Killer Instinct
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Killer Instinct

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,696 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Jason Steadman is a thirty-year-old sales executive living in Boston and working for a electronics giant, a competitor to Sony and Panasonic. He's a witty, charismatic guy who's well liked at the office, but he lacks the "killer instinct" necessary to move up the corporate ladder. To the chagrin of his ambitious wife, it looks as if his career has hit a ceiling. Jason's be...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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It is really hard for me to give a book FIVE stars. This one worked for me on so many levels and the twist at the end was something I should have seen coming, am kicking myself for not seeing, but I love it when I miss something like that.

The story is about a salesman who is not getting ahead. He has tried to climb the corporate ladder, is approaching middle age and still isn't seeing any solid success in his life. He meets a tow truck driver and the two have an instant connection that leads to...more
Simon Cleveland
Ever since Paranoia, Mr. Finder's work has been getting progressively worse.
Paranoia was a niche, new and exciting. The prospective of corporate espionage, high-tech spying, survival of the most devious, it was a great concept, an exciting new story (as I read it I could almost smell the movie popcorn, the upcoming blockbuster). But then came Company Man, with its disappointing tale and unbelievable characters. And now - Killer Instinct.

What happened, Mr. Finder? Commercialization got in the w...more
The thrills in this book build slowly but then explode with a bang, just like the friendship between Jason and Kurt. Kurt helps Jason out when his car needs a tow and Jason takes note that Kurt, with his army special forces training, seems to have the kind of athletic prowess and assertive personality that Jason is lacking but could really use. Jason is a businessman for an electronics company and as he gets to know Kurt he finds that several of Kurt's special forces skills could be useful to hi...more
Stephen Tremp
My favorites of the three Joseph Finder books I’ve read. All around nice guy Jason Steadman is a mid-level salesman who needs to do something to make it to the next level with his company. After crashing his car, he is befriended by tow truck driver and former special forces Kurt Semko. Steadman is able to get Semko a job in security with his firm. Soon, Steadman finds he is suddenly rising the corporate ladder due to misfortunes of other employees. Steadman soon realizes it is Semko who is behi...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Both Paranoia (2003) and Company Man (2005) captured the power plays implicit in the business world and put Joseph Finder at the top of the corporate thriller game. Killer Instinct doesn't disappoint. Finder, who convincingly portrays how salesmen close the deal in a cutthroat environment, focuses on character development: Steadman's wife, for example, is no Lady Macbeth but an empathetic character. Although the plot never suffers, a few reviewers called it more predictable and less intricately

Jason Steadman is a thirty-year-old sales executive living in Boston and working for an electronics giant, competitors to Sony and Panasonic. He's a witty, charismatic guy who's well liked at the office, but he lacks the "killer instinct" necessary to move up the corporate ladder. To the chagrin of his ambitious wife, it looks as if his career has hit a ceiling. Jason's been sidelined.

Killer Instinct is a tension-filled psychological thriller. This is one of only a hand full of books I could not...more
Marius van Blerck
A readable corporate thriller about a sales exec who makes a new friend in Kurt (ex Special Forces), who turns out to have rather interesting and problematic ideas about friendship. Mixed in with this is the highly-charged corporate sales environment (complete with ludicrous self-help programs), scheming rivals, an ambituous wife and machinations from the corporate suite. Shades of Macbeth. The audiobook was very well read by the excellent Scott Brick, to whom I would listen even if he was recit...more
Joseph Finder has done it again. He is a master at suspense and building a story at just the right speed leading up to a very satisfying ending. I kept putting the book down, thinking this is so stressful, I can't read another word or I'll explode, only to have to pick it up five minutes later because I HAD to find out what happened next. I really wish I could give half stars, this book easily earning 4 1/2.

