The Cleaner by Brett Battles

  The Cleaner by Brett Battles

‘Jonathan Quinn’ series Book #1

Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages – Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (June 24, 2008 ) – Language: English – ISBN-10: 0440244382 – ISBN-13: 978-0440244387

Back of the Book reads:

Meet Jonathan Quinn: a freelance operative with a take-no-prisoners style and the heart of a loner. His job? Professional “cleaner”. Nothing too violent, just disposing of bodies, doing a little cleanup if necessary. But Quinn’s latest assignment is about to change everything, igniting a harrowing journey of violence, betrayal, and revenge.

The job seemed simple enough: investigating a suspicious case of arson. But when a dead body turns up where it doesn’t belong – and Quinn’s handlers turn strangely silent – he knows he’s in over his head. Quinn’s only hope may be Orlando, a woman from his past who could hold the key to solving the case. Suddenly the two are prying into old crimes, struggling to stay alive long enought to unbury the truth. But as the hunt intensifies, Quinn is stunned by what he uncovers: a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy – with an almost unimaginable goal.

The Cleaner at Amazon.com

The Cleaner at Chapters.ca

The Cleaner at Amazon.ca


3-Nov-08 to 5-Nov-08

Review: A compelling, page-turning debut novel!

Jonathan Quinn, a professional ‘cleaner’ for a covert government known as ‘The Office’ is contracted to go to Colorado to ‘investigate’ the death of a man named Taggert. However, to Quinn, the whole thing smells fishy. With the help of his apprentice, they look for any clues that need to be ‘cleaned’. Discovering the body of another female ‘agent’, Quinn knows everything isn’t as it seems. He knows he should be minding his own business, that he’s hired to get rid of all evidence or report a lack thereof. He was taught not to dig, to just do the job and let it go.

This time, he can’t. He and Nate are attacked in Quinn’s own home. Now… it’s personal. Agents contracted by ‘The Office’ are being targetted, and Peter, ‘The Office’s top dog, is being very vague with any answers or information. Quinn’s not liking this at all.

Quinn and Nate disappear halfway around the world. He enlists the help of Orlando, another ‘agent’ and a friend from his past, who currently hates his guts. As a hacker, she can find information that would be otherwise lost to him.

Then Quinn’s boss asks him to go Berlin to investigate a lead that may tie-in to ‘The Office’s disruption. There, they find out more is at stake, for bioterrorism is thick, and Quinn will do anything to stop it. Nate has disappeared; dead or alive, Quinn doesn’t know. Orlando’s son is kidnapped in an attempt to force Quinn and Orlando to back off. If they don’t, Orlando would lose her son permanently.

Not if Quinn can help it. But there’s a twist that no one, characters and reader alike, sees coming…

**I was browsing through Fantastic Fiction, looking for something new to read, and stumbled upon The Cleaner by Brett Battles. The title and cover caught my attention, so I clicked to read the synopsis. Intrigued, I checked with my local bookstore, Coles. They had one in stock. I called and had them upt it aside for me to pick up on my usual Friday night trip. An excellent debut and I can’t wait for the MMP of The Deceived, Book #2, to come out next year.

Quinn is a no-nonsense, take-charge, take-no-prisoners, do-what-you-have-to sort of guy. He was taught to ‘clean’ up a scene; to make evidence and leads disappear. I thought that was an interesting switch. I mean, usually you read a mystery with both, the detective/investigator and the killer/villain’s point-of-view. This time, however, you’re getting middle ground where someone is twarting the investigators while the villain never becomes a suspect. That alone was intriguing enough.

But Quinn isn’t as cold as he seems; he cares for his apprentice, Nate. And his feelings for Orlando go very deep but were never acted upon. You feel for Quinn even as you’re cheering him on.

Although there are quite a few characters, it’s not that hard to keep track of who’s who. The writing is clear and precise, not overloaded with details, an intriguing mystery. Lots of great action of all kinds, whether in battle or surveillance. A few twists that keep you guessing, and the biggest one near the end has you yelling WTH!

A cross between Robert Ludlum’s ‘Bourne’ series and Ian Fleming’s ‘James Bond’, an excellent debut novel and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second. A definite recommendation for anyone who likes action/spy novels.

Rating:

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