A small-town cop seeks vengeance on twelve escaped inmates in this novel of “jaw-dropping twists . . . crisp in execution and thrilling until the very end” (The Wall Street Journal).
When twelve inmates pull off an audacious prison break, it liberates more than a thousand convicts into the nearby small town. The newly freed prisoners rape, murder, and destroy the quiet community—burning down homes and businesses. An immense search ensues, but the twelve who plotted it all get away.
After two years, the local and federal police agencies have yet to find them. Then, the mayor calls in Leah Hawkins, a local cop who lost a loved one that terrible night. She’s placed on sabbatical to travel across the country learning advanced police procedures. But the sabbatical is merely a ruse. Her real job is to track down the infamous twelve—and kill them.
Leah’s mission takes her from Florida to New York and from the beaches of California to an anti-government settlement deep in the Ozarks. But when the surviving fugitives realize what she’s up to, a race to kill or be killed ensues in this nonstop tale of vengeance from the Edgar Award–winning author of The Butcher’s Boy.
“Leah proves to be both a brilliant detective and a cunning predator.” —Associated Press
“Perry is an expert storyteller . . . A Small Town unfolds like a 1950s film noir.” —Wall Street Journal
At the start of this uneven thriller from bestseller Perry (The Burglar), a thousand inmates break out from a high security federal correctional facility in rural Colorado. They rampage through nearby Weldonville, causing widespread death and destruction. While most of the escapees are quickly recaptured, after a two-year manhunt the 12 inmates who orchestrated the breakout remain at large. Weldonville Det. Leah Hawkins, whose lover was killed in the violence, sets out with the secret backing of city officials to track down and kill the ringleaders. Despite the previous best efforts of hundreds of FBI agents, Leah nonetheless quickly manages to locate and kill six of them, at which point the surviving fugitives, realizing what's happening, counterattack from their refuge in an Arkansas survivalist camp. The dramatic setup fails to compensate for two-dimensional characters, especially Leah, and often perfunctory action. In addition, the author misses the chance to consider such larger questions as the morality of Leah's vigilante killings. Edgar-winner Perry has done better.