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The Defector (Janac's Games #1)

3.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  196 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
What will you do, when it's you or them?


This is the dilemma at the heart of The Defector - can Martin Cormac turn his back on his ruthless past as a dealer, a major city player, and do the right thing? Not when he's looking for answers in a succession of sleazy dives...


One night, Cormac gets caught trying to chat up the bar owner's girlfriend and soon needs
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 22nd 1996 (first published September 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 536)
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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Games, drugs, risks, and lots of illegal money....that is what Janac was made of, and what he underhandedly pulled Martin into whether Martin wanted in or not.

Martin had flown to Thailand because of his guilt from a traffic accident, a girl, and the loss of his lucrative job. Martin had been a successful financial banker until an accident that ruined his life. He wasn't in this accident, but he had been the cause of it and the cause of the deaths of eighteen people. You will like Martin and feel
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
The Defector explores the premise that the instinct for self preservation outweighs the the desire to contribute to the greater good. People choose to be either 'defectors' or 'cooperators', and when the stakes are high enough, morality is not the only casualty.
Cormac lived the high life as a trader in the financial market until it all began to fall apart. Overwhelmed, he fled his life in London, ending up in Thailand where he is rescued from a bar fight by a stranger. A drink or three with Jane
Oct 13, 2011 TC rated it really liked it
Shelves: action-thrillers
What should come first, the individual or the greater good of society? In the past Martin has looked out for number 1. However after the city trader loses his girlfriend and his job and causes a major accident he disappears off travelling. After getting caught up in a bar fight he is saved by tough guy Janac. Friend quickly turns to foe though, Janac gets his kicks through testing people to their limit. His particular interest is the Prisoner's Dilemma. Martin soon finds himself caught up in Jan ...more
Jun 22, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this free e-book along with some other books on Smashwords, and was not expecting too much...but I was pleasantly surprised. This book was amazing.What a fast-paced thriller.

The villain in this novel plays mind games with his victims. It totally raises the thrill level.

Martin Cormac, the main character of the book, plays with your mind from beginning to end. Cormac experiences one of those life-changing events and chooses to react by getting drunk in a variety of locations around South
Feb 19, 2013 Kath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not often that I really enjoy a book where the main character is unlikable (to me anyway) but for some reason, in this book, it really works!
Based around Game Theory's "The Prisoner's Dilemma", the author weaves an intriguing storyline with strong action and believable characters which whips along at a fast pace, occasionally letting up to give the reader a short respite breather!
I felt that, for me, there was the right balance between moving the story on and background and character develo
Mar 17, 2013 Ctgt rated it really liked it
There are many familiar action-suspense-thriller themes running through this story, but there are a couple of important ones that make this more than just another frenetic chase book.

The main character, Martin Cormac, isn't an ex-cop, spec-ops, military police or any other of the usual types, he's a former stock broker/investment banker whose life has spiraled out of control after an car accident.

The two big differences are the antagonist, Janac and the psychological game, The Prisoner's Dilemma
May 28, 2011 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly didn’t expect to find a gem like this on Smashwords, especially since it’s being given away as a free e-book.

But a gem it is, if you like very, very bad villains and fast-paced thrillers.

It’s so good, in fact, that it went into my Read/Keep category (I usually delete ebooks when I’m done reading them). I’ll try not to give away too much of the plot, which is always the fine line in any book review.

What I like about the villain in this piece is the way he plays mind games with his victims
Misty Baker
Jan 06, 2012 Misty Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the best books out there are the ones that focus on the complexities of human nature. We all believe we are great people, that we have our limits, our morals, and that regardless of the situation we will stick to them, but the reality of that is naive. Hypothetical’s are just that…hypothetical; questions we can toss about like tennis balls on an empty court with no fear of consequence or loss. It’s not until that choice is staring you in the face that you find out who you REALLY are. Are ...more
Wendy Hines
Martin Cormac feels responsible for the death of eighteen people. He drowns his sorrows in Bangkok, until the flirtatious nature of a beautiful girl gets him into hot water. Thankfully, Janac comes to his rescue, a stranger who saves Martin from brutal thugs.

Janac has other things in mind for Martin though. Janac likes to play games, and Martin soon finds himself an unwilling pawn. Even though he would prefer not to play them, he knows his life hangs in the balance.

