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The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen
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The Professionals (edition 2012)

by Owen Laukkanen

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1933761,059 (3.59)11
Member:mrmapcase
Title:The Professionals
Authors:Owen Laukkanen
Info:Berkley (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Fiction, Crime Fiction, Minnesota

Work details

The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen

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    Death Benefits by Thomas Perry (amyblue)
    amyblue: Both are excellent crime thrillers with a fast paced plot and believable characters.
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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Definitely a mixed bag. The book starts out strong, shifting between multiple view points in an Elmore Leonard fashion; however, the book looses serious momentum before the halfway point. It feels like a roller coaster that has made it part way up the major hill and who is now endanger of simply coasting backwards instead of cresting. The plot starts at the edge of believable and ends squarely in the over-the-top. I wanted to like the relationship between Stevens and Windermere, but, there is simply not enough interaction between the two to justify the relationship the author wants us to believe exists. I am rooting for this author and this series, there is something likable about it, although I did not believe the first book to be an overall success. I am hoping that the series grows and becomes stronger over successive books. ( )
  RDHawk6886 | Oct 27, 2013 |
The Professionals (Stevens and Windermere)
by Owen Laukkanen.
Blurb:-
Four friends, recent college graduates, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it's no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise-quick, efficient, low risk-works like a charm. Until they kidnap the wrong man.

Now two groups they've very much wanted to avoid are after them-the law, in the form of veteran state investigator Kirk Stevens and hotshot young FBI agent Carla Windermere, and an organized-crime outfit looking for payback. As they all crisscross the country in deadly pursuit and a series of increasingly explosive confrontations, each of them is ultimately forced to recognize the truth: The true professionals, cop or criminal, are those who are willing to sacrifice . . . . everything.
Review
A gritty read of crime and consequence, full of guilt and grime. The author sets an unsympathetic backdrop of hash economic times as impetus to stray from the straight and narrow. Authur, Matt, Marie and Ben devise a seemingly harmless plan--they are not going to hurt anyone, only hold them until their well off families pay to get them back. However, abducting people is never harmless as the 'team' soon find out. The trick the author plays with his characters and his plot, that set this yarn apart, are to make the reader empathize not only with the protagonists predicament, but also with angst. Unwittingly you might find yourself hopeful for their escape, not only from their assailants, but from the nightmare situation they find themselves in. This is the 'Sundance' syndrome, and the author does it very well. His fugitives are nice, normal kids, who have stumbled onto the wrong path, we want to save them.
On the other hand the cops, are not so likable--well made characters, yes, nice, not at all--Stevens, wants fame and thrills. Windermere, loves the run of adrenaline during a case, more than closure at the end. Both officers are in relationships but find themselves more than a little enamored of each other. Also, they neglect their life partners without much regret. So, although this story pans out in a moralistically predicable way, the characters and the point they are shooting from(no pun intended) make this read unusual and engaging. If you like thrill-a-second, action packed reads, with life like heroes then this is the book for you. ( )
  NorasueBlack | Oct 13, 2013 |
Actually got bored and didn't finish it, but it wasn't as bad as a one-start
  MichaelKelberer | Aug 21, 2013 |
Great fresh concept: four college grads with no job prospects who become career criminals doing small time kidnappings off the radar to build up their nest-egg and retire to the beaches of Maldives. Thrilling page-turning fun. You end up liking the cops and the criminals (the Mafia not so much) and don't know who to root for. Fantastic read and I can't wait to read this authors next one. ( )
  she_climber | Apr 19, 2013 |
The first half is marvelous. Interesting plot, good use of multiple viewpoints, and endearing 'bad' guys. However, after the first incidence in Florida, the plot became a little too absurd for my taste. The 'real' professionals were too stereotypical to be particularly interesting, and the relationship between Stevens and Windermere left me a little baffled. ( )
  eapalmer | Dec 27, 2012 |
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Martin Warner checked his watch as the train slowed for Highland Park.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399157891, Hardcover)

John Sandford reviews The Professionals

Alex George

John Sandford is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of twenty-two Prey novels and eleven other works of fiction, most recently the Virgil Flowers novel Shock Wave. He lives in Minnesota.

The list of things that can foul up a perfectly good thriller is a long one. Sometimes they are so prevalent that if you go into a mystery bookstore and ask the owner, “Anything new and good?,” he may have twenty new books around the counter, and maybe he’ll hand you one.

Some of the other writers will learn the trade, eventually, but this one, this one’s worth reading right now.

Owen Laukkanen is a new guy, but you’d never know it. The Professionals is one of those books that you’ll tend to read in one sitting. The basic story involves a crew of professional kidnappers who have refined their technique to an art form--until they stumble, and art turns to blood. Laukkanen writes so well that his prose disappears into the story, and you live it: The Professionals is full of real people, struggling through extreme circumstances, but nothing that you don’t believe.

Both the good and the bad guys come in a variety of flavors, and his cops combine wit and charm--in fact, his pairing of FBI agent Carla Windermere and BCA agent Kirk Stevens is so good and full of possibilities that I can’t wait to see what they do next.

The Professionals is a real, down-and-dirty thriller: the story never, ever slows down.

If I were you, I’d get started now.

Photo of John Sandford © John Earle

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Four friends, recent college graduates, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it's no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise--quick, efficient, low risk--works like a charm. Until they kidnap the wrong man. Now two groups they've very much wanted to avoid are after them--the law, in the form of veteran state investigator Kirk Stevens and hotshot young FBI agent Carla Windermere, and an organized crime outfit looking for payback. As they all crisscross the country in a series of increasingly explosive confrontations, each of them is ultimately forced to recognize a brutal truth: The true professionals, cop or criminal, are those who are willing to sacrifice everything."-- Provided by publisher.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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