Scott Parsons
First rate corporate thriller. This is a very enjoyable, fast-paced novel of corporate intrigue. Sometimes you get more than you wished for. Jason Steadman is a mid-level sales associate in an electronics firm, Entronics. His wife, Kate, was born with a spoon in her mouth and pushes Jason to climb the corporate ladder. At first seemingly stalled, Jason's star begins to rise after he befriends an ex-commando named Kurt by securing Kurt a job in corporate security at his firm. Kurt believes in pay...more
Really. You wouldn't think something called Killer Instinct would be so boring!
Jeanne Klier
Another winner by Finder! I don't give 4 or 5* unless the book is special or possesses several criteria: original plot, characters that I like or can relate to, entertaining or, in the case of nonfiction, something that makes learning or a history lesson enjoyable...but that's another story. With Finder, the combination of interspersing humor with a "thriller" is so much fun he surpasses my expectations. Finder adds interesting tidbits of modern minutiae so even when he deviates from the plot wi...more
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Kara Jorges
Jason Steadman is coasting along in his mediocre sales job when his wife encourages him to pursue a promotion. He decides to go for it, even though the other two candidates for the job seem more likely to get it than him. Things really start to turn around for Jason one night, though, when he goes in the ditch and befriends the tow truck driver who comes to his aid. He invites Kurt Semko to join his company softball team, and then helps the disgraced ex-Special Forces soldier get hired in the se...more
Jul 04, 2010 Jerry rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jerry by:
Insidious plot thrills and chills in unusual business setting!

Knowing we like "thrillers", a friend passed along an advance reading copy of Finder's pre-release seventh novel, "Killer Instinct"; and sensing an unusual setting, we dove right in. We were quickly rewarded with a story not only to which most of us can relate, but one that turns ever more dark and mysterious as the lively, inventive plot proceeds. Our hero is Jason Steadman, a high-achieving salesman for a high-tech plasma TV company...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Successful Salesmen must have a killer instinct, and Jason Steadman must find his or lose his position at Etronics. Rumors abound at the Farmington office. The home office in Japan is planning to close a division of the high end electronics corporation. Jason is happy with the level he has risen to, but not his ambitious wife. Kate is encouraging her husband to apply for a promotion when he lands himself in a deep ditch. He is on his cell phone while driving home. Ex Special Force Sergeant Kurt...more
Joseph Finder is one of my favorite thriller writers who, along with Greg Iles, manage to be much less well known than some of their peers in spite of usually spending some time on NY Times bestseller lists. This is the third book in a row (Paranoia, Company Man) where Finder has found his niche, and that is of thrillers within corporations.

While I actually prefer the style protagonist you'd find in a David Morrell novel (well-trained and super-equipped), a kind found in Finder's earlier novels,...more
Nancy (Hrdcovers)

I've come to the conclusion that the very best time to review a Finder book is as soon as you've finished the very last page. At that time, you're so wound up that to wait a day or two before penning your thoughts would be doing the book an injustice. So with that thought in mind, I've just completed my 4th book by this amazing author and am, once again, ready to sing its praises.

How does he do it? Every single book is a page turner and every single boo...more
If you love action-packed thrillers, you'll enjoy Killer Instinct. Jason Steadman is an employee at Entronics, who wants to move up the ladder of success. He and his wife Kate are trying to have a baby too. Things aren't too good for him, until he met Kurt Semko, a former Special Forces vet, who helped him out with his car. From there, things get better. He recruited Kurt to the softball team and gets him a job in Security at the same building. From there, things get crazy, when he's up for comp...more
Scott  Breslove

This was an ok novel with a semi interesting plot but I think what ruined it mostly for me was his writing style. He really seemed to be trying to drop as many brand names as possible, and also overloading the book with way too much information, that was not central to the plot, or more likely not even central to the paragraph it was found in.
Overall, a very underwhelming attempt at what could have been a good story. I don't think I will be picking up any more of his books.
A salesman, Jason Steadman, for a high tech electronics company is under pressure from work to make big sales and from home where he and his wife are trying for a baby. When he runs off the road while distracted and gets towed on by a rather rough looking tow truck driver and an almost pro baseball player he invites him to be a ringer on the company softball team. The game turned out to be a winner and the Jason gets the driver a job with his company in the security office despite a dishonorable...more
This is only the second book by Joseph Finder that I have read but it certainly won't be the last. His books are totally engrossing and keep the reader turning the pages at a rapid rate!

