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Assassin's Code: A Joe Ledger Novel Paperback – April 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Maberry delivers plenty of action. (Publishers Weekly)

A fast-paced, brilliantly written novel. The hottest thriller of the New Year! In The King of Plagues, Jonathan Maberry reigns supreme. (Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Athena Project, on The King of Plagues)

Joe Ledger and the DMS are back in their most brutal tale yet as they face off against a diabolical organization who is always one step ahead. As the sinister plot is exposed and the body count rises, THE KING OF PLAGUES is impossible to put down. Be prepared to lose some sleep. (Jeremy Robinson, author of THRESHOLD and INSTINCT, on The King of Plagues)

While Joe has announced his retirement, eager readers can look forward to one more volume in this humorous, over-the-top cross-genre trilogy. (Publishers Weekly on The Dragon Factory)

Like a video game on steroids mixed with The Island of Dr. Moreau. (Booklist on The Dragon Factory)

[A] memorable book. (Peter Straub, New York Times Bestselling author on Patient Zero)

Brilliant… puts the terror back in terrorist. (James Rollins , New York Times bestselling author of The Judas Strain, on Patient Zero)

About the Author

Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestseller and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Patient Zero, the Pine Deep Trilogy, The Wolfman, Zombie CSU and They Bite. His work for Marvel Comics includes the Punisher, Wolverine, DoomWar, Marvel Zombie Return and Black Panther. His Joe Ledger series has been optioned for TV by Sony Pictures.

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Product Details

  • Series: Joe Ledger (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Paperback Edition edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312552203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312552206
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today's Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; now in development for film; named in Booklist's Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, an American Library Association Top Pick, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; winner of several state Teen Book Awards including the Cricket, Nutmeg and MASL; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (winner of the Bram Stoker Award; 2012; and FIRE & ASH (August 2013). His thrillers include The Joe Ledger Thrillers from St. Martin's Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel; EXTINCTION MACHINE, (2013; now in development for TV by Lonetree Entertainment and Vintage Picture Company); PREDATOR ONE, 2015, and others. His first middle grade novel, THE NIGHTSIDERS BOOK 1: THE ORPHAN ARMY, debuted in 2015 from Simon & Schuster.

His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium; DEAD MAN'S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 (named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium) and its forthcoming sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. He also wrote the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation; and DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS, an original novel inspired by the million-copy-selling role-playing game. He has also written the foreword to a new annotated edition of DRACULA from Writers Digest Books.

Jonathan is the creator, editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW, and its sequels, V-WARS: BLOOD AND FIRE, V-WARS: NIGHT TERRORS, V-WARS: SHOCKWAVES, V-WARS: INFERNO. And he writes a best-selling monthly V-WARS comic. A board game version of V-Wars will be released in late 2015; and the series is in development for TV by IDW Media.

He is also the editor of the dark fantasy anthology series, OUT OF TUNE (JournalStone, 2014), a series of X-FILES anthologies launching in 2015, and SCARY OUT THERE, an anthology of horror for teens.

Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary, ZOMBIES: A Living History. He will also be featured in That $#(!'ll Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture, a forthcoming documentary on horror movies directed by Robert Tinnell. And he was participated in the commentary tracks for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED. He recently filmed segments for six installments of a forthcoming H2 series on monsters in mythology and pop culture.

His many nonfiction works include VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (Citadel Press, 2006); THE CRYPTOPEDIA (Citadel, 2007 -winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer); ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (Winner of the Hinzman and Black Quill Awards and finalist for a Stoker Award; 2008); THEY BITE! (2009 co-authored by David F. Kramer); WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (2010; Bram Stoker finalist; co-authored by Janice Gable Bashman); THE VAMPIRE SLAYERS FIELD GUIDE TO THE UNDEAD (2001, written under the pen name of Shane MacDougall); ULTIMATE JUJUTSU (Strider Nolan, 2001); ULTIMATE SPARRING (Strider Nolan, 2000); JUDO AND YOU (Kendall Hunt 1991); and many others.

He writes a variety of projects for various top comic book companies. His work for Marvel Comics included CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, BLACK PANTHER: POWER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE: FLIES TO A SPIDER, PUNISHER: NAKED KILLS, the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN; as well as his own franchise within Marvel --MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE PUNISHER, MARVEL UNIVERSE vs WOLVERINE and MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE AVENGERS. He wrote the vampire miniseries BAD BLOOD for Dark Horse, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Graphic Novel in 2015; V-WARS and ROT & RUIN for IDW based on his bestselling novels. Adaptations of his short stories have appeared in EVIL JESTER COMICS and GRAVE CONDITIONS. All of Jonathan's comic book collections are released as Graphic Novel collections within a month or two of individual comic publication.

