by Perry, Thomas

An elite young burglar stumbles upon a grisly triple homicide while stealing from a wealthy art dealer and must solve the crime to prevent becoming a next victim. By the best-selling author of the Jane Whitefield series.

Thomas Perry is the bestselling author of over twenty novels, including the critically acclaimed Jane Whitefield series, Forty Thieves, and The Butcher's Boy, which won the Edgar Award. He lives in Southern California.

*Starred Review* As we've noted before, Perry writes very well about smart people, whichever side of the law they happen to be on: he shows them thinking, and that process of observing a mind at work, putting together a plan and then improvising on it, proves as compelling as any action scene, although Perry is plenty good at those, too. In his latest novel, the smart person being examined is a burglar, Elle Stowell, a young woman whose carefully designed appearance and lithe frame allow her both to blend in as she cases neighborhoods in tony Beverly Hills and Bel Air and to easily scale whatever drainpipe or climbing vine to gain access to the second floors of mansions. It's all going swimmingly until Elle finds three naked and very dead bodies in the bedroom of a home she was in the act of robbing. Elle skedaddles, but it quickly becomes apparent that the killers know about her and are eager to tie up any loose ends. So the thinking begins, as Elle tracks the murderers as they track her. What she uncovers-an elaborate fine-art scam-proves almost as fascinating as Elle's remarkable ability to put herself into and then extract herself from harm's way. Nobody drives a narrative like Perry; sure, he knows how to stomp on the gas pedal and negotiate the curves, but, best of all, he does that while dispensing unfailingly interesting information about stuff we've never bothered to think about, which is one more reason we can't get enough of Perry's smart people. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

In case you've forgotten, Perry (The Bomb Maker, 2018, etc.) reminds you that it takes a thief to catch a killer. Elle Stowell has robbed a lot of houses, but her discovery at the home of retired financial services officer Nick Kavanagh, owner of the Kavanagh Gallery, is a first: the naked corpse of Kavanagh, together with those of socialite Anne Satterthwaite Mannon and Hollywood director's wife Valerie McGee Teason, huddled together in the host's bed, each of them shot in the head. Even more bizarre, a digital movie camera at the crime scene has recorded everything from Kavanagh's original propositioning of the two women to Elle's entrance 12 hours later. What to do? Since "Elle was both good in intention and bad at carrying out good intentions," she neither destroys the memory card nor brings it to the LAPD but anonymously mails them a copy from which she's excised her own image and keeps a copy of the undoctored card herself to prove that she arrived on the scene long aft er the murders because she thinks that the worst thing that could happen to her is getting arrested. Sure enough, her very next job is interrupted by some people—she's not sure who—she hears walking around the house, and her plan to join a friend on a long-distance vacation till things cool down ends with things considerably heated up. By that time, however, Elle's figured out that the biggest threat to her safety isn't the police but the killer whose handiwork she stumbled on. Instead of trying to solve the murders in order to prove her own innocence, she now has a much more compelling reason to figure out who's got her in their sights: turning them over to the authorities before they can kill her too. All the relentless drive of Perry's tales of concealment specialist Jane Whitefield (Poison Flower, 2012, etc.) but there's a less compelling logic behind both the burglar's actions and the murderer's. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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