The Silver Bear (Silver Bear, #1)
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The Silver Bear (Silver Bear #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  209 ratings  ·  34 reviews
"A natural killer," his mentor—a middleman named Vespucci—said he was. He proved it with his first professional hit: a Fifth Circuit Court judge in Boston, executed with a sheet of Saran Wrap in the stairwell of her own courthouse. He's proved his merit often, usually with a Glock semiautomatic, but he's improvised too, with his bare hands, the heel of a shoe, knives, even...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by Pegasus Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Columbus has a natural talent as a killer. It is instinct for Columbus, a way of life. Even with his first hit he proved himself more than capable of getting the job done. When a gun doesn't do the job, he can use whatever prop comes his way. If there isn't anything readily available, he will happily kill with his bare hands.

His latest assignment isn't quite going the way he has planned. When Columbus finds himself drowning in a pool of secrets, he begins to question the path he has chosen in li...more
Elizabeth Davies
I blew through this in a day.
Narrated in the first person, it was unusual in that it is told in the present tense.
Haas is accomplished at weaving the back-story seamlessly into the novel, building it up gradually until the reader has a sense of what makes his character tick.And I say 'his character' as if there is only one in the novel - there is only one that matters, and I can't believe that the author has written this character well enough for me to be rooting for an assassin!
The plot devel...more
A super taut thriller by writer Derek Haas about a professional assassin named Columbus. When Columbus gets his packet of information on his latest hit, he discovers it is his own father, whom he never knew, politician Abe Mann. Much like Lee Child's Jack Reacher, Columbus has no attachments and works violently and with no remorse -- unlike Lee Child's Jack Reacher, this book was interesting.

The book flips back and forth from the present-day mission of killing his father to his past of how he b...more
There is a sub-strata of books about professional hit men. Lawrence Block, Kevin Wignall, and Tom Hinshelwood (now Tom Wood at the request of his publisher) each have created interesting books about hit men. Wood's may be the best, but all are interesting. Derek Haas clearly writes as well as any of the others, maybe even better, but he has produced a protagonist who inspires shudders rather than respect. How can a reader respect a hit man? In addition to a suspenseful setting (not just a shooti...more
I'm reviewing something different today. I saw a promotional tweet for the ebook version of The Assassin Trilogy by Derek Haas as a good book for Father's Day. I read the description and was intrigued, so I thought I'd try the first book and see if I liked it. It's not a very long book - slightly more than 200 pages - so it was a good choice for a read-a-thon, plus I've been meaning to get some thrillers to balance out the YA romance (it gets predictable after a while).

Columbus is a professional...more
Columbus (called for his proficiency Silver Bear) is a professional hitman. Unlike Rain (another famous book character) he is not semi-official assassin (he is not extensively used by this or that government agency). He is a cold blooded professional working for whoever can pay him, made ruthless by his very occupation were trust means betrayal and where affection means Achilles� heel. He is not a positive guy � he is very negative, sometimes even madly violent man. But he has an avenger-like at...more
It flipped too much between the present and the past in an unsuccessful attempt to self-justify the murderous assassin. I kept waiting for it to get better, or perhaps I should say for the killer to get better, but it never did. It never really justified or explained how a lonely kid went from being a kid that just fell through the cracks to a sociopath killer. I think it was trying to blame that on heritage, because although his upbringing wasn't the best it wasn't the worst. His last couple of...more
Jim A
I really enjoyed Derek Haas' prose in the telling of this story. Haas does a good job of keeping the story interesting, both in the here and now and with the main character's back story intermingled.

The main character, Columbus, is really not very likeable and has no real redeeming features or values. He's just a killer. In this story he has been hired to kill a politician who happens to be Columbus' father.

