- The Boyfriend
A California PI hunts for a killer in the shadowy world of online escorts in a “cool, tough-minded” thriller by the New York Times–bestselling author (The New York Times).
Jack Till, a retired LAPD homicide detective, is now happy to take routine cases as a private investigator. But when a murdered girl’s parents ask for his help, Till can’t say no. The victim had been working as a high-class prostitute, and Till soon finds that she was one of several escorts killed in different cities in the same manner—all had strawberry blonde hair, and all were shot with a 9mm in their home.
Till must enter the secretive world of online escorts, decoding ads placed by women who are always on the move, often using false names and other women’s pictures. But the perpetrator is more dangerous than Till ever imagined. As the body count rises, Till must find a ruthless seducer whose murderous spree masks an even deadlier agenda.
“Clever protagonists, cunning killers, white-knuckle action . . . Thomas Perry delivers all that good stuff in The Boyfriend.” —The New York Times Book Review
Patrice Hoffman on Goodreads wrote:
SPOILER ALERT - While I liked the story idea and the concepts for the two main characters, there were several really dopey mistakes which ruined this story for me. First, the most trivial: Toyota Maxima. Second, an irrelevant character: the lead character has a daughter with Downs Syndrome, only her dialog is that of a second year college student, not of someone with an IQ of 60-80. On top of the highly intellectual Downs Daughter, her character serves no purpose that I can discern, except perhaps to add about 20 pages to the 288 pages. Lastly: do you think it is realistic that working girls update their web ads on a daily basis? I do not. A key plot point hangs on this very doubtful practice. Another weak point: Do working girls invite their customers into their homes where they really live? To put in another way: would you give your address to anyone you meet on the Internet after zero vetting?
I liked the idea of the hit man who covers his tracks in a very cold blooded manner. It was a very good plot point and character demonstration.
I more or less liked the thinly drawn cop hero. He was smart and persistent. Although his smartness was based on what I consider to be very weak premises regarding the likely behavior of worldly women.
One very good point, believable for a change, was the last victim's behavior after being told about her Boyfriend's true nature....
With a little more work, this could have been a 4 star story. But, I guess Mr Perry was in a hurry, so he only gets 2 stars. Perry needs a new editor -- the one he had for The Boyfriend obviously drives a Toyota Maxima on her dates with guys she meets in the Web, to whom she freely gives her address within 5 minutes of their calling her for the first time.
The Boyfriend by Thomas Perry can best be described as a crime thriller/suspense novel. The story begins with a high-priced call girl, Catherine Hamilton, being murdered in her home and her parents are intent on finding whodunnit. They enlist the help of retired LAPD detective Jack Till. Till has been moonlighting as a gumshoe of pretty mundane cases. In between those cases, he visits his daughter Holly, who has down syndrome. She is the same age as the victim and this encourages him to take the case.
Before long Jack Till is able to find clues that link Catherine Hamilton to a few other call girls who look almost exactly like her. This connection is lost on the police but thankfully we have Till to come to their aid because he is one smart gumshoe. Actually, Till and Holly are the only characters I care about. The rest are pretty cardboardish and flat.
Contrary to a couple gripes I have about this novel, The Boyfriend is pretty interesting and I think Perry's fans will really enjoy it. There are no unnecessary details to trudge through and no characters that aren't introduced to serve a purpose. This being my introduction to Perry has not been a bad one. Although there were hokey lines like "he is unusually good-looking" and if I read one more "strawberry blond" than I was going to really have a problem. But I did like the way the story came together and I look forward to seeing this character in future publications. I feel there's many more places the author can take this character.
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