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Eddie's Boy

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Michael Shaeffer is a retired American businessman, living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. But her annual summer party brings strangers to their house, and with them, an attempt on Michael's life. He is immediately thrust into action, luring his lethal pursuers to Australia before venturing into the lion's den--the States--to figure out why the mafia is a Michael Shaeffer is a retired American businessman, living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. But her annual summer party brings strangers to their house, and with them, an attempt on Michael's life. He is immediately thrust into action, luring his lethal pursuers to Australia before venturing into the lion's den--the States--to figure out why the mafia is after him again, and how to stop them. Eddie's Boy jumps between Michael's current predicament and the past, between the skillset he now ruthlessly and successfully employs and the training that made him what he is. We glimpse the days before he became the Butcher's Boy, the highly skilled hit man who pulled a slaughter job on some double-crossing clients and started a mob war, to his childhood spent apprenticed to Eddie, a seasoned hired assassin. And we watch him pit two prominent mafia families against each other to eliminate his enemies one by one. He's meticulous in his approach, using an old contact turned adversary in the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department for information, without ever allowing her to get too close to his trail. But will he be able to escape this new wave of young contract killers, or will the years finally catch up to him? Perry's Edgar Award-winning Butcher's Boy returns in full force in this exhilarating new installment to the beloved series.


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Michael Shaeffer is a retired American businessman, living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. But her annual summer party brings strangers to their house, and with them, an attempt on Michael's life. He is immediately thrust into action, luring his lethal pursuers to Australia before venturing into the lion's den--the States--to figure out why the mafia is a Michael Shaeffer is a retired American businessman, living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. But her annual summer party brings strangers to their house, and with them, an attempt on Michael's life. He is immediately thrust into action, luring his lethal pursuers to Australia before venturing into the lion's den--the States--to figure out why the mafia is after him again, and how to stop them. Eddie's Boy jumps between Michael's current predicament and the past, between the skillset he now ruthlessly and successfully employs and the training that made him what he is. We glimpse the days before he became the Butcher's Boy, the highly skilled hit man who pulled a slaughter job on some double-crossing clients and started a mob war, to his childhood spent apprenticed to Eddie, a seasoned hired assassin. And we watch him pit two prominent mafia families against each other to eliminate his enemies one by one. He's meticulous in his approach, using an old contact turned adversary in the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department for information, without ever allowing her to get too close to his trail. But will he be able to escape this new wave of young contract killers, or will the years finally catch up to him? Perry's Edgar Award-winning Butcher's Boy returns in full force in this exhilarating new installment to the beloved series.

30 review for Eddie's Boy

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Putnam

    Wow! Loved this book a solid five stars. Opens with action great prose smooth as silk and highly engaging. I immediately dropped into the “Fictive Dream,” and was held there the entire time. This reminded me of the best of Lee Child, the character Jack Reacher, only Eddie’s boy is more creative, not as tough and is vulnerable--flawed. He has to use his brain instead of his brawn which makes the story more intriguing. The story is a quiet calm surrounded by short violent encounters a combination Wow! Loved this book a solid five stars. Opens with action great prose smooth as silk and highly engaging. I immediately dropped into the “Fictive Dream,” and was held there the entire time. This reminded me of the best of Lee Child, the character Jack Reacher, only Eddie’s boy is more creative, not as tough and is vulnerable--flawed. He has to use his brain instead of his brawn which makes the story more intriguing. The story is a quiet calm surrounded by short violent encounters a combination difficult to balance by most authors. But not Perry. This book is the fourth in the series with this character. Perry is deep in his comfort zone and at his best. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes well-written thrillers. David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson Series

