The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press

Forty Thieves

by Thomas Perry

A devilishly plotted chase-and-pursuit novel by “a master of nail-biting suspense” (Los Angeles Times), featuring a husband-and-wife detective team hired to look into the murder of a research scientist.

  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date January 10, 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2638-2
  • Dimensions 5" x 5"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 368
  • Publication Date January 05, 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2452-4
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $26.00

About The Book

From Thomas Perry, the New York Times bestselling author of the Jane Whitefield series, comes a whip-smart and lethally paced standalone novel, Forty Thieves.

Sid and Ronnie Abel are a first-rate husband-and-wife detective team, both ex-LAPD. Ed and Nicole Hoyt are married assassins-for-hire living in the San Fernando Valley. Except for deadly aim with a handgun, the two couples have little in common—until they are both hired to do damage control on the same murder case. The previous spring, after days of torrential rain, a body was recovered from one of the city’s overwhelmed storm sewers. The victim was identified as James Ballantine, a middle-aged African American who worked as a research scientist for a large corporation and was well liked by his colleagues. But two bullets to the back of the head looked like nothing if not foul play. Now, with the case turning cold, Ballantine’s former employers bring in the Abels to succeed where the police have failed, while the Hoyts’ mysterious contractors want to make sure that the facts about Ballantine’s death stay hidden.

As the book races toward a high-octane climax, the Abels must fend for their own lives as they circle ever closer to the dangerous truth.


“Sid and Ronnie, both formerly of the LAPD, are brainy, thorough, and resourceful . . . The would-be killers, Ed and Nicole Hoyt, are the kind of people Perry knows like the back of his hand: coldhearted, businesslike, and consummately successful . . . Entertaining and suspenseful.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Propulsive, darkly humorous . . . As the likable, series-worthy Abels struggle to survive at least long enough to solve [the] murder, Perry tosses in several hairpin plot twists that culminate in a satisfyingly surprising conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly

“This stand-alone thriller combines high-octane suspense with comic capering . . . Perry delivers a perfect melding of character and plot, light and dark, and he totally immerses the reader in an irresistible narrative.” —Bill Ott, Booklist, “Top 10 Crime Novels of the Year”

Forty Thieves is Thomas Perry at his best–equal parts exciting, ingenious and entertaining. I hope to see these characters again.” —Deadly Pleasures

“Nick and Nora Charles they’re not. But while Sid and Veronica Abel may be lacking in urbanity, these private investigators are no less brainy and far better marksmen. Appearing for the first time in Thomas Perry’s new thriller, Forty Thieves, these former Los Angeles police detectives have been married for over 30 years and have children and grandchildren. That confers on them the wisdom of the ancients, along with the cloak of invisibility in a youth-obsessed society, which suits them just fine . . . The tips you learn in a Perry novel are priceless.” —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

Forty Thieves . . . is high-voltage Perry . . . Perry offers a virtuoso blueprint for narrative sleight of hand. In Perry’s world you’ll find no faces from Central Casting, and you’ll hear no dialogue that rings flat or familiar. He brings his superb thriller to a close with a confrontation between his two foes that is as astonishing as it is satisfying.” —Irma Heldman, Open Letters Monthly

“Guns are ubiquitous in Thomas Perry’s breathtaking Forty Thieves, a double-barreled Southern California thriller that moves almost faster than a speeding bullet. There are, to name a few, Glock 17 pistols, .45s with eight-inch silencers, a .380 Beretta Pico, Czech Scorpion submachine guns, H&K MP5 rifles with telescoping stocks, and a Benelli semi-automatic shotgun. Not to mention the occasional pipe-bomb. These are tools of the trade for several cool-blooded characters who play cat and mouse with one another, in search or protection of, at first, an elusive murderer, and then of a fortune in stolen gems.” —Tom Dolan, Wall Street Journal

“Sardonic humor is rare in American mysteries. It is the kind of humor that creeps up on you and suddenly your reaction is a wry smile as you read the double-edged melodrama which abounds in Thomas Perry’s work.” —Muriel Dobbin, Washington Times

“Perry richly develops the exposition with many details and hints that keep the reader guessing at what’s to come . . . Perry persuades the reader to sympathize with the witty and lovable characters that he creates . . . [A] fast-paced read with a nice spoonful of humor . . . Perry skillfully plants ideas and doubts in the reader’s mind before revealing the final truth.” —Buffalo News

“Engrossing.” —Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska)


Booklist‘s Top 10 Crime Novels of the Year


Sid drove along the gravel road, staying in the center while they both watched the side windows. When he reached the end of the road he turned to the right, the direction the car had gone. A quarter mile ahead of them was the dark-colored car, sitting beside the road. “That looks like the one,” Sid said.

He accelerated toward the car, but the driver pulled out and drove off quickly. As Sid sped up, so did the dark car, moving off now at a high speed.

“Interesting,” said Ronnie. “I guess he isn’t in a mood to chat.”

Sid kept accelerating. “I am now.”

“Me too,” said Ronnie. “But if that’s not possible, I’d be satisfied to get a picture of their license plate.” Ronnie steadied her cell phone on the dashboard, and then decided that she could hold it steadier in her hands at this speed.

They were gaining. Far ahead, Ronnie saw the shape of a human torso extend itself out the passenger window of the car. “Wait a minute, Sid. That looks like a—”

They saw and heard it at once, a flash from the car far ahead of them, a bang and a sound like a hammer hitting their car, an explosion of glass into the front seat that sprayed Sid’s neck and chest and stung his face. There was now a big spider web crack in the windshield above his head with a bullet hole in the center.