The Accident Man: A Novel
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The Accident Man: A Novel (Samuel Carver #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  874 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Breathlessly paced, international in scope, and featuring one of the most intriguing heroes in recent fiction, Tom Cain's smashing debut surprises the reader at every turn. A thriller that explores the secret of Princess Diana's death, The Accident Man imagines the man who may have killed her. For a certain sum of money, Samuel Carver can arrange a death. A ruptured gas li...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Ian Mapp
I've read reviews of this and seen it in the shops and tried to stay away from it. It just seemed a little bit too exploitational - basing such a story on real events, to which there are already too many conspiracy theories. It almost seems irresponsible to add more.

As a thriller, it is utterley absorbing and breathless. Very shorty chapters, double and triple crosses and many set piece action scenes.

Told in classic thriller/cinematic style. A header showing our ace assasain Samual Carver taking...more
Dave Brown
Fictional stories that spin off of historical events are always fascinating. I don't mean fictional accounts of the lives of historical people...although those are fascinating as well. I mean novels that take a historical event and ask, "what if?" That is what Tom Cain does with The Accident Man, and he chooses a particularly sensitive subject historically: the death of Princess Diana. Specifically, Cain uses the fictional premise (although he specifically denies attempting to set forth or suppo...more
Simon Taylor
The debut thriller of an accomplished writer. A fiction based on a real death. Already the book is unique before you even open the cover.

Samuel Carver is the an assassin for hire, but only kills bad guys. He’s duped into causing the death of Princess Diana and is subsequently hunted by both his bosses as a lose end, and MI6 as a murderer. Joined with a glamorous Russian girl, he zips round the globe trying to stay alive.

Although riddled with cliché, Cain made a serious effort to keep the plot as...more
Tom Cain takes a look behind a piece of recent history, the accident that killed Princess Diana and asks, What if?.... Cain’s protaganist , Sam Carver is a former member of the British Special Boat Service. He is now a paid killer, but still a man with a conscience, who is able to justify what he does by his belief that he is eliminating evil men who have no conscience at all. Eliminating criminals who think they are above the law. His life takes a dramatic turn when he accepts and carries out a...more
A new character is introduced in this book, Samuel Carver, or The Accident Man. A former British special forces soldier that decides to do some off the books type of jobs. Specifically arranging very unfortunate accidents, with deadly results, for some very nasty folks. Given a job and double crossed by his handlers Carver is looking to figure out who screwed him over. And unfortunately for them Carver is very good at his job. I found this book to be a fantastic thriller that cracks along at a v...more
Tom Cain brings his experience as an investigative reporter into the world of fictional thrillers and creates Sam Carver, a morally conflicted ex-soldier and current black ops specialist.

Tom Cain writes a solid thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat in a fast-paced adventure. It keeps with some of the standards of the genre with bigger than life heroes and villains, but at times grounded deeply in the real world.

I recommend it highly and I'm looking forward to his next book.
Wow. Just Wow. I literally read this book in less than two days. It is brutal, painfully violent and non-stop thrill.
What If Princess Diana's death was actually a "Hit"? And who would have done it, why was it done? I just cannot WAIT to read the second installment. If this book did not receive Literary Awards the Powers That Be are simply insane.
Tom Tischler
Carver is a good guy who makes bad things happen to bad
people. Ex SAS he is now a freelance mercenary and the
number one weapon of a frontline outfit called the Consortium
a black ops British outfit, or is it. He's called to do a hit
on what he believes is a Pakistani terrorist. It's going
to be a car crash in a Paris underpass. But Carver is being
set up. When he discovers the identity of the targets female
companion he knows that his life is over. This secret is to
big to let him live unless he can...more
Freyja Vanadis
Not bad, for a debut novel. It's a fictionalized account of Princess Diana's death in 1997, reimagined as an assassination (which the conspiracy theorists just love). Samuel Carver is a British spy, unwittingly part of the assassination. He falls in love with the female Russian spy who's supposed to kill him, and their romances goes on from there. It would've been much better without the romance stuff, because those parts almost read like a Harlequin romance novel. I'm not going to keep the book...more
I have no idea why I keep doing this; I don't like thrillers. I never have. Here, we have a pretty predictable, formulaic story where everything that happens could be seen from a mile away. Except in this book, the story has the backdrop of Princess Diana's death and yet another conspiracy theory of how and why she died. I hate this kind of use of real world events; it feels cheap and exploitive. Wally Lamb does this same kind of thing, and I didn't like it then, and I certainly don't like it no...more
Jorge A.
This is an awesome read! It was high pace and suspenseful from start to finish! It was hard to put down!
Ever wonder what would happen if you threw Ian Fleming's James Bond, Dan Brown's Robert Langdon, and Steig Larsson's Mikael Blomkvist under one cover? Read Tom Cain's "The Accident Man" and you'll find out.