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Thomas Perry is a prolific writer with a variety of series & stand-alones to his credit. But it all began in 1982 with The Butcher's Boy. A big hit with readers, it went on to win the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Every ten years or so, he adds a book to the series which sets up an interesting dynamic between the reader & MC. Both are a decade older & (fingers crossed) wiser. So, Michael Shaeffer…whatcha been up to? As it turns out, not much. Michael is a rarity…a retired hitman. After some Thomas Perry is a prolific writer with a variety of series & stand-alones to his credit. But it all began in 1982 with The Butcher's Boy. A big hit with readers, it went on to win the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Every ten years or so, he adds a book to the series which sets up an interesting dynamic between the reader & MC. Both are a decade older & (fingers crossed) wiser. So, Michael Shaeffer…whatcha been up to? As it turns out, not much. Michael is a rarity…a retired hitman. After some particularly hairy jobs, he packed up his money & moved across the pond to assume a new identity. There he met Meg, a charming British aristocrat, & settled into his new role as husband. Living in the UK has made it easier to avoid bumping into anyone associated with his old life. So naturally it’s quite a shock when several men break into their house one night & try to kill him. What the hell… Michael has been out of the game for a long time. He doesn’t even know who the players are let alone who would want him dead after all this time. Priority one is keeping Meg safe so he goes on the run only to discover the plot to make him dead has gone international. The answer has to lie somewhere in the past & Michael has no choice but to return to his old stomping grounds in the States. What follows is a tense, fast paced read built to hold your attention. It doesn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on characters’ motivation or what makes them tick. Instead, you’ll often feel the urge to duck & cover as you try to keep track of the body count. The story alternates between the present & the past. We travel with Michael back to America where he begins to hunt for the person who put a price on his head & why. In alternate chapters, he reminisces about his childhood with Eddie Mastrewski and how he came to be the butcher’s boy. Old friends & enemies cross his path as he gradually thins out the local mobster population. For all the time we spend with him, Michael (if that is his real name) remains an enigma. He’s a suave, intelligent man who’s gone from orphan to hitman to country squire. You get the sense he doesn’t spend too much time navel gazing….more of just-get-on-with-it type of guy. This is reflected in the pared down, straightforward style of prose that effectively propels the story & keeps you slightly breathless. For me, this was the right book at the right time. I wasn’t looking for subtlety or thought provoking exposition. I needed something fast paced & entertaining to distract me from the new reality of sitting on a plane for a couple of hours (no pretzels….*sigh*). Mission accomplished.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    “If you learn there’s a contract out on you don’t hesitate. Find out who it is and go after him. Don’t bother wasting bodyguards or underlings. Go right to the one who pays them all find him and stop his heart anyway you can. You don’t get anything for giving his people an extra hour of open season on you.” Michael Schaeffer used to be known as the Butcher ‘s Boy. That was 30 years ago when he was a skillful contract killer working for the Mafia. He was trained by his guardian Eddie Mastrewski, a “If you learn there’s a contract out on you don’t hesitate. Find out who it is and go after him. Don’t bother wasting bodyguards or underlings. Go right to the one who pays them all find him and stop his heart anyway you can. You don’t get anything for giving his people an extra hour of open season on you.” Michael Schaeffer used to be known as the Butcher ‘s Boy. That was 30 years ago when he was a skillful contract killer working for the Mafia. He was trained by his guardian Eddie Mastrewski, a Pittsburgh butcher. Michael is now 60 and retired in England with his wealthy English wife Meg. Things have been peaceful until 4 armed intruders show up at their estate and Michael kills them. Fortunately Meg is a very understanding wife who is unfazed by body disposal. The rest of the book consists of Michael trying to discover and kill the person who has ordered his assassination. There is a steady stream of hit men tracking Michael from England to Australia and ultimately to the United States. This is the fourth book of the series. I haven’t read the earlier books, but there is copious backstory in this book so it works as a standalone. The one thing I might have missed by not reading the previous books is a reason to root for Michael. He was every bit as scummy as the people who were trying to kill him and I really didn’t care whether he survived. The book is very fast paced and the backstory involving Michael’s life with Eddie did not slow it down. It was woven into the present day story very well. The book has a lot of action (mostly shooting) and there is a very high body count. This entertained me and I would read another book in the series. The narration by Michael Kramer of the audiobook was just ok. He definitely did a better job with the male voices. I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    A trip back to the past helps Eddie's boy against present day bad guys. 7 of 10 stars A trip back to the past helps Eddie's boy against present day bad guys. 7 of 10 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    The fourth book in Perry's Butcher's Boy series. Michael Schaeffer is a long retired contract killer, who worked for the Mafia, trained by guardian Eddie Mastrewski, a Pittsburgh-based butcher. Things have been peaceful since the last book when four assassins try to kill him and wife Meg, at their estate. Michael disposes of them, sends Meg off to visit with friends, and flees to Australia, where further attempts are made on his life, sending him back to the U.S. to put an end to these efforts. The fourth book in Perry's Butcher's Boy series. Michael Schaeffer is a long retired contract killer, who worked for the Mafia, trained by guardian Eddie Mastrewski, a Pittsburgh-based butcher. Things have been peaceful since the last book when four assassins try to kill him and wife Meg, at their estate. Michael disposes of them, sends Meg off to visit with friends, and flees to Australia, where further attempts are made on his life, sending him back to the U.S. to put an end to these efforts. The threat seems to center on a Mafia Don, who tried to welch on paying a fee, whom Michael then buried body parts on his property and called the cops. While everyone doubted the Don's guilt, especially Michael's FBI contact, he want to prison and a parole hearing is imminent so there are lots of suspects for who wants Michael dead. For readers of the series, there is way too much backstory, which is good news for those who have not read them. This plot is also way too similar to the last book so 2.5 stars rounded up.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    Can we talk for a minute? It’s just…well, don’t you hate it when you have to kill four assassins that were gunning for you, but then they won’t all fit in your trunk? It’s the worst; but when Thomas Perry writes about it, it’s the very best. My thanks go to Edelweiss and Mysterious Press for the review copy of Eddie’s Boy. This book is available to the public today. This mystery is the fourth installment of Perry’s hugely successful Butcher’s Boy series. For those that aren’t in the loop, Michae Can we talk for a minute? It’s just…well, don’t you hate it when you have to kill four assassins that were gunning for you, but then they won’t all fit in your trunk? It’s the worst; but when Thomas Perry writes about it, it’s the very best. My thanks go to Edelweiss and Mysterious Press for the review copy of Eddie’s Boy. This book is available to the public today. This mystery is the fourth installment of Perry’s hugely successful Butcher’s Boy series. For those that aren’t in the loop, Michael Shaeffer (as he currently calls himself) was orphaned as a small child and taken in by the neighborhood butcher, who raised him as his only son. But the butcher didn’t merely cut and sell meat for the dinner trade; he had a side line that involved cutting, and otherwise killing, people that other people wanted dead. Both trades were passed on to his adopted son Michael. Now, however, the butcher has been gone a long time; Michael is an older man, retired from all of everything, and happily married to a minor member of the British nobility, living in a splendid home in the UK. They grow lovely rosebushes together. But then in the wee hours one day, Michael is awakened by a tiny but unmistakable sound that tells him someone is entering his home. Sadly, it is not a mere burglar, but hired muscle sent by a vengeful someone that has figured out who he is and where he lives. Now Michael and his wife cannot rest until he finds out who is pursuing him and disposes of them. This book is the caliber of the early work that made Perry famous. The suspense and pacing starts out at ten and it stays there till the thing is over. There’s a particularly heart-stopping scene on a train early on that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. And the details make it even more chilling. Returning to the four corpses that can’t all fit in the trunk; after Schaeffer moves one dead killer to the passenger seat and belts him in, he tosses a tarp over the three men in the trunk, and then he drops his flight bag on top of them, because he means to jettison the men en route to the airport. Can you read this thriller even if you haven’t read the first three in the series? Sure you can. In fact, the third in the series was still on my wish list when the chance to read and review this one appeared, and obviously I navigated it just fine. But I want the one that I missed extra hard now, and I guarantee that once you have read this one, you’ll want to read the rest also. Highly recommended to those that love a good thriller.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Now that’s a mystery! I’ve been a fan of Thomas Perry since The Boyfriend, which is also a great audiobook, but this was my first novel in this series. It’s good as a stand-alone and not necessary to read the others first. Like all Perry’s books I’ve read, it’s a well-written and well-plotted mystery. Thomas Perry reminds me a little of Michael Connelly, who I also love, in that his plots are smart and his tone is literary but straightforward. In this book I learned a little about the Cosa Nostra Now that’s a mystery! I’ve been a fan of Thomas Perry since The Boyfriend, which is also a great audiobook, but this was my first novel in this series. It’s good as a stand-alone and not necessary to read the others first. Like all Perry’s books I’ve read, it’s a well-written and well-plotted mystery. Thomas Perry reminds me a little of Michael Connelly, who I also love, in that his plots are smart and his tone is literary but straightforward. In this book I learned a little about the Cosa Nostra and loved the characters. I’ll be seeking out the other novels in this series soon.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laur (reviews on hold)

