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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If trouble ever comes my way, I want The Gray Man on my side!
Anyone looking for an action thriller hero need look no further than here, to Court Gentry. After running afoul of his bosses in the CIA and being put on that agency's shoot-on-sight-list, Gentry has been earning his living doing what he has been trained to do, he takes out targets he is paid to terminate. Anyone associated with hired assassins knows about The Gray Man...
Published on 29 Sep 2009 by J. Lesley

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A So So Effort
I really wanted to like 'The Gray Man', Mark Greaney's debut thriller. I'm a sucker for a 'lone assassin on the run' story and all the positive reviews seemed to suggest that this was a corker. It was therefore rather disappointing to discover that, whilst it started pretty well as a whole it was only a so, so effort.

After a superb first third that...
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by C. Green


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If trouble ever comes my way, I want The Gray Man on my side!, 29 Sep 2009
By 
J. Lesley "(Judy)" (United States) - See all my reviews
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Anyone looking for an action thriller hero need look no further than here, to Court Gentry. After running afoul of his bosses in the CIA and being put on that agency's shoot-on-sight-list, Gentry has been earning his living doing what he has been trained to do, he takes out targets he is paid to terminate. Anyone associated with hired assassins knows about The Gray Man. This man has the uncanny ability to simply fade into the background. His targets never see him coming and the investigations afterward never find any connection to anyone. The reputation of this man grows to legendary proportions because of his complete anonymity, nobody is ever completely sure of who he actually is. There is only one man who positively knows the identity of this operative, his handler Sir Donald Fitzroy of Cheltenham Security Services. At least that's what Sir Donald thought. Someone literally wants The Gray Man's head delivered on a platter and there is no limit to the amount of money they are willing to spend to achieve that goal. What follows is an incredibly exciting journey from Iraq to a chateau in Normandy with danger, destruction, and death all along the route. A bounty has been put on The Gray Man's head and paid assassins have been invited to join in the hunt to see who can deliver him, dead or alive, to the chateau before the time limit runs out.

I had to keep reminding myself that this is a debut novel for author Mark Greaney. The plotting for this book is outstanding. The pace started out with an exciting episode and just never let up. The man behind the legend was very slowly revealed so that he did seem to be a shadowy figure, a ghostly figure, someone who could fade in and out simply because there was no substance to him. Over time this very talented author lets the reader come closer and closer to the main character to glimpse his intelligence, his efficiency in doing his work, and his moral code. It may sound unusual to consider that a person who kills for a living would have a moral compass but Court Gentry does. And it is believable. Characters are well defined and clear, the dialogue is crisp and clean and well suited to each character. This author did a wonderful job of describing both locations and weaponry used in the story and it is very obvious that he is familiar with both subjects. While there are a large number of professional killers involved in tracking Gentry down, I think this was necessary to represent the "contest" nature of the hunt. I really like that Greaney finished off the story by tying up loose ends, nothing was left unresolved. And yet, could it possibly be that The Gray Man isn't finished yet? I certainly hope not.

I do not assign 5 star ratings to books lightly. They have to earn that designation from me. This book would probably get an even higher rating from me if the Amazon system would allow it. I found the book to be well written, well plotted, and very, very exciting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A So So Effort, 19 Dec 2011
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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I really wanted to like 'The Gray Man', Mark Greaney's debut thriller. I'm a sucker for a 'lone assassin on the run' story and all the positive reviews seemed to suggest that this was a corker. It was therefore rather disappointing to discover that, whilst it started pretty well as a whole it was only a so, so effort.

After a superb first third that successfully introduces Court Gently, the titular 'Gray Man', and includes some great action sequences including a stand-out one on-board a plummeting aircraft, it all started to get a bit shaky. I found it hard to go along with the idea that a private company could simply whistle up multiple international hit teams in the space of a few hours and get them all on the ground in Europe without any problems within a day. I was also amazed about how naive the Gray Man appeared to be; allowing himself to be captured or intercepted on several occasions with apparent ease. This after we're repeatedly told how good he is at what he does.

Worse was to come in the final quarter of the book however, when a random character was introduced who for no obvious reason and against all possible logic agreed to not only help a deadly assassin in hour of need but to accompany him on his mission. This person then managed to conduct a blood transfusion and complete sutures in a moving car on the person who was driving. At that point I pretty much gave up on the whole affair so when the entire story was wrapped up using some useful coincidences and a bit of deus ex machina plotting rather than the Gray Man having to genuinely rely on his own wits, which would have been far more satisfying, I found I really didn't care.

I will grant that the plot unfolds at such a quick pace that its possible to ignore some of the cliches, implausibilities and illogicality. Greaney's prose and dialogue is also pretty sound. Its just a shame that the story is so weak and inconsistent. At times it felt like Greaney had painted himself into a corner plot-wise and was having to make it up as he went along to get himself and the Gray Man out; hence the appearance out of nowhere of strangely helpful strangers and remarkably useful former CIA handlers.

