Thomas Perry writes dandy crime thrillers. The latest: The Bomb Maker, whose title covers only half the plot ... Yes, Perry devotes a lot of space to the bomb maker, a clever but evil man. But Perry devotes even more space to the Los Angeles cops trained to disarm bombs ... Trouble is for the killer, Stahl has an equally clever mind and a strong dose of caution and common sense ... The author writes highly detailed accounts of how Stahl finds and disarms bombs, with Hines’ help. Are the accounts accurate? Who knows? But they sound accurate ... Warning: The Bomb Maker teems with gore as well as technicalities ... It’s a bang-up book.
The intense thrills of Thomas Perry’s The Bomb Maker are almost unbearable ... Dick Stahl, who steps in to head the depleted squad, doesn’t get the joke, but he goes mano a mano with the abominable riddler, whose clear intention is to destroy those who respond to his devilishly clever booby traps. There seems to be no pattern to the placement of these 'well-designed, insidious and psychologically astute' devices, which turn up at a gas station, a school cafeteria and a hospital ward ... And when they do, the damage is spectacular.
Readers of Thomas Perry’s new thriller, The Bomb Maker, will practically have earned Ph.Ds in sophisticated explosive-making techniques before finishing this tale of a mad bomber on the rampage in Los Angeles. It’s fascinating, sinister stuff — and Perry’s depraved mastermind is all too creepily believable ... [Perry] adeptly plays on our awareness of public-place terrorist bombings, creating an atmosphere of anxiety and dread. Despite several holes in the plot, you’ll keep flipping the pages, ever fearful of what bloody horror will strike unlucky L.A. next ... Despite its shortcomings — I have a list of five major plot holes — The Bomb Maker does one thing very well. Plainly well-researched, it makes graphically real the dangers faced by American urban bomb squads in an era when they could be called into service any day.
Mr. Perry, in this first-rate thriller, proves as cagy as his criminal mastermind: The reader rarely anticipates his next move. He balances breathtaking suspense with romantic intrigue … Meanwhile, the bomber is pressured to work harder and faster by circumstances (and people) that even he can’t control. His murderous designs, combined with Stahl’s quest to stop him at all costs, ensure that Mr. Perry’s book will have a suitably explosive finale.
We are only just in to the New Year, but few books you read this year will start better than The Bomb Maker. The opening sentence of chapter one draws you straight into the action with its vividly detailed, almost fetishist description of a bomb’s construction ... Perry, an old hand at the thriller game, has found a way, right at the beginning, to let us know that we, just like the book’s characters, can never relax ...a knockout beginning to the novel, and the same high standard continues through the second act ... Perry excels in more than just drama. The differing reaction from the officers to Holmes’ near death experience affords for some acute characterisation ... Perry makes his only misstep towards the end of the novel. The bomb maker is never named, and for most of the book we are not privy to his motivation or the practicalities of his task. It matters not – in fact, the book suffers when these are revealed.
This is an explosion of a book. It isn’t just aptly titled, it is probably one of the grimmer books Thomas Perry has written and that is saying a good deal ... The bomb maker is an anonymous monster who kicks off the saga of death by killing 14 members of the Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad. The first chapters are made all the more chilling by their portrayal of the meticulous technique used by the bomb disposal experts in doing their work ... There are interesting comparisons between the psychology of the bomb maker and the members of the bomb squad who realize quickly but not quickly enough that his goal is their obliteration ... Mr. Perry writes with building tension and although the reader assumes that the bomb maker will lose, the plot is characteristically twisted to leave questions and doubts even when the blood-soaked scene is cleaned up. There is nothing relaxing about this, but it is very well done.
Perry provides a hero worth caring about, a villain who stays one step ahead of him, and a supporting cast designed to keep up the nerve-shredding suspense. If the ending feels like a letdown, that’s because this ultimate professional rivalry can’t possibly continue forever.
An unnamed bomber wreaks havoc in this exciting if frustrating thriller from bestseller Perry... The detailed descriptions of the bomb maker’s devices and Stahl’s methods to disarm them are fascinating, but Perry puts considerably less effort into developing his characters ... The motives of the bomb maker and his mysterious backers remain vague. Still, action junkies will be rewarded.