'Silence' is an enjoyable summer read

By crime fiction standards it is a long book - 448 pages - but the clear prose and page-turning suspense make it a quick and enjoyable summer read.

June 26, 2007 10:31
2 minute read.
'Silence' is an enjoyable summer read

silence book 88. (photo credit: )


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"Silence" - Thomas Perry: When Jack Till showed Wendy Harper how to disappear six years ago, he taught her too well. Now he's got to find her again, and it won't be easy. He just hopes he can track her down before it's too late. The ex-cop turned private detective bears little resemblance to your average fictional private eye. He's not given to smart remarks. He actually respects authority. He follows the rules, reluctantly breaking them only when there's no other way to save a life. Till is hero of "Silence," the 15th thriller by Thomas Perry, best known for six novels featuring a native American sleuth named Jane Whitefield. Perry's writing is precise, straightforward and unadorned, although not particularly stylish. His appeal lies in his intricate plotting and original, often irresistible characters. In "Silence," he is at the top of his game. The story turns on one of Perry's favorite themes - the nature of personal identity. In "Nightlife" (2006), for example, the villain, Tanya Starling, abandons her uneventful life and invents an alter ego that delights in killing people. In "Vanishing Act" (1994), Whitefield proves to be an expert at helping frightened people create new identities and disappear. Jack Till, on the other hand, is an expert at finding people. So when Wendy Harper first came to him, running for her life, he showed her all the tricks that could prevent her from being found by people like him. As "Silence" gets under way, one of Wendy's old friends, a brilliant chef named Eric Fuller, is being framed for her murder. Till figures the people who were after Wendy six years ago still want her dead and are framing Eric to smoke her out. Till's job: Find a woman who has become expert at hiding, bring her back to save Eric, and make sure she doesn't get killed along the way. As Till searches for Wendy, he's being tailed by two killers-for-hire, Paul and Sylvie Turner, two of the most interesting villains you never want to meet. Sylvie is a former porno actress who married into the murder business. Paul is a cunning killer who enjoys doing the tango with his wife almost as much as he enjoys murder. Both are passionate, jealous and more than a little paranoid. The well-drawn cast also includes an obstinate prosecutor, a confused and resentful Eric Fuller and a very resourceful Wendy Harper. The story unfolds with a series of unpredictable turns and double crosses. By crime fiction standards it is a long book - 448 pages - but the clear prose and page-turning suspense make it a quick and enjoyable summer read.

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