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
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.