Just finished my first Thomas Perry novel, Death Benefits, and I’m feeling moved to write about. Thomas Perry was recommended by literary mentor Ken Wedding over at Little Blake Lake and I’m going to owe him a thank you for this one.
Being new to Thomas Perry, and going in blind, as in I didn’t read any reviews, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The book is a mystery/thriller sort of thing, although I didn’t get that from the opening pages. AS a matter of fact it was a little slow to get started and I’m going to admit to actually putting it down for a bit and fitting in the Follet tome, A World Without End into the middle of my read.
In hindsight, a mistake.
Death Benefits is about a young up and coming insurance company executive who’s assigned to a fraud investigation with a twist, the investigation involves one of his colleagues , a women whom he’d had a relationship with, and she’s gone missing. Assigned to help the kid is a crusty old retired detective turned private eye. He’s the sort of investigator, we learn, that people bring into investigations where results are more important that methods, if you know what I mean.
The book develops the relationship between the young newbie and street smart investigator as they unravel a rather complicated story involving insurance fraud and murder.
I wish I could go into more details about the plot but it would really spoil the twists and turns, and this book has a ton of them. The two investigators make a great team, and wind up travelling the country as they dog leads from state to state, getting in and out of adventures along the way with their wit and brawn.
Yeah, the book had a slow start, but by about halfway through I had real trouble putting it down and found myself looking forward to the next bus ride when I could pick up the story again.
This is really fun read, with lots of twists and surprises. By the end of the book it was a legitimate page-burning, couldn’t put it down book. Perry does a nice job creating suspense and tension in his story. The last quarter of the book is especially tense as the characters find themselves in a really exciting situation that requires all of their wits to escape and solve the mystery.
Perry’s writing style is very concise, crisp and easy to read. His plot is very original, I mean, to make insurance investigations exciting you have to have some gift no? His characters are great, I’m surprised frankly, that he’s avoided the temptation to string these two into a series of novels.
Death Benefits is a nice escapist thriller, perfect for a trip to the lake or weekend by the fire. After reading this I’m looking forward to picking up my next Thomas Perry novel. Anyone out there read Thomas Perry and care to make a recommendation for me? I’d love to hear from you.