cover image Murder Book

Murder Book

Thomas Perry. Mysterious, $26.95 (420p) ISBN 978-1-61316-383-2

Chicago PI Harry Duncan, the protagonist of this strong crime novel from Edgar winner Perry (The Old Man), accepts a contract from his ex-wife, Ellen Leicester, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, to investigate a sudden spike in criminal activity in small towns along Indiana’s Ash River (“Assaults and robberies by teams rather than individuals, extortion, and that sort of thing”). Ellen believes that organized crime elements in Chicago are making a move to expand operations into Indiana, and Duncan’s task is to scout out the territory and report back to her on whether an FBI investigation is warranted. Duncan makes his first stop at a bar by the river for a bite to eat and winds up contending with two thugs in the bar’s parking lot who try to steal his car. Tough, self-reliant, and fearless, Duncan soon plunges into a full-scale battle with hired crooks intent on seizing control of the entire region, and lives are suddenly at stake—including his own. The pages melt away as the story maintains a breathless pace throughout. This is further proof that Perry is a dominating force in the world of contemporary suspense thrillers. Hopefully, Duncan will be back for an encore. Agent: Mel Berger, WME. (Jan.)