    Contract killings and former mafia ties, yes, I could conceive that was once a life lived long ago. I can also conceive it possible to step away from that life if not a “Boss” or otherwise being an integral part of major crime family. But, where I really had problems with the story, was that after so many years of being “out of the game”; out of THAT life completely away from all those connected to it, was a convincing reason and explanation now, for such terror in the form of hit man after hit m Contract killings and former mafia ties, yes, I could conceive that was once a life lived long ago. I can also conceive it possible to step away from that life if not a “Boss” or otherwise being an integral part of major crime family. But, where I really had problems with the story, was that after so many years of being “out of the game”; out of THAT life completely away from all those connected to it, was a convincing reason and explanation now, for such terror in the form of hit man after hit man, dogging Schaeffer half way around the world and back again. You would have thought that this man (with so many after him...even across entire Continents) somehow set the entire Mafia World on fire, in order for this parade of assassins to be coming after him like they are. The story itself has plenty of action, and is well paced with a remarkable body count, but seems a bit too far-fetched to be plausible in the end. The Audio Version, narrated by Michael Kramer, was hard to listen to. Mr. Kramer, when reading dialogue with a female voice, was unnatural and unpleasant to listen to. Perhaps, hard copy may be better for those who savor Audio Book performance. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aravind

    Eddie’s Boy is the fourth in Thomas Perry’s highly acclaimed, though very sporadic (four novels in almost forty years), Butcher’s Boy series. Though I haven’t read any of the three earlier ones, I picked up Eddie’s Boy inspired by the praise the series has garnered over the years. I thank netgalley.com and the publisher, Grove Atlantic, for this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. Eddie’s Boy is the Butcher’s Boy, who is no longer a boy at sixty years of age, and his present name is Michael S Eddie’s Boy is the fourth in Thomas Perry’s highly acclaimed, though very sporadic (four novels in almost forty years), Butcher’s Boy series. Though I haven’t read any of the three earlier ones, I picked up Eddie’s Boy inspired by the praise the series has garnered over the years. I thank netgalley.com and the publisher, Grove Atlantic, for this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. Eddie’s Boy is the Butcher’s Boy, who is no longer a boy at sixty years of age, and his present name is Michael Schaeffer. He is worlds away from his former life as a contract killer, and is spending his days in peace with an affluent, respected woman whom he loves and who loves him back as much. But the idyll is shattered when some assassins attempt to kill him but get killed instead by their target. Now there shall be no peace for Schaeffer until the one who ordered the hit is found, and eliminated. He gets back to America, where it all started about fifty years ago, to end this new menace to his peaceful existence. What follows is the action-packed chase where Schaeffer goes hunting for his nemesis, leaving an impressive count of bodies in his wake, all the while staying one step ahead of the ones who want him, from both the sides of law. Interspersed with this deadly chase are Schaeffer’s reminiscences of his boyhood with Eddie the Butcher whose care and guidance have made him into what he is now. Perry has created some memorable characters in Schaeffer and Eddie. Schaeffer is physically and mentally agile even at sixty, and gives tough guys half his age a run for their money. He is extremely shrewd, trained so much in the art of killing and not getting killed that it is instinctual. He is resourceful, and is up-to-date on the newer technologies in communication and surveillance that didn’t exist during his heydays! And Eddie is the best mentor one could wish to have, to learn both about life and the taking of it. The character of Elizabeth Waring, the cop who tries but fails to capture Schaeffer, is quite complex and intriguing. However, the other characters, especially of the bad guys, are contrastingly flat. What I liked more in this novel are the flashbacks, which follow the entertaining times of the boy’s training under the able tutelage of Eddie. The present, though fast-paced and full of action, stretches credibility at many points. Schaeffer seems invincible, able to kill any number of assassins without suffering even minor injuries. He is also able to elude both the law and the lawless repeatedly with ease. There is no convincing explanation for the attempt on Schaeffer’s life in the first place, as he could have been left well alone in his own world far away from the villain’s domain. Even in the seemingly more plausible flashback part, the sequence of the boy’s revenge for Eddie’s death feels quite far-fetched. I also found the climax a bit tame, as I was waiting for a grand showdown after all the build-up. If we split the life of Eddie’s Boy into two parts, the past is far more enjoyable than the present and for this reason, I would rate it 3.5 out of 5. This will be better enjoyed by fans of Thomas Perry, and those who have read the previous three books in the series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jayne

