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The Samaritan: A Novel (Carter Blake) Hardcover – February 1, 2016
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“Mason Cross has created an enigmatic character in Carter Blake. The writing is taut, intelligent, oozes suspense. A highly impressive debut novel.”
- Matt Hilton, author of the bestselling Joe Hunter thrillers
“Fans of Jeffery Deaver―that other thrill-master who can't resist piling on the climactic twists even as the lights are coming up and you're looking for your umbrella―should be enthralled.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“British author Cross makes a spectacular U.S. debut with this harrowing thriller. The gripping, intense pace and the intriguing characters will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Hope for a sequel!”
- Library Journal (starred review)
“My kind of book.”
- Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Even jaded genre readers will be absorbed by Cross’s second thriller featuring manhunter Carter Blake. Cross makes the most of alternating perspectives, building up to a logical but surprising climax.”
- Publishers Weekly
“Cross’s skills at plot, locale, and character are impressive. Additionally Blake is as intriguing as he is competent, with a few skeletons in his closet to add to his credibility.”
About the Author
Mason Cross is the author of The Killing Season and The Samaritan. You can find out more by visiting his website at masoncross.net. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
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Carter employs "tricks of the trade", an insightful intuition, and just focused people skills to track and/or predict where elusive characters may strike next as he hopscotches around the country. Each of the first two novels in the series deal with the uncomfortable fact that Blake has no official law enforcement position or credentials so he is always a prime suspect when he offers his services and shares knowledge and ideas that local enforcement officials do not have. This may require some tinkering in further offerings of the series as it could become a formulaic and tedious start to each new book.
In "The Samaritan", Blake catches a news story of a young woman killed in California with a very distinctive method and weapon, which Blake recognizes as the signature of a former colleague, Dean Crozier. He heads to LA where he offers his services at no charge to Det. Jessica Allen and Det. Jonathan Mazzucco, both of whom are immediately suspicious--as are LAPD higher ups who don't trust Blake nor want his interference. But soon, more bodies are discovered with each bearing the same distinctive kill marks. Blake and the detectives form a tenuous alliance to pursue the serial killer who now knows Blake is on his trail--and has plans to terminate his former colleague. Soon, bodies begin piling up as Blake and Allen are not sure of who to trust, even their LAPD associates.
"The Killing Season" is a well written and executed novel with credible dialogue and believable characters. I enjoy the Carter Blake character and believe he has great promise to develop a wide following of fans of the action/thriller suspense genre. A significant similarity to the Jack Reacher series, are philosophical conflicts that inevitably arise spotlighting the bureaucratic "by the book" form of justice and the "no holds barred" form of street justice--often highlighting how modern rules of engagement and judicial restraints leave some criminals "untouchable" until a loner who doesn't play by all the rules appears to exact justice of a different kind. And it is often engrossing how Blake uses his unique intellectual and instinctual talents to keep a step ahead of the villains. Although I preferred "The Killing Season", I greatly enjoyed this novel and I can recommend it and the planned series to fans of action thrillers.
If you have not read the first in this series, I think you would enjoy this book anyway. It is a fast moving thrill ride, and there is enough information about the main character, Carter Blake, that you would not feel as if you are coming into the middle of a story. However, the first book in the series introduces Carter Blake and explains what he does for a living in detail. If you have not read the first, I promise you will want to go back and read it.
This story had a couple of great twists I did not see coming, and left me wanting more of Mr. Blake. It is absolutely one of my go to series, and Mason Cross, a go to author.
If you like a good, can't put down thriller, this book and this series is for you.
Far from being a hero, the police officer should have lost her job.
Inter departmental rivalry, personality clashes and cops with "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude are not enough to justify their actions.