Death Benefits Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Death Benefits

Random House, Jan 2001, 24.95, 382 pp.
ISBN: 0679453059

    In Pasadena, California, insurance agent Ellen Snyder approves the payment of the twelve million-dollar death benefit to an impostor. Not long afterward, Ellen vanishes somewhere between the nearby airport and apparently LA. The impostor has also disappeared. A stunned McClaren Life and Casualty hires private investigator Max Stillman to investigate the fraud.
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    After making inquiries in both the Pasadena and the San Fransicso based home office, Max successfully recruits John Walker, an analyst working for his client, to assist him on the case. Max believes John can help him because he amorously knew Ellen when they were trainees. John agrees to help because he believes the woman he still loves is innocent of any wrongdoing. With opposite motives, John and Max begin a trek around the country in an effort to locate the money and the two culprits behind the felony.

    If anyone had doubts that no one does suspense thrillers better than Thomas Perry does, just read the exciting, action-packed and character driven DEATH BENEFITS. Only a great writer with the talent of Mr. Thomas can turn insurance companies and related fraud seem glamorous and exhilarating, but that is what the author accomplishes in this fabulous tale. Max and John make a powerful team even as their individual traits make them seem like real people. The who-done-it is cleverly designed from the start, when Ellen flees into the night, and never eases up as the audience has another mystery from one of the genre greats.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Death Benefits

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   catching con-artist

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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