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Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Fast-moving and intricately plotted, this manuscript of Dutch intrigue follows assassin Katla, who's renowned for her ability to cover up a job. When the U.S. DEA's base in the Netherlands catches wind of a heroin ring within the U.S. military, they set up an undercover operation. When the heads of the drug ring discover the plot, they arrange for Katla to assassinate the undercover agents, but the assassination doesn't go as planned. As Katla recovers from injuries sustained in the botched job, DEA agent Deborah Stern and her colleagues investigate. Violence, drugs, and sex abound in this intense story, and the plot is less farcical than a lot of the thrillers clogging the shelves.
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From the Author
All e-books in the Amsterdam Assassin Series are stand-alone novels and short stories.
Assassin Katla breaks her own rules when confronted with an unusual witness...
Blessed with an almost non-existent conscience, freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes, expert in disguising homicide, regards murder for profit as an intricate and rewarding occupation. Her solitary existence seems more than satisfactory until a blind musician wanders in on her crime scene.
Katla only kills for profit or to protect her anonymity, and Bram Merleyn seems harmless and unable to identify her. By sparing his life, she breaks one of her most important rules--never leave a living witness. A decision Katla might not survive to regret...
Reprobate is the first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
Assassin Katla's legitimate business becomes the target of a hostile takeover...
Still recuperating from injuries sustained in Reprobate, freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes, expert in disguising homicide, finds herself at war with the Kau Hong, a gang of ruthless criminals who will stop at nothing to get their hands on Sphinx Shipping.
The potentially lethal situation quickly becomes untenable, when victims fall on both sides, and a Hong Kong sniper arrives to team up with a mute enforcer from the competitive 14K Triad.
Amsterdam might prove too small for Katla to play hide and seek, when her enemies match her skills in search and destroy...
Peccadillo is the second novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
Assassin Katla kills the wrong target and draws attention from combined intelligence communities...
Freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes runs her business of disguising homicide below the radar of law enforcement, but when her latest target is a judas goat intended to draw her out into the open, the hunter becomes the hunted.
Fooling local law enforcement can be challenging, but hiding from intelligence communities aiming to enlist Katla for their dirty work might prove impossible.
With Homeland Security, DEA, and the German BKA joining forces with Dutch Intelligence in an effort to track down Loki Enterprises, not only Katla's future is threatened, but also the lives of her lover and his friends.
Rogue is the third novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
Assassin Katla's sabbatical year turns out to be her biggest challenge yet...
After her narrow escape from the intense investigations by combined intelligence forces, freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes takes a sabbatical to thwart the relentless scrutiny by the authorities.
But there's no rest for the wicked.
An unexpected pregnancy, a brother in peril, a secretive consultant, and an assiduous infiltrator conspire to force Katla to renege on her vows and once again do what she does best: solving problems in her own unparalleled way.
Ghosting is the fourth novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
The Katla KillFile short stories chronologically precede the novels in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
Each KillFile features freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes, expert in disguising homicide, executing one of her contracts. While not mandatory reading, each KillFile provides insight both in Katla's work methods and skill, and additional background information in her character and personal history. The KillFiles can be read out of order, as the contracts are random samples from Katla's past.
Assassin Katla reinvents a forensic landmark while creating a Locked Room mystery...
The Locked Room KillFile (7,800 words) follows freelance assassin Katla Sieltjes executing a contract on a physician responsible for the death of her client's wife. Using an updated version of a lethal puzzle that astounded forensic scientists at the end of the twentieth century, Katla recreates a diabolical killing method that became a landmark in the forensic sciences. Thwarting forensic scientists is not her only hurdle in fulfilling her contract, as her target has to be killed in his home, an opulent penthouse in a fortress-like apartment building...
Assassin Katla has to kill an industrial spy and retrieve the stolen item...
The Microchip Murder KillFile (8,500 words) follows freelance assassin Katla Sieltjes executing a contract on an industrial spy, who is in the process of selling a stolen microchip with valuable software to the competition. Katla's client wants the stolen microchip and research materials returned to him, but her target is wary and the unscrupulous buyers are prepared to kill for the stolen software.
Assassin Katla is hired by a client whose brother is planning a terrorist attack...
The Fundamental Error KillFile (9,800 words) follows freelance assassin Katla Sieltjes on her most dangerous assignment yet. When Peter Brandt watches his brother Roel convert to Islam and turn into a domestic terrorist, Katla needs to enter into the mind of a fanatic suicide bomber in order to thwart a mass-murder attack in the shopping mecca of Amsterdam.
Assassin Katla finds a devious way to get a target to poison himself...
The Aconite Attack KillFile (10,700 words) follows Katla Sieltjes on her first foray as a freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter, when she gets herself hired by the CEO of a modelling agency to permanently remove his playboy partner draining the firm's resources on his downward spiral into self-destruction. Katla finds a way to administer poison to the target, but he has to be isolated for her plan to succeed. Every plan has a fluke factor though, and Katla soon finds herself in mortal danger, when the target reveals his darker side...
ALL BOOKS AND STORIES CAN BE READ AS STAND-ALONE
- ASIN : B0094VD7JW
- Publisher : Pushdagger Publishing Limited (September 1, 2012)
- Publication date : September 1, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 3472 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 428 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,222,872 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Reprobate – the first of several Katla novels, the Amsterdam Assassin series – has three main protagonists. One is the Amsterdam office of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, which wants to know who is supplying heroin to American soldiers in Germany. The second is the culprit, a Dutch biker gang. The third is Katla. The bikers foil the DEA’s plans to entrap them in a welter of gore, courtesy of Katla. But then they double-cross her. This is a mistake. More gore ensues. The gore never quite gets gross, though. That it doesn’t is a tribute to the skill of Amsterdam-based thriller writer Martyn V. Halm, who does blood with a light touch and some fascinating background detail.