    Welcome back, Thomas Perry, Michael Kramer, and Michael Shaeffer! I have been a devoted fan of both Thomas Perry and narrator Michael Kramer for over 15 years and "Eddie's Boy" does not disappoint. Thomas Perry's in-depth knowledge of identity fraud/theft and outsmarting the opposition never ceases to impress me. I had listened to Thomas Perry's "The Butcher Boy", "Sleeping Dogs" and "The Informant" over ten years ago, so I was already familiar with the main character and the book's premise. Howe Welcome back, Thomas Perry, Michael Kramer, and Michael Shaeffer! I have been a devoted fan of both Thomas Perry and narrator Michael Kramer for over 15 years and "Eddie's Boy" does not disappoint. Thomas Perry's in-depth knowledge of identity fraud/theft and outsmarting the opposition never ceases to impress me. I had listened to Thomas Perry's "The Butcher Boy", "Sleeping Dogs" and "The Informant" over ten years ago, so I was already familiar with the main character and the book's premise. However, even though this book is Book #4 of the "Butcher Boy" series, this book certainly can be enjoyed as a stand-alone thriller, and reading the prior three books is not necessary. Author Thomas Perry is the master of suspense and intrigue and this book really moves....from beginning to end. I viewed the book's main protagonist, Michael Shaeffer, as a "JLo of Hired Killers". Just like JLo looks amazing and has not lost her mojo at age 50, Michael Shaeffer still "has what it takes" to get the job done at age 60. Yes, Michael Schaeffer is still able to effortlessly plow down men half his size, avoid capture, and outsmart the FBI, in spite of the fact that he was on a hiatus for ten years and is no spring chicken. TRUE CONFESSION: I have not been a fan of Thomas Perry's most recent books. My very, very favorite Thomas Perry books go WAAAY back: "Silence", "The Boyfriend", "Fidelity", "The Burglar", "Pursuit". and "Death Benefits". This book is written just like Thomas Perry's earlier thrillers and that is why it has earned a 5-star review from me. I listened to the book's audio version that was narrated by Michael Kramer. Let the record show that I could listen to Michael Kramer read the phone book and still enjoy the narration....(yes, he is that good!). Michael Kramer has not narrated any of Thomas Perry's books in at least 10 years, so this audiobook was an extra special treat. I truly hope that both the author and the narrator will work together again in the future. Special thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim A

    Excellent combination of backstory to Butcher's Boy and his relationship and training with Eddie (the butcher) and current attempts to kill him. Using the name Michael, he avoids being killed twice in England and then again in Australia where he goes to get clear of any danger to his wife. When attacked in Sydney he decides to travel, once again, to the U.S. and track down the person who has a contract out on him after all of this time K(30 years). Not really a book for those who haven't at least Excellent combination of backstory to Butcher's Boy and his relationship and training with Eddie (the butcher) and current attempts to kill him. Using the name Michael, he avoids being killed twice in England and then again in Australia where he goes to get clear of any danger to his wife. When attacked in Sydney he decides to travel, once again, to the U.S. and track down the person who has a contract out on him after all of this time K(30 years). Not really a book for those who haven't at least read the first of the series, Butcher's Boy. While there are references to the other stories, it really is a continuation of the first book. On the downside, there are many leaps of faith. Still a good story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rach

    Michael Shaeffer is living in England with his wife. Michael tells everyone he is a retired businessman but he is actually a retired hit man mainly involving the mafia. After a party one night a attempt is made on his life. Michael intends to find out who has put a hit out on him which leads him to Australia and then America were he learnt how to become a hit man from Eddie (he was also a hit man) who took him after his parents died. While he his on this journey he meets people from his past. I Michael Shaeffer is living in England with his wife. Michael tells everyone he is a retired businessman but he is actually a retired hit man mainly involving the mafia. After a party one night a attempt is made on his life. Michael intends to find out who has put a hit out on him which leads him to Australia and then America were he learnt how to become a hit man from Eddie (he was also a hit man) who took him after his parents died. While he his on this journey he meets people from his past. I loved this book. I do love a story that involves the mafia. It tells us the story in the past and present. The past part of the story is how he become who he is and the present story is trying to find out who has put out on a hit on him. I enjoyed learning how Michael become a hit man and his relationship with Eddie who in the story he stills misses. As character Michael is highly intelligent and very resourceful which he proves when he contacts Elizabeth from the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department for information without ever letting her catch him. (He knows her from the past and saved her and her children’s lives). A excellent read and this was my first I’ve ever read of Thomas Perry and I certainly will be reading more of Thomas Perry’s work. I received a DRC from Edelweiss and the publisher for an objection review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    3 no 7

