cover image Forty Thieves

Forty Thieves

Thomas Perry. Grove/Atlantic/Mysterious, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2452-4

Not much fazes the aptly named Abels, husband and wife Sid and Ronnie—sharpshooting retired former LAPD detectives turned PIs—in this propulsive, darkly humorous thriller from Edgar-winner Perry (Strip). Dodging bullets is certainly not what the couple anticipates when they agree to a research corporation’s request to look into to the execution-style shooting murder the previous year of one of their scientists, chemist James Ballantine, whose body was found in a North Hollywood storm drain. But no sooner does Ronnie post a $25,000 reward for information than the fireworks—or more accurately firefights—start. What the Abels don’t know, but readers do, is that they’re dealing with Ed and Nicole Hoyt, sociopathic hired guns based in the San Fernando Valley who aren’t going to let anything get in the way of a lucrative payday. As the likable, series-worthy Abels struggle to survive at least long enough to solve Ballantine’s murder, Perry tosses in several hairpin plot twists that culminate in a satisfyingly surprising conclusion. Agent: Mel Berger, WME. (Jan.)