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The Gray Man

(Gray Man #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  18,451 ratings  ·  1,324 reviews
Courtland Gentry is a good man. But he’s a great assassin.

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

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  18,451 ratings  ·  1,324 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
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Book 1 of The Gray Man series published 2009.

If you like your thrillers action packed and I mean action packed then this is the book for you. But for me the book had one major flaw that flaw being that it stretched reality so far that it became farcical.

Courtland Gentry ‘AKA the Gray Man’ is the worlds most accomplished and feared assassins. Once given an assignment nothing gets in his way or stops him.
When he is told that two young girls, girls that he knows and cares for, are being held host
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the first of "The Gray Man," series thanks much in part to my good friend Terence' strong recommendations. This story is a hero with a heart, unscrupulous bad guys and few needless innocent deaths. 9 of 10 stars
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An action packed read. The Gray Man is a "bad ass."
This is one of the best action thriller series out there. Somewhat over the top, but nail biting exciting action from cover to cover. I have been reading them out of order, but since this book is underdevelopment for Netflix, I am more determine than ever to finish them all. Starring as the Gray Man (view spoiler)

Court Gentry, aka Gray Man is a wanted man. Apparently he had killed some guy and that some guy's brother- a Nigerian President is royally pi
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
The times call for a hero, and whom better than the indestructible Court Gentry who braves multiple injuries (that would have killed a lesser man multiple times) to save twin girls from certain death. We meet the hired assassin when he has just completed his most recent mission. Unfortunately, the victim’s brother wants revenge—specifically Court’s head delivered to him—and he has the resources to hire killers from all over the world to do so. Suspend belief, overlook the sinkhole-sized holes in ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, first-reads
**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
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
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
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cia-thriller, series
5 Stars (Awesome)

I've been searching for an excellent cia-action-thriller to replace the amazing 'I am pilgrim' which I've read almost 4 years ago- and still waiting on the sequel. I bumped into the 'Gray Man' as a chance encounter with my 'prime kindle' membership, and thought of giving the first 50 pages a go.
This book rocked the world, and I was instantly hooked from the first 20 pages!

The Gray Man, known as 'Gentry' is a 'blacked list' ex-CIA operative who has to fend for himself after b
Terence M (Spring is in My Step!)
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
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
Re-Read - December 30, 2019
Just as amazing the second time around.

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 a
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.
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
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is the first book by this author that I have read and I have to say that I really enjoyed the pace that was set. It was truly non-stop action and I guess I was in the mood for such a thing because even the wide plot holes and some of the bad dialogue didn't phase me to the extent where I felt I needed to deduct stars. I was fully engaged the whole way through.

The MC certainly had a certain "spy" skill set, but I liked, no........ I loved, that he wasn't described as the walking Adonis that
David Dalton
My first read of the Gray Man series. I really liked it. It fits what I was looking for: action with a little more action tossed in. The Gray Man (Court) just could not be stopped. To me this character reminded me of John McClane from Die Hard (who kept getting shot at, cut, beaten, and yet kept coming on) and Jason Bourne (top notch assassin who again, could NOT be stopped).

I am adding Gray Man to my long list of characters I will follow. Lucky for me my digital library has all the Gray Man no
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. ...more
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
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
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent read. From the very first chapter I was captivated. This book is one action packed punch from chapter to chapter. Will definitely be carrying on with this series!!!
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a good action packed read. A bit over the top on the violence but still I think I am going to like the characters in this series. Will read a couple more and find out!
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
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
7/26/2020: My husband and I planned a cross-country road trip and The Gray Man on Audible was the perfect Companion. Jay Snyder is a wonderful narrator and really brought the story to life. A great way to pass the time in a long road trip.

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)
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
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).
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!)
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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 (10 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)
  • One Minute Out (Gray Man, #9)
  • Relentless

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