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Back Blast

(Gray Man #5)

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  7,301 ratings  ·  457 reviews
From the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, comes an all-new explosive thriller featuring the lethal assassin known as the Gray Man…
Court Gentry was the CIA’s best agent. Until the day the Agency turned against him and put out a kill on sight order. That’s when the enigmatic international assassin called the Gray Man was born—and Co
Hardcover, 513 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Berkley Books
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Mark Greaney
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4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,301 ratings  ·  457 reviews

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Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Denny Carmichael, Director of National Clandestine Service with the CIA, is hosting a garden party completely bored stiff while his wife was in her element socializing with her wealthy friends. But his boredom soon vanished when three black SUV’s approached at break neck speed stopping close to the patio where he was standing. Rushing over to the dozen men who spilled out of the vehicles Denny demanded an explanation. When he was told the Gray Man was back in the USA and no doubt he already had ...more
Ben Coes
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A terrific book - great drama, excellent central character, great writing.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this novel in a goodreads drawing.

The Gray Man keeps poking around, trying to find out who burned him. He wants to get his hands on the folks who sent him out on his last mission.

Lots of great stuff here. The Gray Man is an exciting series.
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Is this the best or the worst CIA thriller I have read?

This could be both the best and the worst CIA thriller you have read - the choice depends on whether you like your action to be basically believable or totally unbelievable.

Court Gentry is probably the best covert agent that the CIA has ever had. Then one day he changed from being the hunter to being the hunted, with all of his buddies sent out by their CIA leader to kill him because of something he had done. The problem is that nobody has t
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Court Gentry is an elite Special Services officer working for the CIA until the day he is put on a Kill On Sight list by his former employers. Unlike Jason Bourne, he knows exactly who he is, but he cannot fathom why he has been named an enemy of the State.

He has successfully completed every assignment he has been given and no amount of self searching reveals any mistakes he might have made. As Back Blast begins, he has decided to return to the US in an attempt to find out what he is presumed t
Tracy T.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story and narration by Jay Snyder (audible review)

I love this action packed series, and this was one of my favorite books. Glad to find out why Court was black listed. I really enjoyed this story.

As usual it was action packed and exciting. Court back into the USA to figure out what happened to get a shoot on sight placed on his head. I won't give any spoilers here, just know it was a great story.

As for the narration, it is excellent! Jay Snyder does a fantastic job, his reading voice
Terence M
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great novel in the Gray Man series. Well worth four ⭐⭐⭐⭐! I will add further notes when time allows. Mark Greaney is a great and versatile writer. ...more
Tucker Elliot
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have read and enjoyed this entire series and there is no question that Mark Greaney is a terrific thriller writer—however, this book is a major disappointment.

The premise is that Court Gentry, who has been on the run from the CIA for years, has finally returned to U.S. soil to try and clear his name. This has been building of course for the entire series, and I was looking forward to reading Back Blast to get all the answers about why Gentry had been targeted by the CIA.

Three things bothered m
Syd (deertales)
4.5 stars! i had listened to the first two gray man books a year or two ago, and thought they were just okay. but back blast was pleasantly surprising. i guessed only half of the ending revelations, but my main complaint was that it was a little too long. the audio book was over 18 hours long! that is really lengthy for these types of books. overall though, a really enjoyable listen.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I was so excited to finally have this book in my hands. Mark Greaney’s Court Gentry series is right up there in my favourites and unfortunately it had been a long wait since the previous book in the series, Dead Eye, was published. All I can say having read Back Blast is that it was definitely worth the wait because it was so good.

Back Blast is the fifth novel in Mark Greaney’s spy thriller series starring ex-CIA operative Court Gentry. After five years hiding across the globe as the hired assas
Sean Peters
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Court Gentry was the CIA's best agent - until the day the Agency turned against him and put out a kill-on-sight order. That's when the enigmatic international assassin called the Gray Man was born, and Court has been working for himself ever since.
Thank you to Net galley, the author and the publishers for a ARC copy for a honest review.

Court is determined to find out what happened all those years ago to make the Agency turn against him. On his list to interrogate are his former partners and the
Marilyn Rondeau
OMG - This latest book in the Gray Man series by Mark Greany was phenomenal! Normally, I listen to them on Audio but in spite of 528 pages I read and finished it in two days - so good I couldn’t put it down.

Court Gentry was the CIA’s but agent until the day the on-going villain in this series put out a ‘termination’ kill on sight order. Since then Court has been on the run for the last five years all over the world. Court was now the ultimate assassin but would only take on the cases he saw as
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is book five in the Gray Man series. I have enjoyed this series; the action is non-stop and the suspense has me sitting on the edge of my chair. Court Gentry (the grey man) was once the CIA’s best killer spy. There were twenty-five people in the dirty work unit; one by one they were killed now only Gentry is left. For five years he has been hiding, now he decides to come to Washington D.C. to find out why he is on the death list.

The top CIA bosses are running for their lives. They set tra
Oct 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not care for Greaney's first Gray Man book but, after reading positive reviews written by people whose judgement I respect, decided to try one more, so I read the second one in the series. Either it was pretty good or the regimen of "you're old and you need to take these pills so you won't die" drugs has significantly altered my perception of reality.

