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The Gray Man (Gray Man #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  7,650 Ratings  ·  586 Reviews
To those who lurk in the shadows, he’s known as the Gray Man. He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible and then fading away. And he always hits his target. Always.

But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. Forces like money. And power. And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighti

Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Jove
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Jim Crocker This is fast-paced action against impossible odds.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 08, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, action
Are you a Jane Austen fan? Are you looking for a calm introspective book that will be like a peaceful walk by a gentle stream, maybe a literary novel beloved of the critics?

Then move on and have some Earl Grey with the other sissies. Men and women who like action only here.

Yes, I gave this 5 stars. Why? Because I like it. While at times I like a deep thoughtful novel or a philosophical exploration of life I also enjoy a good page turner full of gunfire, explosions, daring do and heroics (though
Oct 30, 2010 Kemper rated it liked it
From the author’s bio: “Mark Greaney has a degree in international relations and political science and is pursuing his masters in intelligence studies with a concentration in criminal intelligence. He speaks Spanish and German. In researching, The Gray Man he trained extensively alongside military and law enforcement personnel in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine and close-range combative tactics.”

Two possibilities spring to mind after reading that. Either Greaney is the biggest liar and
Sep 20, 2016 Amanda NEVER MANDY rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, 2016
**I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.**

As I sit here contemplating what I should put in this review my mind keeps throwing out “50 SHADES OF GRAY MAN” like it is the funniest damn thing in the world. I type a sentence and there it is:

This was a ridiculous and unbelievable action-packed read. “50 SHADES OF GRAY MAN”

Ugh. I can be so immature ALL of the time.

So hopefully getting that out in the open will clear it from the main mental screen…here goes:

I would usually turn aw
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
The Gray Man is an action-packed, suspenseful ride that I didn't want to put down. Court Gentry is the kind of hero I am always looking for. He is resourceful, driven to get the job down, and a stone cold survivor. As I read this book, I was thinking, "Really? Did that just happen? I'd be so dead now!" Of course, I wouldn't want a wimpy heroine like myself in Court's shoes. Which is why I read these books, because I love seeing a tough character get himself out of some highly sticky situations t ...more
Gordon Shumway
Mar 03, 2013 Gordon Shumway rated it did not like it
As the star rating indicates, I did not like this book. But you might. I'll try to explain why...

The story is pretty much your run-of-the-mill work of action escapism - full of holes but you're probably not going to be looking too closely. As I understand it, the author went to some trouble to ensure accuracy about weapons and battlefield medicine and I had no issues with that aspect of the book.

Unfortunately, while I expect (and enjoy) a certain level of "cheese" in action movies, I look for an
Aug 29, 2011 LadyTechie rated it it was amazing
I had been on a teenage secret agent book bender for a few weeks. Prior to that I was on an urban fantasy kick for possibly a year or more straight with breaks in between for mystery/thriller releases in series that I like. I was looking for something different and exciting to read. I read a 2nd in a series with a female assassin and really liked it and decided to see what else was out there. I did a search and found the Mark Greaney series, The Gray Man. I started reading it about 15 minutes be ...more
Jane Stewart
The biggest problem was cardboard characters.

Nonstop action. A dozen teams of top notch assassins are trying to find and kill one man Court Gentry, the Gray Man. Court is attacked, fights, wins, and escapes, and continues on his journey. Each time Court has some new body part injured. The whole book is this. I enjoyed the action scenes. I enjoyed the suspense. But when I stopped reading to do other things, I did not feel eager to get back to it.

It lacked multidimensional characters and relations
Brian Casey
Aug 21, 2012 Brian Casey rated it liked it
I just finished The Gray Man by Mark Greaney. Interesting plot, some good action, but also a few annoyances along the way.

I picked up this book because someone on the Quiller mailing list recommended Greaney as someone with a style similar to Adam Hall's. There are some similarities, but reading Greaney made me appreciate the brilliance of Adam Hall even more. I noticed a few things that annoyed me somewhat while reading this book:

Throughout the book, the protagonist is referred to by three dif
Robert Bidinotto
Jul 11, 2011 Robert Bidinotto rated it it was amazing
I won't repeat what others have said in describing the hero or the story. Let's just say that The Gray Man is the best debut thriller that I've had the pleasure to read since Lee Child's Killing Floor.

