Benefits). Criminologist Daniel Millikan determines that this was no random occurrence, but an assassination carried out by a ruthless, methodical predator but who was the target? The killer, James Varney, is a cold-blooded psychopath who claimed his first victim his aunt at the age of 11; a loner, he later turned to robbery and murder for hire. Against his better judgment, Millikan supplies the father of one of the victims with the name of someone who might be able to help: shady operator Roy Prescott. Prescott's past is dark enough to enable him to get inside the mind of the killer and, with Millikan's help, he sets in motion an elaborate cat-and-mouse game that moves from city to city, with each man trying to anticipate the other's every move as the body count continues to rise. The traps Prescott devises to catch his prey and the ways in which Varney eludes them are fascinating, albeit a bit far-fetched, and Perry supplies just enough background to give the two leads depth with a minimum of psychobabble. The female characters, while essential to the plot, are thinly drawn by comparison, and the book loses momentum about halfway through, when Varney goes into hiding and Prescott tries to determine who hired him to commit the initial murders but Perry definitely comes through in the end, expertly tying the threads together. Agent, Lescher and Lescher. 6-city author tour.
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