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The Cleaner (Jonathan Quinn #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  2,531 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Meet Jonathan Quinn: a freelance operative with a take-no-prisoners style and the heart of a loner. His job? Professional “cleaner.” Nothing too violent, just disposing of bodies, doing a little cleanup if necessary.But in Brett Battles’s electrifying debut novel, Quinn’s latest assignment will change everything, igniting a harrowing journey of violence, betrayal, and reve ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Dell (first published June 26th 2007)
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From the summary of this book, I thought it’d be about a guy kind of like Harvey Kietel’s character Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe from Pulp Fiction. You know, a slick guy who shows up and gets rid of all the evidence after some criminal shennigans. But instead of getting The Wolf, this book featured a low-rent Jason Bourne wannabe named Jonathan Quinn.

In fact, I’m not even sure why Quinn is called a ‘cleaner’. He’s a freelance operative who works for intelligence agencies following up after covert a
This was my first tryst with Mr. Battle's Jonathan Quinn. And I must say, I am absolutely thrilled to have discovered him. "The Cleaner" starts of at an amazing pace and builds up momentum as we go further into the book.

You keep reading and suddenly you find yourself turning the midway point and the only thing to make you stop is the thought "Hey, let me savor this a bit".

The spy-craft is pretty exciting and extremely intelligent. The charatcers are endearing and you feel for the relationships a
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
The Cleaner was a slow read for me, but ultimately I enjoyed it. I appreciated the attention to detail evident in this novel. It felt authentic (although I could hardly say yay or nay since I am not a spy and I don't know any). I feel that the world-building lends a credibility to the concept of Quinn as a Cleaner, at any rate.

As far as characterization, Quinn remains a mystery, but I felt that I got to walk inside of his skin and get a feel for how he processed things. He clearly knows his stuf
Mike (the Paladin)
This isn't a bad book, my 3 star rating rule is that I don't dislike the book, but I can't really say I liked it a's okay but I think could have been better.

We're introduced to "Jonathan Quinn" here. He's a Cleaner. When wet work takes place and those pesky bodies, blood pools and viscera are left lying around "They" call John.

Who are "They"? Why, "The Office".

I liked the idea of this one and it touched on what I think is one of the more frightening possibilities of modern "terrorism" (
Scott E
I gave 3-stars as this was a debut and one could only hope that Battles can get better with future books. For a near perfect debut in a similar style/subject-matter, read Barry Eisler's Rain Fall.

The Cleaner is nicely paced for the most part, although I found there were parts of this book where Battles over-described a scene. The first two scenes in the sphere took forever and cried for a quicker pace. And, as this book was written in 2007, there was really no need to detail (really detail!!!) h
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
Synopsis: Ex-cop Jonathan Quinn now works for a shadowy U.S. intelligence agency known merely as the Office, erasing all traces of violence and mayhem when an operation goes south. During an apparently routine assignment to look into a fatal fire that claimed the life of Robert Taggart, a viral biologist, in his Colorado home, Quinn finds evidence that Taggart was murdered, and that discovery is followed by an attempt on Quinn's own life. While Quinn survives, he learns that the Office's top ope ...more
I don't usually have time to make a worth wile review so I don't bother, but I just can't keep quiet this time.

I thought this book will be an action one through and through. Assassin agency, spy activities and an attractive hostage for a little Stockholm syndrome romance. It made me think of the John Rain series.

Now don't get me wrong, it has all of the above but in such a twisted unrealistic story that at first I thought I was drunk. It wasn't me, but the author that was inebriated. At least I
Jun 09, 2009 KarenC rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ludlum fans

Globe trotting thriller, similar in style to the new "Robert Ludlum" titles (Ludlum story outlines written by other authors). A bit flat in places, while in others very engaging and suspenseful; enough to keep the pages turning. Quinn's contacts, alertness, powers of observation, reactions to events, and fast-paced travel itinerary reminded me of Jason Bourne.

A "cleaner" who surely exceeds his commission in terms of follow up. Won't stop following the trail despite more than one warning to give

Admittedly, I've started this series late. That's actually a good thing, considering the prequel to "The Cleaner", which gives us valuable insight into Quinn, wasn't penned until the 4th or 5th installment. It's also a bit of a drawback because in that time, Battles has come a long way in tightening his stories.

