The Silenced: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Apr 5 2011
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Praise for Brett Battles
“Smart, sleek, and stunning . . . a gritty, gripping masterpiece of suspense.”—Fresh Fiction, on Shadow of Betrayal
“Breakneck pacing, colorful locales and dizzying plot twists.”—Publishers Weekly, on The Deceived
About the Author
Brett Battles lives in Los Angeles and is the author of four novels in the acclaimed Jonathan Quinn series: The Cleaner, which was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller and a Shamus Award for Best First Novel; The Deceived, which won the 2009 Barry Award for Best Thriller; Shadow of Betrayal; and The Silenced. He is currently at work on his fifth novel.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Moreover, there is no obvious `falling off' from the first three novels in the Quinn-the-cleaner series. The Silenced is different from the previous three in that we now get some serious backstory on Battles' protagonist. MINI-SPOILER ALERT: he's from Minnesota. He has a sister; he had a brother; he's just lost his father; his name is actually Jake Oliver. His mother figures incidentally in the plot; his sister Liz plays a prominent role. The subtext is a fairly traditional one: the protagonist must put the main plotline mystery together; in the process he hopes to put his family together as well.
The principal plot is complex but not opaque. Quinn is on a case working for a man named David Wills. When he gets to a scene he sees another team in place, a Russian team. Then, suddenly, there's a third team, shooting at anyone and everyone. Quinn must figure out who's who, which client is actually running Wills, and how he can protect himself and the members of his team and family against the ultimate baddie (a quite memorable baddie as it turns out).
The pacing is utterly breathless and the backstory comes as a nice surprise. I will grant that Quinn/Jake's sister is a little annoying at times. She has trouble obeying his orders because she has never known what he actually does for a living and she believes that he has abandoned her in the past and, thus, is unworthy of her attentions now. Little does she know the world in which Quinn lives and moves and has his being, but she will learn.
The principal settings are New York, Paris and London (which Battles knows well). The Silenced is not an exercise in existential angst or a plumbing of the depths of human experience, larded with purple prose. It is a lean, international thriller. It holds one's attention very nicely. In short--a perfect summer yarn.
Highly recommended (and as a mass market paperback original, a bargain).
And then there's the matter of cleaning up after a few interconnected operations in several different locations in the U.S. A bit more involved, but still relatively straightforward. That is until while cleaning up after the first U.S. job someone else shows up at the job site, a remote location they shouldn't have any idea even exits. Quinn follows the uninvited guest, a mysterious woman, back to her car and overhears her speaking Russian to a companion before they drive away. When the same woman shows up again at a job clear across the country, and before the hit is even carried out this time, it becomes apparent there is another team working from the same list as Quinn and his client. Stranger still, the Russian woman and her team also appear to be interested in that dead body in London. Whose toes are Quinn inadvertently stepping on, and how far will they go to get Quinn out of their way?
Those are questions that Quinn desperately needs the answers to if he's to live up to his professional obligations without compromising himself or his client. The professional, however, suddenly gets very personal when Quinn realizes someone has been poking around in a past he thought he'd taken extraordinary measures to bury. And though Quinn's past has been hinted at in previous books, in The Silenced past collides head-on with present when Quinn's mother and sister are targeted as a means to try to manipulate and control him.
Author Brett Battles has really created something special in Jonathan Quinn. Electrifying and intriguing from the very first moment he appeared on the page in The Cleaner, Quinn has only continued to evolve, revealing ever more complex facets to his personality with each outing. By placing Quinn's family in jeopardy, Battles allows the reader to get a look into the past that helped shape Quinn into the man we know. It also puts the normally calm, cool, and in control Quinn off-stride and in the position of relying even more than usual on his teammates Orlando (also Quinn's girlfriend) and Nate. Nate in particular really gets a chance to shine this time out when he's thrust into the role of serving as protector for Quinn's estranged sister.
As with previous entries in the series Battles continues to show a masterful understanding of pacing, carefully working both flashbacks to Quinn's past and crucial information about the team's current challenges into the plot while always moving the story forward, all with enough gun fights, car chases, twists, and double-crosses to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Longtime readers will enjoy yet another tightly crafted story, but they will relish the revealing look into Quinn's past. And you don't have to have read the prior entries in the series to enjoy The Silenced (though they're excellent and you really should), so if this is the first you've heard of Jonathan Quinn please feel free to use The Silenced as your gateway into this wonderful series.
