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Fidelity Paperback – 5 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (5 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847245609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847245601
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,037,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CarolK on 22 April 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The character development that another reviewer disliked is actually one of the things that hooked me into this story (after the very good beginning). In fact, one of the things I liked was the very matter of fact, unhurried but economical way this author writes that makes the characters come alive and makes you see what is happening and why without overly describing everything. It is a thriller after all, not a deep novel (although it does get you thinking about the meaning of fidelity). Also, the book reminds me a little of Elmore Leonard's writing, in that like Leonard, this author is willing to spend as much time fleshing out the characters of the criminals as well as those of the main characters, which is unusual in my experience. It's also interesting that you really don't feel an author's judgmental presence in this novel - the only judgments in the story are those made by the characters on other characters. Lastly, I had no idea what was going to happen at any moment - the book kept me guessing throughout. I really enjoyed it and recommend it.
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By Sam Tyler on 23 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback
With as generic a name as `Fidelity', author Thomas Perry would have to go some way to peak my interest as a reader. The novel follows Emily, a recently widowed wife whose PI husband was shot down in cold blood. To make matters worse it seems that the killer is still after something and will get it at any cost, even if that means coming for Emily.

At a base level `Fidelity' is a solid crime thriller, similar in the vein to John Sandford's `Prey' series. The book is not really a whodunit as the reader knows who the killer is early on and instead the book follows from the perspectives of the potential victim, the killer and the hirer. This is all well and good, but with the tension of the mystery gone Perry decides to fill the space with character development and a lot of it feels unnecessary. Although Perry may be trying to make us invest in his characters, he actually slows the pace down so much that you begin to stop caring. Perry also has a strange way of assuming that we will support certain anti-heroes and I think is a little too much to expect.

Not all if bad with the book as in between paragraphs of navel gazing is a strong and pacey action thriller. The scenes in which the killer terrorizes Emily are very good. However, they also remind you how good the `Prey' novels are, a series that tells you who the killer is, but manages to keep the tension high throughout. `Fidelity' is unable to do the same and would have been a stronger experience with 50 pages less, or a more far reaching idea. As it stands the book is a decent crime thriller, but no more.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C.Elder on 20 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hard to believe that Perry is the man who wrote "the butchers boy";"metzger's dog" and the June whitfield series.This latest offering is a linear,banal story with little in the way of surprise or excitement.The characters are unsympathetic.The story lacks punch,and at its core is not engaging.
At this rate,it won't be worth buying Perry's books if this is the best he can do.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 36 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
"He was a credible liar." 11 May 2008
By E. Bukowsky - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Thomas Perry's "Fidelity" deals with loyalty, not only between husbands and wives but also between business associates. This theme extends even to the relationship between a hit man and his wealthy client. When an unknown assailant guns down Phil Kramer, a California-based PI and the owner of Kramer Investigations, his widow, Emily, learns that her husband of twenty-two years had been hiding some important information from her. He had been raiding the firm's as well as his family's bank accounts. In addition, he would often leave the office for hours at a time without telling anyone where he was going or what he was doing. Had he been cheating on his wife? Could he have been working on a case so sensitive that he did not want to share the details with his employees? Even though the agency is practically bankrupt, a depressed and anxious Emily asks the staff to stay on and help her search the files for some clue as to who might have killed Phil. What Emily does not realize is that meddling in her late husband's affairs will make her a target for someone who prefers his secrets to remain hidden.

Perry is one of the best in the business when it comes to crafting clear and unadorned prose. No words are wasted and the action never flags. He portrays each character's essential nature with deft strokes and his dialogue is smooth and realistic. For the most part, the author avoids clichés and tired formulas. His hit man, Jerry Hobart, isn't your typical killer for hire. He is self-serving and can be cruel, but he has a softer side and is not completely lacking in scruples. Even Phil, who dies on page two, is fleshed out as the novel progresses. Although he was flawed in many ways, Phil had a conscience, and he may have sacrificed his life trying to correct a terrible injustice. Emily is an intelligent, courageous, and sensitive woman who opens up what turns out to be a Pandora's Box; satisfying her curiosity will prove to be extremely costly. Perry's sole misstep is in his over-the-top depiction of the novel's arch villain. The bad guy is a bit too fiendish to be believed and his reckless behavior does not ring completely true. Still, "Fidelity" is a witty, complex, and suspenseful page-turner that will satisfy fans of this prolific and talented author.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Perry's superb writing doesn't save this one 20 May 2008
By Jerry Saperstein - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It is highly unlikely that an artist like Thomas Perry could write a "bad" novel. But sometimes, even in the best of hands, a novel doesn't turn out the way its creator envisions and I think that is what happened here. "Fidelity", while good, is not up to Perry's usual standard. It is still eminently readable, but lacks the tension that has made so much of Perry's work, like "The Butcher's Boy", so memorable.

