Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Thomas Laird  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Mystery

Born: 1947

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Illinois Connection

Laird teaches English and creative writing at Peoria Notre Dame High School. He lives in Metamora, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Laird has found success on both sides of the Atlantic with his first crime fiction novel Cutter. This book and his other mysteries feature the fictional detective hero Jimmy Parisi who works for the Chicago Police Department's homicide division. Along with his published books, he has had over twenty short stories published in US literary magazines.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Blue collar and other stories
ISBN: 0897540867

Dan River Press. 1994

Cutter
ISBN: 1841196053

Robinson Publishing. 2003

Jimmy Parisi is a cop with everything going for him - a good career with the Chicago PD, kids who have grown into nice teenagers through his single handed hard work and a beautiful young redhead who's just agreed to become his wife. But suddenly the flipside of Jimmy's life comes into play. Someone is raping and murdering young women, then mutilating their corpses. Is this a brand new Jack the Ripper, transplanted to the streets of Chicago, or is there some method behind this cutter's madness? The cops nickname the murderer 'The Farmer' as the grisly evidence suggests he's harvesting female organs for some sinister illegal trade. Using criminal profiling techniques, Parisi narrows his list of possible perpetrators to three- and then to a sole entry. Now he has the scent he is relentiess in tracking his quarry down. Killer and cop are set for an unforgettable confrontation, with Parisi's new wife clearly in the Cutter's sights...

Season of the Assassin
ISBN: 0786254785

Thorndike Press. 2003

In the 1960s, seven student nurses were murdered by an assailant who went unapprehended by Chicago police detective Jimmy Parisi's father. Now a frighteningly similar massacre has occurred.

Black Dog (Thomas Laird's Jimmy Parisi)
ISBN: 078671350X

Carroll & Graf. 2004

Black Dog lives in the deep pit of the human soul, where desolation and depression also hang out. In this third Jimmy Parisi novel the Chicago detective is fighting against fatigue and homicide burnout. His latest case involves a killer—Black Dog—who is draining the blood from young women before leaving them to die. There are signs that a crude needle is being used in the process, and it looks like the work of someone who knows the art of mortuary science. Jimmy and his partner suspect that the blood is connected to satanic ritual and that vampire cults that celebrate the black arts are alive and well in sophisticated twenty-first-century Chicago. At the same time the homicide investigator is called to work on the murder of an inner-city senior citizen. The killing is listed as “low profile,” but that is soon to change. And then Black Dog gets personal with Jimmy —something very bad happens in his home life and the Chicago cop feels like a candle lit at both ends. Two killers to catch and a family tragedy to get through. It’s one hell of a ride, and in the end will Jimmy still be standing?

The Underground Detective: A Novel of Chicago Streets
ISBN: 1937056600

Dionysus Books. 2012

It's dark underground. How would you catch a serial killer with only your badge, your wits, and a shaky sense of right and wrong? It's 1987, and a world before cellphones and DNA. Former Army Ranger and Vietnam vet, divorced Danny Mangan is a Chicago cop weary from fifteen years on the force. But he can't rest now he's trailing a serial killer with a penchant for attacking African-American prostitutes - a grim world of deception where everyone has a public price and a private fix....

What follows when a member of Danny's own family is hunted by the killer is excruciating. So will Danny's drug-loving daughter Kelly and bisexual partner Lila help or complicate his work? The Underground Detective is a modern fable, absorbing, imaginative and terrifying. Here is polished crime writing, the dark sheen after the rains have cleaned the streets of Chicago. A treat of human foibles, weaknesses, attractions and heartbreak, where only love and family are the saving grace....


Awards

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