Tom Cain takes us on Samuel Carver's journey on one last hit that turns out to be Princess Diana. With the factual event as the backdrop, we're free to let the conspiracy theories run wild. Enter corrupt British spies, the Russian mafia, some greedy Frenchmen, etc. This book was, at times, pre...more
RATING: 3.75

Samuel Carver does an exceptional job at his chosen career. If you were giving him a performance review, you’d likely rate him highly except in one area, which is his sense of morality. You see, Carver is a hit man. He makes very bad accidents happen to even worse people. He specializes in pulling off complicated hits that put him far from the scene when the death occurs. He does have a few rules for himself—that the person he is going to eliminate is guilty, and that it not be a fem...more
Barbara Mitchell
This thriller has been sitting on my TBR shelf for several years patiently waiting to be read. If only I had known how good it is, I would have read it when I bought it. This one is a real winner.

The plot begins with the death of Princess Diana in Paris. You'll remember, I'm sure, that various conspiracy theories got a lot of attention at the time, and actually some people still believe them. Tom Cain has built an intricate, frightening tale which takes off from that fatal accident.

The major cha...more
Samuel Carver gets paid to make accidents happen. He can be classified as a hit man. His jobs usually involve him eliminating bad people like terrorists and human traffickers. Sam’s boss, Max gives Sam his latest orders to take out Ramzi Hakim Narwaz a terrorist. This mission just may be his last as it will have him running for his life. Sam accomplishes his mission. He makes Ramzi’s car crash into a cement wall at the Alma Tunnel. The date is August 31, 1997. What Sam doesn’t know is that the c...more
Read for Transworld's Great Transworld Crime Caper

In my opinion, the storyline was well thought out, and credible enough. Just a few years ago, Lady Diana's sad demise was much speculated upon, so why not write a fictional novel based on her accident?
Cain's debut novel reminded me a lot of the late Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity and its sequels, which feature a similar antihero. They both follow orders by faceless intelligence agents and carry out black operations for the greater good.
E.R. Yatscoff
If you want international adventure and thrills this is the book for you. And no CIA! Samuel Carver arranges accidents all over the world, accidents to bad people. One particular job in Paris seems ridiculously simple for the extraordinary high price he's paid. He doesn't figure it out for a while but is stunned when he realizes he's helped kill Princess Diana; caused the accident in the tunnel--half the accident anyhow. The other half is dome by unscrupulous Russian Mafiya. Yes, finally the Lad...more
An enjoyable read, with a credible storyline. Although a book of this size took me longer to read than it would normally do, this was not down to the quality of the story. Some of the characters are a bit clichéd, especially the main two characters, which detracted a little from the book for me. Although it could be something that can be overlooked. One thing that Tom did well, was to keep you guessing about Petrova. Was she on Carvers side or wasnt she?

Carver came across as a likeable characte...more
A tagline of this book was seemingly asking, "Was there more to Princess Diana's death?" What I would find to be more appropriate would be, "If there were more to Princess Diana's death, what would take place behind the scenes?"