Janac's favorite game is calle
Dana Burgess
Oct 27, 2011 Dana Burgess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Someone should have really prepared me for this book before I started ... or maybe it was better that I found out for myself. This is one dark puppy! I may be dating myself here but, do you remember the short story 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson? Great short story - another dark puppy! I loved 'The Lottery'. I guess it appealed to my dark side. 'The Defector' appealed to that same side.

Janec is likely the most evil character I have ever met in a work of fiction. The games he came up with were
Jennifer (JC-S)
Apr 26, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
‘It’s the game, and the game is everything.’

The prisoner’s dilemma
n. a philosophical conundrum enacted through a game with two participants which gives an insight into the behaviour of the individual in society.

And the players? Martin Cormac, a man with a ruthless past in business and Janac, the man who seems to rescue him from the consequences of a poor choice in a bar in Thailand. But rescue isn’t may not be the right word: Janac has plans for Cormac which could ultimately involve a choice bet
David Dalton
I did enjoy reading this suspenseful thriller. Janac is indeed a creepy guy. I liked the beginning with the intro of Janac and his sick games and the run down chase on the high seas was well done as well.

The middle part dragged a bit as the main "good-guy" character (Dillion) was on the run from Janac on a racing sail boat,,,,the author went into a lot of details about how the ship runs and such. This part dragged a bit with the characters whining about things.....but then the thrilling end as
Jul 06, 2015 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had the potential to be a good story, but character development seemed lacking, and there was way too much sailing terminology. The concept of the Prisoner's Dilemma is intriguing though.
Jan 26, 2014 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Might have given it another star if the storyline hadn't ended so abruptly....presumably a lead-in to #2 in the series.
Aug 16, 2011 Art rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m only on Chapter 4 at the minute but I must admit that I’m not feeling a great deal of love for the main protagonist – the guy needs a bit of a beating to make him a little more likeable, but no doubt Janac (the only other character so far and even more dislikeable than Martin (who is the main dude)) will turn out to be a very bad influence…..I think I can see where this book is going
Crys Wood
Jan 18, 2012 Crys Wood rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Crys by: Julie
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Got bogged down at times with the Dilemma explanations/definitions, but an interesting story for all that. I found myself skimming for plot highlights to the end, and initially shelved the book as a did-not-finish, but curiosity (and a bit of guilt) brought me back to fully read the latter half.
Mark Chisnell
Dec 19, 2012 Mark Chisnell marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This is the original publication of the book that became The Defector - so if you've read that, you don't need to bother with this one.

There's lots more information on the book, and links to free ebook and audiobook versions here:
I thought the start of this book was fantastic. However it started to tail off towards the middle and end for me was a little disappointing. A decent enough read nonetheless. I downloaded it free from amazon so I can't complain too much.
Sep 11, 2012 Albert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fast paced and action packed but I felt the characters were a little one dimensional at best. With a little more character development this would have been one of my best reads.
Mark Chisnell
Dec 19, 2012 Mark Chisnell marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
There's lots more information on the writing of The Defector, and links to free ebook and audiobook versions here:
Jul 23, 2012 Janice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't normally give up on a book but I was just finding this so boring I gave up after 17%.
Not bad for a free Kindle download. Liked the concept of "Prisoners Dilemma".
Oct 24, 2015 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Interesting idea and story line but something was missing for me.
Jan 17, 2012 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
Kinda got slow in the middle, but the ending is top notch!
Nev Thomas
Three and a half stars.Not bad adventure yard
Angela Mcvay
I just couldn't get into this one.
Diane Dean
Was an okay read....I enjoyed it.
Have read two of his books
Aug 08, 2011 Wanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
quick read
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: Mark Chisnell, Thriller Writer 29 41 May 22, 2013 02:47AM  
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What will you do... When it's you or them? When it's them... or the woman you love?

I’m Mark Chisnell and I write the kind of stories that will keep you turning the pages till you’re done, and still thinking about them long after that. This is the home of the Kindle-chart-topping Janac’s Games thrillers, and the Burn series featuring Vermont backcountry girl and wannabe-investigative journalist, Sa
More about Mark Chisnell...

Other Books in the Series

Janac's Games (3 books)
  • The Wrecking Crew (Janac's Games, #2)
  • The Sniper (Janac's Games, #0.5)

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