So not a terrible thriller but disappointing when I had expected something so much better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action filled page turner, 22 Oct 2009
By 
Tweedy (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
A thriller with heavy emphasis on action as a contract killer makes his way over Europe via violent engagements with elite hit squads that are hunting him down.

That may sound like a typical pulp action thriller but it is well written and an absolute page turner and this does elevate it above the norm.

It's not subtle, it's not deep. it's just a lot of escapist fun. Perfect for fans of action.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Absurd....., 21 Dec 2014
By 
A. F. Prestwich (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This is my first Mark Greaney albeit a little late in his career. I will read another because I think he can write but after an excellent start he slipped into schoolboy mode whose imagination was running riot. The book was absurd. A little like Chris Ryan's latest character, the Gray Man took far too much damage working his way across Europe after a stint in Iraq to ever be fit enough to carry out an assault on an over the top, fortified, chateau. In there were bits of very good thriller writing but I sincerely hope he tones his imagination down otherwise I will probably call it a day before the end. If he had stuck to the hero battling his way through a few assorted hit men like himself it would have read better but to have a corporation calling on hit squads from multiple governmental agencies was a little extreme and where did he conjure up a.....hit team from Botswana! If he reins in that imagination who could have a good character and some excellent books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, very readable and better than most of the current crop of thrillers, 19 Oct 2009
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This is a real page turner that will satisfy action junkies. For more critical readers, the absence of credibility gets hard to stomach. The plot is highly predictable and the characters are stereotypes. Nevertheless, it's fast-paced, very readable and better than most of the current crop of thrillers.

Court Gentry is a former CIA operative who is now an assassin for hire. While his actual identity is a closely guarded secret, he is known as the Gray Man because of the way that he moves about unseen, killing his target and getting away before anyone realizes he was there. After a recent hit on the brother of the president of Nigeria, he has become a wanted man and someone who knows his identity has been given unlimited resources to have him killed. The one family that he cares about is being held hostage while - unknown to him - top notch paramilitary teams from around the globe are hunting him down as he battles to save them.

I really had a problem with the hero's name: Court Gentry sounds like someone out of a romantic Regency romp rather than a ruthless killer! In some ways Gentry is refreshingly human - he suffers from vertigo, makes some appallingly flawed tactical decisions and makes regular toilet stops. On the other hand, his ability to withstand personal injury while taking on - and defeating - highly trained soldiers becomes increasingly ludicrous.

The plot is predictable and not particularly original, although Greaney puts enough twists in to keep the reader engaged and interested. Although I could tell from early on how it was likely to come together, there were several surprises along the way. The pace is relentless, with plenty of action. The details about operations and locations also felt well researched and authentic. I would have liked to see Gentry's character fleshed out, but apparently in the next installment - Killer of Men - Greaney will get more into Gentry's background and what makes him tick.

While I'd definitely put this in the "mindless action thriller" camp, I thought it was significantly better than the likes of Dead Spy Running, Dead Men's Dust and The Accident Man. I enjoyed it very much and I recommend it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The jacket tries to associate the author with Lee Child but it is more like matthew rielly, 26 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Gray Man (Court Gentry Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Utter rubbish. The jacket tries to associate the author with Lee Child but it is more like matthew rielly. The story is rediculous and suffers from getting basic facts wrong. It was King George on the thrown during ww ll, the channel tunnel is in the channel not the north sea, and the number of casualties on the beaches was roughly equal in that there were as many british and canadians killed or wounded as there were americans. Greaney suffers from believing in too much american hollywood fiction and not enough real research.
The totally implausable wounds that gentry suffers and the rediculous ways he escapes impossible situations makes the whole thing farsical.
I suggest that Lee Child disances himself as quickly as possible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Action Thriller, 19 April 2014
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This review is from: The Gray Man (Court Gentry Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyed the book very much, likewise 'On Target' however a bit P****d off that 'Balistic' and 'Dead Eye' also in the Gray Man series are not available on kindle. If possible please feed this back to the author or his publishers as I was hoping to read the whole series on kindle but now I can't which is a pain in the butt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant., 3 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Gray Man (Court Gentry Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Gripping from start to finish. I could not put this down. I've been very antisocial since starting it. Totally brilliant
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a good writer, 28 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Gray Man (Court Gentry Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Thought it was written quite well without too much padding. waiting for his next book. Will definatly buy it. Good
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another assassin novel., 26 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Gray Man (Court Gentry Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is a fun read. Court Gentry is a great character and I could easily read more of these novels. The reason I gave it a four star and not a five is that it's a little too unbelievable in places; not as bad as Brad Thor or the ridiculous Matthew Reiley but enough to make you roll your eyes. Court endures a lot of punishment which boarders on the absurd.
Don't get me wrong, I do like this book! For those of you that like Tom Wood you will enjoy this; though the Victor novels have more panache!
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