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The Killing Season

(Carter Blake #1)

by
3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,788 ratings  ·  268 reviews
HUNTING RETRIBUTION

Carter Blake finds people for money…using any means necessary. But when the FBI asks him to hunt down serial killer Caleb Wardell—who escaped en route to his scheduled execution—Carter has his own reasons for accepting the job. A past experience with Wardell left him haunted by dark memories and bitter regret.

Teaming up with Special Agent Elaine Banner
...more
Paperback
Published May 2016 by worldwide mystery (first published April 24th 2014)
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Community Reviews

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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,788 ratings  ·  268 reviews


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Helga
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery, series
3.5

The Killing Season, the first book in Carter Blake series, is an intense action-packed thriller.

Carter Blake is a finder. His job is to track down people who wish to remain hidden.
When Caleb Wardell, a dangerous prisoner, escapes and starts killing innocent people, the FBI asks Carter’s help to hunt him down before he kills again.
Hence, a game of cat and mouse begins. As Carter embarks on his pursuit, questions arise. Why was the security so lax during the transportation of such a highly da
...more
Liz Barnsley
Publication Date 24th April 2014 from Orion.

With thanks to the author/publisher for the copy via a Goodreads Giveaway.

“The first thing you should know about me is that my name is not Carter Blake.
That name no more belongs to me than the hotel room I was occupying when the call came in.”
When Caleb Wardell, the infamous ‘Chicago Sniper’, escapes from death row two weeks before his execution, the FBI calls on the services of Carter Blake, a man with certain specialised talents whose skills lie in f
...more
Ann Girdharry
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a difficult book to rate. I give it three stars for character development but four stars for plot.

The story is told in three different points of view - Elaine, who is one of the FBI officers assigned to the case, Blake, who is the man brought in from the outside and who works outside the rules, and the killer himself, Wardell.
Rotating between these three people keeps the book alive and it makes compelling reading because we see each person's interpretation/misinterpretation of events.
...more
debra
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-ish*s (Stars are for a book inthis action genre)
A good narrator allowed the listener to visualize this slam bang story as it unfolded. The book kept my attention throughout, but the ending was a tad OTT for me.

Read Petra's excellent review of this title!
Susan
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This exciting thriller takes place over just a few, very action packed, days. The story begins with the escape from a prison transport of Caleb Wardell, a sniper who was literally a fortnight away from facing execution for the murder of nineteen people. You might think that, having gained his freedom, he would be eager to find somewhere to hide in order to live out his life in obscurity. However, then we would have no novel and, besides, serial killers do not tend to show sense in these situatio ...more
Perry
Apr 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Save for the dull dialogue, the shallow stereotypical characters, an overall lack of suspense and a general implausibility of the plot and the ending, this is a good one.

That's really all I can say about this book.
Val
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, crime, fbi, series
"I find people who don't want to be found."

Speaking of found, I found The Killing Season to be utterly engaging and it kept me hooked the entire book! It tells the story of Blake, who agrees to help the FBI locate serial killer Caleb Wardell, after he escaped from a prisoner-transport van while en route to the federal correctional complex, where he was due to be executed in two weeks. From there it's hang-on-to-your-seat time! (With a few chuckles thrown in.) I loved Blake and can't wait to lear
...more
Petra
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, thrillers
The Killing Season is an action-packed thriller and impressive first book by British author Mason Cross. It follows Carter Blake, a truly enigmatic character, who has dedicated himself to finding people who do not want to be found. He teams up with FBI agent and single Mum Elaine Banner to track down an escaped serial killer, Caleb Wardell.
This gripping story is told from multiple perspectives; Carter’s in the first person, Elaine and Caleb’s in the third. I particularly enjoyed that the point o
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aPriL does feral sometimes
For a first book in a series, the author Mason Cross has done a good enough job with ‘The Killing Season’. Everything readers expect today in a generic mercenary-for-hire-who-hooks-up-with-the-FBI-because-the-FBI-is-overly-pansy-from-rules storyline is here. Unfortunately, the book was a by-the-numbers plot for me.

