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Assassin [Hardcover]

Tom Cain
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 July 2009

When a people-trafficker bites the dust in Dubai, and a gangland money-launderer has a fatal car accident in San Francisco, both deaths bear the hallmarks of a Sam Carver ‘accident’.

But Carver is no longer supposed to be in the game. He’d sworn to leave that life behind. So his old contacts at MI6 want to know why Carver has gone off the reservation. Who is paying him? And who will be his next target?

Someone is setting Carver up, framing him for crimes he didn’t commit - a copycat killer, motivated by revenge. He wants to crush Carver, and then to beat him at his own game by hitting the world’s most prominent target, the new President of the United States.

Now Sam Carver will have to use all his cunning and tradecraft to track and stop this deadly opponent. Alone and on the run, he fights to clear his name. But first he must stop a fatal shot that will be heard around the world.

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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: 23.6 x 15.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 704,458 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast moving and hard to put down 9 Nov 2009
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but nothing new 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
3.0 out of 5 stars Another day, another assassin 17 Mar 2011
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 11 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed Tom Cain's first book, but this new one is even better. The character and concept in Carver is great, and add this to the well researched and intricate plot lines - makes for a seriously absorbing read.
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Cover 3.0. I did not appreciate who the guy was in the circle until later. Follows the fashion of authors name and title in bold. I was looking for another Tom Cain book so it achieved its design aim.


After starting - Not sure about this book. More of the same after Dictator. Bourne meets Forsyth it says on cover. Well no, as I am missing the sophistication and depth of those two in the writing. The ingredients promise much but I am unsure.

After completion. Now having finished the book as a 24 hour read I wonder if my interest is waning in thrillers of this kind. The plot lines were interesting, educational, clever and up to date and mixed well. Tom Cain's writing also kept me turning the pages as the book flowed well after the first few chapters. Despite this I finished the book without a wow factor and a wish to move it up a star.

Why is this - Perhaps I do not like Mr Carver very much. Despite some good action scenes none of them are sufficiently memorable. At this stage I would not read again.

Alexander of Allrighters and Ywnwab!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars All action
Pacey, shadowy ex-military and intelligence characters operating in high stakes settings around the world. Tight plot - not easy to put down.
Published 5 months ago by Vishal Sharma
3.0 out of 5 stars Second rate Cain
Nowhere as good as his first book. Contrived and very glib. As in many plots if the hero did the sensible thing early on the book would end after 25 pages!!
Published 5 months ago by Mr. F. D. Blackall
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
Unputdownable from start to finish. Usual high standard from Tom Cain. I read the books in the wrong order. I hope there are more books to come.
Published 12 months ago by Tiger F
5.0 out of 5 stars great service, fab book
arrived on time and in good condition. Book is fantastic, best author around at the moment. Read his other books, you won't be sorry
Published 13 months ago by Tara
5.0 out of 5 stars Carving his way through.
Another fast paced read from Tom Cain. At times Carver appears almost super human, but also shows his human side in his care for his friends. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Alan Marston
5.0 out of 5 stars Assassin by Tom Cain
Received this by allotted postdate - even though used was in very good condition. Have not read this yet but have read others by the same author which were extremely good and... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Chris
2.0 out of 5 stars boring and predictable
This the second tom cain book i have read and the last the other book the accident was pathetic and this book assassin is not much better . Read more
Published 23 months ago by oldginger ebbw vale
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant As Ever
Tom Cain is an author who is scaling the heights of espionage / action thrillers like a mountaineer with a point to prove. Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2011 by Mr X
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Tom Cain Book
I love Tom Cain's Character Samuel Carver. The book has plenty of action which keeps interest in the plot. I never used to read much but I have now read three so far. Read more
Published on 24 April 2011 by Teresa
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I have read all 3 in this series, and I really enjoyed them all. The fact that the story grips you and you want to keep reading more is excellent. Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2009 by Jillian McFarlane
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