Perry, Thomas. Death Benefits. Random House. January 2001. c400p. ISBN 0-679-45305-9. $24.95. Fiction.

Edgar Award-winning novelist Perry, who always provides a good read, takes a step up from last year’s Blood Money with a solid, character-driven story that makes even the insurance business seem fascinating. John Walker, a young data analyst for McClaren Life and Casualty, finds himself on the streets with a shrewd but enigmatic partner, an older security expert named Max Stillman who has been hired by the firm to track down the thieves behind a $12 million scam. The agent who approved the fraudulent death benefit, a woman Walker once loved, has disappeared. Is she part of the rip-off or a victim of a much larger conspiracy? With the help of Serena, a quirky computer expert who develops an intriguing relationship with Walker, the two men follow a trail that leads from California to Illinois to Florida and finally to a deadly confrontation in the deceptively peaceful New Hampshire countryside. Throughout, one senses, unseen, the sure hands of a master craftsman. Highly recommended.

LJ, vol. 125, no. 18 (November 1, 2000), 136.

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