It's The Bourne Identity . . . without any slow spots! The characterizations are varied and memorable; the special-ops tradecraft and tactics are detailed and credible; the colorful European locales are rendered with vivid, you-are-there authenticity; the pace is driving and relentless. It's a tale
Nov 10, 2015 Jim rated it it was ok
This is one of those bad-ass super spy books. Up to about 80% of the way through, it was pretty good. The good guy was super tough, but mortal in a super focused, almost robotic way. Still, he got hurt, tired, & still clawed his way through the obstacles. At the 80% mark, it just got stupid, so far over the top that it became a comic book. The very end was pretty good, although the lead in to a series was obvious. I won't bother reading any more.
Rex Fuller
Jul 07, 2013 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it
Enjoyable. Very action oriented. Very likable good guys and unlikable bad guys. Greaney puts the main character, Court Gentry, through so much that he gets injured so frequently no one could reasonably continue to operate, but of course he does. Made it hard to swallow (especially if you have had some of the same injuries).
INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY? Pft. Move over for Court Gentry, the sweaty, occasionally bearded American man of bad decisions, but many guns.

Corporations run (and ruin) the world. One of them has taken exception to an operation Court has fulfilled because money talks, very loudly. The money in question is in the form of a multibillion dollar contract from the dead target's brother, a stereotypical African despot. Court's handler, Fitzroy, is blackmailed into giving him up (that's what happens w
Jun 26, 2013 Gyula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
The Gray Man. The ultimate living weapon. When someone is closing on him he disappears. Nobody can find him if he doesn't want to be found. If he is after you, you are a dead man.
The Gray Man is a fast paced novel with lot of action. Several groups of professional killers want to hunt down the Gray Man, they chase him through Europe, always on his heels. He has to use all his experience and talent to be able to get rid of them. I wasn't bored for a second, it's a real page-turner.
I was thinking
James Bond on steroids. A very well trained soldier turned CIA operative turned gun for hire with moral standards. Court Gentry better known as, The Gray Man, because of his ability to be invisible, works for a high level security firm that is only hired by multi national corporations, that need very specific, no holds bar type of security. During a special security assignment Court is forced to expose himself to protect some innocents, which makes him extremely vulnerable to some very wealthy, ...more
Jan 06, 2013 Yvonne rated it it was amazing
I don't know where to start with this one, I feel like I'm still trying to catch my breath!

The Gray Man was one of the best action-suspense-assasin books I've read. As the action was moving along and Gentry was mowing down TEAMS of top tier assassins; I kept playing the BadAss VS BadAss game in my head. Court Gentry VS Jack Bauer or Court Gentry VS Jason Bourne - sweet lord, Gentry never ripped a guy's jugular out with his teeth ala Jack but jeez louise I think he might kick both the Bs' asses!
Oct 01, 2009 Bridget rated it it was amazing
Gentry is known as The Gray Man because of the stealth and sleekness of a trained assassin. When he's on the job, he's invisible. The victims are dead before they know what hit them. Gentry is a good soldier, he only kills people who deserve to die.

He only has one real friend, Fitzroy who knows everything about Gentry. When he almost dies after a job, he finds out that he is alone in this world and has no one to turn to. Will his skills keep him alive or will an even more skilled killer be sent
Jul 16, 2016 Yesenia rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Entertaining debut novel from Mark Greaney. The Gray Man is one of the best fast pace, shoot ‘em up, assassin books I’ve read. The action never stops. Best of all the main character, Court Gentry, doesn’t have a love interest - he’s an assassin! Yes, it does get a little over the top, but that’s to be expected

If you enjoyed The Bourne Identity, then you’ll definitely enjoy The Gray Man.

Assassins, CIA, Suspense-Thriller
Steven Jr.
Sep 28, 2016 Steven Jr. rated it really liked it

It took me over two years to get around to reading this book, and I'm honestly glad I did finally get around to it.

I've ready Mark Greaney's work before in the world of Tom Clancy. His book LOCKED ON was a very strong successor to DEAD OR ALIVE, which I felt was the start of Clancy's final push for greatness before his untimely demise in 2013. So, I knew that Greaney had the writing chops. I just never got around to reading his original works.

The Gray Man is solid ente
Aug 21, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
This books reads like a Michael Bay blockbuster with all the intense gun fights and explosions. If someone had said that to me I wouldn't expect to enjoy it, but I actually did. It's still brainless action with hardly any character development beyond the cardboard thickness that is required to move the plot forward. Despite that, it was definitely intense, extremely fast paced, and well written action scene after action scene. The Gray Man is a passably interesting assassin character and the vil ...more
Zoe and the Edge
Nov 05, 2012 Zoe and the Edge rated it really liked it
I liked it. It's interesting, the hero is not uber-cool and the characters are engaging, slimey, and pitiable as appropriate. The pace is good, with twists and turns, treachery and nobility.

The Gray's Man's reputation precedes him. His enemies underestimate him and his acquaintances think he's the shit. He's got a small army after him and the body count just rises as he fights his way across Europe.

