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Killer Instinct

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,063 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Jason Steadman 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. But all that will change one evening when he meets Kurt Semko, a former Special Forces officer just back from Iraq.
Paperback, 471 pages
Published June 13th 2007 by Orion (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David
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
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Simon Ph.D.
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
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Deb
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
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
Jane Stewart
Well done characters and story. Behind the scenes in the corporate world using war tactics.

Not many stories are set within corporations. The author makes it interesting. His research is talking to corporate guys.

The first half of the book was fascinating. Jason is a salesman of plasma tv screens. He sells to corporations like auto dealers (for their waiting rooms) and airports. Jason meets Kurt. They become friends. Kurt was in the army. Kurt talks about war, the enemy, getting intel. And then K
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David
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,
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Nancy (Hrdcovers)
FINDER DOES IT AGAIN -- WHAT ELSE IS NEW??

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
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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

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Tiffunee
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
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Rob
This was my first Joseph Finder book. It wont be my last.

It was definitely a departure and very different from other books I’ve read. It was almost like Fatal Attraction (but with 2 guys who are friends) meets Corporate America.

I did find the book a very enjoyable read, a quick read and a page turner. I give Mr. Finder much credit. If you think about it, to make a book about an electronics salesman interesting for 400 pages is NOT an easy task. Yet, he succeeds with an enjoyable flow. There are
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Wayne
Although the story seems somewhat far-fetched, I loved this "edge of my seat" thriller. If it is not far-fetched, it is truly terrifying.
Once again, Joseph Finder uses the underhanded dealings in corporate America as his setting. It is told primarily in the first person by the main character, Jason Steadman. He works for a large electronics firm as a salesman whose wife is constantly after him to move on up the ladder in order to enable them to have a better home, etc. He meets a former Special
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Lisa
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.

Whoa!
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
Kristin
Read as an audiobook. Not entirely enthused about about the narrator - he was the voice for a couple of Brad Meltzer books I bounced off of. Personally, I find that he makes the main characters sound whiny, which is hard to overlook.

Not sure what to think about this book - quite a bit different from the police and detective thrillers which I'm used to and prefer. The book revolves around Jason, who is trying to sell plasma TV's in a cutthroat corporate world and finds nearly everything going his
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Anthony Howarth
Killer Instinct. My second Finder. Once again a very good airport book. His heart is in the right place. The targets are not just popular but also the weaknesses in our corporate society that needs targetting and bringing to book (sic). The mystery is clever and original and plausible.

Definitely recommend Killer instinct as a fast read, especially if your flight is delayed or you are flying a long way. Or, as in my case, you are stuck in bed after an operation and need a page turner without too
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Jessica
Really. You wouldn't think something called Killer Instinct would be so boring!
Jeanne
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
Sofia Maia
Uma das razões que me levou a escolher este livro foi o facto de se desenrolar num ambiente com o qual não tenho muito contacto, nem na vida real , nem nas minhas viagens literárias.No entanto, como decorre no mundo da economia pensei que pudesse ter termos que não percebesse e assim, diminuísse a apreciação global da história.

Todavia, tal não aconteceu! O autor consegue descrever o mundo onde Jason trabalha de forma simples e clara, de maneira a que qualquer pessoa possa nele entrar. Leva-nos a
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Kat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jerry
Jul 04, 2010 Jerry rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jerry by: jerrybull@bellsouth.net
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
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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
Kristen
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.
Bob
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
Devon
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
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Liz
A Salesman in the Tech industry based in Boston befriends a ex-soldier who is down on his luck but shares a love of baseball. He has his company hire the ex-soldier and suddenly all the Salesmans luck changes and he starts winning the deals and getting the promotions. Until he starts to wonder if it's just luck . . . Good story, keeps you on the edge of your seat thriller.
Joanne
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
Susan
Did Finder make a mistake by revealing the ending in the prologue? Maybe. The book is an adventure in business ethics that turns into a suspense thriller but he lessons the suspense with the prologue. Nonetheless a good light read, maybe even a beach read. After days in the depths of the Goldfinch, this one woke me up fast!
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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
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More about Joseph Finder...
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