An incredibly smart serial killer goes on a killing spree, and so a hot female FBI agent who is recently divorced with a little girl meets cute with the free-lance Carter Blake, who as
...more
Jenny
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery
The Killing Season is the first book in the Carter Blake series by Mason Cross. Caleb Wardell escapes from prison the FBI called Carter Blake to help the FBI task force to locate him and return in back to prison. However, on every turn, the task force is faulted in their attempts to upper hind Caleb Wardell. Carter Blake started to get a bad feeling about the people involved in the task force. The readers of The Killing Season will continue to follow the twists and turns in Carter Blake investig ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, thriller
Okay....Carter Blake is an interesting guy and his book is a read I can endorse. I mean in a way we've been here before if "we've" read many of the action type reads out there. The first thing he tells us is that his name isn't really carter Blake. he's a "finder of people", that would be "people who don't want to be found". This time the person he's called on to find is a raving psychopathic sniper...

The book is well constructed and I'd like to have given it a 5 star rating. I couldn't because
...more
Rob Twinem
Having read and enjoyed The Samaritan and A time to kill (Winterlong) by Mason Cross I was eager to read "The Killing Season" the first book in the series that introduced Carter Blake (not his real name) to the reader. Unfortunately what initially starts out in a fast and addictive manner quickly turns into a predictive cat and mouse narrative in which Blake aided by the beautiful FBI agent Elaine Banner (will he or will he not manage to convince her to share his bed!) travel, at a furious pace, ...more
Tracey Walsh
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It takes a man with no limits to catch a killer with no motive"
This book has been lurking near the top of my to-be-read pile for some time and all the good things I've been hearing about it have made me impatient to get started. I certainly wasn't disappointed - I devoured The Killing Season over a couple of days and I'm just about getting my breath back.
The plot revolves around a manhunt for a serial killer sniper and takes place over the course of several days. The enigmatic character of Cart
...more
Maureen DeLuca
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really wish GR would have 1/2 star ratings- this was a 4.5- There is only 1 reason why I didn't give it a full 5 star - but to be totally honest- it is a picky one at that !!

So, do LOVE Jack Reacher? I sure do- if you like/love him you will L-O-V-E this series! Please meet Carter Blake, a loner who specializes in finding people who don't want to be found.

Carter has little backstory to this point as he is called upon to join an FBI task force searching for Caleb Wardell, "the Chicago Sniper",
...more
John Johnstone
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Chicago sniper one of the most notorious of serial killers, has just escaped from custody on the way to his execution. The hunt for this vicious killer is on and the FBI call in Carter Blake for help. This start had all the hallmarks of an exciting fast paced thriller, I was not disappointed. Set only over a few days the action is very intense but compulsive reading. It is what it seems, a manhunt, but it has more making it even more thrilling. Carter Blake is not the only hero in the story, ...more
Janet Robel
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall, well-written and suspenseful. Carter Blake is one of those characters that I'm looking forward to finding out more about him. The hunt for a killer is on in this fast-paced thriller.
John Wiltshire
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know where this book came from or why I ended up reading it. It's a gem and well worth reading if you like Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say this book is better than some of the latter Reacher.
What makes a good thriller? Plot, characters you care about, pace, and good writing. This book is simple, but it manages to have all those and so it's a really, really good read.
Plot--FBI trying to catch a sniper who randomly kills people. It's so simple but
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Ed
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carter Blake is an enigmatic Sherlock "Holmsian" guy living off the grid in government sanctioned anonymity. Blake's specialty is finding people who don't want to be found and he is both incredibly successful and relentless in his pursuit. He agrees to assist the FBI in finding Caleb Wardell; a death row psychotic ex Marine sniper who escapes his prison van and launches a brutal killing spree. Problems in the manhunt develop quickly due to Blake's independent approach vs the FBI's more rigid pro ...more
Kim Kaso
Above-average thriller, chasing a psychopathic serial killer throughout the Midwest, instilling fear in the populace, like a mad minion sent out by the law-and-order crowd to increase the need for a police state so we can all feel safer. Fits right in with the mood of the country. Mr T & the RWNJs could be characters in the book. Fast read, done in a little over a day with time for socializing to spare. Solid 3.5 rounded to a 4.
Witchmetal
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this book
Mihir
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Overall Rating = 4 & 1/2 stars

Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: The Killing Season is Mason Cross’ debut and the opening volume in the Carter Blake series. It’s a book that I had high hopes from after I read the book blurb and the first chapter. After finishing it, I can safely say this debut is one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read in the past few years and promises a glorious writing future for Mason Cross.

