- Paperback: 202 pages
- Publisher: Dark Oak Mysteries (January 29, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1610091965
- ISBN-13: 978-1610091961
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#4,604,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #3289 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Spies & Politics > Assassinations
- #11901 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime
- #14598 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
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Mann of War Paperback – January 29, 2013
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About the Author
John Brantingham’s other books include East of Los Angeles and Let Us All Pray Now to Our Own Strange Gods. His work has appeared in hundreds of magazines in England and the United States and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He teaches English at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut where he lives with his wife Annie.
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Top Customer Reviews
Brantingham's writing style is no different and fits this genre like a bullet in the chamber. His narrative is clear, clean cut, sharpened to a point, and gives you the polished essentials that come off as simple, but are far from shallow. His prose reads faster than a burning fuse, and before you've realized it the history class you've ignored while reading Mann of War is over and you're in an empty classroom. The voice of Brantingham is just as composed, restrained, and witty as his characters. He invites you on the adventure with him if you can handle the tension and jet lag. ("It's not the years, it's the mileage".)
The entertainment value of this short read is comparable to a compact summer blockbuster, and I will not be surprised in the slightest if we see Mann Of War set to release as a screenplay/feature film in 2015/2016.
The highest recommendation possible is awarded to this novel, and I look forward to more Mann Of War in the future.
Student of English: Creative Writing at CSUSB
Robert Mann is such a character. Imagine Dr. Johnathan Hemlock (the CIA assassin from Trevanian's book The Eiger Sanction), take away his a**hole qualities, make him a really nice guy, give him a rich interior life, and you have Robert Mann.
Just like with Hemlock, only a few pages are spent on the why's and wherefore's of how Mann became essentially an FBI assassin. Nevertheless, I have to disagree with one of the other reviewers who said this was a failing. We do know that Mann and his FBI connection, Dean Cooley, were blood-brothers in the U.S. Special Forces, that Mann was trained to kill in battle, and that avenging the murder of a third comrade of their's while he was a policeman started the off-grid killing program. And we know that the Mann/Cooley team have a well developed thirst for Justice. For this genre, that is plenty of back story. And, throughout the novel, we observe both of them repeatedly questioning whether their ends-justifies-the-means quest to bring balance to the forensic universe is moral, and whether their personalities are being corrupted by that quest.
What makes this novel such a fun read is Mann's growth as an assassin. Even as he increasingly worries that killing bad guys is warping his personality, he gets more inventive and confident in the practice. And yet he is such a nice guy, really, a Nice Guy, and so he is always having to tell himself, "Don't think about it," and "If anyone deserved to die, he did," etc.
Another fun aspect is that the bad guys he has to kill are much much better at being evil than Mann is at being an avenging angel. They generally have the full arsenal of the psychopath: they are narcissistic, manipulative, effortless liars, and exquisitely sensitive to their own danger and discomfort. By the time Mann somehow figures out how to deliver the coup de grace, a savage satisfied little smile is always on my face.
Bottom line: this is a real page turner, a fun read, worth a couple of afternoons of pleasure reading. However, from Mr. Brantingham's other works, I know he is capable of a much deeper exploration of the character's personality, of much more complexity. I'm looking forward to the next Robert Mann novel, and I'm hoping it is The Empire Strikes Back to his first novel's Star Wars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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