Married and living in England under the name Michael Schaeffer, the assassin known as the Butcher's Boy is the target of a Mafia hit team sent to exact revenge for his deadly campaign against the Balacontano family years earlier. Schaeffer kills all three attackers, but he knows more will come and needs to find whoever sent them to end it once and for all.
Soon Elizabeth Waring, now high up in the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department, receives a surprise late-night visit from the Butcher's Boy. Knowing she keeps track of the Mafia, he asks her who the three men work for. Not knowing they have been murdered, she gives him a name: Frank Tosca, an aspirant to the Balacontano throne. In exchange, he tells her about a murder Tosca committed over 20 years ago.
So begins a new assault on organized crime, and the uneasy alliance between the Butcher's Boy and Waring, who trade current information for old secrets. As the Butcher's Boy works his way ever closer to his quarry in an effort to protect his new way of life, Waring finds herself in a race against time, either to convince him to become a protected informant or to take him out of commission for good.
©2011 Thomas Perry (P)2011 Tantor
"Perry offers a compelling, rapid-fire plot, credible Mafia and FBI secondary characters, an indictment of self-serving officialdom, and the old soul-shattering moral dilemma: what is truth?" (Publishers Weekly)
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"sucker for anything that's the butcher's boy"
I was aware of the Butcher's Boy for many years before allowing myself to be pulled in by the fact that this was an Edgar Award winning novel by a first time published author (pretty sure my facts are correct--or close enough to count as correct). Anyway, I was hooked after page one and by the end was pretty darn sure I'd read the last word on the Butcher's Boy. I mean, who can keep a series going about a non-feeling, clinical-like, loner hit-man? Well, evidently, Thomas Perry can and did. When Sleeping Dogs came out I was in literary-thriller heaven and counted myself lucky that Perry managed a second book on the B Boy. However, last week, I sumbled upon The Informant while browsing. I couldn't hit the select button fast enough. I've been listending to it every spare chance I get and for a third time I am not dissapointed. Neither Perry, nor the Butcher's Boy series has lost a step. If you're familiar with the series, you know what to expect. If you're not, but you like mystery-thrillers, start with the Butcher's Boy first, Sleeping Dogs next and then The Informant. I give this series my highest recommendation. Oh--and I rarely comment on the readers/actors, but Michael Kramer is perfect for this series and this character. You go boy!
"Worth every penny! Loved it!"
The flow of the story was fast paced, but not too much so. There was duel suspense of the Butcher's Boy and the career justice officer.
I enjoyed the characters.
I liked both hero and heroine. They were smart, conflicted and professional.
I just could'nt stop listening. I finished it in 2 days at the detriment of my sleep and work!
"He's a likeable killer"
The story is about a long-retired, top-level assasin who's forced back into action when a mob boss gives orders for his assassination. The story wasn't overly complex, but it was definitely worth listening to. I liked the pace with which the author wrote. It never felt rushed, and he allowed us inside the mind of Schaeffer as he pondered his next moves. To me, this was one of the best parts of the story. The ending was great, and I didn't see it coming, so that's a big plus as well.
I will definitely recommend this book to my friends. It's solid 4.5 star listen. The half star deduction is due to a relatively unoriginal storyline, but beyond that the book is a good one.
"Perry is unique"
It's hard to describe a Thomas Perry book - especially the Butcher's Boy series. The protagonist is a true anti-hero. You should hate him, but you love him, root for him, are amazed by his skill. This series is amazing. I fear "The Informant" is the last, but maybe ... maybe. Perry is unique, understated, and his writing is brilliant. If you haven't listened to one yet, start with "The Butcher's Boy", then "Sleeping Dogs", and lastly "The Informant". But don't listen to five minutes of the narration and go "this is terrible, there's no affect." Keep on listening and you'll realize you're inside Michael Schaefer's head. And then everything makes sense weirdly.
"Great conclusion but sometimes slow going"
The last 30 minutes of this novel pushed it from three stars to four stars. Before that, the author seemed to break into the story too many times with flashbacks into the Butcher's Boy previous encounters. It was almost like he was trying to figure out what was going to happen next and killed a little time (no pun intended) with flashbacks. It happened too often. The Butcher's Boy is not very likable but, when compared with the people he goes up against, he's the lesser of the evils. He's all business but he does betray a softer side several times in this story in his encounters with a female Justice Department agent. Except for the frequent flashbacks the story flows well and the conclusion was one that most listeners will approve. I'll probably give Perry and narrator, Kramer, another try with Sleeping Dogs.
"Final novel in the Butcher's Boy trilogy"
I love this series. All three novels are wonderful, but The Informant is the best in my opinion. Working as a teen at the side of his assassin stepdad Eddie The Butcher, the man who now calls himself Michael Shaeffer learned his trade early and well. Both the Mafia and law enforcement are trying to locate him and end his career. The informant was released almost 20 years after the second novel in the trilogy was written and Shaeffer has aged by over 15 years. He is married and living happily in England when he is forced to kill and go on the run again. Elizabeth Waring of the Organized Crime Task Force of the US Justice Department is back now with 18 and 17 year old children. Her role is much larger than in prior novels in the series; she is effectively co-protagonist. As one expects from author Thomas Perry there is lots of action and suspense. Each novel in this trilogy can be read as a stand alone, but reading in order is much preferred. Michael Kramer narrates all three novels superbly. For those who like suspense thrillers The Butcher's Boy series is must listen.
A great read. I think this is the best of the Butcher's Boy novels. Perry's characters are so amazingly well portrayed. Bravo!
"Not as good as first two"
I loved Butcher's Boy and Sleeping Dogs but this one was a bit disappointing. The first half of the book spends too much time describing events from the earlier books and the current events are not given as much depth as they should. The story just seemed a bit flat and the ending had some really unbelievable details in an already unbelievable story! Of course you will want to listen to it if you have read the first two, but it isn't as good.
"Please, Please, Please!"
Thomas Perry sir, when are you going to regale us with tales of the level of the Butcher's Boy series or 'Metzger's Dog'? This was a reread (listen) for me, and O, how your craft doth flow! The frisson of surprise that you, the reader are pulling for a professional killer!
And of course, Michael Kramer's cool narration gives the low down on how the rotten crooks keep it on the down low.
"Lots of killing"
Entertaining book. Not realistic but plenty of action and relatively well written. Will listen to further Perry novels.
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