A Small Town

A Small Town

by Thomas Perry

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A small-town cop seeks vengeance on twelve escaped inmates in this novel of “jaw-dropping twists . . . crisp in execution and thrilling until the very end” (The Wall Street Journal).
When twelve inmates pull off an audacious prison break, it liberates more than a thousand convicts into the nearby small town. The newly freed prisoners rape, murder, and destroy the quiet community—burning down homes and businesses. An immense search ensues, but the twelve who plotted it all get away.
After two years, the local and federal police agencies have yet to find them. Then, the mayor calls in Leah Hawkins, a local cop who lost a loved one that terrible night. She’s placed on sabbatical to travel across the country learning advanced police procedures. But the sabbatical is merely a ruse. Her real job is to track down the infamous twelve—and kill them.
Leah’s mission takes her from Florida to New York and from the beaches of California to an anti-government settlement deep in the Ozarks. But when the surviving fugitives realize what she’s up to, a race to kill or be killed ensues in this nonstop tale of vengeance from the Edgar Award–winning author of The Butcher’s Boy.
“Leah proves to be both a brilliant detective and a cunning predator.” —Associated Press
“Perry is an expert storyteller . . . A Small Town unfolds like a 1950s film noir.” —Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802148070
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 12/17/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 3,733
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

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.

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A Small Town 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Evelyne0754 3 months ago
One of the very best writers around! Exciting page turner that really moves fast. I love how this author never wastes words by giving useless information. This book, and this author are worth your time and money! You will enjoy from the beginning until the end.
SharoninAZ 8 days ago
A Small Town is an easy book to summarize. Twelve brutal inmates at a maximum security prison in a small town in Colorado mastermind a mass escape. The inmates quickly overwhelm the town raping, murdering, and pillaging. Fast forward two years, and the town council of a city that's all but a ghost town now authorizes their lead detective to find the twelve inmates who have eluded the police and FBI. What follows is vigilante justice. I liked the lead character, Leah Hawkins, who is the cop the town sends out to settle the score. She is described as six feet two inches tall and bony, with unruly, wiry hair the cover of clover honey. She was a welcome change from the men who usually take the lead in novels like this. The book was also fast-paced and well written by an experienced author. I'd say A Small Town is a good, solid thriller, but I found it monotonous . . . inmate #1 found, now go after #2, succeed and go after #3, and so on. Things get more interesting when they get down to just the last six inmates left, and those six band together to fight back. Mostly, however, this is a paint-by-numbers thriller best suited for an airplane ride. My thanks to The Mysterious Press and NetGalley for providing me a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Momma_Becky 10 days ago
A Small Town hooked me with an intriguing premise, and it started out well enough. The problem is that it quickly started to fizzle, and in the end, I forced myself to just get through to the end. Don't get me wrong, I still think the idea of this one was great, but it came up sorely lacking in the execution in my opinion. First, it relies heavily on a massive suspension of disbelief. This is fiction, but come on, it really does need to make sense. The thing here is that in order for this prison break to actually work, we either need a group of really smart bad guys or really incompetent prison guards, or both. Then the same goes for the twelve to manage to stay completely off the FBI's radar. Again, they're either some crazy smart bad guys or the FBI is completely incompetent, and the way this one reads, I have to lean toward the latter because these bad guys act like the run of the mill variety, and they are pretty much right where Leah expects them to be. So, a whole team of FBI agents can't find hide nor hair of these guys, but she just gets lucky? Then we have Leah as a main character. I think it's great that Perry writes such a strong female character, but there really needs to be a balance. Leah is so cold that she often comes across as almost robotic. I get that she has plenty of reason to be out for blood where these guys are concerned, but a little character depth would've gone a long way toward being able to find a connection to Leah. And I really needed more where she's concerned. As I mentioned, the story starts out well enough, and it has a fair bit of tension, but this never felt like a thriller to me. Procedural, definitely. This book takes procedural to the extreme at times, but not a thriller. And there's nothing wrong with a good procedural, but somewhere around the 40% mark, my interest started to wane. The story started getting wordy and repetitive, and at times, just plain boring. Things do pick up here and there, but overall, A Small Town just left me disappointed.
Earlene Porchia 12 days ago
I enjoyed the book for the first 250 pages, however the last 36 pages were all duplicates. I purchased this book for a complete story, but my book ended outside a bar in Arkansas . No idea how story ended
