cover image Poison Flower

Poison Flower

Thomas Perry. Grove/Atlantic/Mysterious, $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2605-4

Near the start of Perry’s exciting seventh Jane Whitefield novel (after 2009’s Runner), Jane cleverly frees prisoner James Shelby, unjustly convicted of murdering his wife, from the criminal court building in downtown Los Angeles, though crooks posing as cops who are working for the real killer seize Jane after shooting her in the leg. Jane, who later manages to escape, fights back by drawing on the special warrior skills passed down from her Seneca ancestors. As Jane takes on various thugs and assorted enemies, including a predatory hotel manager, she demonstrates that brains, cunning, and determination conquer brawn and arrogance. Despite the emphasis on action, Perry ensures the characters shine, notably Shelby and an abused wife who hooks up with Jane. While Jane lives a quiet double life as the devoted wife of a surgeon in upstate New York, she no longer need pretend that she wants to give up her job of helping the innocent. Agent: Robert Lescher, Lescher & Lescher. (Mar.)