Court's a practical killer. A lot of his surviving seems to be luck. Sure he's a ruthless and sk
James Burns
Nov 29, 2014 James Burns rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Trash, garbage, waste, feces... It doesn't get much worse than this book. Ethnocentric-murderporn for Americans pretty much sums it up. The writing is atrocious. The dialog isn't just wooden, it's barkingly bad. The only thing this writer gets right are weapon descriptions. I just wish he stuck to his Guns n' Ammo reviews instead of excreting a novel. I really, really, really shouldn't trust the star ratings of books on GoodReads. I mean what am I thinking... Twilight makes the crowd-sourced top ...more
Wayne Wilson
Oct 01, 2009 Wayne Wilson rated it liked it
A fun read on the Jason Bourne type of read. Not nearly the protagonist Tedd Bell has created in Alex Hawk but a flawed hero with a heart. If you like Bourne or other type of killers who kill only the bad guys you will like The Gray Man.

The idea behind a hit man with a heart is a great idea for a book. When I read the first couple of chapters I thought I had found a rare gem, but this is a book of only action and death with very little else to give the book depth. I still feel like I hardly know
Jim Crocker
Oct 09, 2015 Jim Crocker rated it really liked it
It's as if the entire world is trying to kill the Gray Man. Hit teams and watchers are lined up looking for him. Whaddaya gonna do? Especially when the lives of two little girls are at stake! After alluding trap after trap, the prey turns into the predator, and now he's coming after you and right where you live.

If you're looking for non-stop action and plenty of thrills, you'look find it here. And this is only the first book of the series. It's Game On, so check it out for yourself and fasten y
Hamza Munir
Jul 31, 2016 Hamza Munir rated it it was amazing
New to gray man series.Got me confused a few times because author kept calling (if thats the right way to say it)his character by all three names through out the book, Court,Gentry then Grayman! took me time to get use to this.Apart from that a well paced book with lots of action.A must read.
Terri Lynn
Apr 23, 2014 Terri Lynn rated it really liked it
Court Gentry, also known as The Gray Man, is the world's best paid assassin. He was trained to be a killer by the CIA (he is an American and worked for the agency) and learned his lessons well. This was proven when he was burned by the CIA and they put out a shoot-on-sight (SOS) hit order out on him. This caused a problem because the covert American organization had turned on one of their own, an American citizen, while Court still wants to live even if he does know a lot of the CIA's secrets. H ...more
May 13, 2016 Meghan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started listening to the audio version this morning, so this is an in-progress review. So far it's ridiculous but entertaining. There are already plausibility issues (which I hear only get worse), but two basic, elementary things the author should have known but got wrong (I actually find these worse than implausibility, because they're just stupid mistakes that aren't even in service of moving the plot):
(1) The lawyer character is a solicitor, not a barrister. Briefly, barristers argue in co
Mar 16, 2014 Jack rated it it was amazing
Shelves: run-and-gun
I have been reading more "shooter/espionage" novels and really like the face pace and tech writing , as with most action hero novels,movies there has to be some unrealistic ability's or situation's that the character overcomes.
I am okay with that as with any fantasy novel you have your "hero" move on ,overcome and with these kind of thriller's you have your guy get hurt,shot,broken bones skinned knee what have you and they just keep coming, this novel is about exactly that, the "gray Man" has a
Nov 30, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it
This is book number one in the Gray Man series. Court Gentry, the Gray Man of the title, is a former CIA operative who left them and went freelance as a private assassin. The book opens with Court on his way to an extraction point after a successful mission, but he is interrupted when he witnesses the crash of a Chinook helicopter. He breaks the rules by not ignoring the survivors, but instead sends several Al Qaeda to a well deserved early grave. He manages to save one American from their clutc ...more
Jennifer Boyce
Mar 10, 2014 Jennifer Boyce rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, audiobook
I listened to the audiobook of The Gray Man and found myself really disappointed in both the story and the narration.

I didn't find the story itself to be all that exciting; it didn't hold my attention like other stories that I've read. The writing of the book also didn't seem that great to me, at least based on the audiobook. It seemed like the chapters ended awkwardly; as if the author just spliced a chapter right into the middle of a paragraph.

I didn't find the narration of this book to be al
Sep 05, 2016 Terri rated it it was amazing
A real life superhero (Audiobook) - reread
I completely enjoyed this book and promptly went on to read the others in the series. Yes it is very improbable that 1 person could survive even the first attack let alone all the others and then go on to best the villains and rescue the victims but the character that Mark Greaney weaves and the narration by Jay Snyder makes it a "can't put down book" or in this case "can't remove my headphones book".

I really enjoyed the parts when he knows he needs to g
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Mark Greaney has a degree in International Relations and Political Science. In researching The Gray Man series he traveled to ten countries and trained extensively in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine, and close range combative tactics.


Email Mark at

More about Mark Greaney...

Other Books in the Series

Gray Man (6 books)
  • On Target (Gray Man #2)
  • Ballistic (Gray Man #3)
  • Dead Eye (Gray Man #4)
  • Back Blast (Gray Man, #5)
  • Gunmetal Gray (Gray Man, #6)

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