Tuesday, July 8, 2008
One of the bonuses of my wife owning a used bookstore is that I get to pop in every night and scope out what got traded in. Every once in a while, I find a real prize.
If there was any justice in this world, Thomas Perry novels would outsell Grishem and Patterson and Evanovich combined. I thought I had read all his Jane Whitefield novels, so I was completely delighted to find BLOOD MONEY.
Jane Whitefield is one of those rare characters in novels who is smarter than everyone else and also shows it. She rarely does something bone-headed in service to the plot. At the same time, she's a deep character who we know very little about. She has an native American heritage, but Perry doesn't overplay that aspect. She's stoic and closed mouth but has a huge empathy. She's quiet and courageous. And she's sly.
Very, very sly.
She helps people disappear.
So...what's different about that? An Indian character, who helps people disappear? It's all in the intricate and believable plots, the dead on characterizations. There is never that moment when you think, "Why did she do that? Why didn't she do that?" She never makes a wrong move, but the people she's protecting are constantly creating complications, which she has to fix. You really like her, because she is always making the most ethical choice, and she's thinking about it, and she's doing it even though it puts her in great danger.
If you like Connelly and Sandford and Crais and Child, do yourself a favor and track down Thomas Perry. All his books are great, though I particularly like the Whitefield novels.