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No Mercy (Jonathan Grave #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,341 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
No Mercy will leave you breathless.” --Harlan Coben

When those inside the corridors of power need help outside the law, they know who to call. Jonathan Grave, covert rescue specialist, always gets results. No names. No feds. No trace evidence.

When an Indiana college student is abducted, Jonathan and his team of ace operatives unravel a deadly scheme the government wants ig
Mass Market Paperback, 443 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Pinnacle (first published January 1st 2009)
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~* 4.5 Stars *~
An Impressive Thriller

Once an elite military warrior, Jonathan 'Digger' Grave now runs a specialized private investigations firm - but that's more like his front job. What Digger truly specializes and excels in is retrieval...of the human variety. He works under the cover of anonymity with a team of brilliant and devoted friends and associates whenever someone somewhere needs to be freed. In No Mercy he's hired to save a kidnapped college student, but the job goes hot and ends wit
Oct 19, 2014 Skip rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Good new series for me, featuring Jonathan Grave, a hostage rescue specialist who will do whatever is necessary to complete his mission, and more, if necessary. This one starts on high octane and never lets up. Hired to rescue a college-aged kid, Grave (a/k/a Scorpion) along with his sidekick Boxers (a/k/a Big Guy), he is drawn into a case involving his ex-wife, her investigative reporter beau, and the college kid's family, which cannot afford his freelancing talents. Of course, there is a much ...more
Alex is The Romance Fox

I've read a few books by this author which I enjoyed so I was looking forward to getting into his Jonathan Grave Series.

Wow, 1st book in the series, and I’m hooked.

Jonathan Grave is a wealthy ex-Delta Force soldier, now owner of Security Solutions that deals in doing freelance and covert hostage rescue missions with connections to FBI.

The book opens with a rescue operation gone bad and soon becomes immersed in trying to locate his ex wife’s husband who has gone missing.
This is a hero who is not
Nancy (Hrdcovers)
Oct 26, 2009 Nancy (Hrdcovers) rated it really liked it

I'm no stranger to this author having gotten on the John Gilstrap bandwagon in the late nineties when he came out with Nathan's Run. I was on an AOL book board at the time and many of the posters there were talking about this book and how good it was. Gilstrap, himself, also showed up and began posting and I just thought the other posters were being nice to him because he was, in fact, a published author. I also figured he had an ulterior motive in posting there and just wante
Dec 18, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
There are not many books that I've read that I could just not put down, but this was one of them. I could have done without some of the language, but this book is just great. If you enjoyed the television series 24 like I did, you'll absolutely love this book.

The story follows Jonathan Grave, a former army ranger and current owner of a security company that specializes in hostage extraction, as he is initially hired by a family whose son has been kidnapped to rescue the victim from his captors.
Freda Malone
Dec 24, 2015 Freda Malone rated it it was amazing
Much like the series of Mitch Rapp, Bob Lee Swagger and Pike Logan, I enjoy these rush 'em, slay 'em, shoot 'em, and blow 'em up reads. Heroes with a reputation breaking the rules and getting away with it by 'justifiable homicide'. Jonathan Grave is no different. However, he has his own past to contend with. I liked the Sheriff, Gail Bonneville, who tears at your morals in every which way the rules are written, and finally joins ranks with Jonathan. I noticed a slightly different writing style t ...more
Versel Rush
Jun 19, 2012 Versel Rush rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those books where the bad guys wear black hats and the good guys wear gray ones.

"No Mercy" is a thriller that isn't for everyone. It is extremely violent (even for a book) and may have a few too many cliches. However, the modern version of an old west shoot 'em up, still interests me.

Of particular note are the women in "No Mercy". Unlike a lot of books which paint all women with the same brush, this one has strong, weak, annoying, intelligent, and whiny. I like it when women can be as div
Jul 23, 2009 Marcy rated it liked it
This thriller about a wealthy PI with a vigilante alter ego was filled with action, but nevertheless, dragged for me. I didn't especially like many of the main characters and personally disagreed with many of their decisions. I do like the author's style of writing and am willing to give him another chance in the future.
Laura Roberts
I'm reading this book on my iPod, using the Kindle For iPod app, so it's rather slow going, despite being a page-turner. Having such a tiny screen, plus my reading on the iPod only occasionally (like when I'm done with my workout and waiting the 5 to 10 minutes for my husband to finish up before we hop in the car), means that while I'm enjoying the book, it may take a long time before I finish it up.

