A concise revenge tale, where the good cop goes very bad: A small Town by Thomas Perry

Thomas Perry A small town review, thrillers to read now

Elevator pitch: 

Con Air/Kill Bill



Revenge stories always provide the hero with a justification to commit evil acts without having to think too long about morality. These stories are gratifying and unsatisfying at the same time. A lot of revenge stories are aloof, improbable, comforting and a bit disorienting. A Small Town is no different.
Perry's style and plotting are unique and very adapt to a revenge tale; it is extremely to the point. Something that is rarely the case in thrillers, where behind every clue, you often find a hidden world packed of shocks and deceit. A Small Town meanders all over the USA,  but the primary story line takes the fast lane right to Hell.
Leah Hawkins, the protagonist, has one goal, bring to justice the twelve men that devastated her town. And that is what she does without much dilly-dallying. A love interest backstory is provided, but we never delve too deep into Leah's personality, her weaknesses, or how she became this killing machine. As I said before, this is also quite common in a revenge plot. Sometimes it feels as if something is lacking; other times, it is damn comforting.
I liked the relentlessness of this story.
It sets off a genuinely horrific prison break, where hundreds of inmates from a Supermax prison descend on a town and murder and rape its inhabitants. In the first chapters, Perry puts his focus on the victims, and as always, when you identify with the bearer of the POV, you want this person to survive, but one by one, the people we root for are eliminated from the story.
Thomas Perry constructs an unrelenting world. And this brutal universe works both ways. Not only is there no break for the innocent. The guilty encounter the same barbaric fate. It is almost amusing. We see the criminal in his habitat, figuring out how he can avoid the reckoning that is coming his way. No dice. It makes their stories, the lead-up to justice, pointless. And you can decide if that works for you. If it is irrelevant because that is precisely what these awful men deserve? Or if reading about it is a waste of time.  Sure, it creates a distance, you soon figure out the rules of this story, and it makes it hard to care, or feel tension when nothing a person will do will make any difference. But, again, it is rather entertaining.
Up to the end, this way of telling a story worked with me. But in the last part, the completion, Perry veers off in a longer interlude, with characters that are only peripherally involved in the main plot. Like Perry had this last part lying around in his drawer, and decided to use it in this book. But luckily, the story is almost done and told so convincingly that you take it for granted.
I could have used a little more tension, a more fallible protagonist, but ultimately is a satisfying and bold action thriller.

The Gist:

 Twelve prisoners escape from prison. To create confusion, they liberate the rest of the prison population. All these criminals assault the small town in Colorado that hosts the supermax prison, Weldonville. They kill and raper numerous people. Two years later, most are caught, but not the twelve responsible. So the mayor appoints Leah Hawkins to a secret mission. With unlimited funds, she has to bring the 12 to justice. Leah has to kill them one by one.