*Perry, Thomas. The Informant: A Butcher Boy Novel. An Otto Penzler Book. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. May 2011. c.336p. ISBN 978-0-547-56933-8. $27.00. Fiction
Some two decades after his first war with the Mafia, Perry’s hit man is back in this engaging follow-up to the author’s Edgar Award-winning debut, The Butcher’s Boy. Retired for the last ten years, the Butcher's Boy is forced to take action when the same crime family who betrayed him years ago finally tracks him down. To counter the threat, he knows he must wipe out enough mob bosses to make them all back off. For help, he contacts Elizabeth Waring, now high up in the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Division. She knows the hit man is potentially the most important informant the department has ever had, but her boss is unwilling to cooperate with such an unsavory character. Risking her own job and life, she enters an uneasy relationship with the Butcher’s Boy as he launches a series of ingenious and devastating attacks against the mob. VERDICT The author of the Jane Whitefield series and numerous stand-alone thrillers (most recently Strip), Perry is a consummate craftsman. No one makes killing bad guys more fun, no one is smarter at blending research and invention, and no one offers a higher body count of ingenious hits. Highly recommended for fans of crime fiction.