This novel explores just that in letting us follow protagonist Samuel Carver, who is unwittingly involved in that historic, tragic event.

The novel, for me, started slow. But I would urge potential readers to stay along for the ride because by the end of this, all the acti...more
This is the first of what promises to be an ongoing series starring Samuel Carver, the Accident Man. Carver works for a shadowy organization causing bad accidents to happen to bad people. His latest assignment is a terrorist in Paris, or so he is told. His actual target is Princess Diana. After the accident, Carver is pursued by a Russian mob hitman, but he manages to escape, barely. He then sets out to discover who set him up and why they now want him dead. In the space of less than a week, Car...more
Great read. Many interesting characters and the relationships they have with each other are intriguing as more and more of them get revealed. The backdrop of the death of the Princess is controversial but extremely realistic and interesting.
May 13, 2008 Jason rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Ludlum and Forsyth
This book follows a trail blazed by Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth, and John Maxim - it's a thriller with a lone, highly-trained protagonist in a modern-day setting who is up against very high odds (and a government or two). Oh yes, and there's a girl, a very beautiful girl who connects with him romantically almost right away.

It's an above-average thriler, though, and that's largely because of the twists at the beginning and end. The author set the hook, wrote a good thriller, and then twiste...more
More of a 3.5 star book, good but not the best I've ever read.

For a start, it pulled you in and told you about the character which was good and at the same time justified what Carver is: a professional hit-man, someone that makes bad things happen to bad people.

The part in France was, well, a bit iffy, and I was able to work it out, but as a plot line it was superb.

The problem was the 2nd quarter of the book was a bit slow and it was this that dragged it down to only 3 stars, however the rest of...more
this is action, so don't be expecting anything deeper than that!

the writing style provides sufficinet factual content to make the story beleivable, even if the plot surrounds one of the big modern day conspiracies of our generation. importantly, the author handles that elemnt with respect, so much so that the death becomes secondary to the overarching plot, action and charachters. so not the tacky cash-in thay I was expecting from a book that ties itself to that tragic incident.

a good read if y...more
Any Length
This story has imagination, and good execution. It uses the historical event of Dianna, Princes of Wales's accidental death at it's core and builds a gripping story around it.
There is a fair bit of violence and the author has allowed himself a few "facutal inaccuracies which allow the story to run smoother and can be forgiven.
For the future I would like the author to know that New Zealand is not part of "Down Under", a term only used for Australia. And that eyes that are forced to stay open wit...more
Hmm... the story reminded of the Bourne series, not that fast paced but excellent work for first novel by the author.
Anthony Gerrard
I thought this was an excellent thriller which kept me gripped right until the end. A real page turner.
A good, quick, easy read. I'm not generally into this genre, but this was an enjoyable read. It's very fast paced. The chapters are short and it's pretty easy to gallop through the 400 plus pages.
The basics of the story seem plausible, but some of the action doesn't. The treatment of women is pretty typical for the thriller genre...i.e. stereotypical model type whom the hero falls for 5 minutes after meeting her...that could have been better.
All in all, Samuel Carver is likable. I will try the...more
Too boring. Didn't even finish
This is a fun espionage thriller; it features terse beautiful prose and it never slows down. If the characters are a tad bit underdeveloped, the reader doesn't mind because there is plenty of action and danger and intrigue. The author puts forward his own theory about the real story behind the death of Princess Diana. The main character is saved from being two-dimensional because of his human failings. Some of the secondary characters can't break free of stereotypes, but that's OK. I look forwar...more
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Tom Cain is the pseudonym of David Thomas, an award-winning journalist with twenty-five years experience working at Fleet Street newspapers, as well as for major magazines in Britain and the US.
More about Tom Cain...
No Survivors (Samuel Carver, #2) Assassin (Samuel Carver, #3) Dictator (Samuel Carver, #4) Carver (Samuel Carver, #5) Revenger (Samuel Carver, #6)

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