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The American (Ryan Kealey #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  3,220 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
CIA agent Ryan Kealey has no time to wrestle his demons. Former U.S. soldier Jason March, one of the world's deadliest assassins and Ryan's former protégé, is now working with a powerful terror network whose goal is nothing less than the total annihilation of the United States.

Ryan puts together the pieces of a terrifying puzzle. With the fate of the country resting on hi
ebook, 384 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Pinnacle (first published March 28th 2006)
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The American is a political thriller trying to find the murder of US Senator Daniel Ley and security detail on the streets of Washington D.C. Retired CIA operative Ryan Kealey was brought back into the agency due to the identity of the assassin. However, been involved with the CIA again caused Ryan problems in his professional and private live. The American takes the readers on a rollercoaster ride to find the assassin before he kills his next victim intertwined with Ryan's problems with his gir ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Hans rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[The author has passed away, so this is not meant as a slight to his work, but really just an examination of what I like to call Men's Formula Fiction (MFF) in relation to this specific book.]

I bought a used paperback copy of this MFF book on my vacation, but didn't start it until the flight home. MFF is usually called thrillers or some such thing, but really, they are romance novels for men...focused on a high body count and some paragraphs with a lot of technical description of weaponry, fight
Rob Smith
May 09, 2014 Rob Smith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
As with almost all contemporary books I've read, with the exception of the Johnstone Clan series, I, again, can't understand the overwriting being done. I know the publisher wants a certain sized book to make certain profits. Then why not just contract writers that know how to write a long book?

This is needlessly long. Some editor really goofed not reigning in this first time writer. What really made me angry was how the book ended. As in other over long cases, I notice that the book could be br
Jun 10, 2014 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when the military expert you train turns against you? Such is the case with former soldier, Jason March, and the only person capable of hunting him is the man who taught him. Only, time is ticking, because March has aligned himself with Middle Eastern forces committed to the assassination of the American president and other world leaders. For Ryan Kealey, it's as much a terrorist plot as it is a personal vendetta. The ending is not what you expect.

You'll enjoy this book if you're in
Jacob Peled
Aug 12, 2014 Jacob Peled rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars, terror-cia, _2015
Took me a while to read the book because of lack of time, and a book like that which is a super fast pace kind of adventure, needs to be read "nonstop". Anyway at the 2nd part I was able to read almost continually, just couldn't put it down. I like the main hero character –"Ryan Kealey ". Looking forward to other books by Andrew Britton. It's a pity he died so young a 27. Nevertheless He left us quite a few books of his. For all the CIA-FBI-Secrete Service thrillers – It's a good choice
Jul 27, 2013 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"We aren't walking in the dark. We are the dark."- CIA S.A.D officer Kara Stanton, CBS Person Of Interest

Andrew Britton is a dead spy thriller writer. Born in England, moved to the USA, served in the military and then started his writing career. He managed to do 5 books before his untimely passing in his mid-20's. Which is a shame. Specializing in the counter-terrorist sub-genre of spy fiction, his work focused on a badass CIA killer by the name of Ryan Kealey. Any other day i
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 Lizzie Hayes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Heart of Betrayal’ by Andrew Britton
Published by Penguin. 1st February 2007. ISBN 978-0-141-02796-8

Former Special Forces Officer Ryan Kealey is now living in Maine, lecturing occasionally at
the University of Maine as an associated professor of International relations. His partner of
six months is Katie Donavon, who isn’t totally sure he has retired.

