Thursday, November 22, 2018

Book Review: 'The Old Man' by Thomas Perry

Sixty-year-old Dan Chase is physically fit, mentally sharp, and an accomplished marksman who is also proficient in hand-to-hand combat. A widower with a grown daughter, he is a loner who, because of an incident that occurred in Libya more than three decades ago, is prepared to change his address and identity at a moment's notice. He has set up various aliases along with passports, driver's licenses, credit cards, prepaid cell phones, and enough cash to live comfortably for the foreseeable future. As Thomas Perry's "The Old Man" opens, Dan is living a quiet life in Norwich, Vermont. However, he has become a bit too complacent, since those who want him dead have not made a move in over thirty years.

Chase reminds us, in many ways, of Perry's Butcher's Boy and Jane Whitefield. All three are careful strategists who are cool under pressure, understand human nature, and know how to defend themselves. Chase realizes that his survival depends on his ability to make smart decisions and implement them quickly and efficiently. Soon he is on the run, trying to elude the killers who have been ordered to eliminate him.

The writing is crisp, clear, and unadorned, with a fast-paced plot, intriguing twists, and a likeable and resourceful hero. The villains are shadowy thugs who consistently underestimate their opponent. An attractive woman who teams up with Dan and a special ops contractor who grows to sympathize with Chase's plight add spice and an element of uncertainty to the proceedings. "The Old Man" is an engrossing, suspenseful, and action-packed page-turner that will please fans of Thomas Perry, one of the all-time masters of the thriller genre.

Editor's note: This review was written by Eleanor Bukowsky and has been reposted with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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