Bob Walters 17 days ago
Seems like Mr. Perry needed to deliver a new book on time, so we got this.He is a good author, so the writing is decent. However, none of the characters are developed and the story is formulaic. The lead character does a number of things that do not seem typical for someone with her training. This is an interesting reversal of the Jane Whitehead novels, but not nearly as detailed or satisfying.
BookReaderDQ 18 days ago
A jailbreak occurs at a Prison never meant to hold such vile criminals an entire town is almost wiped out by the renegade escapees. One lone woman - a cop - hunts them down. This is a good story. Thomas Perry has built up a good set of characters again - both good and bad. Although I don't think this new book is as good as his others, it is still a good read. Some surprises in store for the reader too. I can still recommend it as a good read.
Linda Bakunas 19 days ago
DragonNimbus 19 days ago
I'm a big fan of Thomas Perry's early work, Butcher's Boy and the Jane Whitfield books. I was excited to read the ARC of "A Small Town". This is a very different kind of book. The small town of Weldonville was home to what was supposed to be a prison for white-collar and nonviolent offenders. Thanks to overcrowding in other prisons, Weldonville Federal Penitentiary soon becomes the place where the worst of the violent criminals were sent to serve their sentence. The story very quickly turns to a flawlessly planned prison break that wipes out the population of Weldonville. Most of the inmates were killed or recovered but the twelve most violent were not found. Enter Officer Leah Hawkins, former high school basketball star, who is on sabatical to tour the nation and learn about the most current law enforcement techniques. That's the "official" story, unofficially Leah is tracking down and disposing of the twelve escapees. Eventually the former inmates catch on and the hunter becomes the hunted. Perry writes this book as a police procedural - each take down is described in detail and I learned so much about tracking people that I feel like I could go into the PI business myself. There was little humor, romance, or anything else to distract from the deadly job at hand. Fans of true crime and crime fiction will enjoy this book but it is very violent and descriptive making it suitable for adults only.
Tink4evr 20 days ago
A simply fantastic story. A town raided by criminals tries to find a way to make them pay. They choose an unusual step and this that story. Leah is unapologetic about the life she has lived and the things she has set out to do. She had an unusual and loving relationship that was snatched from her. Her knowledge of police procedural and ability to stay on task makes this story hard to put down. As she goes through and acquits herself you will not help but fall in love with her character.
cindyrnet 20 days ago
I Although this novel has made a few leaps of convenience for the plot, I have to say it was very entertaining. I loved the lead character. Resourceful and patient Basic story is that a prison full of convicts figure out how to break out of prison in an organized attack, and when they get out they head into town and create a zone of mayhem and murder. While many are caught or killed, a dozen escape. Two years go by and they are still at large. The city founders , in a bold and secret plan, send one of their own out to make things even. It is a very entertaining story.
casey710 24 days ago
I was anxious to read Thomas Perry again since he has been one of my favorite authors for years until his last book. I was really disappointed. I was not disappointed in this story although I often felt like maybe two people were writing this. There is a subtle disjointedness to it. I did not really like the main character, Leah, and really found her exploits a bit hard to believe and silly to the point that they were a distraction. Overall though this was an interesting plot and it kept me interested all the way through. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
Loy3 25 days ago
I have read all of Thomas Perry's books over the years. Thank you, Net Galley. It was a good story but did not have the buildup that I am used in his books. We only have Leah point of view and very little of any other of the characters. I liked the idea of going after the 12 inmates who got away, but the way Leah went about it was very farfetched. She did everything alone, the one time she got help, we did not get to read any of that character’s point of view which is unusual in Perry's writing. She got them all of course. The end was very abrupt. People were together with barely a mention as to how it happened. Perry usually gives us more background and more details. I did enjoy the book, the chase and the superhuman Leah. His writing is changed and different but still worth a read.
RICHandNANCY 25 days ago
A Small Town by Thomas Perry -- 5 Stars Mystery Press 9780802148063 It started with a complexly orchestrated prison break releasing 1200 inmates who murdered the entire prison staff. They went on to raid a small town nearly destroying it and the lives of its citizens. Then there was a take-no-prisoners manhunt for the twelve who masterminded the escape. All this created a story full of action and entertainment. Leah Hawkins, the central character who single-handed pursued the twelve men was well crafted. She carried out the task assigned to her by the city council with intelligence and skill. It appears that this is a stand-alone novel. I was hoping that it was the beginning of a series. Leah was such a strong and engaging woman that I hoped it was the beginning of a series with her as the lead. I’ve read and enjoyed other novels by Thomas Perry. This one encourages me to read the ones I have missed. I thank the author for the entertaining hours I spent with A Small Town. Reviewer: Nancy
