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The Gray Man
Cover of The Gray Man
The Gray Man
Gray Man Series, Book 1
THE FIRST GRAY MAN NOVEL FROM #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR MARK GREANEY—Soon to Be a Netflix Original Film Starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans
"Hard, fast, and unflinching—exactly what a thriller should be."—Lee Child
To those who lurk in the shadows, he's known as the Gray Man. He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible and then fading away. And he always hits his target. Always.
But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. Forces like money. And power. And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighting for. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.

But Court Gentry is going to prove that, for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living and killing to stay alive...
THE FIRST GRAY MAN NOVEL FROM #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR MARK GREANEY—Soon to Be a Netflix Original Film Starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans
"Hard, fast, and unflinching—exactly what a thriller should be."—Lee Child
To those who lurk in the shadows, he's known as the Gray Man. He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible and then fading away. And he always hits his target. Always.
But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. Forces like money. And power. And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighting for. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.

But Court Gentry is going to prove that, for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living and killing to stay alive...
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  • From the book Warning: This excerpt contains content of an adult subject matter and adult language.

    PROLOGUE

    A flash of light in the distant morning sky captured the attention of the Land Rover's blood-soaked driver. Polarized Oakleys shielded his eyes from the brunt of the sun's rays; still, he squinted through his windshield's glare, desperate to identify the burning aircraft that now spun and hurtled towards earth, a smoldering comet's tail of black smoke left hanging above it.

    It was a helicopter, a large Army Chinook, and horrific though the situation must have been for those on board, the driver of the Land Rover breathed a subdued sigh of relief. His extraction transport was to be a Russian-built KA-32T, crewed by Polish mercenaries and flown in from over the border in Turkey. The driver found the dying Chinook regrettable but preferable to a dying KA-32T.

    He watched the chopper spin in its uncontrolled descent, staining the blue sky directly in front of him with burning fuel.

    He turned the Land Rover hard to the right and accelerated eastward. The blood-soaked driver wanted to get as far away from here as fast as possible. As much as he wished there was something he could do for the Americans on board the Chinook, he knew their fate was out of his hands.

    And he had his own problems. For five hours he'd raced across the flatlands of western Iraq, fleeing the dirty work he'd left behind, and now he was less than twenty minutes from his exfiltration. A shot-down chopper meant that in minutes this place would be crawling with armed fighters, defiling bodies, shooting assault rifles into the air, and jumping around like fucking morons.

    It was a party the bloodstained driver would not mind missing, lest he himself become a party favor.

    The Chinook sank off to his left and disappeared behind a brown ridge in the distance.

    The driver fixed his eyes on the road ahead. Not my problem, he told himself. He was not trained to search and to rescue, he was not trained to give aid, and he certainly was not trained to negotiate for hostages.

    He was trained to kill. He'd done so back over the border in Syria, and now it was time to get out of the kill zone.

    As his Rover accelerated through the haze and dust at over one hundred kilometers an hour, he began a dialogue with himself. His inner voice wanted to turn back, to race to the Chinook's crash site to check for survivors. His outer voice, on the other hand, was more pragmatic.

    "Keep moving, Gentry, just keep moving. Those dudes are fucked. Nothing you can do about it."

    Gentry's spoken words were sensible, but his inner monologue just would not shut up.


    ONE


    The first gunmen arriving at the crash site were not Al Qaeda and had nothing to do with the shoot down. They were four local boys with old wooden--stocked Kalashnikovs who'd held a sloppy morning roadblock a hundred meters from where the chopper impacted with the city street. The boys pushed through the growing phalanx of onlookers, the shopkeepers and the street kids who dove for cover when the twin-rotor helicopter hurtled down among them, and the taxi drivers who swerved off the road to avoid the American craft. The four young gunmen approached the scene warily but without a shred of tactical skill. A loud snap from the raging fire, a single handgun round cooking off in the heat, sent them all to cover. After a moment's hesitation, their heads popped back up, they aimed their rifles, and then emptied their barking and bucking guns into the twisted metal machine.

    A man in a blackened American military uniform crawled from...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 3, 2009
    In Greaney's fast-paced, fun debut thriller, Court “The Gray Man” Gentry, a former CIA operative now renowned as the ultimate killer for hire, is on the job in Syria and Iraq. To his shock, he learns that a team sent in to rescue him now has him targeted for elimination. On the run, Gentry slowly realizes that huge forces are marshaling against him, from his former government to the one man in England he always trusted. With unbelievable powers of survival, the Gray Man eludes teams of killers and deadly traps, while the reader begins to cheer for this unlikely hero. Cinematic battles and escapes fill out the simplistic but satisfying plot, and Greaney deftly provides small details to show Gentry's human side, offset by the petty rivalries and greed of his enemies.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2009
    Enigmatic Court Gentry lives a double life as the Gray Man, an infamous assassin revered in the criminal underworld. An assignment in Africa proves to be successful, but success often brings threats of reprisal. The survivors are not happy and demand revenge. Meanwhile, Gray Mans handler, Lloyd, learns that his family has been kidnapped. The ransom demand: Gentrys head inside a cooler. Lloyd reluctantly orders Gentrys termination to save the people he loves. Of course, the Gray Man is a legend for a reason. From the opening pages, the bullets fly and the bodies pile up. Through the carnage, Gentry remains an intriguing protagonist with his own moral code. The villains motives are fuzzy, though he is quite nasty. Comparisons will be made to Jason Bourne, but the Gray Man is his own character. The ending screams for a sequel, but it will be difficult to maintain the intensity level of this impressive debut.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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The Gray Man
Gray Man Series, Book 1
Mark Greaney
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