1. The Cleaner by Brett Battles. 353 p. Published July 2007.
This book was recommended to me by a good friend. It’s the debut novel for Brett Battles, and he comes out swinging. Jonathan Quinn is a freelance operative, responsible for the dry work – surveillance, investigation, and clean up – surrounding his employer’s operations. On one such job, Quinn comes across a clue pointing to a plot which threatens the fragile balance maintained in the world of espionage. Now hunted for reasons he can’t fully grasp, Quinn must run, keeping himself and his few remaining allies one step ahead of a conspiracy that is far more nefarious than any could believe.
While The Cleaner may lack the technical and tactical details of some other espionage novels, the fluid pacing, developed characters, and captivating plot provide a good read. Admittedly, there are a few plot points that are a little hard to believe, but they are easily dismissed as the story progresses. Hopefully Battles will use the experience from this debut and further evolve his writing.
Rating: 3 out of 5