The Old Man

The Old Man

eBook - 2017
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To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts and a grown daughter he keeps in touch with by phone. But most sixty-year-old widowers don't have multiple driver's licenses, savings stockpiled in banks across the country, and a bugout kit with two Beretta Nanos stashed in the spare bedroom closet. Most have not spent decades on the run. Thirty-five years ago, as a young hotshot in army intelligence, Chase was sent to Libya to covertly assist a rebel army. When the plan turned sour, Chase reacted according to his own ideas of right and wrong, triggering consequences he could never have anticipated. And someone still wants him dead because of them. Just as he had begun to think himself finally safe, Chase must reawaken his survival instincts to contend with the history he has spent his adult life trying to escape. Armed mercenaries, spectacularly crashed cars, a precarious love interest, and an unforgettable chase scene through the snow-this is lethal plotting from one of the best in crime fiction.
Publisher: [United States] : Grove/Atlantic, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2017
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital
ISBN: 9780802189769
0802189768

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AL_ANNAL Sep 21, 2017

Not sure what made me pick this up except that I decided it was time to explore the world of thrillers. What a treat this book turned out to be! I love the detailed descriptions of the pleasures of city life and the serenity of life in a backwoods cabin. And then the same detailed writing applied to dealing with determined bad guys!

a
ariesman
Jul 01, 2017

The premise began as promising and there were some characters in the tale that were interesting......but one of the plot twists was so contrived that it messed up the whole story, (for me) which just became banal.

d
dsreteachr
Jun 25, 2017

What happened to the Jane Whitefield series?

j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

Perry wrote what he does best, thrillers about runners and chasers. A pleasure to read of a new runner who, in this case, are growing older as his readers since his debut "The Butcher's Boy 1982".

k
kmre_37
Apr 10, 2017

This book was about as exciting as wet sand !

d
Dops
Apr 04, 2017

A great read, plenty of action, unbelievable yes, but remember that it is fiction.

s
susanchyn
Feb 11, 2017

A satisfying, un-put-downable book about a righteous, dog-loving guy with special ops chops.
After a low-key beginning in rural Vermont, the reader is pulled into the “old man’s” nightmare and the big chase begins.

We see how deeply undercover he is, the extent to which he lives his life in constant survival mode, affecting all of his relationships. To become sentimental, even for a moment, would mean vulnerability and being disappeared. And so throughout the pursuit, readers are kept on edge, asking, "What will happen to the old guy? And what will the old guy end up doing to other people in order to stay alive?"

There are some quirky, rather implausible aspects to the old man’s romantic interest and her back story, but in the greater scheme of the predator vs. prey story line, these are small things that don't materially detract.

r
Reads_A_Lot
Feb 08, 2017

Easy to read and fast paced, but lacking depth. Did not care for the whole Zoe connection. Good premise, but disappointed.

s
StarGladiator
Jan 13, 2017

Above the usually superior and entertaining Thomas Perry novel, and a highly plausible one at that which appears to have happened at least several times over the previous four decades. Reminds a tad of his outstanding earlier work, Metzger's Dog, which I suspect was spiced up, characters wise, by his teaching at UC Berkeley within the same time frame, i.e., some of the characters sounded quite real!
With Metzger's Dog, Mr. Perry took current events [every other week someone due to testify with or formerly with or connected to the CIA in some manner would turn up dead - - Paisley, former head of Angleton's Foreign Defector Program {Lee Oswald et al.}, drowned, Jimmy Hoffa, due to testify earlier before the Church Committee on his connections to the CIA, goes missing, never to be found; former director and WWII genuine hero, William Colby, drowned {with his breakfast still on the table, et cetera}; and on and on as if testimony before either the Church Committee, or the later House Select Committee on Assassinations, was a sure death sentence] and folded them into his story. [That was the time frame when several highly revealing, although somewhat illegible, documents were released under FOIA which would be quite revealing regarding the IDs of several Kennedy assassins {Jean Rene Souetre, Mozes Maschkivitzan, et cetera}].
Somewhat reminiscent of the // suicide \\ of Philip Merrill, former head of the Ex-Im Bank, appointed by Dick Cheney, who was about to meet with a journalist on Monday. Over the weekend, the older [late 70s], much overweight and short Merrill, while aboard his yacht in the Chesapeake Bay, blows off most of his head from the rear with a shot gun, then picks up a 200-plus pound anchor, dives into the bay and swim twelve miles away, where he would miraculously then tie himself down, weighing his remains undersea by said anchor. Curiously, where he was found is in direct line-of-sight with Cheney's estate in the St. Thomas area on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Small world, huh? [Lady character's secret was a non sequitur, nonsensical, so not perfect 5 stars.]

u
USAF1969
Jan 11, 2017

Great read by Thomas Perry. He tells really interesting stories. This one is a thriller with lots of twists and turns. Every once in awhile he skips over some obvious points of interest (like what happens to the money when his account under an alias is discovered). But all in all a very engaging and entertaining book.