    Can a professional hit man ever retire? This is the compelling question posed in Thomas Perry in “Eddie’s Boy.” Readers are drawn into the world of a hitman, long retired, but always prepared. “Michael Shaeffer” killed people for about forty-five years. He had a long life for a man in his line of work. Now he and wife Meg are living a peaceful retired life in an English country manor house. Unfortunately, Michael’s past has come to England for him; he has not killed anyone for years, but this ni Can a professional hit man ever retire? This is the compelling question posed in Thomas Perry in “Eddie’s Boy.” Readers are drawn into the world of a hitman, long retired, but always prepared. “Michael Shaeffer” killed people for about forty-five years. He had a long life for a man in his line of work. Now he and wife Meg are living a peaceful retired life in an English country manor house. Unfortunately, Michael’s past has come to England for him; he has not killed anyone for years, but this night he must. Perry skillfully maneuvers back in forth in time so readers know “Michael” both then and now. His old age is possible because Eddie had made it possible, teaching him how to live and survive when he was young. These permanently entrenched habits, reflexes, and skills enabled him to expertly kill and survive then, and he needs them to survive now. Adversaries from his past have returned, and he must kill them or die himself. Michael’s search is deliberate, planned, and organized; however, there are plenty of unusual developments, surprising connections, and unexpected opponents. Michael is racing against time. The danger is imminent, and the tension is intense. “Eddie’s Boy” is book four in the series, but new readers will easily follow along. Past events fold into current scenarios as Michael scrutinizes the past to unearth the enemies of the present. I received a review copy of “Eddie’s Boy” from Thomas Perry and Atlantic Monthly Press. It is a fascinating look at a character growing old, living through time, one that readers do not often see.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    First and foremost, my thanks to Mysterious Press, author Thomas Perry and Netgalley for a digital ARC of Eddie’s Boy in exchange for an honest review. Former hitman Michael Shaeffer is now retired and living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. He has kept a low profile for the past 30 years living in a secluded and guarded estate in Bath. Although he makes very few social appearances, he has been tracked by his enemies to his wife’s home and assassins have made an attempt on his First and foremost, my thanks to Mysterious Press, author Thomas Perry and Netgalley for a digital ARC of Eddie’s Boy in exchange for an honest review. Former hitman Michael Shaeffer is now retired and living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. He has kept a low profile for the past 30 years living in a secluded and guarded estate in Bath. Although he makes very few social appearances, he has been tracked by his enemies to his wife’s home and assassins have made an attempt on his life. Thus starts the newest installment in this series as his past has come back to haunt him once again. Although he has been inactive in his former profession, the muscle memory of killing and surviving is still alive and well tuned. He is thrust into action, and high octane action it is! The cat and mouse pursuit is in full throttle, as his pursuers are plentiful and global. The story line propels him to America to discover why he is on the mafia’s radar after all these years. Present day explosive scenes are played out with ingenious schemes- enthralling! One of the most interesting aspects of Eddie’s Boy, is that the story jumps between Michael’s aforementioned present predicament and his past experiences, as an apprentice to Eddie, the man who “adopted “him and became his family after his parents had been killed in a car crash. Eddie, a highly skilled mob hitman, took care of Michael and taught him life skills - and how to kill. The reader gets a glimpse into his past training with Eddie which gave him the ruthless and successful skillset he now possesses. Two issues which are not satisfactorily addressed: 1)How did the mafia “find” Michael? He lives in seclusion, on another continent, and has been for the past thirty years. 2) No convincing explanation why Michael has been targeted now. There is a reason suggested, but it doesn’t seem plausible and proves unconvincing in the end. Again, he is out of the game, out of the life, and posed no threat... so why poke the proverbial sleeping dragon? I enjoy this series and its characters so I choose to overlook these glaring issues. But, in fairness, I felt I should acknowledge them as problematic to some. It is remarkable to root for the bad guy, but that is indeed what this reader does. It is a testament to the author to develop such a dynamic character, albeit an amoral one, that is so endearing to readers. I believe that is what distinguishes Thomas Perry and his writing from other scripts of assassins for hire: the depth of character development. That, of course, and Mr. Perry’s exquisitely splendid author’s craft. He is indeed an incredible story teller, using a full range of imagery and details that submerge the reader into a thrilling and electric adventure. The Butcher’s Boy series began close to FOUR DECADES ago! Thrilling then, and thrilling now! Although this can be read as a stand alone, do yourself the favor of reading the previous ones in the series- and read them in order. Butcher’s Boy (#1) won the prestigious EDGAR AWARD for debut novel in 1982. Ten years later, Sleeping Dogs was published. The third installment in the series was made in 2011 with The Informant. If you don’t want to go back to the beginning, you’d definitely benefit from the most recent one, The Informant, as the story in it is referenced throughout Eddie’s Boy. Thank you, Mr. Perry, for treating us to another exciting installment in the Butcher Boy’s saga. Now, may we get another Jane Whitefield adventure?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Don Gorman

    (4). There are few things better than picking up a new Thomas Perry book. And to make it extra special, a new installment in the Butcher’s Boy franchise! This one is really well done. Great pacing and a great flow. The movement from past to present is handled nicely and the way everything rolls out feels well thought out. The Butcher’s Boy is a thinking man’s assassin: super smart, super talented and doing everything he can to avoid having to be Superman. I think over the last 4 or 5 years Perry (4). There are few things better than picking up a new Thomas Perry book. And to make it extra special, a new installment in the Butcher’s Boy franchise! This one is really well done. Great pacing and a great flow. The movement from past to present is handled nicely and the way everything rolls out feels well thought out. The Butcher’s Boy is a thinking man’s assassin: super smart, super talented and doing everything he can to avoid having to be Superman. I think over the last 4 or 5 years Perry has become one of the top writers in this genre. He is right there if not above the Killer C’s (Crais, Coben, Connolly, Child) Baldacci and the rest. I look forward to his next effort. Really good stuff.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clark

    I never tire of reading Thomas Perry; always entertaining. Only he can make you appreciate the skills of a professional killer.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael Martz

    Thomas Perry's Butcher's Boy series has a long standing reputation for high intensity action, and his newest, "Eddie's Boy", doesn't disappoint in that regard. The main plot of the story combined with threads taking readers back to the very beginning makes for an abundance of violence, that's for sure. Michael Schaeffer is 'the Butcher's Boy', a long 'retired' super hitman who was orphaned as a child and raised by Eddie, butcher and assassin par excellence. Michael is living incognito in England Thomas Perry's Butcher's Boy series has a long standing reputation for high intensity action, and his newest, "Eddie's Boy", doesn't disappoint in that regard. The main plot of the story combined with threads taking readers back to the very beginning makes for an abundance of violence, that's for sure. Michael Schaeffer is 'the Butcher's Boy', a long 'retired' super hitman who was orphaned as a child and raised by Eddie, butcher and assassin par excellence. Michael is living incognito in England with his rich girlfriend in a historic house when he becomes the target of assassins who have somehow discovered his identity and are seeking revenge. He dispatches them without much trouble and goes on the lam to Australia to try to figure out who's after him. He's tracked there and survives another attempt on his life, so he relocates his targeted self up to the USA, where he has connections and a lot of history. The remainder of Eddie's Boy follows his trek to identify the reason why he's being targeted, fighting off serial assassination attempts, and exacting revenge for those responsible for his predicament. Interspersed with the narration of his current activities are chapters devoted to his history with his mentor, Eddie, taking us through the training he received, his transition to being a world-class killer, his "greatest hits", and the situation he was involved in that led to his near-demise. Perry's writing is solid, nothing special or distinctive about it. There's a ton of action and loads of violence resulting in a high body count, but not all of it is very believable. Perry does excel in explaining details about how and why criminals do certain things, so in a way that reminds me a bit of Lee Child's approach with Reacher, a more moral character. I thought the back history spun throughout the book was worthwhile but often seemed to be the focus as opposed to what was presently going on with the character. I also have a bit of a problem with no real character to 'root' for, as protagonist Michael Schaeffer is a sociopathic killer. If you like action and you don't mind a bad guy winning, check out 'Eddie's Boy'.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary Drayer

