cover image Fidelity


Thomas Perry, . . Harcourt/Penzler, $25 (357pp) ISBN 978-0-15-101292-3

Bestseller Perry (Silence ) explores the psychology of identity through his characters' hidden lives in this solid crime thriller. After L.A. PI Phil Kramer is shot dead as he's getting into his car one night on a quiet street, his wife, Emily, and his staff set out to find whodunit and why. As they dig, Emily discovers Phil had many secrets. Meanwhile, Jerry Hobart, the hired gun, is ordered to kill Emily. Suspicious of his client's motives, Jerry starts investigating his client, who, the reader learns, is Ted Forrest, a wealthy playboy with a secret life. Perry initially shifts between Emily and Jerry's points-of-view as each probes different aspects of the same crime to zero in on Ted's motives. As Ted starts dominating the narrative, the pacing, usually one of Perry's strongest suits, slows, weighed down with too many characters and subplots. Still, Perry intrigues as always with spare, intelligent prose. (June)