Silence by Thomas Perry

September 23, 2011

Plot summary (from the publisher): Six years ago, Jack Till helped Wendy Harper disappear. But now her ex-boyfriend and former business partner, Eric Fuller, is being framed for her presumed murder in an effort to smoke her out, and Till must find her before tango-dancing assassins Paul and Sylvie Turner do. With masterful plotting and unnerving psychological insight, Thomas Perry delivers another mesmerizing thrill ride.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • The basic outline of the story was a good one. I liked the whole idea of an unofficial witsec person (Wendy) having to come out of hiding to prove that her good friend didn’t kill her.
  • I liked that Jack was a competent investigator, but not a superman. He wasn’t able to rig complicated traps armed only with a utility knife, nor did he ever figure out that it was Paul and Sylvie tracking them. Despite not catching Wendy’s would-be assassins, he still managed to keep her safe and get the testimony required to clear Eric.
  • The reveal that Wendy was more involved in Kit Stoddard’s disappearance than she let on was a nice little twist. I never would have guessed that she was taking money to introduce pretty girls like Kit to rich men.

Disliked:

  • I hated how Perry gave such detailed background information about SO many different characters. I understand the concept of wanting to flesh them out, but this was going overboard. Did we really need to know about Sylvie’s, ahem, film history in order to understand that she was insecure about losing her husband? Did we need to hear about “Ann Delatore’s” pimp/prostitution background to understand why she would be willing to help Wendy? Did we need all the details about Scott Schelling’s business deals, history with Carl, and one-night stand with Jill so late in the game? NO! The book would have been half as long and had much better pacing without all the detours.
  • Were readers supposed to feel sympathetic towards Sylvie or something? Why was so much of the story told through her and/or Paul’s eyes? I didn’t find them intriguing; just mostly annoying. I know this book predates Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but I saw the movie first, so I couldn’t help getting that kind of vibe from Paul and Sylvie. And that’s not a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.
  • Ugh, Jack and Wendy sleeping together? Again, this is a personal pet peeve, but I just cannot STAND it when two people who are running for their lives and have professional killers on their tail, somehow find time to have sex. Why would sex even be considered at a time like that???
  • I disliked that nothing was resolved between Paul and Sylvie by the end of the novel. Was there a sequel to this one? If not, I felt I deserved a real end, with one of them killing the other. Instead, they head off to Spain together, each one planning how/when to off the other. After sticking with them that long, a resolution was definitely in order!

Rating:

This was the first Thomas Perry book I ever read, and I don’t think I’m going to go back for more. Maybe I’ve just spent too much time with this genre recently, but I couldn’t get into Silence at all. Most of it felt rehashed from any of the hundreds of other novels, movies, and television episodes treating similar topics and situations, and there was very little originality injected along the way. I give this book 2 stars out of 5.

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