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40 thieves cover

This fast-paced novel from Thomas Perry focuses on two couples: Sid and Ronnie (Veronica) Abel are married detectives, retired from LAPD and now working together in their own agency. Ed and Nicole Hoyt are married assassins who live in the San Fernando Valley and sell their services to anyone who will pay them. A year ago, a middle-aged research scientist from a private corporation was murdered, his body (with two bullet holes in the skull) only discovered when it clogged a storm drain on its way to the ocean. His employers hire the Abels to delve into the case after the LAPD has come up with nothing but dead ends.

There are some interesting questions floating around: the victim was African-American: was this racially motivated? Were industrial secrets involved (the corporation has some mysterious military contracts)? Was the victim’s divorce a factor? Why do people start shooting at the Abels as soon as they begin to dig in to the case? And who hired the Hoyts, anyway?And why?

Perry does a great job revealing important pieces of the puzzle as the story unfolds, and we learn more about the Abels, the Hoyts, diamond thieves and the LA storm drain system.

The end may require a slight bit of the reader’s willingness to suspend disbelief, and at one point I thought “hmm, is this written with the big screen in mind?” – and I have some ideas for casting the movie. The rapid growth of suburbia around LA and the varied locales throughout the Valley will make great locations for shooting the film J

The characters are well developed, and the Abels are prime candidates for another adventure. The writing is strong, the plot is tight (with some unexpected twists and turns), and the pace is fast. I really enjoyed this book (I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Perry’s work!) and look forward to the next in what I hope will be a series. Five stars. I appreciate the opportunity to read an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.