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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins


Narrator: Christina Delaine

ISBN: 9781696613804

Publisher: Highbridge Audio

Mysterious Press

Publication Date: 01/16/2024

Format: Audio

My Rating: 3.5 Stars (ALC)

Justine Poole takes her job seriously providing security for wealthy and high-profile Hollywood stars. When she prevents a brazen robbery at the Beverly Hills home of two of her clients—killing two of the five armed robbers in the process—she is initially lauded in the media as a local hero. But the spotlight soon puts her in the crosshairs of the crime kingpin behind the burglaries.

Unable to stand the embarrassment of his lackeys having been defeated by a lone woman, Mr. Conger puts in a call to the one man who can make his problems disappear. Known for his swiftness and subtlety, Leo Sealy will kill anyone for a price. All he needs is a name and a face, any starting point to pick up his victim's trail. Luckily for him, the local news is as eager as he is for any information about the heroic bodyguard—and quick to broadcast their findings, regardless of what it might mean for her safety. But Sealy isn't prepared for just how quick and resourceful Justine can be. So begins a cat and mouse game between two people who know more about how to take down one's enemies than anyone else in the business.

Justine finds herself up against both a hardened killer and a fickle media landscape that can just as soon turn on her as celebrate her in this high-stakes thriller from the author of The Old Man.

My Review

Thomas Perry returns following Murder Book Top Audiobooks of 2023 (5 Stars) with his latest, HERO. A private security agent finds that being branded as the City of Angels’ latest hero could also make her its next victim.

Justine Poole provides security (bodyguard) for the wealthy and high-profile Hollywood stars. When she prevented a robbery at one of the Beverly Hills home of two of her clients, she was launched in the media a local hero.

Justine Poole is just doing her job when she follows Jerry and Estelle Pinsky from a fundraiser to their gated home and foils a robbery attempt by five men, two of whom she shoots dead.

However, being in the spotlight puts her in the crosshairs of the crime kingpin behind those burglaries. The crime boss does not like a woman defeating them. They want the problem to go away—a hired killer.

Poole becomes the target of journeyman assassin Leo Sealy, who is hired by the mastermind behind the home invasion to track Poole down. But things do not go as planned.

But they are not prepared for how resourceful Justine can be, and this begins a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse suspense.

While HERO was OK and some laughs, I did not think it was up to Perry's usual standards or his last book. This was not my favorite.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Christina Delaine, which does not hold a candle to Peter Berkrot from the last book. Yes, I realize they needed a female narrator, but I would have enjoyed another choice.

Thanks to Highbridge Audio and NetGalley for an ALC in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Jan 16, 2024

My Rating: 3.5 Stars


Starred Review, Kirkus:

"A cat-and-mouse tale done to a turn by a veteran

who doesn’t waste a word or a tear."

Starred Review, Library Journal:

" suspenseful it should be required reading for thrill seekers...The suspense is lethal...Fascinating on the procedures of both security and crime, with a harrowing climax. A tour de force."

About the Author

THOMAS PERRY is the author of 23 novels including the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money, Runner, Poison Flower, and A String of Beads), Death Benefits, and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel. He won the Edgar for The Butcher's Boy, and Metzger's Dog was a New York Times Notable Book. The Independent Mystery Bookseller's Association included Vanishing Act in its "100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century," and Nightlife was a New York Times bestseller. Metzger's Dog was voted one of NPR's 100 Killer Thrillers--Best Thrillers Ever.

Thomas Perry was born in Tonawanda, New York in 1947. He received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester in 1974. He has worked as a park maintenance man, factory laborer, commercial fisherman, university administrator and teacher, and a writer and producer of prime time network television shows. He lives in Southern California. His website:

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