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Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series Book 1)

Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Martyn V. Halm
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Blessed with an almost non-existent conscience Katla Sieltjes, expert in disguising homicide, views assassination as an intricate and rewarding occupation. Hidden behind her male alter ego Loki, Katla receives anonymous assignments, negotiates the terms with clients through electronic means, all to protect her identity. Her solitary existence satisfies her until she meets Bram Merleyn, a blind jazz musician whose failure to notice a ‘closed’ sign causes him to wander in on Katla’s crime scene. And Katla breaks one of her most important rules - never leave a living witness.

Reprobate is the first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series. With authentic details and fast-paced action, featuring an uncompromising heroine and a supporting cast of unusual characters, Reprobate gives a rare glimpse in the local Dutch culture, information on the famous Dutch capital, the narcotics trade, computer hacking, motorcycle gangs, mehndi bridal tattoos, martial arts, and the brutal effectiveness of disciplined violence.

The Amsterdam Assassin Series by Martyn V. Halm

The Amsterdam Assassin Series revolves around freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes. Under the name Loki Enterprises, Katla specialises in disguising homicide and providing permanent solutions for both individuals and corporations.

The Novels
The first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, Reprobate, marks the first time Katla breaks one of her own rules, and how this affects both her personal and business life. The second novel, Peccadillo, will be forthcoming in late 2012. The third novel, Ghost, is planned for release in 2013. While the novels can be read out of order, reading them in chronological order might be more enjoyable.

The KillFiles
Between the publications of the novels, the Amsterdam Assassin Series will also feature stand-alone short stories, the Katla KillFiles. The Katla KillFiles chronologically precede the novels in the Amsterdam Assassin Series. Each KillFile features Katla executing one of her contracts before the events in Reprobate, and, while not mandatory reading, each KillFile provides insight both in Katla’s work methods and skill, and additional background information in her character and personal history. The KillFiles can be read out of order, as the contracts are random samples from her past. Each KillFile also contains a teaser from the novels in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 610 KB
  • Print Length: 429 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pushdagger Publishing Limited (1 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094VD7JW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #448,841 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Martyn V. Halm lives in Amsterdam, with his wife Maaike, two children, two cats, and countless imaginary characters vying for attention.

Writing realistic crime fiction is hard work. Martyn is a stickler for verisimilitude in fiction, even if that requires learning new skills. When your protagonist is a seasoned killer, research can take you right up to Nietzsche's abyss. Luckily, things get easier after the first kill. And, apart from being an accomplished prevaricator, Martyn already possessed several skills that qualified him to write the Amsterdam Assassin Series.

* Like Bram, Martyn studies the game of Go, although he wouldn't be able to play an entire game with his eyes closed.
* A former bouncer, Martyn trains in aikido and koryu bujutsu. The combination of street-fighting and martial arts provides him with the experience to write realistic fighting scenes. Plus he knows how to wield a Japanese sword convincingly.
* His knowledge of Namikoshi shiatsu is reflected in Bram Merleyn's mastery of acu-pressure massage.
* Like Katla, Martyn is a former motorcycle courier and loves to go for rides on his motorcycles -- both to commute in the congested Randstad and for recreation. His personal motorcycles are a tricked-out bedlinered BMW R1100GS, a dented Vespa PX200E motor scooter, and a Moto Guzzi Mille GT with EZS sidecar that he uses to cart the children around. His wife's Suzuki 650 V-Strom Black Rhino will do in a pinch.
* Martyn shares his protagonist's fondness for sharp implements and projectile weapons developed before the age of firearms. His expertise with catapults, throwing blades and darts, and (cross)bows notwithstanding, he knows how to handle light firearms. And spud guns.
* While he is as fastidious about tea as Bram and as critical about coffee as Katla, Martyn prefers a cappuccino over an espresso, and drinks his Lapsang without sugar.
* While Martyn is nowhere near as handy with lockpicks as Katla, most household locks are unable to resist him for long.
* Although Martyn also shares some of Katla's lethal and unorthodox skills, he doesn't feel the need to use them for illegal activities. Crime might pay, but writing about crime provides a steadier income with less risk.

