Since I wrote my blog last week about the novels of Thomas Perry – well, actually while I was writing it – I was listening to another of his novels, an Audiobook version of Nightlife (narrated most excellently by Shelly Frasier) about a female serial killer! I admired how Perry never really explains why this young woman feels like she has to eliminate one man after another. He’s focused on portraying Charlene as a psychopath with no real vision or objective, and that’s what make her so compelling. The novel’s tension amps up with Catherine, the Portland detective who decides she’s going to bring Charlene down at any cost – and comes close to losing her life as a result.
This makes the fifth Perry standalone novel I’ve devoured, and as I listened I became increasingly curious to know more about the writer himself. I was fortunate to find a fabulous interview with him, conducted by one Robert Birnbaum (be sure to read his bio!) and published on the Identity Theory website. It’s one of the best author interviews I can recall reading, as it combines discussing his novels with a glimpse into Perry’s personality and writing style, as well as his motifs and philosophies. Birnbaum takes the time and effort to cull some of Perry’s gems into callouts you can’t miss, and will be happy to reflect upon.
Upon finishing Nightlife I almost picked up Perry’s first serial novel, The Butcher’s Boy, then waffled a bit with maybe starting one of his serialized Jane Whitefield books, but decided it would be like eating a whole family-sized bag of Cheetos at one sitting. I’d burned through Lee Child’s Reacher novels and Nelson DeMille’s John Cory series, so had learned my lesson about pacing. There are 27 Perry novels; I’ll take my time and have many more great stories to look forward to.
Again, please give this interview a read, especially if you’re a writer. It’s worth it. And my thanks to Robert Birnbaum. The guy is good, and he has several more author interviews on Identity Theory besides this one.