There is one more entry to the Top New Suspense Thrillers that must be included here now. That would be the Jonathan Quinn series by Brett Battles. Every book is the series has been a wonderful surprise. Every book has been different enough as well, even while featuring the Cleaner. It’s easy to see what a variety of assignments Quinn may face going forward as well.
Jonathan Quinn is a Cleaner. Not in the traditional sense that you might expect however. His task is to go in after a situation to clean up the scene. Usually a scene involving one or more dead bodies. Sometimes he makes the body disappear. Sometimes he will stage it somewhere else or make it look like an accident. The key to his job is to eliminate any trace of what occurred. Nearly all of his work is for one government entity or another. That is a big part of his justification—he is working on the right side, not for a criminal element. As the series continues, several characters are introduced, with a recurring presence that adds even more to the stories. It’s an excellent series. Each time I finish the next one I am very curious and anxious to see what goes on in the next.
Brett Battles, Author, and His Books
Besides the most excellent Jonathan Quinn series, Mr. Battles is the author of the Project Eden Thriller Series (seven books so far), the Alexandra Poe series (two so far) and the Logan Harper Thriller series (two books to date), as well as others. With over twenty published novels, there are plenty to look forward to reading still. I haven’t yet read his other series, but they are on my list for once I finish catching up with the Cleaner.
The entire series has been such an exciting one to listen to (or read). You will find complicated and unique plots, suspense filled chapters, and building tension throughout each novel. They have surely kept me tuned in on audio, all but one read by the excellent Scott Brick. What a fantastic narrator he is. If you have a chance, do try listening to one. His narration is so effective, you will focus easily on the story.
Now for the Books…
Becoming Quinn, a Prequel
While the Cleaner was first written in 2007, and published in 2008, there is another story that comes before it. Written in 2011, Becoming Quinn tells the story of Jake Oliver, before he became Jonathan Quinn. It was the first book I had read my Brett Battles, and the one that led me to the entire series. Jake was a young cop, a rookie, but one with an eye for detail. A body is found in a burning barn.
While the detectives see what apparently happened, Jake isn’t so sure. He finds little tells, small details like drag marks in the dirt, and decides to see where the clues lead. When it goes somewhere he does not expect, he works to convince the others on the case. As the final result, we have Quinn.
It’s a great prequel. Whether you read it before or after The Cleaner, I’m sure it will be a story you will find satisfying.
The Cleaner, Brett Battles’ First Novel
This exciting novel was Mr. Battles debut novel. Excellent beginning! The book was nominated for both the Barry Award (for best thriller) and the Shamus Award (for best first novel) in 2008. Asked to look into a fire for ‘The Office,’ where he works, he confirms it was murder and is ready to investigate further. Not his usual assignment.
Before he gets far, a mass killing of others working for The Office has Quinn and his new apprentice, Nate, running for their lives. It is hard to get ahead of the killer, leaving Quinn to wonder if someone is giving him the information.
Once they have a suspect, it leads to a conspiracy they never would have imagined, a conspiracy involving so many that Quinn, Nate, and one more associate must work alone to stop the murder of many more.
When Quinn is assigned the task of getting rid of a body found within a shipping container, it sounds routine. That is until he recognizes the body as that of an old friend.
When his friend’s girl friend goes missing too, Quinn is determined to find her and rescue her. It will lead him on an international hunt to find his friend’s killer and learn the reason for his death.
Fast paced, thrilling, lots of twists, and very difficult to put down once you start. I’ve reviewed this entry as well.
Shadow of Betrayal
When Quinn’s former boss calls in a favor, a reluctant Quinn accepts. The assignment is simply to watch a meeting take place, but it does not go according to plan.
Someone else is watching too, but to kill. On to the next job, only this time a government official is found dead. Still perhaps not Quinn’s problem.
Then he is asked for a final favor. What he learns is uncovers a terrorist attack in the works. One that would kill children. That Quinn must stop.
If he can.
The fourth novel in the series gets way too personal for Quinn. While he is working a job involving multiple clean ups for a new and unknown client, someone is digging in—successfully—to his well hidden, buried past. He has unknowingly put his family in danger.
Someone is willing to kidnap and kill them to get to their real target—Quinn. One of the hardest things he will have to do is share that past and face his family in order to protect them.
Might they all be connected?
Here’s my review.
One name forces Quinn out of his chosen seclusion. A woman Quinn supposedly ‘cleaned’ years ago resurfaces in the Destroyed, causing an international hunt that includes Quinn. Only this time he is the hunter and the hunted.
Why someone want Mila Voss dead—again—is something Quinn will have to uncover. What he finds staggers even The Cleaner. What he does about it could cost all of them them careers and their lives.
This was one of my favorites!
Book 6 in the Quinn Series is sure to be as exciting as the rest. It’s next on my list. Quinn is still avoiding assignments, since his past was revealed and his family put in jeopardy (See Silenced).
His apprentice, Nate, has been keeping things going, much of it in Quinn’s name.
It works against him this time, when he is caught in a trap set for Quinn himself. Quinn and Orlando race to find him, only to discover the horrible reasons for it reach into Quinn’s past.
The book is a cliffhanger, so you will want to have the next book, The Enraged, on hand to dive into when you finish The Collected!
I loved this entry to the Jonathan Quinn series. Every book does seem to get better and more exciting! This particular one includes more ‘spy’ necessities that added to the fun. Hidden compartments and escape passages, tricks of the trade, all help keep the pace of the story moving quickly and frantically. Quinn must rescue several captured, tortured team members before they are killed.
The rescue cost the lives of several and leaves Quinn desperate. While he follows intricate clues, someone within his own government is trying to stop him. It’s a layered, exciting story, that is slowly revealed. An excellent story!
For seven years there has been an international search for a young orphan. Now Quinn, Orlando, and Nate must find the orphan and find the truth behind the hunt. Mystery, political thriller, suspense, all rolled into one exciting novel, that is even better than the one before.
It’s quite a talent to keep finding such unique and twisting plots, all different from the last, yet keeping the same characters and premise.
Mr. Battles’ newest release was published in April of 2015. The ninth book in the Jonathan Quinn series is getting the usual rave reviews. Quinn and party are almost finished cleaning up their current assignment when they find a surprise awaits them. A woman with a secret. A secret that several groups are after, at any cost.
As they try to keep her safe, they must also find out who is after her and why. Lots of twists and turns and plenty of bad guys tripping over each other keep this an exciting fast paced read/listen.
It’s quite a talent to keep finding such unique and twisting plots, all different from the last, yet keeping the same characters and premise. Also unusual is to find each book better than the last! Mr. Battles nearly always achieves that. Just when you think you have a favorite, you read his next book. So many have picked up one of his books then gone back to start with the first book, to read the whole series. It’s very worthwhile. If you enjoy an exciting thriller, don’t miss Brett Battles’ Jonathan Quinn. Don’t forget to try an audio version of the series. It’s fantastic!