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Sleeping Dogs [Mass Market Paperback]

Thomas Perry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 24 1993
He came to England to rest. He calls himself Michael Shaeffer, says he's a retired American businessman. He goes to the races, dates a kinky aristocrat, and sleeps with dozens of weapons. Ten years ago it was different. Then, he was the Butcher's Boy, the highly skilled mob hit man who pulled a slaughter job on some double-crossing clients and started a mob war. Ever since, there's been a price on his head.
Now, after a decade, they've found him. The Butcher's Boy escapes back to the States with more reasons to kill. Until the odds turn terrifyingly against him . . . until the Mafia, the cops, the FBI, and the damn Justice Department want his hide . . . until he's locked into a cross-country odyssey of fear and death that could tear his world to pieces . . .
"Exciting . . . Suspenseful . . . A thriller's job is to make you turn the pages until the story's done and your eyes hurt and the clock says 3 a.m. . . . I wouldn't try to grab this one away from somebody only half-way through. No telling what might happen."
-- Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Much of the action in Perry's disappointing follow-up to The Butcher's Boy remains jumpy and disjointed as former hitman Michael Schaeffer, aka Charles Frederick Ackerman, William Wolf or Butcher's Boy, is brought out of hiding in England. Ten years have passed since Schaeffer foiled the attempt of mob employer Carlo Balacontano to have him killed in lieu of payment and then framed the Mafia boss for a particularly grisly murder. As this story opens, Schaeffer avoids an assassination attempt at the Brighton racetrack and realizes his cover has been blown. He returns to New York to find out who ordered the hit and how many bad guys may still be after him. Despite the lurid fascination of the characters' pasts, the plot seems more to congeal than thicken as Schaeffer tries to dispose of or evade all who might be on his trail, including Justice Department lawyer Elizabeth Waring, so that he can retire again to the English countryside. With heroes and villains so easily interchangeable, readers may wonder who they should root for, and why. 50,000 first printing.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Perry is the author of four previous novels: Island ( LJ 1/88), Big Fish ( LJ 3/15/85), The Butcher's Boy ( LJ 8/82), and Metzger's Dog ( LJ 9/15/83). His new work brings Charles Ackerman--a.k.a., the Butcher's Boy, a killing-machine-for-hire--out of retirement in England and back to the United States to silence those people he mistakenly thinks have discovered his whereabouts. The story follows Ackerman as he travels coast to coast slaughtering one crime family's head honchos. Perry's book is well written, moves rapidly, and thankfully keeps the gore minimal. But reading it is an uneasy experience--a vicious hitman is not attractive as a main character. Buy where the author's earlier works are popular. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/91.
- A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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"On August 14 at three in the afternoon, Michael Schaeffer noticed a small poster on a board inside the front window of a small teahouse." Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless Sept. 7 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sleeping Dogs, I admit, was the first book I read by Thomas Perry. I have since read and enjoyed, to varying degrees, all his other works. I always come back to Sleeping Dogs though. It is definitely my favorite book, and when ever I read it, it's as if I've come home again. I realize it's almost scary to have a person sympathize with the Butcher's Boy as much as I do, but I constantly admire, appreciate, and understand his ruthless and logical approach to solving problems. I also felt that the "villains" in the book were incredibly fun, and provided a good balance. it's difficult to pick favorites, but Fratelli, the one who is infuriated more and more while trying to escape the Butcher's Boy, and shake off the clingy paranoid bank manager, as well As Bala himself with his unbelievable losing streak against his Gin partner in prison are definite stand outs to me. Also Jack Hamp, I felt, was a wonderful addition as the flip side of the coin to the Butcher's Boy. And of course, I fell in love with the Honourable Meg as well. Overall, I just feel this book is exciting, amusing, ironic, and just thoroughly enjoyable. The only fault I can find is that Perry's Mafia structure doesn't quite jive with reality, but it really doesn't matter. I keep trying to figure out if certain people are from New York, or if they're Chicago, but in Perry's world it seems like Mafia is Mafia, with no real seperation. And that doesn't ultimately matter. To sum up, I feel this book is flawless, and will probably continue to read it once a month until my eyes go.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Butcher's Boy revisited... March 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the much-anticipated (by me) follow-up to "Butcher's Boy". It is a good but not wonderful sequel, as so many are, but still worth the read. But be forewarned: this also has a pretty implausible and coincidental ending. As in "Butcher's Boy", Perry has made our protagonist (here he is named Michael Shaeffer) a just-sympathetic-enough sociopath for us to be rooting for him without compromising our true sense of right or wrong. By accident, he is flushed out of hiding in England and instead of continuing to flee, he returns to the United States to meet his ghosts head-on. The will to survive in this killer is so strong, that it is possible to admire that element and distance oneself from the horror of what he does - but only just. It is never a comfortable choice and requires a full complement of justification. In telling this story, Perry takes us from England back to the States and on a grand tour of characters, locations, and techniques and the journey is never dull. One scene that is fixed in my mind is Michael's character-establishing encounter with a New York street tough. It is icily well written.