    Butcher Boy is BACK! The reader gets “the back story” on what profession Butcher Boy and Eddie are really into....Hold on tight for the Mafia, killers, and our boys to send the reader into twists and turns...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ralph Blackburn

    Eddie's Boy by Thomas Perry- The fourth book in the "Butcher's Boy" series find Michael Schaeffer driving through the back roads of England in the middle of the night with four corpses as company. Once again the elusive retired hit-man has been found by people who want him dead. He escapes to Singapore then Australia, but they're waiting for him, and he has to make another improvised escape. Finally he goes to the only person in the FBI he trusts, Elizabeth Waring, who gives him some idea of who Eddie's Boy by Thomas Perry- The fourth book in the "Butcher's Boy" series find Michael Schaeffer driving through the back roads of England in the middle of the night with four corpses as company. Once again the elusive retired hit-man has been found by people who want him dead. He escapes to Singapore then Australia, but they're waiting for him, and he has to make another improvised escape. Finally he goes to the only person in the FBI he trusts, Elizabeth Waring, who gives him some idea of who might be tracking him. As with the previous three books, Schaeffer is always one step ahead and more observant than his enemies. Perry offers a lot of interesting, engrossing details about what Schaeffer is doing, and long flashbacks to his upbringing by Eddie, the butcher, fill in a lot of how he was trained to be an effective killer. Sometimes a little wordy and too far-fetched, and you have to root for a trained killer. Still an enjoyable read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    A quick read that involves a Butcher Boy (Michael) and a Butcher (Eddie) and more than a few mob families and don't forget Michael's wife Meg who is shored up in U.K. living the high life. The ending will be important because during all this over the top fighting we find that life hasn't changed all that much over the years. Surely, we could ask 'Charles Ackerman' but he seems busy right now on planes, trains, and automobiles. Speaking of which what happened to those SUV's and the bodies... Oh, wel A quick read that involves a Butcher Boy (Michael) and a Butcher (Eddie) and more than a few mob families and don't forget Michael's wife Meg who is shored up in U.K. living the high life. The ending will be important because during all this over the top fighting we find that life hasn't changed all that much over the years. Surely, we could ask 'Charles Ackerman' but he seems busy right now on planes, trains, and automobiles. Speaking of which what happened to those SUV's and the bodies... Oh, well trunks and luggage are always useful necessities when travelling and speaking of travel there's plenty of that here too. Eddie's Boy was quite a treat. Going between the past, the present, and dare we must say -the future. After all, Meg believes he's on a mission after that party when someone came in to kill him. So, the real question now is simply -Is Michael dead or alive? I can't spoil the fun but the action clearly suggests that darkness, death, drugs, mobsters and more is all part of this show. A good read with plenty of heart pounding yet disturbing action.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alan Teder

    Greatest "Hits" Review of the HighBridge Audio audiobook edition released simultaneously with the Mysterious Press hardcover (Dec. 2020) Although there have been two other intermediate sequels to crime writer Thomas Perry's breakout hit The Butcher's Boy (1982), Eddie's Boy is actually the most direct sequel as it specifically follows-up on the main conflict of that original story. It does then provide some closure as the likely final bookend to the series. Eddie's Boy has the now-retired hitman Mi Greatest "Hits" Review of the HighBridge Audio audiobook edition released simultaneously with the Mysterious Press hardcover (Dec. 2020) Although there have been two other intermediate sequels to crime writer Thomas Perry's breakout hit The Butcher's Boy (1982), Eddie's Boy is actually the most direct sequel as it specifically follows-up on the main conflict of that original story. It does then provide some closure as the likely final bookend to the series. Eddie's Boy has the now-retired hitman Michael Schaeffer called back into action as new assassins arrive at his English retreat. While he pursues his current antagonists, his memories of growing up under the tutelage of veteran hitman Eddie Mastrewski are constantly with him. Although both Schaeffer and Mastrewski are hitmen for hire, their victims are usually repellant gangsters whose demise is being contracted by rival mobsters. The mercenary anti-heroes come off as efficient professionals in an amoral world. There is an unrealistic aura to the whole enterprise though, as Schaeffer is allowed to have aged in real time and therefore must be in his mid-60's in the current year. Despite his age and having been presumably out of practice, his skills are undiminished and he is portrayed as being more agile and efficient that the countless minions that he is up against. If you can buy into that premise, Perry's continued skill at writing crafty amoral protagonists will not disappoint you. The narration by Michael Kramer in all voices was excellent.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    Michael Schaffer (the Butcher's Boy to those who know of his work as a freelance hit man) is living quietly in England when (for the third time) shooters come to find him for something that happened decades earlier. And they come in force. As before, after a fruitless side trip, Eddie's Boy goes to the US to find out why he is a target. Though much older, he is in good shape, is extremelymely cunning, and remembers everything that his mentor taught him, so his hunt while being hunted makes an ex Michael Schaffer (the Butcher's Boy to those who know of his work as a freelance hit man) is living quietly in England when (for the third time) shooters come to find him for something that happened decades earlier. And they come in force. As before, after a fruitless side trip, Eddie's Boy goes to the US to find out why he is a target. Though much older, he is in good shape, is extremelymely cunning, and remembers everything that his mentor taught him, so his hunt while being hunted makes an exciting read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Loy

