"Thomas Perry just keeps getting better," said Tony Hillerman, about Sleeping Dogs--and in this superb new novel by one of America's best thriller writers, Jane Whitefield takes on the mafia, and its money.
Jane Whitefield, the fearless "guide" who helps people in trouble disappear, make victims vanish,has just begun her quiet new life as Mrs. Carey McKinnon, when she is called upon again, to face her toughest opponents yet. Jane must try to save a young girl fleeing a deadly mafioso. Yet the deceptively simple task of hiding a girl propels Jane into the center of horrific events, and pairs her with Bernie the Elephant, the mafia's man with the money. Bernie has a photographic memory, and in order to undo an evil that has been growing for half a century,he and Jane engineer the biggest theft of all time, stealing billions from hidden mafia accounts and donating the money to charity. Heart-stopping pace, fine writing, and mesmerizing characters combine in Blood Money to make it the best novel yet by the writer called "one of America's finest storytellers,"(San Francisco Examiner).
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. FYI: Perry won an Edgar for The Butcher's Boy.