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.