The Silenced is the fourth book in Brett Battles' Jonathon Quinn series. Previous books (The Cleaner, The Deceived and Shadow of Betrayal) proved face-paced and exciting. The plots are intriguing, the locations exotic, and the characters both lovable and believable. Each book has left me eager for the release of the next. Today I received notice of release for The Silenced, and immediately purchased the Kindle version. I am sure this book will live up to the reputation Brett Battles is earning as a top-knotch mystery thriller author. I will be back with updates.
April 5, 2011--A Little Bit Later
Having now read the first two chapters, I am even more eager to fully jump into reading The Silenced. The book starts off strong and I'm already hooked. I will be back with updates.
April 5, 2011--18 Chapters Later
Fast-moving and interesting action has kept me from putting the book down. I am really regretting that I have somewhere to else I need to be this afternoon.
This is a real page-turner!
April 6, 2011
Now I'm up to Chapter 35.
I don't want to give anything away, so I will rewrite all of this once I finish reading.
It is very difficult to put this book down. It is also very easy to get swept along in the action of this book.
April 6, 2011: 11:34 a.m.
Just finished THE SILENCED.
Two words and a request: Wow! Amazing! Please sir, can I have some more?
I will be back in a bit just as soon as I can figure out how to write a review that does this book justice.
For now, however, I will add that the PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY review quoted with the product description misses the mark completely for this book. In addition to being 180 degrees off kilter in the adjectives used to describe this book, THE PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY review is, in my opinion, a disservice to the mystery community. In the four books by Brett Battles in this series, I see growth and maturity. All books in the Jonathan Quinn series are excellent. I highly recommend Brett Battles' books. The SILENCED again offers fast-paced action, exotic locations, lovable believable characters and details that make all spring to life. I will be awaiting for the next of Brett Battles' books.
April 13, 2011: 11:51 a.m.
I thought about writing this up in a review form, but instead I will let what I have written document my journey through THE SILENCED. A reviewer commented that my review and another five-star review held no criticism for Mr. Battles' book. I have no criticism to offer. Reading this book was a thoroughly enjoyable experience during which I was immersed in the plot. The only dent in bubble was the Amazon sales intro for the book. Having loved the other Jonathon Quinn books so immensely, the bad review left me wondering for the first quarter of THE SILENCED if I was going to be disappointed. After that, I decided to forget the review and make up my own mind. All the words of praise I wrote stand. However, I do think I figured out what it is that ruined the fun for the reviewers I mentioned. In addition to action and mystery, this Battles' book also explores some heavy family issues. I thought those parts were well-handled and added a maturity to the book. Some people do not like to think about those issues. For those people, even if one skims over the family parts, I still believe the book stands as a strong read. So, I would recommend readers make up their own minds. For me, I give THE SILENCED five stars and I will be watching for more in the series.
Perhaps folks like all the soul-searching regretting. I do not. If I did, I'd read the books that seem to make a large part of the New York Times bestseller lists. Perhaps Battles and his publisher are trying to bring into the fold the folks who like that stuff. I bought this book on pre-order without first getting a sample because Battles's other books were so good. The Silenced is OK, but not great.
As always, the story is an international one, with settings as varied as New Jersey, Los Angeles, Maine, and London. Working with him, as usual, is Nate, with whom he has an apprentice/mentor relationship, and his lover, Orlando, a beautiful Asian woman, about whom the author says: "Orlando was not the name she'd been born with. Like most in the secret world, she'd taken on a new identity, burying who she had been." That is no less true for Quinn, whose real identity, heretofore undisclosed, becomes a focal point, as both his actual name and those of his family members becoming known to the wrong people, to disastrous effect.
Quinn has been given multiple albeit similar tasks from a single client. When Quinn et al arrive at the first location where the object of his ministrations awaits, he finds that he is not the only one on the scene; so also at the next location. Is there more than one opposing team? Then, oddly, he is asked to remove a body from a wall in a London building. The odd thing about it is that the body was hidden in that wall over two decades earlier. There is suspense aplenty, and twists and turns as Quinn tries to determine who exactly is friend and who foe. One lesson is certain, however, as the author says: "For the right amount of cash, some people will give anything away."