Jonathan has published several dozen short stories in a variety of genres: mystery, horror, thriller, science fiction, military fiction, fantasy, western, urban fantasy, humor and others. His collections include JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES, 2011 from Blackstone Audio; HUNGRY TALES (2012) and TALES FROM THE FIRE ZONE (2012) and the forthcoming JOE LEDGER: SPECIAL OPS (2014, JournalStone), DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN and STRANGE WORLDS (Blackstone, 2015). His work also appears in the audio anthology LIAR LIAR from The Liars Club (released by Blackstone Audio in 2013).

Jonathan is the co-creator (with Laura Schrock) of ON THE SLAB, an entertainment news show in development by Stage 9 for ABC Disney / Stage 9. He was also a 'blog correspondent' on Sony's zombie-themed web show 'WOKE UP DEAD'; and was a recurring character on Laura Schrock's 'IT'S TODD'S SHOW'.

Jonathan's popular Big Scary Blog ( focused on the publishing industry. Jonathan's interviews include Sandra Brown, Gayle Lynds, Alafair Burke, Charlaine Harris, James Rollins, Harlan Coben, Jeff Abbott, John Saul, Jonathan Kellerman, Barry Eisler, CJ Box, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Tom Piccarilli, Dale Brown, Kevin J. Anderson, Joe Lansdale, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, Carrie Ryan, and many other best-selling authors. Jonathan also writes the SCARY OUT THERE blog, through which he and his guests explore teen horror fiction in its many aspects. Current and upcoming guests include R.L. Stine, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Nancy Holder, Kim Harrison, Ellen Hopkins and many others. That blog can be found on the website of the Horror Writers Association:

He is one third of the hirsute pop-culture podcast THREE GUYS WITH BEARDS, along with Christopher Golden and James A. Moore.

He is a frequent keynote speaker, guest of honor and workshop leader at genre cons, libraries, writers conferences and publishing industry events, including the Writers Digest Conference, American Library Association, KeyCon, American Library Association, ThrillerFest, Zombie Fest, Heather Graham's Writers for New Orleans, Central Coast Writers Conference, NeCon, NY Comic Con, Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Sisters in Crime, Context, New York Comic Con, Dallas-Fort Worth Writers Conference, Tucson Festival of Books, Long Beach Comic Con, BackSpace, PennWriters, Dragon*Con, PhilCon, Horror-Realm, Boucher Con, HorrorFind, Monster Mania, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Balticon, Romance Writers of America, American Library Association, ZenKaiKon,The Write Stuff, Hypericon, AnthoCon, KillerCon, NAIBA, LunaCon, and many others.

Jonathan has sold more than 1,200 feature articles and 3,000 columns; as well as greeting cards, song lyrics, poetry, technical manuals, call-floor scripts, and two plays, including Tales from the Fire Zone.

Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, IAMTW, MWA, SCBWI, SFWA and HWA, as well as a jurist for the Edgar, Stoker, and Scribe Awards.

Jonathan was the Executive Director of the Writers Room of Bucks County (2005-06) and co-owner of the Writers Corner USA (2006-2009). Jonathan regularly visits local middle schools, high schools and colleges to talk about books, reading, publishing and the writing life. He is a board member of the River Union Stage, a professional equity theater based in Stockton, New Jersey. In 2006 he helped found the Wild River Review, an notable online literary journal.

Jonathan is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes celebrated authors Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Ed Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons, Marie Lamba, Solomon Jones, Stephen Susco, Chuck Wendig, Janice Gable Bashman, Cordelia Biddle, Christopher Golden, James A. Moore, Scott Sigler, Amber Benson, Kathryn Craft, Jeff Marriott, Nancy Holder and Michael Boatman. The Liars Club works to support booksellers, raise awareness and support for public libraries, and cultivate a joy of reading and books. The late NY Times bestseller L. A. Banks was a founding member of the Liars Club.

Jonathan created the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill in multiple locations around the country each month.

Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades. He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Act Like a Writer, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others. Many of his students have gone on to obtain representation and/or publish in short and novel-length fiction, magazine feature writing, nonfiction books, TV, film, and comics.

In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field. He is the former Expert Witness for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office for murder cases involving martial arts; and he's done extensive work for civil cases.

Jonathan and his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie, live in Del Mar, California.