So I thought I'd let you know right now that I'm enjoying it, although Gilstrap should watch his
Mike Tueros
Feb 04, 2015 Mike Tueros rated it did not like it
Awful...simply awful. I will not turn another page after suffering through the first few hundred. In my life, I have put down maybe one to two books, choosing to muddle through rough story lines, plots with huge holes, or terribly written characters, but I cannot and will not spend one more minute with this book - I surrender...please John Gilstrap, give ME mercy! The lead character is Jonathan Graves, ex-military, type A, blah, blah, blah - don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of this type of genre (V ...more
J.D. Webb
Dec 16, 2015 J.D. Webb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mine
Could not put it down. Captivating read.
Carl R.
Well, I said in my last entry that I needed some candy reading, and boy did I find it. Absolutely perfect airplane books,which is mostly where I read both.

John Gilstrap has created a nicely noir protagonist named Jonathan Grave. Except he’s not really “Grave” (there are a number of appropriate echoes to that name), but “Gravenow.” He shortened it because his nearest kin is a famous “guest of the state” after a lucrative career in corruption. Before he got sent up, said kin transferred virtually
Sep 15, 2009 Pygmy rated it liked it
Shelves: actionthriller
ehhh...while starting out promising, the main character sloowly got a little more dumber and the plot more unconvincing until really, I just kept turning pages to make sure I got to the end, and not because I was in love with the story or the characters. The hint of romance at the end was definitely forced, which is a shame since there was enough conflict involved in the 2 people's positions to make for a very interesting back-and-forth, but alas, the potential was wasted. But I can't say this w ...more
David Rubin
Jan 31, 2015 David Rubin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book of the series featuring Jonathan Grave, a former Army master sergeant, now president and owner of a corporation hired out to do "special projects". He uses all the latest technology and weapons and these are the real stars of the book.

Once more we have an all-good hero, who flouts the law when wants to take a direct route to solve problems, rather than the strictly-legal process. The scrapes he and his colleagues get into threaten their lives and limbs; some survive and so
Dee Haddrill
Aug 11, 2014 Dee Haddrill rated it it was amazing
I'm glad I've only just found this amazing author, as it means I have more books of his still to read. The first in a series, the main protagonist is Jonathan Grave, a hostage rescue specialist who isn't afraid to do whatever it takes to complete his mission. Excellent story, great characters, fast paced action that makes you eager to turn the pages as quickly as possible. Can't wait to read the next one!
Dec 31, 2011 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: action
Gilstrap sets the pace for this one right out of the gate and that pace is pedal to the metal all the way. Jonathan Grave is going to be a great character to watch in upcoming episodes of this series. Seems he runs a special type of business related to hostage rescue with his friend who goes by the name of Boxers. I also gathered that as a former Delta operator he has some special contacts that assist him in his endeavors. With deep pockets from some inheritance for funding this guy is set up to ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid crime thriller

I picked this up on bookbub for a steal. It is well written, suspenseful, and had good character development. Only four star because I felt like it was dragging a bit towards the end.
Donna Hatridge
May 17, 2011 Donna Hatridge rated it it was amazing
This is the first book by John Gilstrap I have read.
I was hooked by the first chapter. This is a action packed book from start to finish.

When an Indiana college student is kidnapped Jonathan Grave is called in. When Jonathan"s plan for covert rescue explodes into a deadly shooting spree the authorities are out for blood, Someone wants to control a deadly secret and that someone is willing to capture, torture and kill anyone who gets in the way. Jonathan, Venice, Boxer and Dom all people you wan
Jory Strong
Jan 07, 2015 Jory Strong rated it it was amazing
These are like crack for me. Very addicting! Have downloaded the third in the series.
Jamey Goodyear
Jan 27, 2016 Jamey Goodyear rated it liked it
No Mercy by John Gilstrap is a fast action thriller based on a security specialist who focuses on covert operations such as rescuing kidnap victims.