"The Cleaner" is a great suspense/thriller with a refreshingly unique take - that being the POV of the person who covertly "cleans up" the messes after assassinations and such. The autho
Well, shoot. I had really hoped to like this book. Brett Battles, as far as I can tell, is an independent author who sells his books for a few bucks a pop. I had enjoyed one I got for free on Kindle called "Sick", although it was a bit derivative. I figured "The Cleaner" was a good next choice. Unfortunately, not so much.

The premise of the book is that Jonathan Quinn is a guy who usually cleans up crime scenes - I guess sort of based on "The Wolf" from Pulp Fiction. Suddenly, he is brought into
A compelling, page-turning debut novel!

Jonathan Quinn, a professional ‘cleaner’ for a covert government known as ‘The Office’ is contracted to go to Colorado to ‘investigate’ the death of a man named Taggert. However, to Quinn, the whole thing smells fishy. With the help of his apprentice, they look for any clues that need to be ‘cleaned’. Discovering the body of another female ‘agent’, Quinn knows everything isn’t as it seems. He knows he should be minding his own business, that he’s hired to g
Following my discovery of Lee Child's hero, I began scouring the genre landscape for similar heroes: alone, powerful, possessing principles (even in professions that refute that notion). One evening, during such research I stumbled across the author Brett Battles and his unlikely hero: Jonathan Quinn.

What we have here is a principled cleaner: you know, the guy that cleans up after grissly killings. (Well, I did say it is an unlikely hero). He reminds us of Eisler's John Rain. The man has a stric
Alan Williams
Jonathan Quinn is an espionage agent, but he doesn't work for MI6 or the CIA, he's freelance.

Quinn is asked to investigate a suspicious arson and death, and soon someone is trying to kill him. Quinn needs to find out what's going on and stop those who are after him before they put a stop to his investigation permanently. The trail will take Quinn to Vietnam, Germany and Brussels, and put Quinn in some tight spots where his death is one likely outcome.

This is the first in the Jonathan Quinn serie
Sean Wylie
Boring. I do my best to avoid the 'modern detective' story, you know the ones where the description starts; "Former CIA operative", "Disgraced FBI agent", or "Suspended ATF officer" takes no prisoners to save the day. I took a chance on this one as the main character seemed to be a bad guy (Quinn is The Cleaner and shows up after crimes to clean the scene and prepare it for the local cops to get the wrong idea of what happened), and that sounded fun.

Nope. Despite the slightly different angle th
I really can't believe a thriller novel bored me to tears. I've read loads of them before, but I've never come across one as unimaginative as this one. The pacing puts you to sleep, and the action scenes are so cliche that by the time anything interesting happens, you'll most likely not even care. But the characters are what bothered me the most. The protagonist can be best described as a bag of bricks - as in, he's just as interesting as one. He has no quirks, no distinguishing features, no ver ...more
Mary JL
Aug 31, 2010 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery & suspense fans who want a quick, easy read
Recommended to Mary JL by: Received as a gift
Shelves: mystery-horror
This book was well-written, fast paced and had a good concept. It is well worth a read, especially if you like spy thrillers.

However, three stars is all I can give. There are some convenient co-incidences that imho weaken the plot; also one fairly large plot hole, and the ending seems not to fit to me.

Also, I've noticed lately many mysteries now have the protagonits---I cannot say 'hero'--a criminal. Quinn is a cleaner--he disposes of bodies for a clandestine outfit known as "the Office". He see
Perfect spy-thriller for long flight or lazy girls-night-in. Jonathan Quinn is the spy who came in from the cold then settled comfortably into his modern Scandinavian couch and read Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun. I’m not making this up. Here’s an espionage operative who prefers a quiet night reading Haruki Murakami over flirticating with leggy blonde Russian double agent. Admittedly compared to Bond, Bourne, Bauer and other Bs I might have missed..Quinn is just this side of bor ...more
Freelance spies filled with pseudo melodrama and odd happenings just for the sake of plot. It was good enough to finish but I kept questioning the kidnappings - the author repeated that the kidnappees were being used as hostages but the bad guys never took advantage of them as hostages. The good guys didn't even pretend to stop fighting the bad guys just because they had the hostages so they were just something else for the bad guys to have to take care of in aid of their terrible plot against h ...more
I have wavered between three and four stars in rating this book but, ultimately decided on a four because it is a good story. It is supposed to be the story of a "cleaner," one who cleans up after crimes, disposing of bodies, etc. and his apprentice. Irrespective of his somewhat non-violent job description, Jonathon Quinn, the cleaner, ends up killing people right, left and center. As you can see, this inconsistency between the description and the story bothered me.