gypsygrandmatv 26 days ago
Intense and scary, meticulous in detail this book gives a new perspective to prisons in the community and to the idea of revenge. On July 19 twelve prisoners escaped from a maximum security prison near a small town in Colorado. They let loose over 1000 inmates who murdered, raped and destroyed the town. 2 years later the original twelve still haven't been captured. Lt. Leah Hawkins of the town's police department begins to search for them so that she can kill them and exact revenge for the destruction of her town and the murder of so many people. Thomas Perry gives us fascinating details relating to Leah's hunt for these men. Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
S_Scott 26 days ago
The action and drama of a fast moving story. Justice served in an old West kind of way. Free from the confines and lengthy delays of the clogged court system. Justice was not delayed, but planned and executed. May a bit more development of the main character's life at the conclusion, but it was balanced, fair and simple. Enjoyed it and recommend it for a diverting read.
72BRUIN 26 days ago
Another great novel from Thomas Perry! Whether it’s a stand-alone or part of a series, Perry knows how to frame a story to hook the reader and step-by-step add in twists, sub-plots and resolution. With a strong female protagonist, rivaling his iconic Jane Whitefield, he has created Leah Hawkins, who takes on a special assignment, as the acting Chief of Police, to restore a small town’s identity and confidence following a devasting prison break in their town.
Robindpdx 26 days ago
I enjoyed this well-written, fast-paced book. Leah Hawkins is a local cop who lost a loved one in a prison break two years before. The twelve inmates who organized it have never been found. Leah takes a sabbatical, supposedly to learn about advanced police procedures, but her true intention is to track down the 12 inmates and kill them. This was an entertaining book and I look forward to reading more books by this author.
MauCarden6 3 months ago
Audacity is the keyword here. The audacity of twelve psychopaths planning a mass escape from a low security federal prison turned max security prison. The audacity of twelve psychos to punish the small town that “hosted” the prison; to grind that small town into the ground. Then there is the audacity of that small town’s city government to send their own punishment against the twelve psychopaths who escaped. Finally, the escapees are enraged at the audacity of Weldonville to paint a target on their back and decide to fight back. The small town of Weldonville, Co sends police Lieutenant Leah Hawkins to paint that target on each of the twelve co-conspirators and then take aim. In the small bit of humor present in this book, the town officials who are aware of Leah’s mission use the large federal grants to finance Leah’s mission of retribution and revenge. Part of Leah does not want these men to die easy, for she has fought the escaped prisoners in the streets, losing friends and loved ones in the battles. Killing the remaining escapees will be easy, for the death toll at the prison and in the town is a heavy burden for Leah. If you are a fan of Perry’s early works, the not-to-be-missed Jane Whitfield books, then you will know what I mean when I say this is a book in reverse of that terrific series. Instead of helping a person hide completely, this is discovering several people who think they have hidden completely. Exciting and unusual, A Small Town fascinates with a carefully detailed description of how the bad guys planned both their break out and their own escape; and then how Leah tracks them down. Perry’s writing is crisp as always, giving just enough information. Thankfully he did not overwhelm with details of the rapes and murders that just about killed Weldonville. When he did give detail it is spread throughout the book in small doses, not too graphic. Although I liked the content of the epilogue, I didn’t think it connected with anything I had read earlier. It really came out of the blue. This was the only fault I found with the book. Some of the other reviewers found A Small Town to be implausible. I found the story to be an imaginative fictional thriller. I find most thrillers to be implausible. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for a fair and balanced review.
MKF 3 months ago
ShelleyWalton_123 3 months ago
I previously read The Burglar and was not impressed after the Jane Whitefield series. Thomas Perry, has however, redeemed himself in my eyes with A Small Town. The biggest employer in Weldonville is the Weldonville Federal Penitentiary, until one night a group of 12 inmates lead a mass escape. A blood bath ensues and all but decimates the town and the lives of it's inhabitants. Two years on and the FBI have still not managed to recapture the 12 ringleaders. Leah, the town police chief, decides to hunt down the 12 herself and make them pay. I felt that Leah was well-characterised, female leads in action novels can be very stereotyped. They tend to either be helpless and depending on a hero to assist or the authors feel the need to strip them of any femininity. There are POV switches with each criminal and their back story but the story as a whole focuses on Leah, so they are not in anyway distracting. Thank you to #Netgalley and #MysteriousPress for the advanced copy of #ASmallTown in exchange for my honest review.