    I was so excited to receive this book for an honest review. I have read and enjoyed every book by Thomas Perry. This is another great book about the “butcher’s boy” who is once again found in England. He goes back to the States to take care of the problem once and for all. He is older now but not slower. I thought this book was right up there with his others in the series. The writing was fantastic as always, and the way he goes after the problem is great. After reading this book, I went back an I was so excited to receive this book for an honest review. I have read and enjoyed every book by Thomas Perry. This is another great book about the “butcher’s boy” who is once again found in England. He goes back to the States to take care of the problem once and for all. He is older now but not slower. I thought this book was right up there with his others in the series. The writing was fantastic as always, and the way he goes after the problem is great. After reading this book, I went back and read the other three in the series. I think you will enjoy this book more if you have experienced the others, The Butcher’s Boy, Sleeping Dogs, and The Informant. If you have not read books by Thomas Perry, you are missing out.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Wonderful writing with amazing characters and action. And why shouldn't a thriller about a brilliantly efficient hit man be pleasure to read? I loved getting the whole backstory on the butcher's boy. The sections concerning his adoption and training were like reading a coming of age book. He's probably a very bad man, but he's very very good at it. 😊 Wonderful writing with amazing characters and action. And why shouldn't a thriller about a brilliantly efficient hit man be pleasure to read? I loved getting the whole backstory on the butcher's boy. The sections concerning his adoption and training were like reading a coming of age book. He's probably a very bad man, but he's very very good at it. 😊

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Another review rejected by Amazon as "violating community standards." I wish they would provide some real information to explain this. This review clearly isn't obscene, doesn't make personal attacks, etc. What standards are being violated here? Thanks to Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book, in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is the 4th book in the Butcher's Boy series. It's an odd series, in that the books appear every 10 years or so, and the events of the books happen 7-10 Another review rejected by Amazon as "violating community standards." I wish they would provide some real information to explain this. This review clearly isn't obscene, doesn't make personal attacks, etc. What standards are being violated here? Thanks to Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book, in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is the 4th book in the Butcher's Boy series. It's an odd series, in that the books appear every 10 years or so, and the events of the books happen 7-10 years after the previous book. The main character, "Michael Shaeffer," is known as the Butcher's Boy. He was orphaned as a child, then raised by Eddie, the local butcher. While Eddie taught him how to be a butcher in the traditional sense, he also taught Michael his other occupation - an assassin for various Mafia figures. Not a member of any Mafia family, but a contract killer. Each book in this series involves his attempts to get Mafia people to stop trying to kill him. In the first book, he got many of them angry with him. In each succeeding book, they start up trying to find and kill him once again, at long intervals. While he has made a new life for himself in England, they keep trying to kill him - and what Eddie taught him is that if someone is trying to kill you, you need to strike at them fast and furious! This book is interesting, in that a lot of it is backstory, as the title might suggest. We learn about how he developed his skills, what Eddie taught him, and what happened to him as a young man, learning his trade. This alternates with his current activity, trying to take out enough Mafia people to convince them to leave him alone. Like Thomas Perry's other books, it's pretty much non-stop action and murder and mayhem. The other piece of the plot, in all four books, is his continuing involvement (in a professional, not romantic sense) with Elizabeth Waring, a Justice Department official. It's a complicated relationship, as she tries to convince him to become an informant for the Justice Department. It's a wild ride, and keeps the reader interested. One caveat - I read the previous 3 books just before reading this one, and there are quite a number of discontinuities from book to book. I just decided to ignore this, and enjoy the ride, but be aware in case this is the sort of thing that drives you crazy!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marianne Villanueva

    I really liked this book. A little over-the-top, but not being in the main character's head, seeing him as a blank slate, watching his -- er -- professionalism, helped me identify with him. I loved his "training," all the long flashbacks. Seeing what he picked up from his mentor, his adoptive father. Lean and tight and remorseless and somewhat reminiscent of a John Woo movie. One of the most implacable revenge tales I have ever read. Four 1/2 stars. Coming clean: This was my first Thomas Perry, thou I really liked this book. A little over-the-top, but not being in the main character's head, seeing him as a blank slate, watching his -- er -- professionalism, helped me identify with him. I loved his "training," all the long flashbacks. Seeing what he picked up from his mentor, his adoptive father. Lean and tight and remorseless and somewhat reminiscent of a John Woo movie. One of the most implacable revenge tales I have ever read. Four 1/2 stars. Coming clean: This was my first Thomas Perry, though of course I had heard of The Butcher's Boy (which I've just added to my reading list)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Levine

    Thomas Perry’s high-octane “Butcher’s Boy” novels are safely ensconced in the top tier of contemporary crime fiction. The new one, “Eddie’s Boy,” finds hit man Michael Shaeffer – now 61 and happily married and retired in England – under attack. A home invasion of hired killers provides the inciting incident that propels him back into the game. So, what ghosts from Shaeffer’s past have conspired to bump him off now? That’s our hero’s quest, first to identify, then to find, then to kill his pursuers Thomas Perry’s high-octane “Butcher’s Boy” novels are safely ensconced in the top tier of contemporary crime fiction. The new one, “Eddie’s Boy,” finds hit man Michael Shaeffer – now 61 and happily married and retired in England – under attack. A home invasion of hired killers provides the inciting incident that propels him back into the game. So, what ghosts from Shaeffer’s past have conspired to bump him off now? That’s our hero’s quest, first to identify, then to find, then to kill his pursuers. All the while escaping death himself. The trail leads our favorite hit man from England to Australia to the United States with a humdinger finale I won’t spoil. Even better for the reader, Shaeffer revisits his past and the untold stories of his training in the fine art of murder for hire. All of this started with “Butcher’s Boy” in 1982, winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best first novel. As for the title of the new one, Eddie was the “Butcher” who taught Shaeffer the skills of his nasty trade. In Perry’s capable hands, the plot crackles with energy and pace, the characters are rich and detailed, and the resolution satisfying and earned. Highly recommended. Paul Levine

