Thomas Perry is an American mystery and thriller novelist. His debut book The Butcher's Boy (1982) received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel. The next Metzger's Dog (1983), later Strip (2010), and The Informant (2011) were all named a New York Times Notable Book. Vanishing Act (1995) was named by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association as one of their "100 Favorite Mysteries of the Twentieth Century." Perry is currently the bestselling author of over 30 novels.
Thomas Perry was born in Tonawanda, New York. He received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester in 1974. The subject of Perry's Ph.D. dissertation was William Faulkner.
He has worked as a park maintenance man, factory laborer, commercial fisherman, university administrator and teacher, and writer and producer of prime-time network television shows.
"I think the range of experiences helped me. I got to walk on strike picket lines as part of the United Mineworkers at 18 and, many years later, the Writers’ Guild. On the Pacific Ocean when the diver was down harvesting abalone, I was standing on the deck of a 25-foot boat keeping the air compressor going and the abalone alive, and I was the most utterly alone I could be in a natural world. It was beautiful and ferocious. The experience with the biggest impact on my writing was listening to thousands of people talking, each one making observations and telling stories," says the novelist.
One of the most notable works of Thomas Perry is a crime and mystery novel series, Jane Whitefield. The series features Jane Whitefield, a Native American who has made a career out of helping people disappear. The series is usually narrated in the third-person perspective.
Thomas Perry is still an active writer. His book Eddie's Boy (2020) received the 2021 Barry Award for Best Thriller.
In 2022, a stand-alone thriller novel The Old Man (2017) was developed into a television series of the same name by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine, with Jeff Bridges starring as the lead. The series premiered in the U.S. on FX on Hulu on June 16, 2022.
Thomas Perry lives in Southern California.
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