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Great April 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'd heard so many positive things about Thomas Perry, and especially of "Butcher's Boy", that I was really looking forward to reading Sleeping Dogs (the sequel to "Butcher's Boy"). Perhaps my expectations were too high, as I found it good, but not great, fiction. The main character -in fact the original butcher's boy - is a "retired" assassin for the mob. Living incognito in England, he is forced to end his self-imposed exile through a series of accidental events. From there, our hero takes a death tour of what feels like the entire US, stopping long enough in each city to kill the resident mafia boss and as many of the local thugs who happen to get in the way. "Shaeffer" (or Wolfe, or ...) is the original one-man army - a killing machine who Rambo would die for. This, we are led to believe, is merely a diversion: both the syndicate and the feds believe it is just another mob war (For afterall, how could one man create such massive carnage across so many states?) Under the cover of this pseudo-war, Shaeffer is able to flee from both the bad guys and the Justice Dept, and vanish back into his life of peace and tranquility in England. If this all seems a bit unbelievable, it is. But "Dogs" is an entertaining story nonetheless. There are some interesting characters, some imaginative "hits", and enough action to hold interest and keep the pages turning. But neither the depth of plot nor the development of the primary chactacters reach the level of a four or five star read. Don't get me wrong - this is a much better way to pass a few hours than any of a similar genre from the best-selling authors (Patterson, Meltzer, Grisham...). But in the final analysis, I guess I was expecting just a little more meat from the "Butcher's Boy".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Action And Suspense May 17 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The specialist (from "The Butcher's Boy") is back. He's been laying low in England for the past ten years, when he is rudely thrust back into his old life. What follows is all based on one wrong assumption he makes. I was reminded of the time in the movie theater when the man in front of me got so caught up in the movie, he actually shouted at the screen, "Hey! You've got it all wrong. Wake up!". I was about to shout that that at this book, but I didn't want to startle the dog sleeping at my feet. I found the main character appealing even though he is an assassin. He is, after all, taking out the bad guys. There is lots of action and it's fun to see how he gets out of one scrape after another. I like the way Thomas Perry writes. As with his Jane Whitefield stories (she is a specialist too. She helps people disappear) he is clever, witty, sometimes even humorous, and he doesn't waste my time with unnecessary dialogue or endless descriptions. The ending was spectacular. You really got me with this one Mr. Perry.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Work!!!
I read and loved The Butcher's Boy, Perry's first novel. I was really looking forward to this one, but it disappointed me. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004 by Mr. R. H. Thompson
2.0 out of 5 stars boring and predictable, but well written
- nothing else to say about this unremarkable book.
Published on April 24 2003 by Does Not Matter
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Sequel
This sequel to the incredible "Butcher's Boy" is classic Perry. It involves an extended travel, continuous pursuit, detailed descriptions of the settings, and... Read more
Published on March 28 2003 by D. Wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars Read on with the BOY
Perry has gotten even better since Butcher's Boy if possible. We get to follow our new found 'anti-hero' and see how he cleans up lose ends. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2003 by Zen Goddess
5.0 out of 5 stars PERRY AT HIS BEST
"Sleeping Dogs" and "Butcher's Boy" are the best novels written by Thomas Perry. His other novels are interesting and well written but the characters don't have the appeal of the... Read more
Published on Dec 31 2002 by B Ardell Young
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT EDGE OF YOUR SEAT RIDE!
A good twister with some laughs along the way, and a good dose of nail biting suspense. The premise is a bit far fetched, but that is what you expect from this kind of book. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2000 by Sally
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest, edge-of-your-seat thriller you'll ever read!
If I found myself on a desert island . . . with only "Sleeping Dogs" to read - I'd be perfectly happy! Read more
Published on June 13 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Please write a sequel to Sleeping Dogs quickly!!!!!!!!
Awesome book, but please write a sequel soon. I am anxiously awaiting. Thanks so much.
Published on May 4 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Great suspense novel. You'll even like the villian.
Slow to start if you didn't read The Butchers's Boy. But, builds speed as it moves along. Some good twists and turns. Very suspensful.
Published on April 30 1999
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