- File Size: 2815 KB
- Print Length: 196 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1539667960
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: The Cosmic Bike Company Ltd (November 14, 2016)
- Publication Date: November 14, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01M6ZZEYH
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,440,481 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Stoner Stories: The Stoner Stories 1-5 plus a gripping new quick thriller (JJ Stoner quick thrillers Book 1) Kindle Edition
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How did he arrive at this station in life? Well, here's the back story. Stoner was a British soldier serving in Iraq when a situation arose and led to some unjustified murders.
On the hook and facing both a dishonorable discharge and possible time in the brig, Stoner takes advantage of the only feasible option. Approached by a stranger known as The Hard Man -- a highly-placed spook from an intelligence agency -- Stoner leaves the military and accepts a bundle of money in return for his professional killing skills.
The book is actually an anthology of short stories -- First Contract, Two Wrongs, Third Person, Four Cornered and Fifth Columnist. Through each the reader learns more about the ex-sergeant, how he thinks and what sort of mayhem he's capable of carrying out.
Intrigued by creative ways to kill people, Westworth once pointed out in an interview that murders are often disguised as accidents. Professional killers don't accomplish their missions by airstrikes and long-range missiles. They work close up with pistols, sniper rifles, rockets and knives. Sometimes they devise more entertaining methods.
As the author noted, deaths are mostly accidental or done for money or out of passion. "Even the deliberate and premeditated deaths which define an actual murder – are pretty mundane," he said.
Novels, on the other hand, are written to entertain, which means the author is challenged to make those murders more interesting. Westworth strives to write about killer characters who "are decent humans, not stone killers, psychopaths or the deviant fruitcakes so popular in the movies and on the telly. OK, so they’re killers – that’s what soldiers do – but they do not revel in it."
There's plenty to like in these five stories and Westworth's staccato writing style, coupled with blunt dialogue, makes reading The Stoner Stories such fun. Look forward to some creative killing.
I am now a big fan.
Tight as a drum writing with realistic dialogue and great characters. I'm going to sit down with the novels next.
Ex-soldier, and sometimes assassin, J.J Stoner has always lived above the law. When he is approached and handpicked by a mysterious man, known as “The Hardman” and is offered a substantial lump of cash in exchange for a hit, Stoner finds himself as a secret weapon, a type of mercenary, for the British government.
The Stoner Series is an anthology of short stories, by Frank Westworth, that follows anti-hero J.J Stoner. This anthology contains the first five stories: First Contact, Two Wrongs, Third Person, Four Cornered, Fifth Columnist, and Special Relationships (a sneak peak!) in the J.J Stoner series. Each of these thrillers can be read as a standalone, but they are quite entertaining to read all as a collection. Each story follows Stoner as he interacts with his kills and completes his various operatives.
The stories, themselves, sort of read like an episode of Sons of Anarchy if they took place in a James Bond world. They are all motorcycles, mischief, and mayhem without any gentlemen pleasantries. My favourite story was First Contact; I loved getting to know a little bit of backstory about Stoner and after the initial shock of how blunt Westworth is in his narrative style, I kicked back and enjoyed.
Stoner, as our heartless assassin, is actually quite likable. He is dangerous, complex and an all around badass. I loved the banter that Stoner has between whatever police or law enforcement he encounters. His nonchalance and wittiness was a real treat to read.
There were moments in each of the stories that I found to be a little overwritten. I found myself wanting more direct banter between Stoner and those around him and less about other characters. I also found it a little confusing at times to figure out who some of the newly introduced characters were and how they connected; this is typical of how I feel during a short story, especially since the author only has a short amount of time to introduce, escalate and finalize the plot.
Overall, I enjoyed The Stoner Stories anthology by Frank Westworth. I’d give this one a read if you enjoy a thriller that is fast-paced and ruthless.
Top international reviews
I have been a fan of Mr Westworth's idiosyncratic killer since the first story, First Contract, was published for the Kindle. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure; J J Stoner starts his literary life as a soldier in a hot and dangerous desert. There he does something that makes him very unpopular, something that soldiers are not supposed to do but before an ignominious discharge, and/or imprisonment he is approached by a man of mystery with an offer he really shouldn't refuse. After this there is much violence and sex: normal behaviour for people who make their living as killers for hire, I believe.
The writing is excellent. The plots on the far edge of credible and the research impeccable. All in all, a great read and, like many good series of books with a back drop that develops over the series.
If you've already read the novels, they will give you an idea of what made JJ Stoner the way he is...
But Beware - author Westworth does like to mess with the reader's head - much to this reader's pleasure!