There are several authors who do stories on assassins/hit men and tell a better tale tha...more
Christopher Valin
I was finally able to read this book while on vacation. I can't compare this to other books of the genre (like many of the reviews I've read) because I don't usually read these types of books--I read it because I'm a fan of Haas' writing for films such as 3:10 to Yuma and Wanted. All I know is this action/suspense thriller kept me turning the pages, with its present tense POV and straight-for-the-jugular action. It contains many of my favorite things from novels, movies, and TV shows: a dark sto...more
Good, fast-paced character study of an assassin on the job. Has a hard-bitten style, is convincing, intelligent, and overall a worthwhile read. The true rating is really 3.5 stars...The only reason I didn't rate it higher is because I did not ache to continue reading it when I temporarily put it down, nor did it resonate with me so much that I continued to think about it after I finished the book. Perhaps it's because of the hardboiled style combined with the fact that the assassin remains an un...more
Very Different - the other side of an Assassin's life. Not sure if I would like it, but couldn't put it down till I was done!
If you are looking for a different type of thriller, The Silver Bear is it. This is not only a thrilling story of a hitman, but a look at his childhood and what led him to his current life and work. I actually liked the character and I think this was possible because Haas told the story through the voice of Columbus. I was even sympathetic to his feelings. His personal life and his work cross paths, and Columbus follows his plan to discover why. This is a very fast read and I really enjoyed it.....more
Patty Nezovich
Grabs you from page one!!!!
My rating is given within the genre, no for all my books. Make no mistake, this is not great literature, what book about a hitman would be?


Great, fun vacation book. I have a minor quibble with the ending, but one does have to suspend belief in this type of book, so perhaps that is my problem, not that of the book.

Written in precise, economic prose. Bravo for an author who doesn't need 500+ pages to tell a story like this!
Murder for hire sort of a biography. Started off rather like some of Andrew Vachss characters, fostered and badly abused. And the two bonded during this period starting a lifetime comrade and friendship. One also expected a family here as in an operative sense. But for me it fell short. Lots of cold and hard boiled, lots of action, but something was missing in the fullness of the characters and in the story twists and turns.
Not a great book. It's popcorn. It's like a less good Lee Child book. I do appreciate that the lead is a unrepentant psychopath, but he's also a complete fucker, which is not awesome. It's very lean and mean, but that's probably a good thing because the author isn't the best. Still, good summer reading.
Brian Wilson
Dec 08, 2011 Brian Wilson marked it as to-read
This was an excellent book! Written by one of the screenwriters of 3:10 to Yuma, this fast-paced, tightly written thriller would make a great film. I definitely want to read more about this killer-for-hire - though he lives in a grimy underworld it's one that I didn't mind visiting for a while.
Was pleasantly surprised with this one though leary at first (I beleive it was his first manuscript as he is a screenwriter plus it was only about 200 pages). Details of an assasin's lifestyle and his story-a bit gruesome at parts but not too bad. I'd call it interesting...
This was a semi-interesting book that deals with the rise of an assassin as he takes on a contract with intimate ties to his past. The story moves back and forth between his past and present explaining how he became the man he is.
I really love it. This book really draws you in. I particularily laughed at the part on page 2 about the past, present, and future and how God likes O. Henry endings. It's so true. I highly recommend this book!
Mitch Gage
Good, quick assassin story. Guys has to murder his dad. I liked the notion of developing a connection between oneself and one's mark in order to sever it. A new way to tell the professional killer story.
Joe O'c
Very Good; Continuing character: Columbus (first in series); a killer stalks a politician while unveiling in flashbacks what has led him to become one of the most accomplished hit men in the world
An enjoyable story which focused more on the protagonists’ background. I give this 3.5, looking forward to the sequel. Reminded me of Quarry (hit man created by Max Allan Collins) in parts.
Bert Long
Was an okay read, but nothing I would go out of my way to recommend. Some sections were well written, but other areas were disjointed, or were clearly setup just for reference later on.

a bit more of a thriller than what i usually read, but it did keep going and was over quickly. i learned that being a hit man is dangerous...maybe i knew that already.
The author, Derek is a friend of mine from high school! He is also a screenwriter in Hollywood. I love his Silver Bear series! He is an amazing author and friend!
Lynn Kearney
Completely new to me. It's a very noirish book about a hit man. I liked it quite a lot and will look for others from this author as they appear.
I couldn't put this book down. An assassin with a conscience. Excellent character study with a good story.
Marti King young
Reads like a rocket ship on rails... straight to the point and fast moving.
Amazing. Read it in one sitting. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.
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Derek Haas co-wrote the screenplay 3:10 to Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. He also co-wrote the film Wanted, starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie. Derek lives in Los Angeles.

More about Derek Haas...
The Right Hand Columbus (Silver Bear, #2) Dark Men (Silver Bear, #3) The Assassin Trilogy: The Silver Bear / Columbus / Dark Men (Silver Bear, #1-3) Bluthund (Columbus #2)

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