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But that would be giving too much away. Suffice it to say that this powerful opening launches a killer thriller, rich in both adrenaline-pumping action and thought-provoking issues of vigilantism, power, and the moral dilemmas of those sworn to uphold the law. Hurwitz's prose is muscular yet intelligent; he draws characters well, and he unrolls action scenes with amazing vividness (as well as treating us to lots of fascinating lore about lock picking, identity theft, and cell-phone technology). Occasionally his plot twists verge on the outlandish, and a few characters seem to exist only to speechify on a certain point of view. But these are minor flaws in this fine, intense, often un-put-downable tale. --Nicholas H. Allison --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B000FC12EQ
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
- Publication date : October 13, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 1006 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 576 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0060530383
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #45,866 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Tim (a US Marshal) and Andrea Rackley's (a local sheriff's deputy) only daughter is kidnapped, raped, and then dismembered. The book opens with the Rackley's best friend telling them of their daughter's death. The perpetrator is tracked, and Rackley heads over to the house. There are no detectives, crime scene tape, or anything else: other law enforcement personnel are waiting for him to dispense some vigilante/grieving father justice. Except he doesn't, and the perp is hauled off.
Later, Rackley and other members of the Marshal's arrest team take down a drug dealer and some of his cronies. Rackley winds up shooting one suspect who fled, on the street, in the back, as he was reaching for his gun to fire at some LAPD officers. Internal affairs is not pleased, the prosecutor is not pleased, etc. - no one is pleased, although Rackley's superior doesn't think anything was wrong with the shoot. Rackley ends up resigning, and is recruited by the Commission.
If you've seen/read The Star Chamber, Death Wish, or Magnum Force (although the latter had on the job cops doing the deed), you know what happens: the Commission deals out justice to those the legal system has let slip by via loopholes.
That we are expected to believe that Rackley, who loves his job, and who did not kill the man responsible for the death of his daughter when not a single soul would have turned him in it for it, would join up with a group of people deciding the guilt or innocence of people and deeming them worthy of execution is simply ridiculous. Rackley even has his doubts about the two ex-cops from Detroit in the very first meeting.
There is a lot of soul searching by Rackley, the requisite nod to a marriage falling apart because of the death of a child (but not a big nod; Tim and Andrea only have one big blowout scene, with the rest of their time together in the house seeming like they are more angry with one another than grieving). There's the tough but fair supervisor, the loyal friend, the fellow deputy who wants Andrea, and so on.
The action scenes are decent, and the writing is ok - not as good as in the Orphan X books, but I chalk that up to practice, practice, practice. Writers should get better the more they write.
Overall, if you're looking for something to read and don't mind really descriptive passages about gore, this is worth a couple of hours of reading time. Just suspend your disbelief at some of the occurrences here and you'll be ok.
Let me just say how disappointing Kill Clause is. It's such a mishmash of over-the-top attempts at tear jerking, repetitive relationship wrangling, pedantic philosophizing on rule of law, and detailed accounts of driving from point A to B while rehashing C. I'm at 90% and I don't even want to pick it up again...I just don't care.
Could this have been a good book? Absolutely...the ingredients where there. What was totally absent was a competent Editor to challenge the author.
And what stinks is that I would gladly purchase a sequel to Orphan X, but now I'm a bit gun-shy. I honestly almost returned this for a refund, but figured I got Orphan X free from library, so ok, I just paid for it now. If anyone reading this agrees in general and has read more by this author, I'm open to recommendations...obviously Mr. Hurwitz has grown a fair bit and I'd like to read more. I just don't want to get sucked into another one like this :/
A different bad guy killed 86 people including children with nerve gas.
Another bad guy kidnapped and tortured a woman in his basement. There were gruesome details of what he did to her that made it hard for me to sleep at night.
The good parts were smart things Tim did when going after bad guys. Those were interesting. And there was a good ending for the hero - I liked that.
But overall this was too dark for me. I much preferred the author’s book Orphan X. Tough smart hero fighting bad guys with some smiling and chuckling moments. I will definitely read sequels to Orphan X, but no more of the Tim Rackley series.
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 541 pages. Swearing language: strong including religious swear words and racial slurs, but not often used. Sexual content: none, other than a couple references to what bad guys did, no details. Setting: current day Los Angeles area, California. Copyright: 2003. Genre: suspense thriller.
Top reviews from other countries
Tim Rackley is a dangerous man of honor, a deputy U.S. marshal who is very good at his job -- until everything he believes in is shattered by the brutal murder of his own daughter.
Betrayed by an imperfect judicial system, Rackley watches helplessly as the killer walks free on a legal technicality. Devastated, furious, and burning with a righteous need for vengeance, he is suddenly forced to explore his own deadly options -- a quest that leads him into a shadowy no-man's-land between justice and the law... and into the welcoming fold of "the Commission." A vigilante group made up of people like him -- relentless streetwise operators who have each lost a loved one to violent crime -- the Commission confronts the failings of a system that sets predators loose to hunt again, cleaning up society's "mistakes" covertly, efficiently, and permanently.
But as he is dragged deeper into a deadly morass of hidden agendas and murderous justice, Tim Rackley discovers that playing God is an excruciating and fearsome task. When his new secret life starts coming unwound at an alarming speed, he is suddenly caught in the most terrifying struggle he has ever faced -- a desperate battle to save his marriage, his career, his life, his soul... and everything left that's worth fighting for.
The action and technology devices keep this fast paced thriller moving along, interesting characters including Bear, a good friend, lots of very nasty characters.
An impressive start to this series, maybe a little too long, but I understand an introduction to a new character and introductions to many rather nasty villains.
I do have number two and three in the series ready to start, although I personally prefer the Orphan Man series
But a great author and 4 stars
Other reviewers have done a better job than I can of explaining the story line but what I loved about this book was the graphically described descent from a man who believed justice was black and white, into what essentially became vigilantism dressed up as a noble clearing-up of the justice system's failures. And then his jarring realisation that he was turning into the people he was trying to kill.
As a father I had to turn several pages at a time whenever the author discussed what happened to the main characters' child, but that's because it was visceral, raw detail that helped shape the narrative within the book. It can be uncomfortable reading at times, but the author lays it bare for us to see and (a little) understand.
Tons of fantastic technical detail - don't let that put you off if you're not into procedural thrillers because there's enough to be interesting, without making it sound like you're reading a manual.
The book is billed as "Tim Rackley Book 1" and I can't imagine where the hero would go after this but I sure hope Gregg Hurwitz lets us know.
As other reviewers have said, this book manages to portray a hero who is on a crusade but who never becomes a 'bad man'. Too many novels of this type are poorly written, in an adolescent style and become like text versions of a shoot-em-up video game. Not this one. This is proper writing, well plotted and paced and, even though extreme, the violence always seems appropriate. The one jarring note within the character representation is that, having established Rackley's wife's character as a strong, intelligent and capable woman, she allows a 'cuckoo' to enter the family nest inappropriately. This, to me, was a break in the reality. The character of Bear is brilliant and I didn't appreciate some of the importance of minor detail revealed early on until those details became so important in the final few pages.
Having now read The Kill Clause and Orphan X, there are some very obvious similarities in the make up of the main characters and the plot lines, so I just hope that, having stumbled upon a new (to me) author, Gregg Hurwitz doesn't turn out to be a one trick pony. But I've thoroughly enjoyed both books so I'll now follow both characters through their next adventures. Good writing, entrancing technical detail, a fast pace with plenty of action and all just this side of believable: bring it on!