Visit his website/blog and sign up for his free newsletter at,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nickolas X. P. Sharps VINE VOICE on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm back in my groove and the review machine is churning now. Shoot, I even have a review of a book for you, days before it is to be released. Bask in my awesome might. This, is Assassin's Code by Jonathan Maberry. This is the fourth book in the Joe Ledger series of novels, a series that I have mad love for. The Joe Ledger series is like Resident Evil without the awful dialogue and shoddy plotting. It's like the hit FOX thriller 24 but with Bond Villains. It's like Larry Correia's Monster Hunter series with a focus on science instead of the supernatural. And Assassin's Code? It's like all that with a dose of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. This is a freaking awesome book. Seriously, if you read my review of The King of Plagues and had any doubts about this series please just do yourself a favor and go buy all four books. Forget about reading this review, just go buy all four books and start reading. Thank me later.

When Iran kidnaps a few American college kids hiking along in the wilderness and accuses them of being spies, who ya gonna call? Joe Ledger and Echo Team. After a successful rescue Joe has an unexpected meeting with one of the vilest scumbags in Iranian politics. Joe is tipped off about the existence of several nuclear bombs planted in Middle Eastern oil fields and asked for help. Rushing against the clock to prevent the detonation of these weapons of mass destruction, Joe finds himself caught in the crossfire of a shadow war. A centuries old conflict, waged by super assassins and brought about by a wicked pact. Can Joe and the DMS prevent nuclear holocaust?

So let me start by saying, WOW. Assassin's Code is the real deal. Easily the best book in the series to date. As much as I love Patient Zero, Assassin's Code is one step above in terms of sheer awesome.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TrueJDK on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I first caught Jonathan Maberry when I bought Patient Zero on a whim a couple of years back. Basic story was that lunatic terrorists were creating a zombie plague (of sorts), and a hastily-assembled tactical team attempted to take them out. In the course of the book, we were introduced to key characters Joe Ledger (our protagonist), Ghost (his dog), Rudy (his friend and therapist), Echo Team (the hastily-assembled tactical team), DMS (the covert agency responsible for dealing with situations like this), and Mr Church (the boss of DMS).

I've never been a huge fan of the military operation books. Andy McNab does not grace my bookshelves (although I have the utmost respect for him). Zombie books do, although I'm not a hardcore obsessive. So, taking a chance, I tried a new author (something I do every now and then, usually when I've exhausted whichever author currently has me hooked. Most recently, Preston and Child. But that's another story). I was, very pleasantly, surprised. Ledger turned out to be an engaging character, with the sense of (often inappropriate) humour which tickled me. That same sense of humour helps drastically in cutting through what could be a fairly ridiculous situation. Thoroughly recommended.

Anyway, following the initial Patient Zero came Dragon Factory and The King of Plagues. Each with their own new challenges for the developing Echo Team. Relationships and friendships built. Challenges were faced, adversities overcome, and each would make a fine standalone adventure. But, building behind the scenes, a bigger story started to emerge. A shadowy organisation (of Kings) bent on twisting the world for their own purposes. And lurking in the shadows, given nothing more than a throwaway moment, someone else.

Which brings us to Assassin's Code.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel O. Buchholz on July 17, 2012
Format: Audible Audio Edition
Zombies, werewolves, secret societies (ala Illuminate), super-virus's and even a dragon (all of course with a mostly super-science edge, not paranormal). So the one obvious missing item in our paranormal ecology is vampires, so this book deals it out in spades. As I have read the books in this series the one thing I kept thinking is that the only person who seems to be having a worse day would have been Jack Bauer from the TV series 24. Then I remember the first line above and I am going to have to have to declare that Joe is definitely having a worse time that Jack.

Assassin's Code kept me alive, as I listened to it on a long drive where I was quite tired, but there was no way that I was going to fall asleep and miss what happened next. As it often happens in this series it starts of strong and keeps up the action (with one exception, the interludes to the historical events that provide some of the back story on the organizations) to the explosive crescendo at the end.

Joe, Ghost and Echo Team are in Iran, rescuing some wayward hikers that have been kidnapped by the Iranian's. On their way out they Joe is isolated and forced, by a mysterious sniper team, to meet with the head of Iran's Intelligence organization who provides some specific information (and some generic background stuff) about 7 (big, multi-megaton) nuclear weapons that are being staged around the Middle East as well as possibly in the US.

So without rest Joe and the DMS are thrown into a desperate search to find and disarm those weapons. Along the way we run into the Red Order (a secret order of Vampire Assassin's), a secret anti-vampire organization and even the Holy Inquisition. It even incorporates one of the historical question marks that have confounded scholars for decades, the Voynich Manuscript. This really is some great fun and anytime you stop for that book reading interruption thing called life you feel the twitchy need to get back to it ASAP.
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