Blood Money Mass Market Paperback – Apr 30 2002
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Penzler Pick, March 2000: When Thomas Perry won his Edgar for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America in 1983, anyone who'd read The Butcher's Boy cheered. That remarkable tale of a likable hit man stayed in one's mind long after the last page had been turned. Now with nine more highly original thrillers to his credit, Perry still knows how to keep us enthralled and, even better, surprised.
After several standalone titles, Perry began to produce a series unlike any other, giving us in Jane Whitefield a heroine that I'd have to imagine many of Hollywood's hippest young stars are fighting to play. Introduced in Sleeping Dogs, Jane is a "guide" of a very special kind, a sort of warrior-goddess capable of the most daring feats of cunning and courage who by day pursues a satisfying life off the radar as a suburban surgeon's wife. Her ordinary existence is, in fact, so contented--and her husband so worried for her safety when she's helping mortally threatened men, women, and children--that each time she's approached with a desperate case by a new victim of evil, her first instinct is to say no. But there would be no series if she did, and we would miss her intricately assembled exploits.
Picture the Scarlet Pimpernel looking like the singer Buffy Ste. Marie (Jane's of native American heritage) and equally skilled at disguise and seat-of-the-pants strategy. Isn't that the sort of companion you'd welcome if you were on the run from the Mob with $20 billion (that's with a "b") of their money, its secret whereabouts all stored mnemonically in your head? Maybe you'd rather have the U.S. Marine Corps on your side, but if that's not an option, newcomers to the Jane Whitefield books will quickly learn (and her fans already know) that she can pull it off on her own. A wonderfully entertaining element of these original adventures is that Jane's guiding principle is simplicity. Thus, the reader's vicarious thrills lie in watching the process, the twists and turns of her schemes and, above all, her amazing capacity for forethought.
Blood Money, like all the novels by Perry, works equally well on the level of character study as it does in nail-biting suspense. The novels can be read as much for their remarkable insights into human nature as for the excitement of a first-rate thriller. Surely Perry ranks among the very top of the crime-writing fraternity. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Jane Whitefield, first introduced in Perry's Vanishing Act, makes her fifth appearance as a ghostmaker, someone who provides new identities for people in trouble. In this fast-paced thriller, Jane, a one-woman witness protection program, is semiretired, married to a doctor and living a quiet life until a teenage girl, Rita Shelford, comes to her door seeking help. The girl is being hunted, having witnessed a mob shakedown at the Florida house she was employed to clean. Protecting the girl propels Jane into a series of adventures involving Bernie the Elephant, an old man with a photographic memory who has kept Mafia financial records in his head for decades. With Jane's help, Bernie steals billions of dollars from the Mafia accounts and donates the money to charity. Not happy, the mobsters use every trick to capture Jane and Rita. The two women cross the U.S. several times, barely staying one step ahead of their pursuers. While there are many exciting moments, the story bogs down in several places while the mobsters speculate, rehashing information the reader already knows. Perry's writing style and vocabulary are easy and simplistic, and Jane sometimes seems too cool, and too smart, for her own good. The Mafia characters are numerous and interchangeable, and the story ends limply, with four unnecessary closing chapters. This is far from Perry's best, but it's still a quick, easy read with a few thrills. (Jan.) FYI: Perry won an Edgar for The Butcher's Boy.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Jane Whitefield is happy in her new life as a suburban housewife. But then someone shows up at her door on the reservation, knowing she used to be the-woman-who-makes-people-disappear. And this one needs to disappear -- a young woman who worked for the mob, taking care of the house for an old man who was the mob's moneyman with a photographic memory, keeping it all in his head. When the man escapes, and then gets whacked, Rita knows she needs help to disappear before the mafia finds her and wants her to tell the moneyman's secrets -- secrets only he knew. Jane doesn't want to help, having left that life behind, but she has no real choice -- the girl has come to her door, her real door, in her new life.
WHAT I LIKED:
The plot deals with the mafia's money, and their search for Jane. There is a strong sub-plot about the money, and while it is initially a little far-fetched, it takes the premise and breaks it down into manageable chunks that make it seem almost plausible.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
Some of the story is pretty predictable -- Rita is flaky, and you know she's going to flake out on the group long before Jane realizes it, or at least, long before she admits it to herself. As well, there is a trigger for the initial premise that I figured out in the first few pages, and yet no one else ever figures it out in the book, leading to a surprise for certain people for no real apparent reason. Finally, there is a long series of circumstances that are either Jane simply driving around the country or a series of near-misses for the mafia spotting her that never feel particularly tense.
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media.
The biggest flaw is that the lengthy discussions of intramural squabbling among Mafia families doesn't tie in well with the pursuit of Jane and her charges. Perry should have either had Jane take advantage of the mutual mistrust among the families, or made it the central thread of a separate book. Instead, we bounce from the usual cross country hide-and-seek with a series of scenes involving Mafia guys arguing.
Perry's shows his strengths in his descriptions of settings, and of some of the characters - notably Bernie Lupus (I can't get over the name) and the young girl Jane is protecting. But, for the first time, he makes the bad guys seem dull.
Having produced so many great stories, I'll forgive him for this one and hope that he returns to his usual form.
A good summer read. Or read it on a plane. Buy the paperback.
Bernie "The Elephant" Lupus has just died. He worked as a mob banker who does not use paper. He relies on his expansive photographic and eidetic memory to remember bank accounts and passwords. The mob is panicky because the only person Bernie ever trusted was Rita and they want to know what she knows and try to get some of their money back. After some false starts, Rita finds Jane and asks for her help. Unfortunately so does Bernie. News of his demise was greatly exaggerated.
Jane travels all over the country trying to hide Bernie and Rita. They also came up with the plan to take all of the mob's money and give everything away to charity. Once the mob finds out they will do whatever it takes to protect their interests. There is a lot of suspense and action in this story. You do not have to read previous novels to understand this one but I guarantee that once you read BLOOD MONEY you will try to find her other adventures. Thomas Perry's other novels are just as good and I suggest you give them a shot.
Most recent customer reviews
I'd recommend the book to anyone who likes action with great character development. Jane Whitefield is a strong character you want to cheer for. The entire series is excellent.Published on April 5 2014 by M. P. English
Thomas Perry is a very imaginative writer. The character, indeed the whole concept of a guide who helps people hide is unique and therefore interesting to one who spends a lot of... Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2002 by Bruce A. Ishikawa
This is the last-- and least-- of the Jane Whitefield novels. Enjoyable, but it becomes repetitive. The four novels that preceded this one are better: 5 star reads. Read morePublished on May 15 2002 by Chris Ward
An unusual plot for the series, still engaging but feeling a little out of type. Jane is chased more than running this time. Read morePublished on April 17 2001 by John Bowes
I started reading Thomas Perry's novels with Sleeping Dogs. On the strength of that novel,I ordered and read all of the remaining Perry novels, all of which deal with Jane... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2000 by John R. Linnell
How do you give away over 10 billion dollars while still avoiding the Mafia who's searching for you coast to coast? Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2000 by Old Fisherman
Perry is back to his best in this heartstopping suspense. After the drab and disappointing (though still a great book by normal standards)Facechangers. Don't miss this series. Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2000 by Sheree A. Rymenams
Jane Whitfield is one of the all time classic women mystery heroines. Thomas Perry perfectly captures the dread of being hunted without making his charcters seem like pathetic... Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2000