Saturday, June 28, 2008

REVIEW: Blood Money

Title: Blood Money
Author: Thomas Perry
Protagonist: Jane Whitefield, a one-woman Witness Protection Program
Setting: present-day road trip of the USA
Series: #5
Rating: A

First Line: There were still moments when the old life seemed to be on the verge of returning-- there would be something out of place near the vanishing point of her sight or in the periphery.

For several years, Jane Whitefield was the person to go to if you were in danger and no law enforcement agency could help you. She voluntarily retired to be the wife of a doctor in upper New York State...until teenager Rita Shelford came knocking at Jane's door. Rita is being hunted, having witnessed the mob shakedown of a house in Florida she was employed to clean. Little did Rita realize that she was cleaning house for Bernie "the Elephant" Lupus-- a man the Mafia had used for years as their "financial planner". Bernie had been a virtual prisoner for years, as his photographic memory meant that none of his financial planning was written down. Seems that good old Bernie staged his own death, and agreeing to protect Rita throws Jane in with the old man too. With Jane's help, Bernie devises a plan to steal billions from the Mafia. None too happy, the mob does everything in its power to catch Jane and Rita and get their money back.

This is one book where, if I'd been able to, I would've stayed up all night to finish it. I suppose I'm always delighted when someone tries to beat the bad guys at their own game. Three things kept this book from being an A+ for me: sometimes Jane is just too good to be true and I almost find myself wanting her to get caught in a situation she can't get out of. The second sticking point was the sections concerning the Mafia. Too many of them were rehashing things I already knew from following Jane and Company, and these sections bogged the story and its pacing down a bit. The third was that the final four chapters were anticlimactic and could easily have been done away with. Still, it was a fun ride and I enjoyed almost every single minute!

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