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Assassin Hardcover – 2 Jul 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; UK First Edition edition (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593062310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593062319
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 877,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The most audacious and timely thriller in years" Daily Mirror "Fast-moving, cleverly constructed and very readable" Daily Mail

Book Description

The Accident Man is back in Tom Cain's high-octane new thriller

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER on 9 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Former hitman Sam Carver has given up killing for a living and is working as a specialized security consultant, staging mock assassinations on high profile figures in order to highlight deficiencies in their security systems. However a former enemy, Damon Tysack, is using Carver's name to commit high profile assassinations, which bear strong resemblances to his former modus operandi. Gradually Carver realises that he is under Tysacks's surveillance, but even he has no idea of exactly what Tysack is planning and the role that he wants Carver to play in those plans.

This is the third book in a series which started with The Accident Man, but it isn't necessary to have read the other books. I also felt this was the best yet - and thankfully, Carver's tedious former love interest Alix barely appears.

After a shaky start, it's a fast moving story that's hard to put down. The action moves between Dubai, the US, Norway and the UK without letting up. Cain is adept at taking his inspiration from current events and the story feels very up-to-date. The best parts of the book are when Carver starts to realise what he's up against - he's a good action hero, courageous and highly skilled, but certainly no superman.

I did feel that initially the plot borrowed a little too heavily from Robert Ludlum's novels, (right down to a high altitude parachuting sequence that felt very similar to one in The Janson Directive). It also has many of the flaws that are so common in this genre: the villain over-complicates his plot, feels the need to boast about his plans to Carver and never eliminates his foe when he's able to. Nevertheless, it's every bit as gripping as a thriller should be.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third book to feature Sam Carver - The "accident man" - a highly skilled assassin now retired and running a security business and a more 'normal' life. We find Sam slightly traumatised and a little bit paranoid but his skills have not deserted him as we find out when the past catches up with him.

In Assassin we have Carver being framed with events pointing the authorities to him with the suggestion he has taken up his old trade. This was a little convoluted with some caricature bad guys, but once Carter starts to evade and strike back, things start to whip along nicely. Can Carver stop the big event that he is being put into the frame for...?

I enjoyed this as an entertaining page turner, but the original book, The Accident Man, was quite refreshingly different but this, and the previous book, do tread familiar territory. The current most popular thriller theme is very much 'lone guy against the odds', pretty much re-hashing the Bourne formula. I recently read the latest Brett Battles and that was much the same again. Don't get me wrong, this is very readable and is a page turner, it just didn't do enough to differentiate itself from the others of a similar style
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
If you you like like your thrillers set out in a paint (write) by numbers fashion, this will hit the spot. Sometimes I do if, within the book, the story unfolds reasonably and there is good character development.

In 'Assassin' you don't quite get this. When Cain writes the action scenes, the book is the cliched 'page turner', though I'm beginning to despair of Carver, the all-action loner who seems to be caught by the arch criminals as easily as a mouse in a household trap.

It's not that the hero should be invincible but rather, with Carver, the author needs the pain Carver suffers whilst in captivity to build up Carver's strength and character. Frankly, this doesn't work. In fact, it spoils the story as we all know he'll escape with one bound just before the credits roll.

And then there's the dialogue. This is definitely not Cain's strong point. It reads like school playground stuff when dealing with the males and more like a teenager's introduction to the opposite sex where Carver's female friends/lovers/squeezes are concerned. Still, easy reading, entirely forgettable, some really good passages and some quite boring pages, too. There seems to be a trend these days to fill out the chapters with historical events as to why the main protagonists do what they do and this just slows down the main story.

Lee Child has a lot to answer for but, for my money, nobody as yet comes close to this one man against the world of criminals as Jack Reacher and, regrettably, Sam Carver is not a close second.

If you're going on a journey and need a book, take this one with you, read it and then leave it for the next traveller.
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By Graham Smith on 25 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Tom Cain is an author who is scaling the heights of espionage / action thrillers like a mountaineer with a point to prove. From his first outing with "The Accident Man" right up to the last page of Assassin he drags the reader through wonderful conspiracy theories, all out action, high drama and a gentle moment when putting emotions to his characters.

His style of writing is a sparse prose which lets the reader determine some facts for themselves as he has a knack of saying a lot with very few words. Chapters are served up in bite size chunks and are so moreish that before you know it, you have gorged yourself and the cupboard is as bare as the last page of the book which you have just devoured.

Carver's evolution as a character is an interesting muse as his training and experiences give rise to paranoia and mistrust in even the most benign situations. Thor Larsson makes a welcome return and the arch enemy from Carver's past is a fantastic example of what can happen when the army train the wrong people. He is devilishly psychotic and yet has devised a method of assassinating the President, which the real Secret Service will have to now take seriously.

The plot is the usual helter skelter adventure ranging across many countries as Carver fights the bad guys whilst on the run from the authorities. There are double agents, spies, red herrings and false clues along the way for Carver to battle and the reader to try and out-guess. Cain's greatest achievement is as ever his understated knack of making the preposterous not only believable but logical. I still think that his explanation of who was behind Diana's murder was the best piece of conspiracy I have ever read.

Sam Carver will invariably be compared by some to the likes of Jack Reacher, Charlie Fox, Joe Hunter and others. If you are not a Carver fan already and like the aforementioned then it is only a matter of time before Tom Cain also adorns your bookshelves.
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