Quotes

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j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

All dogs wanted to be good dogs, no matter how unpromising they seemed. You just had to help them find a way. And they were sunshine creatures. When their master opened his eyes in the morning it was their signal that the day had begun, and a day was to be greeted with joy and intense interest. They were a good example for an old man.
===
“I like big dogs,” he said. “They’re calmer and quieter. It’s scared dogs that bite.”
“I don’t know,” she said. “
You really want to have two animals that could kill you? You’re—”
“An old man. A stiff breeze could kill me.”
===
Then he realized not that he had already made his decision, but that there was no deciding to do.
===
The Libyan government he had been sent to help topple had lasted another thirty years. Other men who had not yet been born on that night had overthrown it, and then the country had degenerated into anarchy, chaos, and civil war.

j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

“I know some bad, sad things that are true. So do you. But I’m reminding you of some better things that are also true. And since when is it bad to try to make a friend feel better?”
===
“You’re not wanted for anything, are you?”
“Less and less as I get older.”
===
“If they had been screwed up, would you have thought it must be your fault?”
“Probably.”
“Then you have to take some credit that they aren’t.”
===
"...Are they small dogs?”
He smiled. “Better than that. They’re good dogs.”
===
Each gift might be the last gift.
===
What many people seemed not to remember was that a human being who got up under his own power on even one morning and saw the sun and had food to eat was a very lucky animal.
===
At one time he would have said it was a shame for a shooter to die for something that had so little to do with him. Now he knew that the reason didn’t matter very much. Everybody died for nothing.

j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

Lovers all die. And no matter when, it was always going to be sooner than we wanted.
===
“That’s all they wanted to accomplish—just to not look bad?”
“I think that it’s also possible one of them was a strategist—that he knew even then that twenty million dollars in the context of the Middle East was going to be nothing..."
===
He had a solid record of achievements, but nearly all of his work history was classified.
===
That’s so secret it’s not even classified. It may not even be written down.
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One reason the first part of my life was a disaster was because I was too passive. I waited for things to happen to me. I danced with the one who asked me, and I stayed until he dropped me. No good.
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“Most of the people who don’t believe in coincidences are still alive. That’s not a coincidence, either.”

j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

He had told them a couple of times that the old man wasn’t just an old man, like somebody’s uncle. He was old in the way a seven-foot rattlesnake was old.
===
We let a rogue agent who has killed five men this year disappear once again like a fart in a hurricane.
===
Our job isn’t to salvage some dismal screwup from a generation ago. It’s to move the ball forward a few yards today. Our job is about today.
===
Nobody in any intelligence organization had any particular attachment to the truth. The truth was just one of many versions that was not necessarily superior to any of the other versions.
===
If the (news)papers don’t already have the story, they don’t get it. If they have the story, they’re asked not to print it.

j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

It’s a life lesson I learned recently. You never know when you’ll get your next lemon meringue, so now is a good time.
===
“So now you’re a happy pauper.”
===
You pull the trigger and the trigger bar pushes the striker back against its spring. Right near the end of your pull, the cocking lever frees the striker and it pops forward, hits the primer, and the round in the chamber is fired. The slide recoils, ejecting the brass casing, and comes forward again, letting the next round be pushed up into the chamber.
===
People get along or they don’t. If they don’t, then one day one of them sees the future all laid out ahead. And they realize that it’s almost exactly like the present. And they don’t want it to be.

j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

We can train people for years and years, give them loads of time in the field. What we can’t do is make them smart.
===
“San Bernardino County has a lot of space where you can fire a weapon legally. It’s the biggest county in the whole country. It’s got more area than Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey combined. Once you’re ten miles outside of any town, you’re pretty much by yourself.”
===
Canadians used the metric system for temperatures and distances, but they expressed their height in feet and inches, their weight in pounds.
===
Years ago, she remembered, some friends of hers—really her husband’s—had gone to Europe and always told people they were Canadian to avoid political hatred. Everybody liked Canadians.

j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

He had learned over the years that things that didn’t seem right often weren’t.
===
The Canadian People’s Relief Corps’ mission was to organize, fund, and equip teams of relief workers and send them where humanitarian aid was most urgently needed. They provided water purification systems, generators, food, clothing, and materials for temporary shelters. If the country was infested with mosquitos they brought mosquito netting. If the region was hungry but stable they brought well-digging equipment, seeds, tools, and even imported livestock. And no matter where they went, they brought medical supplies, doctors, nurses, technicians, and trained volunteers.
===
Libyan exiles would attend a Sunni mosque of the Maliki school.
===
Genesis 2:18–24: “It’s not good for man to be alone; I will make a suitable helper for him.”
===
Proverbs 3:15, the virtuous wife. “She is more precious than rubies. And all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”

j
jimg2000
May 22, 2017

If he’s in Vietnam, then xin chuc mung (congratulations!) to him.
===
The rule of thumb was that it took three days to die of dehydration, but he had spent much of his first night running.
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“Aameen,” Spencer muttered. “May it be so.”
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He occasionally reminded himself that the important thing was not that he enjoy her company, but that he use her emotions to keep himself secure and ahead of his pursuers.
===
Libya was the obvious place to cross the Mediterranean to southern Europe. The smuggling routes were centuries old, and the human trafficking business had been thriving for decades.
===
Every region had its own militias, each with its own weapons, its own tribal hatreds, and regional rivalries. Spencer knew that Libya had about 140 tribes. The national army still seemed to be in charge in the east, but they could not pacify it, so lines shifted.

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