'KILLER INSTICNT' grabbed me from the very beginning when Jason Steadman meets tow truck driver & ex-special forces Kurt Semko and they immediately hit it off.

Jason soon gets Kurt a job at his company as corporate security. And before Jason knows it things begin to look up for him, his beautiful wife is with...more
Jason Steadman's luck changes when he meets Kurt Semko, who tows his car to a local garage after an accident. They start talking baseball during the ride, Jason invites Kurt, who was drafted as a pitcher out of high school, to play on this company's softball team. Instead, Kurt joinged Special Forces, but he can still pitch. The sad team gets a lot better, and since you are supposed to be an employee to play, Jason get his a job in security. Not only the team's fortune changes. Jason gets a prom...more
Nick Brett
This is a lightweight page-turner but a good one.

Rising sales executive in an electronics company meets an ex-special forces guy and helps him join the firm. Trouble is, that from initially being very helpful it becomes apparent that the guy is unhinged, cunning and very dangerous.

Finder does well with his characterisation and certainly nails the big corporation/sales/contracts side very well. As things spiral out of control for our hero Jason he realises that he may have taken on someone willin...more
Frederick Bingham
This is the story of Jason Steadman. He is a mid-level salesman at a high-tech company. One day he meets a guy named Kurt Semkoe who tows his car after a wreck. He invites the guy to his company softball game and then helps him get a job with corporate security. He befriends the guy. Pretty soon he is spending a lot of time with him. Good things start happening to him and bad things happen to his rivals at the company and outside. Soon he figures out that Semkoe, a former special forces operativ...more
I thought this would be another detective or police story but I was fooled. it involves a 31 y.o. sales executive for a major electronics company who lacks the "killer instinct" to rise on the corporate ladder. Jason meets a former Special Forces officer just back from Iraq and helps him get a job in the company security office. Then strange things begin to happen to Jason's competitors that help Jason rise in the company. But when Jason begins to feel guilty and tries to put a stop to it, he fi...more
Míriam Puim
Ganhei este aqui na " Grande Aventura dos Livros Grátis " da Presença ! Mal posso esperar que chegue :D
adri patamoma
sabendo que iria viajar e enfrentar algumas super filas de espera, escolhi um livro leve e fácil de ler pra me acompanhar. resultado: 2,5h de fila pareceram dez minutos! este livro é bacana e, apesar de suuuuper previsível (o maior defeito do texto), é entretenimento garantido.


knowing that i would travel and face some big waiting lines, i chose an easy and light book to keep me company. that resulted in a 2.5 hour waiting time that seemed more like 10 minutes to me! this is a good book and,...more
This book was chosen by my book club as author is known to one of our members. While I appreciate the amount of research that Mr. Finder puts into his books and I like the fact that it takes place in my own backyard, I'm not sure it's enough to make the book more than average. It was a fairly quick read and provided some level of entertainment, but I wasn't overwhelmed by it. The characters seem a bit stereotypical and I didn't find myself caring much about them, especially Kate. I will try anot...more
Pretty effective escapist thriller in the sphere of corporate intrigue. Jason is challenged to prove he has the "killer instinct" to close sales deals in a plasma screen business in Boston and is pressed by his wife to push harder for promotions. The competition turns cut-throat and dangerous when a new friend he helps place in corporate security, who has a past in Special Forces, begins using criminal means to advance Jason's career. The effort to get out from under this situation is pretty anx...more
Feb 16, 2014 Linda added it
This book starts slow but gradually draws you in. I couldn't put it down at the end.
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Joseph Finder’s plan was to become a spy. Or maybe a professor of Russian history. Instead he became a bestselling thriller writer, and winner of the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for BURIED SECRETS (2011), winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for KILLER INSTINCT (2006) and winner of the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller for COMPANY MAN (2005).

Born in C...more
More about Joseph Finder...
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