This was the third book in the series and I got about 20% of the way through it before I realised that I am not a masochist so I stopped rea
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
After five years, Court Gentry is finally back on US soil - and he wants answers. Why did the CIA turn its back on him out of the blue and issue a shoot on sight order? Why is Denny Carmichael so obsessed with taking him out that he's gone to extreme lengths to accomplish it, again and again? To find the answers he so desperately seeks, Gentry seeks out old acquaintances and digs into long ago half-forgotten ops, slowly trying to unravel what really happened to have him branded an enemy to his c ...more
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
Greaney keeps getting better and better. In this novel, we find out the real reason the CIA has a kill on sight sanction against The Gray Man. Court Gentry/Sierra Six/Violator keeps growing as a character, which I like. We also get to know some of the other recurring characters a little better, including one Lazarus :) and we find out the bad guy isn't quite as bad as we always assumed. Even minor characters are not cardboard stand-ins, which I think elevates his novels
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, audiobook
*Need to Reivew

Easiest way to describe the series is to compare it to Bourne.
Dee Haddrill
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic addition to the Gray Man series!! I don't know how I can review this without giving away spoilers, so I'll give a quick few words here, and then spoilers abound... if you have kept up with Court Gentry's previous escapades, you will love this just as much... excellent story, rapid paced action and suspense, great characters with fun dialogue... a total winner...

Now, here there be spoilers!! This is your first warning...


Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Got a free copy from Netgalley for fair and honest review.
Add1/3 Martin Odum field agent from " Legends", toss in 1/3 Jason Bourne, splash in 1/3 James Bond shaken not stirred, and what do you get? Cort Gentry our hero of BACK BLAST.
At the age of 18 Cort takes a job as a security job that end up being muscle for the mobs drug ring, and gets busted by the Feds. But instead of getting jail time he gets recruited by the CIA and trained by a clandestine agency deep within the organization. He is ve
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
BACK BLAST by Mark Greaney is reminiscent of the books I consider some of the best in the spy thriller genre. The author pulls from Ludlum and Clancy to create his protagonist: Court Gentry, a ex-CIA operative who is now on the run from his former employers.

BACK BLAST is the fifth in a series about Gentry, but the book manages as a standalone novel quite well (thank goodness since I hate reading books out of order). The dips, twists, and turns in the story are well managed, and the action sequen
Tom Tischler
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Court Gentry also known as The Gray man was the CIA'S best lethal assassin until the
day the Agency turned against him and put a kill on sight order on him. Court has been
on the run now for 5 years trying to avoid being killed. He is tired of running and he is
in D.C. and he is going to interrogate anyone he thinks put him on this list. He doesn't
know that the questions from the mission that put him on the list are still reverberating
around D.C. and he's stumbled on to a secret that powerful pe
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. I have read all of the gray man series and while it felt like a culmination to a 5 year story arc it also felt like the beginning of all new adventures.
This book read like a movie. While it was long and detailed, it never failed to keep my attention and kept propelling the story forward. As a long time gray man fan, I felt that this was a satisfying way to tie up the story. At times I was on the edge of my seat and felt the tension like I was watching the story enfold in r
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars. CIA spy gone rogue--at least that's what the CIA claims. The Gray Man himself, however, is wondering what he's done to merit a shoot-on-sight order and is determined to find out. Lots of action and suspense, with a bit more complexity to the story (and some of the characters) than some spy thrillers. Needs a bit of editing to clean up a few issues (mostly trivial, but annoying, such as Court forces two guys, at gun point, to sit in chairs, then flips them onto their stomachs--pretty f ...more
Pamela Small
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Gray Man series is tense, suspenseful , and thoroughly enjoyable for fans of political intrigue and espionage. BACK BLAST can be read as a stand alone, but I would recommend reading the novels in order to get the backstory of Court Gentry, CIA operator extraordinaire. Mark Greaney offers more character development in his latest (#5) novel in the series. The pacing is intense and tightly woven and the complex storyline is riveting with a thrilling climax.
Peter Moran
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was very good read and kept me wanting more of the story.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best of the series I have read so far. Court Gentry, tired of being hunted by CIA assassins, comes back to Washington D.C. to find out why the agency he served so well, wants him dead. Using his training, he manages to get funding (rob drug dealers), find an apartment (in the hood) and stay hidden while he tracks down answers. But no one can hide forever, specially a lone white guy living in a black neighborhood.

Some laugh out loud moments with acronym confusion. Even I had to look up the real
David Putnam
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Liked this book well enough. Plenty of action. Liked it more than the latest Jack Reachers. This is definitely a story driven book not a lot of emotion from the characters. This story is not unlike others where a government operator is left out in the cold abandoned and then hunted by the same agency. The character, Court Gentry has to find out why. The why is a little predictable but that's not why you read a book like this it's for the entertainment, the action and there's plenty of it. In fac ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The answer to Gentry's sanction order is revealed, finally. It was a great mystery that was played out to great effect over 5 books. The reveal ends up being a little complicated but makes great sense and absolutely changes the course of the series.

This ties the first book in the series for being my favorite. While the first was wall to wall action with a killer new protagonist, this book has more clandestine operations, intrigue, and extensive character manipulation.
Luke Walker
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid 4.5 stars. I’m really enjoying this series. The story development from book to book is very good. This is an important series to read in order I think. I can’t recommend this book and series enough!
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s no better action writer out there than Greaney and this, for me, was one of his best with the set pieces coming fast and furious. Several were quite memorable, especially one set in a tiny rabbit warren of a cellar where he’s been living, that comes under attack.
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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

Other books in the series

Gray Man (9 books)
  • The Gray Man (Gray Man, #1)
  • On Target (Gray Man, #2)
  • Ballistic (Gray Man, #3)
  • Dead Eye (Gray Man, #4)
  • Gunmetal Gray (Gray Man, #6)
  • Agent in Place (Gray Man, #7)
  • Mission Critical (Gray Man, #8)
  • One Minute Out (Gray Man, #9)
“Court knew. Maurice had said one line to him when Court found himself wallowing in his own misery and unable to complete his objective. “Suck it up or you’ll fuck it up.” Court” 0 likes
“He reached for the weapon on his right hip. It was a Ruger Mark 2 Amphibian, a stainless steel .22 caliber rim fire pistol with an integral suppressor. But” 0 likes
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