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Nightkill [Mass Market Paperback]

F. Paul Wilson , Steven Spruill
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 15 1999
Jack Nacht knows how to take risks and believes in justice, even if it's of the skewed sort. he's one of the best at what he does--and what he does is kill people for a living. But it's a young man's game and he wants out.

And his instincts are right. When Jake reluctantly agrees to go on one last hit, he's double-crossed, and ends up completely paralyzed. The mob thinks he's done a deal. But what they don't know is that a brilliant doctor has developed a dangerous and deadly new technique. And if he succeeds, Jack Nacht will not only walk away again--but might also get a shot at revenge.

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From Library Journal

This is a dazzling collaboration by Wilson (Deep as the Marrow, LJ 12/96) and Lyon, author of several other medical thrillers. Jake Nacht is a mob assassin who as a youth is shuttled between foster homes and ends up with a sharpshooter named Sarge, who trains Jake to be a crack shot, then betrays him. Jake kills Sarge and takes over the family business as a mob sniper. He is later shot and paralyzed on a fumbled job and wants to die, until risky surgery by the daring Dr. Graham restores his damaged spine. Love for his rehab nurse, Angel, brings Jake fully back to life and changes him; after months of wanting to kill his nemesis, he centers the cross hairs on Fredo but has trouble pulling the trigger. There are many satisfying characters, and, despite some jarring changes of viewpoint, the pace is as rapid as an accelerated heartbeat. Recommended for thriller collections.?Molly Gorman, San Marino, Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Semimedical thriller by Wilson, a practicing physician (Deep as the Marrow, p. 95, etc.) and sometime horror novelist (The Select, 1994, etc.), who joins Lyon, also a novelist of medical thrillers, to produce a mob/medical story without a hint of the occult. Jake Nacht, a hit man with 17 kills, works for the mob on a freelance basis. As he sees it, he's helping haul out the trash by killing mobsters. An orphan, Jake is the adopted son of Sarge, an ex-Marine sniper with some 250 wartime kills. Sarge, who may or may not be psychotic, served for some time as a mob assassin, and has done well by his efforts. He trains Jake to perfection, then dies in a confrontation gone wrong: He forces Jake to kill him in a variation of ``the most dangerous game'' of human hunting human. Later, the remorseless Jake quickly becomes one of the mob's most reliable freelancers--until, that is, he's caught in a double- cross. Mr. C., a mob godfather, has his henchman Fredo hire Jake to kill US Senator Weingarten during a speech at an outdoor rally. Despite misgivings, Jake sets about the job, but just as he's about to take the senator out he learns that he's been set up. Shot by a detective who's been tipped off to his presence, Jake is paralyzed, his spine severed. But there's no evidence against him, and he's likely to collect a cool $5 million from the city. It doesn't matter: A depressed Jake starts on rehab convinced that he would rather die. Then nurse Angela and her uncle Dr. Graham sneak him into a new, highly experimental program aimed at rebuilding spinal cords. Jake recovers, secretly, and sets out to avenge himself on Mr. C and Fredo. Fast-moving, yes. Inventive, no. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Jake heard from Fredo Papillardi the usual way: a typically verbose note to Jake's Atlantic City post office box: "Call Fredo." Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good plot - good characters! July 7 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hitman Jack Nacht is the best in the business with a body count of 17 contract murders over his career. When he is hired to "off" a Senator who's getting a little too close to mob affairs, Jake's world is turned upside down when he is shot and paralyzed by a crooked cop who's in on the double cross. As Jake wallows in self-pity and dispair over his quadrapelegic state, he is befriended by (and falls in love with) his rehabilitation nurse, Angel Deschanel. After weeks of rehabiliation to no avail, Angel tells Jake of a radical procedure that her uncle, Dr. Joseph Graham, has performed on paralyzed rats that have allowed them to regain full range of motion. Jake convinces Angel and Graham to try the procedure on him. Unbeknownst to the medical duo, Jake's motivation for the surgical procedure is to help him regain the use of his limbs so that he can extract his revenge on HIS conspirators.
The book is fast-paced and well-plotted. And, while the surgical procedure used to help Jake regain his movement is more than a little far-fetched, if the reader can overlook that bit of "medical fiction", he or she will find themselves immersed in a very strong story.
Recommended to the fans of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook because of the medical aspects of the book and to the fans of Clive Cussler and Jack DeBrul because of the "heroic" aspect of the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read Oct. 9 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A very fast paced book, Jake is a character with whom i expect to see several sequals, I`d rate the character to have the ability to compete with a Dirk Pitt,Lucas Davenport,and a John Becker......Need i say More...
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
BROS., THIS BOOK IS DEFINITELY WORTH YOUR TIME. JAKE NACHT IS THE BEST HIT MAN IN THE WORLD OF FICTION AND DESERVES TO BE READ. YOU SHOULD ALL SEE THE STRUGGLING FIGHT FOR LIFE AND DEATH BY JAKE NACHT. A REAL FAST-PACED BOOK THAT'S SURE TO KEEP YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEATS. HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS FOLKS THIS IS A BOOK THAT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Same old story Feb. 2 1998
Format:Hardcover
NIGHTKILL is a novel about a sniper for the Mob, who gets set-up, paralyzed and recovers through a "new" surgery, and enacts revenge against one of the players of the Mob. It is marketed as a medical thriller, but believe me, it's a thriller with an emphasis on some horrible outcomes. Jake Nacht is a sniper for the Mob. After 17 successive kills, he is set-up, shot and paralyzed by a crooked cop, who is in on the set-up. While recovering, Jake meets Angel, a beautiful nurse whos uncle just happens to be on the verge of a successful new surgery to fix paralysis.

