New York Times bestselling author Thomas Perry, one of the few writers who has won both an Edgar (for Best First Mystery Novel; The Butcher’s Boy, 1982) and a Barry Award (The Informant, 2012) is set to publish his next thriller, A Small Town, on January 7th, 2020.
I guess Gilbert Brantley said it best, “What happens in a small town, stays in a small town,” until . . . it, you know, it doesn’t. Perry—whose last book, The Burglar (2019), followed a woman who’d mastered the art of thievery until it landed her square in the middle of a murder investigation—will take on crimes committed in small towns in 2020, but the plot is decidedly more sophisticated than the title suggests.
Perry’s latest will follow the story of twelve escaped convicts who, together, planned a daring escape that saw a thousand other felons earn their unsanctioned release from prison as well—most of whom set up shop in a nearby town, committing unthinkable crimes with little regard for those who they stand to hurt. In the aftermath, Leah Hawkins, a former basketball player turned cop, is tasked with tracking down the twelve men responsible and killing them . . . turning the tables on the predators, who now find themselves in the crosshairs of a highly capable woman with a serious ax to grind.
Check out the official cover art and plot details below.
In A Small Town, twelve conspirators meticulously plan to throw open all the gates to the prison that contains them, so that more than a thousand convicts may escape and pour into the nearby small town. The newly freed prisoners rape, murder, and destroy the town―burning down homes and businesses. An immense search ensues, but the twelve who plotted it all get away.
After two years, all efforts by the local and federal police agencies have been in vain. The mayor and city attorney meet, and Leah Hawkins, a six-foot, two-inch former star basketball player and resident good cop, is placed on sabbatical so that she can tour the country learning advanced police procedures. The sabbatical is merely a ruse, however, as her real job is to track the infamous twelve. And kill them.
Leah’s mission takes her across the country, from Florida to New York, from California to an anti-government settlement deep in the Ozarks. Soon, the surviving fugitives realize what she is up to, and a race to kill or be killed ensues. Full of exhilarating twists and surprisingly resonant, A Small Town will sweep readers along on Leah’s quest for vengeance.
Thomas Perry is the bestselling author of over twenty novels, including the critically acclaimed Jane Whitefield series, Forty Thieves, and The Butcher’s Boy, which won the Edgar Award. He lives in Southern California.
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.