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Thomas Perry has been writing for years, but keeps being discovered by new fans. Although his latest, Eddie’s Boy, is fine as a standalone, it is part of the “Butcher’s Boy” series, and The Informant, the most recent in that series, is referenced throughout, so it might be best to at least read that one first. But not totally necessary. Years ago, a mob hitman named Eddie took in Michael Shaeffer, whose parents had been killed in an automobile accident. Eddie taught Michael everything he knew, i Thomas Perry has been writing for years, but keeps being discovered by new fans. Although his latest, Eddie’s Boy, is fine as a standalone, it is part of the “Butcher’s Boy” series, and The Informant, the most recent in that series, is referenced throughout, so it might be best to at least read that one first. But not totally necessary. Years ago, a mob hitman named Eddie took in Michael Shaeffer, whose parents had been killed in an automobile accident. Eddie taught Michael everything he knew, including how to kill, and Michael went on to become a hitman himself. After he and his aristocratic wife retire to a secluded estate in England, his enemies track them down and try to kill him. He becomes involved in a chase that takes him to America, with lots of insights into how “Eddie’s Boy” became who he is, and how he might survive the assault on his peaceful retirement. Mysterious Press and NetGalley provided an ARC of Eddie’s Boy in exchange for my honest review. Kind of fun to root for the “bad guy” — four stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    The “Eddie” in EDDIE’S BOY is none other than a now-deceased Pittsburgh butcher, Eddie Mastrewski, who long ago adopted a suddenly orphaned boy named Michael Schaeffer. Eddie schooled Michael in the butchering trade, from the cutting and the weighing and the keeping of accounts to the delivery for special customers. He also initiated the youngster in the art of his second, down-low job: being a hitman-for-hire for La Cosa Nostra. EDDIE’S BOY is the fourth book in Thomas Perry’s Butcher’s Boy seri The “Eddie” in EDDIE’S BOY is none other than a now-deceased Pittsburgh butcher, Eddie Mastrewski, who long ago adopted a suddenly orphaned boy named Michael Schaeffer. Eddie schooled Michael in the butchering trade, from the cutting and the weighing and the keeping of accounts to the delivery for special customers. He also initiated the youngster in the art of his second, down-low job: being a hitman-for-hire for La Cosa Nostra. EDDIE’S BOY is the fourth book in Thomas Perry’s Butcher’s Boy series. While it does not contain a lot of surprises, there are revelations, action and munitions galore, with enough of all three to satisfy even the most jaded thriller reader. Perry does an exemplary job of bringing those who are new to the series, which started in 1982, into the fold and up to date. Michael has been aging naturally, so he is in his 60s in the book’s present while in his mid-to-late teens in the flashbacks, which are important as opposed to gratuitous. He is retired, happily married to an extremely wealthy woman, and living quietly in England. His past life seems to be behind him until he finds himself to be the target of an assassination plot. He goes into hiding but quickly discovers that the people after him appear to know where he is going almost before he does. It becomes clear to him that if he is to repel and ultimately stop the attacks, he must find out who is behind them. The problem is that there is no shortage of suspects. Michael and Eddie made a great number of enemies over the years. In order to determine who is responsible, Michael needs to find out why and, more specifically, why now. He turns to an unexpected source for assistance and learns that the attempts on his life are motivated by practicality as well as revenge. He begins taking the fight to his pursuers, acting instead of reacting, all the time worrying if his wife is also a target and if he still possesses the sharpened skill set that has permitted him to live as long as he has. The only certainty is that Michael should never be underestimated. EDDIE’S BOY sometimes reminded me of the John Wick movie franchise, in that Michael seems to jump into and out of lethal trouble with the adroitness of a younger (but not much younger) Keanu Reeves in the instantly iconic films. The idea of a thriller is to present how a protagonist gets out of a situation, and this book does not lack for situations. The narrative only drags a bit when it goes into detail about the different players in the LCN empire and their ever-changing alliances. This is a decidedly minor quibble, particularly in a novel loaded with action scenes and a charismatic hero pulling the trigger. Perry also provides readers with a number of life lessons that could be kept in good stead by anyone, even if they don’t constantly have a target on their backs. Should you decide to read EDDIE’S BOY (and you should), you will want to leave yourself time for the three books in the series that precede it, as well as the other titles in Perry’s considerable backlist. There isn’t a bad one in the lot. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gobookmart

    Originally posted on Gobookmart Thomas Perry's "The Butcher's Boy" was a stunning, cunning, and unique thriller. However, the most recent and last portion in this series "Eddie's Boy" breaks a little new ground. For those that aren't tuned in, Michael Shaeffer (as he right now calls himself) was orphaned as a little kid and taken in by the local butcher. He raised him as his own child. However, the butcher did not only cut and sell meat for the leaving. He had a side business that involved cu Originally posted on Gobookmart Thomas Perry's "The Butcher's Boy" was a stunning, cunning, and unique thriller. However, the most recent and last portion in this series "Eddie's Boy" breaks a little new ground. For those that aren't tuned in, Michael Shaeffer (as he right now calls himself) was orphaned as a little kid and taken in by the local butcher. He raised him as his own child. However, the butcher did not only cut and sell meat for the leaving. He had a side business that involved cutting, and in any case murdering, individuals that others needed dead. The two trades were passed on to his embraced child Michael. Presently, the butcher has been gone quite a while. Michael is an elderly person, retired from everything. Joyfully wedded to a minor individual from the British respectability, living in a marvelous home in the UK. They grow stunning rosebushes together. Sixty-year-old Michael Schaeffer has been living for a very long time in Bath, England, with his significant other, Meg Holroyd, a rich and fabulous lady whom he loves. Once again, Michael is being chased after by old adversaries with whom he conflicted once upon a time when he was a contract killer, Trained by the lone dad he ever knew, Eddie Mastrewski. In "Eddie's Boy," Michael goes to Australia and across America, escaping his hunters and attempting to reverse the situation on them. Beside a record of Michael's powerful memories about his loving bond with Eddie and charming associations he had with two of Eddie's alluring female clients, this novel is a repeat of old topics that Perry has covered previously. At the point when he isn't engaged in combat, Michael has discussions with an old colleague, Elizabeth Waring, from the U. S. Division of Justice's Organized Crime Section. Too bad, she is careful about exchanging data with a man who has carried out such countless wrongdoings himself. Such a large number of characters in "Eddie's Boy" are idiotic hooligans, and once Perry sets up that Michael is the equivalent of practically any aggressor, there is little to hold our interest except more bloodshed. one after another scenes of slaughter, even, when the victims are themselves villainous, don't make for a shining work of fiction. Follow us on social media Google News Facebook Instagram Twitter

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