The story begins when Caleb Wardell, a sniper of ill r
...more
Tad
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, arc
The Killing Season is a great first novel and a great summer thriller. The action starts out fast with a prison break during a prisoner transfer. When convicted serial killer/sniper Caleb Wardell is freed, the bodies start to pile up fast.

Mason Cross does just about everything right with this book. Both the killer and the man tasked to chase him down are intelligent, which makes it exciting to follow the chase and watch them try to anticipate each other. Carter Blake is a bit of a cypher but his
...more
Rob Twinem
A little disappointing Having read and enjoyed The Samaritan and A time to kill (Winterlong) by Mason Cross I was eager to read "The Killing Season" the first book in the series that introduced Carter Blake (not his real name) to the reader. Unfortunately what initially starts out in a fast and addictive manner quickly turns into a predictive cat and mouse narrative in which Blake aided by the beautiful FBI agent Elaine Banner (will he or will he not manage to convince her to share his bed!) tra ...more
Sophie
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Review also posted on my blog http://www.reviewedthebook.co.uk/2014...

The Killing Season had me intrigued right from the first line and the rest of the book did not disappoint. Action packed and with a clever plot, this thriller was fantastic and flawless.

This book was full of great characters. I loved the protagonist, Blake, and The Killing Season worked so well for me because I could really root for him. Blake was an interesting character but he wasn’t the only one. Wardell was a brilliant vil
...more
Steve
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, first-reads
This is a seriously impressive debut novel. A gripping thriller that is incredibly fast paced and tense and leaves you guessing the whole way through. The pacing is perfect and we learn more about the enigmatic protagonist Carter Blake piece by piece until by the finale we still are left with countless questions about him leaving me at least wanting more. This is a series of novels I will keep reading if only to find out more about Blake.
Mason Cross writes a good story and delivers it perfectly
...more
ElaineY
The alternating POVs threw me off and ruined my concentration. It's not that I dislike this, but it's usually stated beforehand that whose 1st Person POV it is. In print format, there are section dividers and section headers to let me know. Not so in an audiobook so I spent much of the time wondering if the author forgot he had started the book in 1st Person POV.

Sorry, it was a jumbled mess in audio because of this. I will try the next book, The Samaritan, and if it's also in alternate POVs, at
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Chuck
3.75 stars
If you like reading mystery and crime fiction, you won't want to miss this. An elite ex-marine sniper plays cat-and-mouse games with the FBI. However, as good as it was, it could have been better. I felt the author unjustifiably upped the pace 3/4 of the way through and rushed the climax. It's almost as if, knowing he was nearing his page limit, he decided to quickly wrap it all up, which caused the story to lose its balance. Nevertheless, it's worth reading, as it's a pretty decent n
...more
Colette Lamberth
This is the first book in the Carter Blake series and I'm happy to say that it wasn't spoiled by my having read book 2 first. While I'm not usually a fan of first person narrative, I really like how the chapters flip back and forth between first and third person. It's fast paced and gripping and pretty much everything you want from a crime thriller. I am a little concerned that I'm developing a crush on Carter Blake and now have to wait for book 3 to be published.
Tim
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, favourites
Fast paced thriller I devoured in under two days - but I still felt hungry for more.

One of those books I could not read quickly enough, at times my heart was pounding in my chest, at times I had a lump in my throat. With detailed characters, an excellent plot and great storyline, I loved the way the story flipped between the different perspectives. I eagerly await the next instalment!!

Thanks to the publisher for the free copy I received via Goodreads Giveaways.
❆ Crystal ❆
Review for audiobook 4 stars story ♫ 4 stars narration.
This is the first book I've read from this author and I really enjoyed it. I wish the blurb was a little more hush-hush and I think it would have been awesome to have a surprise. I will read book 2 soon as Carter Blake is a pretty cool guy and I look forward to more adventures!

Narration was 4 stars... he did a great job.
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Mason Cross was born in Glasgow in 1979. He studied English at the University of Stirling and has worked variously as a tax officer, events coordinator, project manager and pizza delivery boy. He has written a number of short stories which have been published in Ellery Queen, Scribble and First E
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Other books in the series

Carter Blake (5 books)
  • The Samaritan (Carter Blake #2)
  • The Time to Kill (Carter Blake, #3)
  • Don't Look For Me (Carter Blake, #4)
  • Presumed Dead (Carter Blake #5)