Phil Kramer, an old-fashioned private detective who handles undistinguished cases, is shot dead in his car in the middle of the night on a quiet street in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

His widow, Emily is startled to learn that she is virtually penniless because Phil has been consistently withdrawing money from their accounts. The Kramer detective agency has only four people left on the payroll, three detectives and the young, attractive receptionist/secretary.

Poor Emily. Her husband shot dead by person or persons unknown for reasons unkown. Just five years before her teenage son died. But Emily is made of stern stuff: she implores the remaining few people at the agency to stay on and help find Phil Kramer's murderer(s).

Jerry Hobart, the author quickly reveals, is one of the murderers and he is a piece of work. Relentless, merciless, Hobart kills for money nearly all the time and personal reasons some of the time. He is not cheap. But he is surprisingly sentimental, which plays a big part in this story. Shortly after dispatching Phil Kramer, Hobart is given another assignment by his employer: murder Emily Kramer.

Perry weaves a complex tale of love and betrayal, of undiscovered strength and craven weaknesses. Secrets are discovered, other secrets are searched for. The story is so tightly plotted that it would be unfair to give away any of the details, because Perry has a number of suprises tucked away, waiting for the reader.

It is difficult - and it would be unfair - to classify this story in any of the traditional pigeonholes. It is a story of character and characters: Phil and Emily Kramer, the people at the detective agency, Jerry Hobart, the man who employs him to murder and a few other fortunates and unfortunates who stray into the path of these characters.

Perry's storytelling skills are, as usual, excellent. But, alas, these skills cannot overcome a major problem: the inexplicable nature of Jerry Hobart. Hobart is not unlike many other Perry characters: he lives in a world of his own. He isn't crazy: he simply lives by rules entirely his own. It's worked in other Perry novels, but the device falls a bit short here.

It doesn't render the "Fidelity" unreadable or unenjoyable. Far from it. The first-time Perry reader will probably find "Fidelity" excellent. But for those of us who have read Perry's other novels, there is definitely something a bit off in this one. Still enjoyable, but not as taut as his other work.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful 13 Dec 2008
By Straight Shooter - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am an avid reader of Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Harlan Cobin, Vince Flynn, and I have run out of titles to read. Stumbled on this book hoping it was that genre. Loved it. I felt as though i was rushing through the day to get back to the book. I see a few other readers say it is not his best book - well, then I can't wait to get a hold of the others. The writing is just spectacular. How he was able to create two malignant narcissist types, make them different, and make at least one of them sympathetic is knocked me out. You know those phrases like "weaves a compelling tale which you must follow?" It is true here. I have not met any of these characters anywhere else and I never knew what each would do next.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
preposterous plot 18 Aug 2008
By Frank Frost - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've read everything Tom Perry has written since the inaugural Butcher's Boy and I keep reading him because of his clever writing style and his careful grasp of the procedural, whether the procedure is hiding people or finding people or just killing them expertly. But the final mystery of Fidelity, once revealed, is so preposterous that I almost stopped reading. We are expected to believe that skilled private eye Kramer was hired by a rich psycho to find and return his runaway "daughter" and that Kramer never bothered to confirm that his client actually had a daughter, never consulted other law enforcement for leads, and when he found the "daughter," failed to discover that she was actually an underage girl his client had been bonking. Perry gives the impression of having lost his way in the plot and going to desperate measures to tie up loose ends.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pretty Good 23 Dec 2008
By Reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. I listened to the unabridged audio version. I was so glad there were no police or FBI involved. Practically every suspense novel involves them. This story was original and held my interest. I recommend it.
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