Cover image for The bomb maker
The bomb maker
The bomb maker
Personal Author:
First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition
Publisher Info:
New York, NY : The Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, [2018]
Physical Description:
372 pages 24 cm
"A threat is called into the LAPD Bomb Squad, a team dispatched to a house whose owner is away, and a bomb disguised inside photography equipment exploded in the kitchen. But it is a second bomb hidden in the basement that has devastating consequences--half of the entire Bomb Squad is obliterated within seconds. The fragmented unit turns to Dick Stahl, a former Bomb Squad commander who now operates his own private security company. Having just returned from a grueling job in Mexico, Stahl is reluctant to accept the offer, but senior technicians he had trained were among those killed. On his first day back at the head of the squad, Stahl's team is dispatched to a suspected car bomb outside a gas station. It quickly becomes clear to him that they are dealing with the same mastermind behind the weapon that killed fourteen highly trained men and women barely twenty-four hours before--and that the intended target may be the Bomb Squad itself."-- provided by publisher.


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FICTION PERR New or Popular Adult Fiction Book

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A bomb is more than a weapon. A bomb is an expression of the bomber's predictions of human behavior--a performance designed to fool you into making one fatally wrong move. In The Bomb Maker , Thomas Perry introduces us to the dark corners of a mind intent on transforming a simple machine into an act of murder--and to those committed to preventing that outcome at any cost.

A threat is called into the LAPD Bomb Squad and when tragedy ensues, the fragmented unit turns to Dick Stahl, a former Bomb Squad commander who now operates his own private security company. Just returned from a tough job in Mexico, Stahl is at first reluctant to accept the offer, but his sense of duty to the technicians he trained is too strong to turn it down. On his first day back at the head of the squad, Stahl's three-person team is dispatched to a suspected car bomb. And it quickly becomes clear to him that they are dealing with an unusual mastermind--one whose intended target seems to be the Bomb Squad itself.

As the shadowy organization sponsoring this campaign of violence puts increasing pressure on the bomb maker, and Stahl becomes dangerously entangled with a member of his own team, the fuse on this high-stakes plot only burns faster. The Bomb Maker is Thomas Perry's biggest, most unstoppable thriller yet.

Author Notes

Thomas Perry was born in Tonawanda, New York, in 1947. He graduated from Cornell University in 1969 and earned a Ph. D. in English Literature from the University of Rochester in 1974.

Perry's novels, successful both critically and with the public, are suspenseful as well as comic. Butcher's Boy received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel in 1983, and another one of his novels has been adapted in the movie, The Guide (1999). His other novels include: Death Benefits, Nightlife, Fidelity, and Strip.

(Bowker Author Biography) Won an Edgar for The Butcher's Boy, and Metzger's Dog was a New Yor Times Notable book of the Year. Vanishing Act was chosen as one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. Perry's other works include: Death Benefits, The Face Changers, Shadow Woman, Dance for the Dead, and Blood Money. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two daughters.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

An unnamed bomber wreaks havoc in this exciting if frustrating thriller from bestseller Perry (The Old Man). When a large cache of explosives blows up under a Los Angeles house, killing the 14 members of the LAPD Bomb Squad at the scene, Dick Stahl, a former bomb squad captain, takes over the squad on a temporary basis. On his first day, Stahl and his team must deal with an intricate car bomb, which he leads them in disarming. That evening, Sgt. Diane Hines, who drove Stahl to the site of the car bomb, arrives at his condo, where the two begin a relationship that grows over the course of the book. The detailed descriptions of the bomb maker's devices and Stahl's methods to disarm them are fascinating, but Perry puts considerably less effort into developing his characters. Stahl is annoyingly perfect, and his subordinates, who never attain his expertise, suffer in their careers as a consequence. The motives of the bomb maker and his mysterious backers remain vague. Still, action junkies will be rewarded. Agent: Mel Berger, WME. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Dick Stahl, owner of a private security company and former head of the LAPD Bomb Squad, is happy to be on his own, but that all changes when two bombs explode in a private house, killing 14 current bomb squad members. Summoned to take over the squad until the bomber is caught, Stahl quickly realizes that the man he faces is no ordinary garage bomb maker. Perry is in straight-ahead thriller mode here, constructing a gripping, clock-ticking plot, awash in fascinating details about bomb making and detection, but he takes his foot off the throttle just enough to give us glimpses into the personalities of the bomber, whose psyche is as unstable as the explosives he arms, and of Stahl, who has personal issues of his own, not the least of which is his dangerous decision to begin a relationship with one of the bomb squad members. Perry, known for his skill at balancing light and dark, comedy and tragedy, pretty much leaves the light side alone here, but readers won't have time to notice, so enveloping is the main story line.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2017 Booklist

Library Journal Review

When half of the entire LAPD bomb squad is killed in a booby-trapped house, it is clear that someone is targeting the group. The authorities call in Dick Stahl, former soldier, cop, and retired bomb squad leader, to train replacements and hunt the killer. He manages to defuse several devices, frustrating the bomber, who kills occasionally just to keep in practice. The culprit is financed by a shadowy terrorist group and is constantly devising new explosives and methods of delivery. Stahl gets involved with a female squad member and is forced to resign, but he continues as a consultant even as the bombmaker gets more desperate. Things naturally build to an explosive climax in this tale filled with extensive bomb details and nerve-wracking suspense. And while the terrorist element seems strained and the ending a bit melodramatic, Perry (The Old Man) is a pro, this action-filled novel certainly supporting his considerable reputation. VERDICT In -Perry's 25th thriller, the Edgar Award-winning author deftly and clearly explains topics unfamiliar to most readers while keeping the plot roaring along.-Roland Person, -formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



As he walked, he congratulated himself on his success. He made weapons, but didn't consider himself a warrior. He was a bomb maker, a person who killed unseen and from a safe distance. All bombs came from a small, scheming, self-protective part of the mind. No bomb came from bravery. At most they were cunning or imaginative, cleverly disguised as something harmless--or even appealing. The Russians used to use helicopters to drop small delayed bombs designed to look like toys so Afghan children would try to pick them up. The monumental cynicism that led to the design of those devices still excited and amazed him. One of his specialties was making bombs that came from his observations about human impulses and temptations. He liked small, routine-looking bombs that would beguile a bomb technician and tempt him to try to defuse it. The technician's efforts would then set off a bigger bomb he hadn't seen or imagined was hidden nearby. He loved the power. He had the ability to obliterate anything he wanted. And he liked the perversity of bombs, the way he could make his enemies use their own skill and intelligence and selflessness and bravery--especially bravery--to kill themselves. When he wanted to be, he was death. Excerpted from The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.