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The Cleaner

by Mark Dawson

Series: John Milton (1)

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2661987,265 (3.52)8
The first in a high-octane thriller series that is perfect for fans of Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne.
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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Enjoyed this novel. The comparison to Jack Reacher is a little tenuous but it stands up to scrutiny as a decent thriller in it's own right.
Not quite what I expected but more to come from John Milton clearly. Modern and topically British. ( )
  MJWebb | Sep 22, 2022 |
I started this book, set it aside, picked it up again, did not finish. I didn't like John Milton and didn't think that the character he is supposed to be would behave as he does. Reminded me of "Luther" but without the depth.

I received a review copy of "The Cleaner: John Milton Book 1" by Mark Dawson from Welbeck Publishing through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Jan 23, 2022 |
Thank you, Netgalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

John Milton is the number one Cleaner. He deals with the government’s problems, but now he himself needs cleaning up.

I just want to say I am very disappointed in this book. It was nothing like I thought it would be. It started so strong. We have the action I was looking for. We have him on an assignment, and he kills the people he is supposed to and a person who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But then he doesn’t kill the young boy who witnessed it all. This was a very big mistake that causes his superiors to start to question Milton’s “mental health.” This isn’t a jab at the book because I thought it worked fine but just with the characters themselves. Are you crazy? You think he is mental because he doesn’t want to kill?

Even though some people found him gaining a conscience as implausible after so many years doing this type of work, I didn’t think it was unrealistic. I had no problem at all with him deciding he no longer wanted to be Number One. I actually think the author did well at showing how Milton’s mental status has made him no longer want to be an assassin. We can see how this type of work has affected him and understand why he decides this. Again, totally plausible.

The book continues and was still good as he runs away from his job, finding a dirty house to live in, and as he tries to make himself feel better for all he has done by helping the people he meets. But this is when the book turned into something, I was bored out of my mind reading. I actually found myself thinking that I could stop at any point in the book and be completely fine not knowing the ending. The rest of the book completely ruined the good beginning and the action-packed ending.

The main core of the book was nothing about him being on the “run”. This is the main reason this book was such a disappointment for me. The book really didn’t follow Milton. It was mainly about the boy Elijah who he is trying to help and the crap that Elijah gets himself into with being associated with a gang.

Most of the book was slow, except for the very beginning and the very end, and the core of the book was just a lot of the same things happening in different ways. Nothing was that significant. I was disappointed because there were only a few short chapters that had information about the guy assigned to track Milton down, which they found him right away. Which is another thing that blows my mind. They find him right away and I am sure Milton knew this, yet he stays. It also takes so long for the person tracking Milton down to do anything. They say he was just scoping him out. But why that long? There really wasn’t any reason to follow him around because they knew they wanted to get rid of him anyways and it took forever for the person to finally do a pathetic attempt to stop Milton.

All the action in the core of the book had little to do with Milton and most to do with Elijah. I do have to say there were a few big things that happened but the shock, if there were any, wore off very fast because I really wasn’t engaged with the characters. Some of the relationships had a good foundation as we saw them grow. I think the book did really well showing how Milton and Elijah’s relationship grows but there was some other relationship in the book that had no foundation and was pretty forced.

I also really didn’t like the amount of profanity in this book. I don’t like books that curse at all, but this one had it just thrown in where it made no sense.

I think if the book was presented as being about what it was truly about, it would have been better or at least more understandable, but I just mist having the plot I thought I was going into this book reading. ( )
  NatureGraceReader | May 12, 2021 |
This book opened strong, with Milton, a secret government agent, takes out some targets but spares one of them, showing us his compassion and his ability to think in the middle of tough situations. However, the book gets really dull after that, moving away from Milton's perspective and following other lines.

When we get back to Milton, we see him having forms of PTSD--nightmares, constant flashbacks--from his past. He wants to be redeemed, basically. So the story goes back to following a young gang in East End, discussing themes of poverty and young crime.

I didn't have a problem with this book's deep themes as many did, but rather the large dumping of information that Dawson seems to do. He follows Tolkien's format, almost, and it makes the book lean on the dry side instead of being action-packed and encouraging me to keep turning the pages. ( )
  taylorkillpack | May 10, 2021 |
Great read. Hard to put it down. Read all day on my 65th birthday ( )
  DannyKeep | Apr 10, 2021 |
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The first in a high-octane thriller series that is perfect for fans of Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne.

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Meet John Milton He considers himself an artisan. A craftsman. His trade is murder. Milton is the man the government sends after you when everything else has failed. Ruthless. Brilliant. Anonymous. Lethal. You wouldn't pick him out of a crowd but you wouldn't want to be on his list. But now, after ten years, he's had enough - there's blood on his hands and he wants out. Trouble is, this job is not one you can just walk away from. He goes on the run, seeking atonement for his sins by helping the people he meets along the way. But his past cannot be easily forgotten and before long it is Milton who is hunted, and not the hunter. The Cleaner A career of state-sanctioned murder has taken its toll. Milton is troubled by nightmares, a long line of ghosts who torment his dreams. He resolves to make his next job his last and, then, perhaps, he can start to make amends for everything that he has done. Sharon Warriner is a single mother in the East End of London, suicidal with fear that she's lost her young son to a life in the gangs. After Milton saves her life, he promises to help. But the gang, and the charismatic rapper who leads it, is not about to cooperate with him. As London burns through summer riots, Milton finds himself in unfamiliar territory, dealing with an unfamiliar foe. And when his employer sends another agent after him, the odds against him are stacked even higher.
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