When Ryan sees on the news a terrorist strike on Independence Avenue, Washington DC - a
hit on three cars in broad daylight, killing a US Senator, an
Razvan Banciu
not a bad beginning, quite a four stars one, but it turns into a somehow dull story, with an stupid ugly end, so i had to think positively and rank it with three, perhaps one too many.
- there are too many casualities, most of them innocent, and too much violence
- main characters, the good one and the bad one, are tough and agressive and have conduct problems in society. my interest in Ryan's amorous live is next to zero, so the novel goes too long and boring.
- Kharmai girl is a nasty ungrateful
Sep 05, 2011 Vani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: others
Throughout the book we are told how great a guy Ryan Kealey is, how he has won so many honors in his short but illustrious career. But we don't see this greatness in the story. All he really does is intimidate a couple of goons into giving him information. Now, I am not an intelligence expert but having read enough spy novels I know that an intelligence operative is supposed to get things done quietly and efficiently, without bringing too much attention to him/herself. But at every step Ryan goe ...more
Crissie Reichert
okay, the story was pretty good. I have to admit, that I've read all the Vince Flynn Mitch Rapp books, and that's my basis of comparison (and none have been as good). My biggest issue is the portrayal of the women in the book. Judged on appearance, then emotional stability, then performance. And the ones that come out as capable, the author feels the need to state that it's even more remarkable because they're in a "man's world". And neither of the two main female characters were likable. That s ...more
Bonnie Murray
Oct 28, 2016 Bonnie Murray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good one. More believable than Mitch Rapp.
I'm not going to write a novel, but I WILL write a brief consensus about The American. I liked this book well enough because I was looking for something that could compare to Vince Flynn or Brad Thor. As far as the plot is concerned, I was extremely happy with this book. Britton had obviously done his research and the book was really well written. The plot moves at the perfect pace... not too slow so you are bored but not too fast so that details are skipped over. Although a lot of the resolutio ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Christian rated it did not like it
Shelves: thriller
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Matt Crumpton
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Oct 21, 2011 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I thought I had picked up The American, the book the George Clooney movie was based on. But no. I got this one by accident. So I read it. It wasn't terrible. It reminded me a little of a Jason Bourne book, complete with annoying female characters and dialogue. (The character of Katie? HATED HER! And I never quite understood Naomi. Why was she even involved in anything? She didn't know how to do anything!) I can see this working as an action movie.

The story is that Ryan Kealey, who of course
May 26, 2012 Dipanjan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I was quite disappointed with "The American". I expected a much more defined storyline than what I got. Let me share the areas of disappointment. This is a very plain-jane man hunt. (A benchmark of an awesome manhunt would be The Day Of The Jackal). The pursuit through intelligence is completely missing. The main protagonist fails to leave a mark in our mind. Even in matters of romance, we don't really get to feel anything that he is going through. The villain is "desperately trying to be ...more
When I started reading, I was hooked.

I liked the way the plot unfolded, step by step, as if I looked over the shoulder of Ryan Kealey.
Only when he learned that the terrorist who is about to attack the American, Italian and French presidents, the scope also switched to him.
I could feel the tension as it were, when the police, CIA, FBI and all other agencies were trying to prevent the attack from happening. Since there was too little information, it looked at first they would never succeed. BUT
Joe Newell
I wanted to like this book; but no luck. I gave this some thought (as to why I didn't like it), since I read Ryan Kealy #2 first, and then this one, and what I came up with were two major criticisms:
1)the author does a poor job in character development. He really doesn't ever build any understanding or any emotional bond (either good or bad) with the characters. Yes he gives a little backstory for the characters, but that's not the same thing. You come away feeling really zero for the characters
Luis Morales
Oct 02, 2012 Luis Morales rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only time the book was out of my hands was when I finished it. The book was long enough to be sucked into the book, but not too long that the book becomes too boring. The details used by the author were so descriptive, I felt as if i was in the book myself since the beginning.

The main character Ryan taught me that no matter how big or small our problem is, we need to solve it before it stops us from being happy. Ryan's problem was that he worked for the CIA and needed to stop an "old friend"
I am vacillating between a 2 and a 2.5, too bad that's not an option here. While I did enjoy the story there are some things that bothered me about the characters. The females that are of romantic interest to the main character could be less typical. I hate that Ryan is ALWAYS getting Naomi out of situations that she creates. How can a field agent for the CIA be so inept when it comes to field work? Don't they all have to go to The Farm?