The story involves an attack
Steevan Glover
This is a very poor almost painting by numbers thriller. "Spook based hero with a conscience - check. International locationsa - check. Suitable expert / love interest combined - check. Thin and transparent plot with little reasoning, common sense - check.

Thin characters follow an even thinner plot. Conveninece tortures logic to the point that it screams and finally fades away.

Oh - the writing is pretty ppor too. Cliched and clumsey.

Don't even waste your time with it on holiday.

Andrew Milne
This book was a big surprise for me. I walked into a store in a small cottage town looking for a doc book.The Cleaner was on the new- release shelf. Looked James bond'ish so I bought it with no expectations..
I could not put if down. Had all spy stuff with a guy who has a boat load of human flaws. Makes for fun reading. Like of so much I bought the next book right away.
I like this book! A bit predictable, but equally a page turner. My favourite character is Nate, the trainee.
Definitely will be a movie, as it has all the guns, guts, death and action American film makers rely on. I just hope Tom Cruise does not buy this too....
Joe Newell
This book had pretty good ratings, and it's the kind of book (meaning the genre) that I usually like. However, it was just a snoozefest. The author was never able to get me interested in the characters or the story.

I didn't finish it.
I like my thrillers to be more that ok and this one just didn't do it for me. I didn't find Johnathon a compelling character and I just got tired of reading about him so I didn't finish the book.
I made it through the first 70-something pages and had to give up. The main character's thoughts, actions, and life had that kind of enthusiasm and detail that comes from books written by/for 14 year old boys who do a lot of online gaming. Everything was just TOO. Quinn's house was too perfect, too unusual, too beautiful. Quinn himself was too smart, too manly, too knowledgeable, too important. Nate, the apprentice, was too inept, too stupid, too dependent upon Quinn to tell him even when to wip ...more
Debra Champ
Listened to audio book. Read by Scott Brick. His tone was snide and slyly disparaging; continually insinuating. Plot and story were not believable.
Others have mentioned issues with the plot, and I couldn't agree more. Without giving too much away, there is a huge fundamental flaw in the premise for most of the action in the story -- bad guy lures good guy to the last place in the world he should want good guy to be.

That I finished the book and still enjoyed it is a testament to the rest of the book being pretty decent. Nothing fantastic, but the pace and action were solid.

Readable, but there are better options out there. I bought two of Ba
Catherine Thompson
Jonathan Quinn is a cleaner: he goes in after a secret operation and ties up the loose ends, makes it look as if nothing ever happened. He's a freelancer, but most of his work comes from a shadowy (possibly governmental) organization known only as The Office. His contact at The Office, Peter, sends him to Colorado to clean up after a fire that killed an asset. What Quinn turns up, though, leads him halfway around the world in a race against time.

I'm kind of on the fence about this book. I'd hear
This was terrible, I'm sure I'm dumber now for having read the whole thing...
The coolest part of this book is that it has a Sig Sauer on the cover.
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Brett Battles is a Barry Award-winning author of over twenty novels, including Rewinder, the Jonathan Quinn series, the Logan Harper series, and the Project Eden series. He’s also the coauthor, with Robert Gregory Browne, of the Alexandra Poe series. You can learn more at his website:
More about Brett Battles...

Other Books in the Series

Jonathan Quinn (7 books)
  • The Deceived (Jonathan Quinn, #2)
  • Shadow of Betrayal (Jonathan Quinn, #3)
  • The Silenced (Jonathan Quinn, #4)
  • The Destroyed (Jonathan Quinn, #5)
  • The Collected (Jonathan Quinn, #6)
  • The Enraged (Jonathan Quinn, #7)
The Deceived (Jonathan Quinn, #2) Sick (Project Eden, #1) Shadow of Betrayal (Jonathan Quinn, #3) The Silenced (Jonathan Quinn, #4) Becoming Quinn (Jonathan Quinn, #0.1)

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