Monday, August 06, 2007

Pg. 69: Brett Battles' "The Cleaner"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Brett Battles' The Cleaner.

About the book, from the author's website:
Jonathan Quinn is a professional cleaner. His job? Nothing too violent, just disposing of bodies, doing a little cleanup if necessary. But in Brett Battles' electrifying debut novel, Quinn's latest assignment will change everything, igniting a harrowing journey of violence, betrayal, and revenge.

The job seemed simple enough: investigating a suspicious case of arson. But when a dead body turns up where it doesn't belong — and Quinn's handlers at "the Office" turn strangely silent — he knows he's in over his head.

With only a handful of clues, Quinn scrambles for cover, struggling to find out why someone wants him dead ... and if it's linked to a larger attempt to wipe out the Office.

His only hope may be Orlando, a woman from his past who's reluctant to help but who may hold the key to solving the case. Suddenly the two are prying into old crimes, crisscrossing continents, struggling to stay alive long enough to unbury the truth. But as the hunt intensifies, Quinn is stunned by what he uncovers: a chilling secret ... and a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy — with an almost unimaginable goal.

Furiously paced, filled with superbly drawn characters and pitch-perfect dialogue, The Cleaner puts a powerful twist on all our expectations as it confirms Brett Battles' place as one of the most exciting new talents in suspense fiction today.
Among the early praise for The Cleaner:
"This book is a pure delight. Protagonist Jonathan Quinn is a unique and welcome addition to the world of crime fiction. Author Battles' The Cleaner is a brilliant and heart-pounding thriller; I'm on the edge of my seat, awaiting future installment of Quinn's adventures."
—Jeffery Deaver

"Brett Battles makes a grand entrance into the thriller scene with this unputdownable spy novel The Cleaner has it all: exotic locales, James Bondian derring-do, and ingenious plot twists that will keep you sweating all the way till the end."
—Tess Gerritsen

"It's always great to discover a new writer who can turn a genre on its ear. Brett Battles's The Cleaner proves the case. Part Raymond Chandler, part Clive Cussler, part Robert Ludlum, here is an international thriller chocked full of action, taut with suspense, and laced with a fair amount of humor and romance. An exciting debut by a major new talent... I look forward to seeing what comes next!"
—James Rollins

"Brett Battles is a compelling new voice in the thriller genre. The Cleaner combines the best elements of Lee Child, John LeCarre and Robert Ludlum. Deftly plotted, perfectly paced and expertly executed, Battles takes his readers on a joyride from the U.S. to Vietnam to post-Cold War Berlin. Jonathan Quinn is a character worth rooting for. Brett Battles is a master story teller. Find a comfortable chair and plan to stay up late. You won't be able to put it down. A stellar debut. Highly-recommended."
—Sheldon Siegel

"Hypnotically gripping, The Cleaner by Brett Battles moves with the speed of an assassin's unerring bullet. From Colorado to Vietnam and Germany, this ripping-good read will leave anyone who loves suspense not only happily satisfied but eager for Battles' next thriller."
—Gayle Lynds

"Brett Battles is a master thriller writer. Jonathan Quinn is simply the most compelling protagonist to debut in a decade. No thriller fan can afford to miss this rip-roaring experience."
—John Ramsey Miller

"The Cleaner has it all: fast action, terrific characters, and exotic locations all combined in a roller-coaster plot that's guaranteed to keep you reading till the last page. Brett Battles might be a newcomer, but he writes like an old hand. This is one terrific book!"
—John Gilstrap

"An emotionally tense tale of espionage and betrayal from a new author who writes with assurance and sophistication, The Cleaner's teeth-gritting action is an auspicious debut for the talented Brett Battles."
—Perri O'Shaughnessy
Read an excerpt from The Cleaner and more about the novel at the author's website and at Killer Year.

The Page 69 Test: The Cleaner.

--Marshal Zeringue