So ... while I was unimpressed with the whole book, I will
Mar 09, 2013 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fairly interesting, especially if you wanted to kill persons, or take them out with bombs. I am assuming that the information is relatively factual, but doubt that this is meant as a primer for an assassin. The title, The American, refers to a renegade ex military man, with several names, one of which is Jason March. He is a killing machine, and his ex commanding officer, Ryan Kealey, is head of the group which is trying to find and stop him, along with Naomi Kharmai. Ryan's girl friend ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Leena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-thriller
This book is a Clancy wanna-be but doesn't come close. The characters are simple, cliche. There are extraneous characters such as the girlfriend/fiance that have no reason to be included. The characters names are meant to invoke characters in other books. The main character is Ryan so of course you think of Jack Ryan. The main bad guy is Jason March so of course you think of Jason Bourne. The author would have been better to use different names instead of trying to get the reader to think they a ...more
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I've been trying to find a new CIA "hero" series to read and was hoping this would fit the bill. No such luck. The main character, Ryan Kealey is really just a bully when it comes to getting information. His "side-kick", Naomi is whinny and unlikeable. Her "crush" on Kealey is a little sad at times. Would like to see where this character goes, but not enough to pick up another one in the series. Maybe it'll be my loss, but that's a risk I'm willing to ta ...more
Vince Flynn/Brad Thor like anti-terror novel...similarily the hero is a iconoclastic CIA agent saving us from evil...I love this 1st by this author in a genre that entertains me immensely...just recently, I was shocked that Britton passed away, in 2008, at 27, with a legacy of just 4 books in this series and a stand-alone...Ironically, I'm reading Wilson's "Black Wolf"...stories are similar in that US operatives are after American terrorists who've "gone over...the Britton hero after ...more
A great 1st novel in the genre of Thor and Flynn introduces us to Andrew Kealey a retired CIA and Delta Force legend. After the Chairman of Senate Arms Service committee is brutally murdered along with his security detail Kealey is brought back into the fold to track down one of his former soldiers who has gone over to work for Al Queda. Teaming with a female analyst Naomi Kharmai they struggle to track down the assassin before he kills the Presidents of the US, France and Italy. Non stop action ...more
Sean Kelly
This is the first of Andrew Britton's novels I have read. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, there are plenty of plot twists, and it is reasonably well-written. He wrote a very interesting villain (at the outset) but that seemed to deteriorate somehow which left me curious. Similarly, the protagonist(s) deteriorated in character quality in similar fashion, so perhaps this was done on purpose. I will likely read the next novel in the series, as the first was a quick read, a page-turning espiona ...more
Amy Holms
Dec 27, 2015 Amy Holms rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid story, but…

As needed avid reader of terrorist thrillers, the characters and story of this book were well done and enjoyable.

On the other hand, the writing style of switching between characters and locations at a mere paragraph break (my guess is this was intentionally meant to be clever) is in fact quite distracting and ruined the flow of the story, as halfway through the switching paragraph, I would realize the change and have to restart the paragraph to get my bearings for the shifted s
Nate Solberg
Jan 02, 2016 Nate Solberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was a straightforward counter-terrorism tale, very much in the tradition of Vince Flynn's books. I wouldn't say the plot was intricate, but the action moved quickly and I thought it was well-told. There were a couple of issues for me with the female characters in the story, in that I think the author let them be a little more helpless than they deserved. What I did enjoy was that there were almost no characters that were off limits; a few prominent persons met messy and untimely ends. ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I always try to picture an actor or actress playing the role of the characters in a book, it helps me visualize what is going on better. So in this, I picture a younger version of Jack Bristow (Alias)as Ryan. In that regard the character of Ryan is a very good character, there is just nothing else to the book, least not for me, I can't connect to any of the characters. I really liked the character of Ryan and I may visit this book again at some point, but right now marking it did not finish.
William Brown
Clunk! I pride myself in usually reading all of a book I start. This one tried my patience. For a suspense/ action novel, it was very long on plot-by-conversation, plot-by-meeting, unnecessary details, too many no-don't-go-in-there moments, too much telegraphing the plot, and too many long sections I speed-read my way through to get to some action. Too bad. The premise was good, and I was hoping for a good, action-packed read. Unfortunately, it never arrived.

Bill Brown
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During his early childhood, Andrew Britton lived between England and Camlough, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, until the family emigrated to the United States in 1988 at age seven. Britton spent years in both Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Raleigh, North Carolina. After graduating from Leesville Road High School in Raleigh in 1999, Britton joined the U.S. Army as a combat engineer. He stayed in the ...more
More about Andrew Britton...

Other Books in the Series

Ryan Kealey (7 books)
  • The Assassin (Ryan Kealey, #2)
  • The Invisible (Ryan Kealey, #3)
  • The Exile (Ryan Kealey, #4)
  • The Operative (Ryan Kealey, #5)
  • The Courier (Ryan Kealey, #6)
  • Threatcon Delta (Ryan Kealey, #7)

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