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The Kill Clause Mass Market Paperback – Aug 31 2004
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The Kill Clause's opening pages will knot the stomach of even the most seasoned crime reader. U.S. Marshall Tim Rackley is expecting his daughter home for her seventh birthday party. Instead he finds a fellow cop at his door, bearing the news that little Ginny has been savagely dismembered, her remains recovered in a nearby creek. Only an hour or so later, reeling with shock and grief, Rackley learns that the perpetrator has been caught--and that some fellow cops have arranged a little one-on-one meeting for him at an isolated shack, complete with an untraceable gun. Rackley arrives, faces this monster, and...
But that would be giving too much away. Suffice it to say that this powerful opening launches a killer thriller, rich in both adrenaline-pumping action and thought-provoking issues of vigilantism, power, and the moral dilemmas of those sworn to uphold the law. Hurwitz's prose is muscular yet intelligent; he draws characters well, and he unrolls action scenes with amazing vividness (as well as treating us to lots of fascinating lore about lock picking, identity theft, and cell-phone technology). Occasionally his plot twists verge on the outlandish, and a few characters seem to exist only to speechify on a certain point of view. But these are minor flaws in this fine, intense, often un-put-downable tale. --Nicholas H. Allison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
A motley crew of ex-cops and fringe characters, who have all lost loved ones and seen the villains walk, are organized into a vigilante hit squad by a media personality who sees this as a good launchpad for his books in this first thriller in a projected series by Hurwitz (Do No Harm; Minutes to Burn). The squad-or the Commission, as it calls itself-chooses as executioner Tim Rackley, a US marshal and former Special Forces muscle who is vulnerable to their offer, having just lost his only child in a gruesome attack ("her remains had required three biohazard bags to depart the scene"). Devastated, Rackley leaves his job and his wife, a county sheriff, to take the assignment, disappearing into the murk of L.A. to begin a series of high-tech hits on high-profile criminals who have slipped through the system's cracks-including the man who, Rackley believes, killed his daughter. But Rackley suspects the Commission of fuzzy logic after one unclear target assessment leads two of the Commission (a murderous pair of bulked-up ex-cop brothers called, none too subtly, the "Mastersons") to go on a rampage, invoking the Commission's "kill clause"-the immediate (and brutal) dissolution of the squad. Caught between his former law enforcement colleagues and the Mastersons' rising bloodlust, Tim must risk one more vigilante act to put justice back in the hands of the courts. The high gore level and farfetched premise give the novel a cartoonish edge, but Hurwitz's deft descriptions of Tim's methods of disappearing, breaking-and-entering, and stealing identities are convincing, and his fast-paced plotting will keep readers riveted. Tim is a promising series hero, with his multitude of skills and conflicted loyalties, and Hurwitz is off to a fine start with this first installment.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
THE KILL CLAUSE addresses a common perception in America--that our justice system gives too much protection for criminals and too little to the victims and to society. For many, the idea of retribution is attractive and the Commission makes all of these arguments to Tim. That their arguments are flawed isn't really the point and author Gregg Hurwitz knows it.
Hurwitz solid and fast-paced action--both in the U.S. Marshal scene where Tim shoots several badguys and in the Commission scenes where Tim must confront some of the deadliest killers on the planet while on the run from the police himself. The depiction of Tim's marriage breaking down was moving and troubling as two people in love stand by helpless to do anything to prevent it.
Although the novel was mostly effective and compelling, at times Hurwitz's beliefs were presented in almost lecture form. The bar scene with the frustrated defense attorneys came off that way for me.Read more ›
When Tim Rackley's young daughter is raped and murdered, the man thinks his life is over. At the trial, the murderer is released on a technicality. And then, he quits his job after being accused of having commited an offence while apprehending a murder suspect. That's when he is contatcted by The Commission, an organization composed of five men and one women who have all been mistreated by the judicial system at one point or another in theirl lives.
They have decided to take justice in their own hands. They will seek men who found a way to escape the system and kill them themselves. And they want Tim to be their prime hitman.
This is the kind of stuff you only read in books (or see in films). You cannot believe a single moment of this book. The fact alone that Tim accepts the Commission's proposition is ridiculous enough; in the beginning, when given the chance to excute his daughter's killer, he refuses because he knows better. It's hard to think that a man who is able to do such a thing would then turn around and become the very kind of monster he's been fighting all his life. As a matter of fact, all the characters are so badly sketched out that they all blend into one big incoherent mess. These characters have no real conviction, no real purpose.Read more ›
As a highly trained Special Forces officer turned Deputy Marshall, Tim has the power and the opportunity to exact any form of revenge he chooses on his daughter's murderer, but refrains from doing so when he learns that an accomplice may have been involved. Meanwhile, his marriage is being ripped apart as Tim and Andrea try to come to terms with the loss of their daughter. Just when it looks as though the marriage is beyond salvation and after he quits his job, he is approached by a man offering him a chance at some measure of revenge, luring him in with the possibility that he will also get a shot of finding the mysterious accomplice.
Essentially, what Tim is asked to do is join a group of vigilantes, calling themselves The Commission, who are aiming to serve their own justice on criminals who they consider have escaped penalty due to shortcomings in the legal system. Of course, Tim accepts and the action takes off from there as candidates are assessed and their fate is decided, with the penalty to be meted out by Tim.
This is a tremendously fast-paced book that highlights the way in which severe emotional situations can skew the judgement of even the most level-headed thinkers. I had a great time reading this book, finding it both thought provoking and white-knuckle thrilling.
Most recent customer reviews
After reading all of the highly positive reviews listed here, I expected a fast paced, thrilling read. What I got was the complete opposite. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2003 by A. Vegan
U.S. Marshall Tim Rackley has his values and sanity challenged when his 7 y.o. daughter is viciously raped and murdered by a man who is later released on a technicality. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2003 by Tim Smith
Not being a reader of crime novels (unless the Hannibal Lecter series included in that genre)I came to this book with some resistance. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2003 by Grady Harp
As others have already seen to it, I won't rehash the major plot points of the book. To summarize: Deputy U.S. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2003 by Don Guthrie
Sorry folks. I can't whole-heartedly endorse this book as everyone else has. I am scrupulous about reading cover to cover. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2003
I read Gregg Hurwitz's first book The Tower a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I impatiently waited for his follow up. Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003 by John Daley
The Kill Clause is about that dirty little thought some of us have when some one does something really bad to you or others and then gets away with it through a quirk of fate, a... Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2003 by John R. Linnell
THE KILL CLAUSE begins in the midst of a tragedy, perhaps the worst personal tragedy the mind can comprehend. Read morePublished on Sept. 12 2003 by Bookreporter
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