After the surgery Jake goes on a revenge mission to get who set him up. In the process Jake falls in love with Angel, who is now being held hostage by the bad guy.

As you can tell by my synopsis, its kind of a paint-by-numbers scenario. Everything is familiar and done by rote. This is not to say that the book is unenjoyable. Far from it. It's full of action sequences but the main problem is there are no surprises...everything IS as it seems and we are just awaiting the final shoot of so we can move on to the next book on the shelves. Not a very distinguishing book.

Not recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same old story Feb. 1 1998
By Paul Legerski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
NIGHTKILL is a novel about a sniper for the Mob, who gets set-up, paralyzed and recovers through a "new" surgery, and enacts revenge against one of the players of the Mob. It is marketed as a medical thriller, but believe me, it's a thriller with an emphasis on some horrible outcomes. Jake Nacht is a sniper for the Mob. After 17 successive kills, he is set-up, shot and paralyzed by a crooked cop, who is in on the set-up. While recovering, Jake meets Angel, a beautiful nurse whos uncle just happens to be on the verge of a successful new surgery to fix paralysis.

After the surgery Jake goes on a revenge mission to get who set him up. In the process Jake falls in love with Angel, who is now being held hostage by the bad guy.

As you can tell by my synopsis, its kind of a paint-by-numbers scenario. Everything is familiar and done by rote. This is not to say that the book is unenjoyable. Far from it. It's full of action sequences but the main problem is there are no surprises...everything IS as it seems and we are just awaiting the final shoot of so we can move on to the next book on the shelves. Not a very distinguishing book.

Not recommended.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read Oct. 9 1999
By Brian j Kelso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A very fast paced book, Jake is a character with whom i expect to see several sequals, I`d rate the character to have the ability to compete with a Dirk Pitt,Lucas Davenport,and a John Becker......Need i say More...
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REAL FAST-PACE BOOK AS FAST AS AN ACCELLERATED HEARTBEAT April 16 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
BROS., THIS BOOK IS DEFINITELY WORTH YOUR TIME. JAKE NACHT IS THE BEST HIT MAN IN THE WORLD OF FICTION AND DESERVES TO BE READ. YOU SHOULD ALL SEE THE STRUGGLING FIGHT FOR LIFE AND DEATH BY JAKE NACHT. A REAL FAST-PACED BOOK THAT'S SURE TO KEEP YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEATS. HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS FOLKS THIS IS A BOOK THAT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Several notches above typical action/adventure fare Sept. 18 2007
By Henry W. Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
With seventeen kills to his name, Jake Nacht is one of the mob's most reliable hitmen-he'll kill anyone if the price is right. Thus, he accepts a contract on a US Senator, despite his misgivings about having to do the job at a particular time and place. Nacht prepares carefully, but has to hurry his shot when he hears the police knocking on his hotel room door. Thinking quickly, Nacht almost escapes, but is gunned down by an officer who obviously knows who he is.

Paralyzed from the neck down, Nacht wants only to end his existence, but cannot do it alone. He strikes a desperate bargain with his nurse, Angela Graham, who reluctantly promises to assist his suicide if Nacht's physical rehabilitation is unsuccessful. Nacht gives it his all, but shows little improvement after four months. Having fulfilled his end of the bargain Nacht wants to hold Angela to her promise, but she has different ideas. Angela implores Jake to participate in an experiment conducted by her uncle, a scientist who wants to test risky spinal regeneration techniques on humans. Intrigued by the possibility of recovery and revenge on the men who set him up, Nacht agrees.

Jake is healed by the process, but does not know if the effects are permanent Since his time may be short, he immediately embarks on a campaign of vengeance, halting only when Angela is kidnapped in retaliation. Jake must face his enemies on their own ground if he is to save Angela and have his revenge.

Nightkill does not break any new ground, but is a good, solid read, several notches above typical action/adventure fare. Wilson and Lyon (aka Steven Spruill) take great pains to create a believable, engrossing backstory for Nacht, which metamorphosizes into a homage to the movie The Most Dangerous Game. Although Nacht's history is often more interesting than the action of the main story, it never totally eclipses it--the authors skillfully bring the novel to an explosive conclusion, providing ample thrills and drama along the way. Reminiscent of Stephen Hunter's novel Point of Impact and the Steven Seagal movie Hard to Kill, Nightkill is fast moving and hard hitting, a respectful tribute to the men's action/adventure genre.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent revenge thriller! Aug. 31 2007
By Chris Van Deelen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the few F. Paul Wilson novels I've read that had nothing to do with the supernatural. In fact, truth be told, it's really off my usual line of novels to read.

It's a revenge novel.

Hit man, working for the mob, kills other 'bad men' making the world a little better place, for a price.

He's offered a lucrative contract to kill a prominent senator, and in doing so breaks several 'rules' that were drilled (pun intended) into him by his mentor 'the Sarge'.

Things go south right from the get-go, and he ends up paralyzed from the neck down.

As with most of my favourite novels, this one is a human story, about finding a reason to live and righting wrongs. You get to see into the soul of this hired killer, and he turns out to be more than just a thug. In the end, what he's willing to do for someone he cares about shows just how much his experience changed him.

I would have given it a higher review, but the novel was too damned short, in my opinion.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that the main character reminded me heavily of 'Jack' from his Repairman Jack series.

Worth reading, don't doubt that for a second.
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