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The Reign of the Kingfisher

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Thirty years ago a superhero tried to save Chicago. Now the city is again under siege, in this gritty, suspenseful, and beautifully written novel from award-winning debut author T.J. Martinson.

Somewhere in Chicago, a roomful of people have been taken hostage. The hostages will be killed one by one, the masked gunman says on-screen, unless the police will admit that they fa
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Flatiron Books
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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  56 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.

A great book, but not what I expected it to be in a few ways.
What was I expecting? A tale of a SuperHero ala Avengers? Not really though I can't say that's a part of the reason it caught my eye. When I read the description, I was even more intrigued.

Sometimes you get a 'feeling' about a book that just draws you to it, even if you aren't completely sure why.

Its hard me for to find the words to des
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s always nice to start off a month of reading with something decent and I love superhero stories, but this book managed to exceed all of my expectations. In fact, it might have set a new bar. Superheroes are a thing nowadays, kind of a like a fad and I do have an entire theory worked out about how the genre popularity correlates with the increasingly helpless experience life is becoming due to societal decline, etc., but alas there are now too many of these movies and tv shows. And most of th ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
You think you're getting into a story about a superhero, but suddenly find this is about so much more. Corruption, secrets, and so much more unravel in this novel about people trying to do what they consider right and good. Even the bad guys are given their chance to be revealed as just people trying to get by and make a living.
Language and sexual content keep this as an adult read.

* I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads giveaways *
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was ok

The legacy of Chicago’s very own, mostly forgotten, superhero suddenly becomes center stage when a gunman demands the police come clean on the hero’s supposed death or innocent people will die. T.J. Martinson’s debut novel, The Reign of the Kingfisher, follows several characters attempting to stop the gunman in their separate ways before coming together and using the information they collected to help stop the gunman.

Early in the morning of a soon-to-be hot Chicago su
(2.5) Ugh, it's always really disappointing when this happens: a book seems wildly promising at the beginning, is engaging for a while, then nosedives so hard that by the end you wish you'd never bothered. Sadly, that was my experience with The Reign of the Kingfisher, a thriller set in an alternate version of Chicago. In the book, a 'superhero' (i.e. freakishly strong vigilante) known as the Kingfisher protected the city during the 1980s, only to be found dead at the height of his popularity. 3 ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not much for super hero anything, but I decided to try The Reign of the Kingfisher anyway. It's an entertaining and engaging read, but I didn't love it. I think it's just my personal preference and not really the story. It's great for the right reader. Unfortunately, it's a miss for me. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was completely entranced with The Reign of the Kingfisher, a stylish blend of noir detective fiction and superhero fantasy- think Sin City meets Raymond Chandler (then stop thinking and start reading).
30 years ago Chicago was home to The Kingfisher- a vigilante/protector who was ridding the city of crime, one broken bad guy at a time- until the night that this larger than life figure died. Or so the story goes.
Today, someone has decided that it is past time for the truth about The Kingfisher
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really surprised how much this book kept me glued to the pages. A mysterious vigilante helped fight criminals for the sake of the citizens of Chicago. His death was a blow to the community and some thirty years later, a crazed individual can’t let go of the past and demands answers by killing hostages who had ties with the enigmatic crime fighter. This books is like a detective suspense thriller.

Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
Brittany Olson
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I won an advanced copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway, and I was ecstatic when it finally arrived!

The book wasn't what I was expecting, but I mean that in a great way. I normally stay away from crime mysteries (though I'm not even sure that's how to describe this book), but I have a big interest in comics, and I think there are thematic overlaps with this book and some of the best and grittiest graphic novels to date. The way T.J. writes about Chicago has a way of making you feel like yo
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Reign of the Kingfisher is an arresting, innovative, and deeply flawed book that positions T.J. Martinson as one of the most intriguing new authors in the canon of contemporary literature.

It cannot be overstated: this text is thrilling, and rare is the text that manages to balance such eye-gluing plot turns with substantive and sophisticated ideas. Martinson interrogates the idea of the superhero and heroism in ways that are occasionally a little too on the nose, but interesting nonetheless
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This would get a 4.5 if I could give it a little more love.

The Reign of the Kingfisher is a tense, well paced and well plotted mystery-novel about a vanished superhuman vigilante, and the things his disappearance left in his wake, still causing ripples over thirty years later. A disgraced cop, a journalist, and a hactivist teen get involved in the mystery through three seperate threads, and weaving their now and the past of one now-chief-of-police leading to the nightmare of today.

When Marcus
Lisa Cobb Sabatini
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I won an Advance Readers Copy of The Reign of the Kingfisher by T. J. Martinson from Goodreads.

Readers will re-examine their ideas concerning justice, heroism,and even love as they race through The Reign of the Kingfisher by T. J. Martinson. This exciting race against time story presents readers with a small group of heroic characters who persevere on their own to stop a madman from killing more hostages, each of these characters a complicated mix of motivations and purpose. Together, they are a
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
This was a disappointment. It’s a great premise but the problem was execution and voice. The whole book felt a bit draggy until the end. There are a number of point of views advancing the plot. But each voice sounded the same and I had a hard time distinguishing them. And, I just didn’t really care what happened to any of the people or who the Kingfisher was. I just never connected with any of the characters bc they all seemed like the same person.

I received this arc as a goodreads giveaway but
Marcel Driel
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The reign of the Kingfisher is not a superhero book. It’s a high concept crime novel that deals with the absence of a vigilante who could be a hero, a thug or both. It has a pretty good plot, though the ending is a bit predictable, great characters and amazing prose. And it begs to be a movie by David Fincher. It’s hard to believe this is a debut, because it’s a truly magnificent novel. Highly recommended!
R.K. Cowles
A Goodreads giveaway. 3 3/4 stars. I enjoyed the from chapter to chapter; from one character (chapter) to another character (chapter), plus from present to the past and back again. Although, the plot was nice, at times it fell short of what I expected. Wasn't consistent in interesting of what this kind of plot could be. Yet, still a fascinating story.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The character development makes this book one that is hard to put down and easy to pick up. Although there are several characters, the reader feels like he/she knows them each personally. The story is so well developed and well told. I can't wait to read more from this author.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received from a Goodreads giveaway.

The book was not what I was expecting, yet it still was a good read and I would definitely read it again. Any book about murder and mystery I will gladly read. I would definitely recommend this book to others.
Michelle Olms
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcn
2/18/19 Full review tk.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I won a copy of “The Reign Of The Kingfisher” on Goodreads First Reads. It was a good book, but not what I was expecting it to be.
Steven Ridgely
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great story.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
***Received via Goodreads Giveaway***

An intriguing story, with great characters and lots of details.
Rachel Langlois
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m really trying to write this review with no spoilers...
I found myself falling in love with each character at different points throughout the story. I’m still undecided on who is actually my favorite because they’re all so well developed but I think I’m sticking with Marcus. From the beginning to the end I was in deep with the story and the suspense of the action. I couldn’t put it down. I’m reading it a second time now because it’s that good. Toward the end of the book I was seriously worried
Stile Teckel
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Jan 03, 2019
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Gillian Hollett
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Mar 23, 2019
Collin Huber
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Mar 17, 2019
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