Martyn always enjoyed stories about assassins, but his opinion on assassins differed from the books he read. Since most fictional assassins are antagonists, they are often warped individuals, with freaky childhoods. However, Martyn has come across mercenaries (basically the same field), who are pretty regular people. Sure their view of the world differs from ordinary citizens, but they're not 'warped'. This made him want to write about an assassin who has no deep-seated frustration or abused childhood, but who just realised that killing was what she was good at and who had the appropriate world view and lack of conscience to pull it off.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read! 24 Jun 2013
By S Latif
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is so good on SO many levels. Quite long reviews here so I'll keep it short. Good story, plot, characters, location and detail that draws you into the book. The author is brilliant as it does feel as though you're watching a film because it feels so real, you can see it. I'm a fan of Amsterdam having been 5 times (soon to be 6!) and I recognised a lot of the places in the city that were mentioned. The scenes with Bram and Katla are particularly engrossing but this isn't a romance, it covers crime, weapons, different methods of killing, autopsies and is far from another formulaic crime series as there are surprises. I cannot wait to read the second novel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful evocation of blindness 27 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
It is notoriously difficult for non-blind writers to depict blind characters in fiction. Although anyone can close their eyes and imagine blindness for a few minutes, living in a world where sight has lost its meaning is incredibly hard to imagine. For this reason, blind characters in fiction are relatively rare. Where they do exist, they are either secondary and therefore always described from someone else's point of view or evil and not described sympathetically at all. Reprobate is a novel of shared viewpoints, in which a blind character, Bram, plays a crucial role.
When the reader first encounters Bram, it is easy to mistakenly think that he is nothing but a fascinating plot device. We initially encounter him just after assassin Katla has finished a job. When he interrupts her as she is cleaning up the crime scene, her first instinct is to kill him, as she normally would an 'additional' who might later be able to place her at the scene. But when Katla realises Bram is blind she decides to spare him. Her reasoning is that he poses no threat to her because he will never be able to make a positive identification of her.
Katla, like most sighted people, imagines at first that a world without sight is a world of darkness and confusion. But Bram is not the kind of passive, low-functioning blind person who is frequently found in fictional representations. He is always well aware of his environment. He picks up clues from the sounds, smells and atmospheric conditions he senses and is never described as having a lesser experience of life because of his blindness. This is wonderfully demonstrated in the scenes, such as the episode in the diner at the beginning of the 'Luncheonette' chapter, which are told through his perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A killer read 26 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Katla is a professional killer. She is good at what she does, and her reputation for not leaving loose ends (especially living witnesses) recommends her highly to her clients. She is a classic sociopath in so far that she feels no remorse, shame or guilt towards her victims, and she is able to keep her business completely separated from her personal life.

That is, until the day one of her contracts is interrupted by the intrusion of a blind man. Knowing that he could never formally identify her, Katla breaks her fundamental rule, and allows him to live.

Will this prove to be a mistake? Will the exception to her rule turn out to be her undoing? Or will the blind man have a more profound effect on her life?

Reprobate: A Katla Novel by Martyn V Halm is the first in the Amsterdam Assassin series. Set mostly in and around Amsterdam, Halm portrays a dark world that no tourist would ever want to see. A world where corruption and ambition spread into the upper ranks of the law enforcement agencies, where drug cartels ruthlessly plot to protect their turf, and the authorities are patently incapable of protecting anyone, however innocent or guilty they might be.

With a tremendous eye for detail, Halm leads us through this world, where nothing is quite as it seems, and no one can be completely trusted. And at the centre of it all, the unfathomable but ultimately fascinating character of Katla: one moment charming, the next moment ruthless; a mistress of disguise and diversion; an expert in the art of killing.

I wish I’d found the glossary of Dutch, German and Japanese terms before I’d finished the book, but I can’t wait to read the next in the series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, multi-layered and very clever 24 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This is at once a fast-paced thriller with several intriguing twists, and an intimate portrait of a budding relationship between two apparently very different central characters. The story is told from the perspective of several different protagonists, so that the reader feels connected to members of each of the three 'sides', without losing an overarching perspective. This increases our involvement in the novel, yet still allows us to be startled by unexpected actions. We never know all of what anyone is thinking, which means that suspense is maintained as the characters are always one step ahead of us.
I do not usually read books with so much violence and crime in them and so was a bit confused by the acronyms used for various levels of the US and Dutch investigations but I found The descriptions of the action scenes incredibly detailed and totally gripping. Every single move was played out clearly in my mind's eye. It was like watching a film. The book also has a dry humour at times which alleviates tension and underlines its realism.
This book also contains one of the fullest, and most realistic depictions of a blind character that I have come across. He is treated throughout the book with a refreshing honesty, neither idealised nor sentimentalised. It is very refreshing to find a novel in which the practicalities of blindness are discussed with such ease.
I can't wait to read the next novel in the series.
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