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The Professionals

Owen Laukkanen - Author

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ISBN 9780425250495 | 496 pages | 02 Oct 2012 | Berkley | 6.49 x 4.29in | 18 - AND UP
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Four friends, 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 works like a charm—until they kidnap the wrong man.
 
Now two groups 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 crisscross the country in a series of increasingly explosive confrontations, each of them is ultimately forced to recognize the truth: The real professionals, cop or criminal, are those who are willing to sacrifice everything.


Guest reviewer: John Sandford on The Professionals

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.


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