This is my first John Gilstrap book. It starts out with the rescue of the kidnapped college student by the hero of the story, Jonathan Graves (aka Scorpion) and his buddy Boxers. From there it goes swiftly downhill. The sheriff in the small town where the kidnappers held the hostage is smarter than the average small town sheriff and quickly picks up
Darcia Helle
Jonathan Grave is hired to rescue a kidnap victim. As he does his job, he steps into a world of unforeseen trouble. The plot is fast-paced, with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. The characters are unique and make you care about what happens in their lives. There are lots of bloody scenes and at times Gilstrap might be stretching believability just a little. However, such is the nature of fiction. By mid-story I was so hooked that I stayed up half the night to finish.
Katherine Clark
Apr 24, 2014 Katherine Clark rated it it was ok
I have really been in a thriller mood lately, and so now I am going to state the obvious: a thriller can be many things, but it should never be boring. This book was boring. In addition, while it was the first in the series, it constantly referred to past events in such a way as to make me constantly question if I should have read the previous book. Not because I was interested, and not in a way that led me to feel the characters were enriched with interesting backgrounds, but more in a frustrat ...more
Mark Rosenau
Aug 23, 2013 Mark Rosenau rated it it was amazing
An excellent read! The main character, Jonathan Graves reminds me of Jack Reacher. Looking forward to the rest of the series!
Feb 01, 2011 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
This suspense thriller had me completely engrossed and sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book!
Terrie Purkey
After enjoying Nathan's Run so much (which was Gilstrap's first book), I just had to try another. This is the first of his series featuring Jonathan Grave, a hostage rescuer for hire. This book follows a more traditional thriller format w/ the ex-military hero, his trusty, very accomplished sidekick, a female tech genius and a priest for a best friend. With this intriguing mix of characters, the story moves quickly through a kidnap rescue and the requisite screw ups and recovery, some mystery, s ...more
Sep 09, 2009 Maryann rated it it was ok
Started out great, got a bit tedious and ended ok
Jul 26, 2014 Dolly rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

No Mercy was money well spent. Actually, I got it on sale for $0.99. Dang I hate starting yet another series but it's a good one!

What I liked: For a first in a series, I was pretty impressed. This is my first book by Mr Gilstrap and of course, it won't be my last. (Actually, I've already read the next in the series, Hostage Zero). The pacing and plotting of No Mercy is excellent. The beginning drew me right in and set the tone for the whole book.

I enjoyed the characters very much, espec
Oct 09, 2010 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
No names. No feds. No trace evidence. That’s how Jonathan Grave operates. As a freelance specialist in covert rescues, he has to work outside the law to get things done—especially in highly sensitive hostage situations. But when an Indiana college student is abducted, and Jonathan’s meticulous plan explodes into a deadly shooting spree, the local authorities are out for blood—and they’re not alone. Someone wants to control a devastating secret… someone rich and powerful… someone willing to captu ...more
Bill Glose
Aug 19, 2013 Bill Glose rated it liked it
Gilstrap’s first four novels featured ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. This time, the circumstances are still extraordinary but so is the protagonist, former Delta Force operator Jonathan Graves, who now uses his military skills as a freelance hostage rescuer.

If your loved one has been kidnapped, Graves is the guy you call. Police are constrained by laws; Graves is not, as he explains at one point in the book to a frantic public citizen (PC) whom he just rescued: “‘I wo
Nov 15, 2011 Jodi rated it really liked it
Jonathan Grave is former military, a special ops kind of guy, now private investigator who does confidential jobs that require his extraordinary skills. This book starts out with Grave rescuing a kidnapping victim. There is background to this kidnapping that leads to the plot of the rest of the novel. Grave has a very interesting back-story that fills in the details of who and what he is. Grave is supported by 3 key characters of vastly different backgrounds, one of which is a Catholic priest, a ...more
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A little bit about my background... I've always been a closet-writer. As a kid, I lived for the opportunity to write short stories. I was the editor of my high school newspaper for a while (the Valor Dictus, Robinson High School, class of 1975), until I quit ("You can't fire me! I quit!") over a lofty First Amendment issue that seemed very important at the time. My goal, in fact, was to become a j ...more
More about John Gilstrap...

Other Books in the Series

Jonathan Grave (8 books)
  • Hostage Zero (Jonathan Grave, #2)
  • Threat Warning (Jonathan Grave, #3)
  • Damage Control (Jonathan Grave, #4)
  • High Treason (Johnathan Grave, #5)
  • End Game (Jonathan Grave #6)
  • Against All Enemies (Jonathan Grave #7)
  • Friendly Fire (Jonathan Grave #8)

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“Battles are won when warriors make the decisions not to lose.” 3 likes
“as the foot of the marble sink that was Jonathan’s next destination. His sink. One of two.” 0 likes
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