Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thomas Perry: The Boyfriend

In the first book in a new series Thomas Perry introduces Jack Till a former LAPD homicide detective turned PI who discovers a killer who is killing all across the USA.

Jack Till retired from the police force to try to have more of a normal life, and while the Private Investigator work is at times like police work it affords him more time with his daughter Holly. However, when parents of a recently murder daughter (about Holly's age) comes in asking for his help he is unable to say no. This girl had been living a secret lifestyle as a high class escort, that had recently turned deadly and the parents want Till to find out who murdered their daughter. What Till actually discovers is a series of escorts who have been killed around the USA and all of them have a remarkable resemblance to his murder victim. Till must find what else connects the girls and what is the killer’s end game, as it appears that more is going on than “just” the murder of high class escorts.

I am having a hard time deciding whether or not I liked this book. I'm not sure if it was the writing style, the plot or something else, but the whole book has seemed a little off to me. This book did not have the thrills I was looking for (I believe some other reviews classify this book as a Thriller, I would not). I found that there was no suspense throughout the book, and while the mystery was okay, the reader knows who the killer is way before Jack Till, therefore, you are always waiting for Till to catch up.

For some reason I could not get invested in the main character Jack Till. There were things about him I liked and disliked but I never felt invested in him, therefore, I found I did not become too attached to him. I actually found that I like the escorts that Perry introduced more than Till, as he humanized them more than he did Till. He attempts to humanize Till with the introduction of his grown daughter who has down syndrome and how he raised her himself, but she still seemed to only be a side part of his life. I think that Perry has plans to develop this relationship further in the future, but I could not get invested in Till as it always appeared that he had nothing to lose. I will say that Perry did a good job of showing his investigative techniques and his tenacity to help the parents of this girl and he grows to great lengths (and sometimes too far) to find the killer.

As with many of the mystery book I read I like when there are chapters from the killer's point of view. I enjoyed that Perry took the time to show how Joey became who he is and what lead him to kill. Additionally, it was interesting to be a part of his thought process once he is given a target and once he finds an escort to his liking. Those who do not like reading from the killer's point of view will not enjoy this book, as the chapters tend to go back and forth between Till and Joey.

Overall this book was okay. It did not have the thriller aspect that I wanted this book to have, and the mystery throughout was okay at best. Where Perry shines is his depiction of the killer and how he became who he is. I enjoyed the insight that Perry provided into Joey's life and did enjoy the chapters from his point of view. I know that Perry has written another series (Jane Whitefield series) that has been well reviewed, so I think I will check out that series.

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