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The Gray Man

(Gray Man #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  13,701 ratings  ·  955 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

Mass Market Paperback, 456 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Jove
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James Roby No, Court is very much an on the move character. He's a lot like Jason Bourne...the movies not the novels.
James Roby The Gray Man is a loner. He has an occasionally romantic thought. In Ballistic, he has a sexually encounter, but it's pretty tame.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,701 ratings  ·  955 reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action, favorites
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 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
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An action packed read. The Gray Man is a "bad ass."
Sep 20, 2016 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
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The "likeable" assassin! I found myself rushing through the pages cheering for the "Gray Man!" A perfect book while traveling because it kept me awake and smilingly entertained.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Reacher, Pike, and Schofield
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) by: A/A April Group Read
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 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
Terence M
Audiobook - 10:39 hours - Narrator Jay Snyder
2.5 out of 5.0 stars

My first book for 2018 and it was just so-so. Mark Greaney went out of his way in the early stages of the book to tell us that the protagonist, "Court Gentry" aka "The Gray Man", is the most capable, most feared, most competent assassin in the world - absolutely no other assassin even comes close - The Gray Man is simply the best. He is also a former CIA hitman who has been 'burned' and now designated 'SOS', 'Shoot On Sight', by hi
Ahmad Ardalan
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Action packed engaging thriller. A page turner that kept me reading non-stop.
The Gray Man is a unique character. If you like Jack Reacher, then you will The Gray Man.
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
Jan 06, 2013 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!
Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Court Gentry is a Superman spy — just as he should be. Loved it! (Audio)
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, assassin
Everybody knows James Bond who is always good for a bit of chaos and some general mayhem, then there is Jason Bourne a assassin who lost his memory but can still be as awesome as any. These two fellows were the originals in their genres. Both Fleming and Ludlum are owed so much.

Anyhow enter Court Gentry also known as a former CIA special enforcer who has been disowned and is working for somebody else when he kills a Nigerian business man, whose brother does not accept that kindly. He has a major
Aug 29, 2011 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
Nov 10, 2015 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.
Robert Bidinotto
Jul 11, 2011 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
Maureen DeLuca
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This was another book that I am just not quite sure if I am going to continue on with the series. It very well could have been my frame of mind when I was reading this... The reviews on this book were very good, which is why I picked it up in the first place. So, having said that- on I go-with a maybe for book 2 in this series..... (not much help, sorry!)
Rex Fuller
Jul 07, 2013 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).
Brian Casey
Aug 21, 2012 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
Feb 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read some the of the mixed reviews on this before hand so I wasn't totally surprised about how bad it was. My GR friend Barry hit it right on with how bad the writing was. Also, I reclassify this from 'Thriller' to "Fantasy". Greaney must have provided Tom Clancy something other than how to structure the telling of a story. Are not the people that own and work at publishing entities book readers? Even a self-publisher can find a retired teacher of prose to preread their work. Maybe it's me. Be ...more
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 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
Aug 21, 2015 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
James Burns
Nov 29, 2014 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
WOW! That was a very fast-paced action-thriller. Court Gentry, also known as the Gray Man, is an absolute bad a$$! He is the perfect blend of Mitch Rapp, Dewey Andres and McGuyver(the original). While there were some flaws (this is the first book in the series), they are easily overlooked. I found this so compelling that I spent all extra moments reading a few pages...I just couldn't wait to see how Court was going to work it all out. The ending was a little scmaltzy, but it was perfect. I can't ...more
Abram Dorrough
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I HAVE to read more Gray Man novels. Greaney clearly has the knowledge and skills to craft great action novels.
Steven Jr.
Sep 28, 2016 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
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
I add looked forward to reading this book for some time and, having finished it, I can equivocally say that it was an enormous disappoint. The plot was interesting and Greaney could have done quite a bit with it. The writing was mediocre, at best - phrasing and sentence construction was simplistic, words were, from time to time, misused and the dialogue was often comic bookish.

The two greatest problems with this book, were, to my mind, the preposterousness of many of the things that happened and
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
Oct 01, 2009 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
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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 (8 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)
  • Agent in Place (Gray Man, #7)
  • Mission Critical (Gray Man, #8)
“My skill set is not conducive to honest work.” 1 likes
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