Reprobate is, in fact, an engaging read. This is partly due to Halm’s meticulous research into Katla’s killing techniques – and much else besides, including the locations, and Japanese customs that figure in the plot. But he’s also a fine plotsmith, creating interlocking components that never get out of place so that every unexpected twist in the plot seems, once revealed, to have been perfectly logical. This is a harder trick to pull off then it seems, and is the heart of a good thriller. Last but not least, Halm can create atmosphere. Thus, as the book opens, Katla is calmly planning her first murder of the book amid an utterly normal street scene, replete with locals on bikes, tourists, and the normal trappings of a working day.
If the book has a flaw, it’s Katla herself. She caught my interest, but not my sympathy; and many, but not all, readers need someone to root for in a book, otherwise it may leave them cold. In some ways this matters less with Reprobate, as Katla’s victims richly deserve their fate, and it’s quite fun watching them get skewered. Moreover Halm could (and I suspect would) also argue that Katla is a fascinating study in amorality. She does show feeling for a lover in Reprobate, and it may be that her character is developed more in the later books.
No matter. Reprobate is good stuff – an intelligent, well-written thriller, tightly plotted, with well-drawn characters, good detail and the twists and turns that keep you reading. It’s also a good-value download at $3.99. Recommended.
The characters of Katla and Bram are interesting and you'll find yourself wanting to know more about them. The killing methods Katla uses are unique and unusual, bringing something new to the spy/assassin genre. Bram's blindness and subsequent capabilities are believable and conveyed well. One criticism I have with this book is the sheer number of characters. Too many criminals, too many police, DEA and IPOL members to keep in my head and remember who is whom. Deborah's character never really seems to get the 'screen time' she deserves but perhaps she appears in a subsequent book?
My only other criticism (and this may be a matter of my taste and not any writing flaw) is the frequent use of location names. I imagine these are interesting to those who know Amsterdam but to someone like myself the odd and difficult to pronounce names seem to interrupt the flow of the storytelling. For myself I'd just prefer to know a street is along a canal without actually knowing the name of both street and canal. Others may find this adds more flavor to the story but I found it frequently distracting.
Those nitpicks aside, Reprobate is a fun read with plot twists, grisly killings and a peculiar blossoming romance you can't help but wonder if it will continue or implode in spectacular fashion. Halm knows his subject matter and it shows. If European espionage is your thing this one is delightfully outside the box.
I was a little apprehensive going into reading this, because I am not a big fan of the anti-hero and I worried that Katla was going to be some kind of monster with no code of ethics whatsoever. What I found was much more complicated than that.
Yes, Katla is an assassin. She kills people. She has even killed 'additionals' - hapless victims who had the misfortune of being in her way. But she has her own set of rules. We don't see her gleefully shooting through crowds of people, causing accidents that hurt hundreds just to take out one. I got the sense that if the job required that kind of indiscriminate killing, she would not take it. So, despite my misgivings, I actually liked Katla as a character and heroine.
I liked Deborah, the DEA agent, better. She was smart and no nonsense, and just vulnerable enough to make me believe she is a stranger in a new country, trying to find her feet. I liked the interactions between the law enforcement teams. Just the right amount of competition, camaraderie and power struggles.
In fact, I liked the interactions between all the characters. Definitely an unusual cast and each character had a pretty distinct voice when the reader is in their head. The only addendum to that is that there is an overall aura of foreign-ness to the book. Maybe formality? I'm not sure what to call it. Yes, it is set in a foreign (to me) country, but even the Americans in it had this subtle flavor to them. It may also be attributable to being more like the old 'hard-boiled detective' style of writing, in that people don't get mushy or sentimental and while there are plenty of scenes which should be highly emotional, I didn't get to see/feel that emotion myself.
I think that is where the story lost that half star for me. I never quite connected with any of the characters on an emotional level.
Everything else about the book was very enjoyable. The way the plot had two distinct storylines that intersected - literally coming together in the same room at one point - kept me interested in finding out how it would all resolve. And I didn't foresee the end, (view spoiler) even though looking back I could see all the clues. That is the mark of good suspense, to me.
Top reviews from other countries
Thanks waiting for third book
Ich lese jetzt schon Buch 2 - das ist womöglich noch besser.
In this instance, I LOVED THIS BOOK SERIES. I not only went on to read every thing this author had in the back catalogue, I joined his mailing list, and wrote a review!
Don't get me wrong. There were things about this book that weren't great. In this first book, The back story of one of the central characters in the first part of the book seemed to drag a bit, but once I got through that and the sometimes confusing Dutch names, I was HOOKED. I will say that the first book was the "worst" of the series, and the later books just had that more tightly written polished feel about them. But It was still far superior to some of the books I bought and read over the last year or so.
I think that the author has done a great job making us (the readers) care about what happens to the characters, and that makes us (well, me anyway) just want to keep going and wanting to follow them to find out more.
Also, his plot and the story itself is compelling. He (the author) seemed to have a clear understanding of all the aspects of how to murder someone and make it look like someone else did it, or to make it look like a accident. The forensic details seemed (to me anyway) to be spot on.
All in All. I LOVED this series and binge read them over the course of a week (I was on holidays).
I would highly reccommend this book series to anyone who likes a good murder, mystery, action/ adventure or thriller.