Monday, January 22, 2018

An Old Man Is on the Run in this Gripping Novel from Thomas Perry

This is another excellent stand-alone novel from Thomas Perry, author of the Butcher's Boy and Jane Whitefield series. The protagonist, whom we meet as "Dan Chase," is a sixty-something retired guy, a widower with two dogs named Dave and Carol, who is otherwise alone and attempting to mind his own business, living under the radar in Vermont. Chase is a man with a past, though, who's been looking over his shoulder for more than thirty years, hoping that it won't catch up with him. But, of course, it finally does; otherwise there would be no novel.

As a young army intelligence officer, Chase was assigned to funnel $20 million to a Libyan warlord thought to be friendly to the United States. The warlord, in turn, was to give the money to a group of insurgents who would advance American interests in the country. But the operation went south, and when it did, Chase acted in a way that he thought best to protect the interests of the U.S. Not everyone agreed with his course of action though, and Chase thus became a marked man, waiting for the ax to fall. When it finally does, he has spent years preparing for the moment, assembling new identities and stockpiling weapons and cash. Dan Chase may be an old man, but he's not going down without a fight.

As he's demonstrated in earlier novels, Perry is the master of explaining how people can go on the run and elude, at least temporarily, very skilled and determined adversaries who are in pursuit. Of course, that's becoming increasingly hard to do in this day and age, when virtually everything a person does, seems to leave a digital trail. As always, though, Perry protagonist is ahead of the game, at least in the beginning, and the result is a gripping story that leaves the reader glued to his seat, rooting for the Old Man to succeed when the odds suggest that he never can. All in all, a great character, a great plot, and a great read.

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