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Pay Off

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  261 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Why does a wealthy Scottish financier set up a drugs deal with the IRA? Jeopardise his career, endanger his family and lover by tangling with the East End underworld and a ruthless mercenary? The motive is simple: revenge for a cold-blooded act of murder.

His adversary is a dangerous gangland boss whose connections stretch from the Highlands to London and beyond. More than
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1987)
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I have to agree with some of the other reviewers. The book has an interesting premise: a relatively average Joe seeks revenge on a group of people responsible for his father's suicide (the book's formal description is very screwy.)

This was Leather's first book and he notes that, much like some of Deighton's books, the narrator is never named. His access to the nether world is somewhat satisfactorily explained and there is the stereotypical love for the beautiful and tender call girl. There is t
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Michael by: Brad
Shelves: noir, crime, mystery, 1980s
While I did enjoy Stephen Leather’s very English noir style, I think the whole time building up to the climax was drowned out by the very quick out come at the end. He spend a lot of effort planning and getting all the details right for revenge when it all started to fall into place it was all over. This is my second Leather book and I did enjoy his style and it hasn’t put me off reading more of his book, I just won’t be recommending this book as a starting point for this author.
At only 240 pages this is and extremely well written short read. It soon gets you so involved that you cannot put the book down.

An excellent blend of well developed characters mingled with a wonderful plot.
Andy Wyatt
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i though this was a great listen (audiobook)
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great plot. Thoroughly enjoyed reading about finance and about how the City works. I liked it's size - not too long like most books today.
A slow but steady start that kicks off nicely in the second half. I really enjoyed it.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read_2011
Leathers’ ‘Pay Off’ is distinctly noir while not necessarily subscribing to a particular sub genre; the core elements are ever present. The unnamed protagonist, a Scottish financer, sets off a chain of events which, unbeknownst to him, will leave him bathed in blood over glory. ‘Pay Off’ consists of a tightly woven plot where the reader isn’t initially introduced to the reasoning behind the need for revenge, rather, the recruitment of key players who take part in the action. I enjoyed all aspect ...more
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if this is Leather's first ever book, but it's definitely an old one, and that's not a bad thing at all. I really enjoyed this and don't feel that the 2nd part was really too rushed like some other reviewers. I'm not sure if this was really noir and there were even a few parts which had me chuckling. Good characterisation and a a decent story made this an enjoyable read (listen).

As always, Thornley was exceptionally good as the narrator.
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sardonic, terse prose keeps the action moving. The Author knows how to keep interest from flagging.
The plot line is believable though it does stretch at times. He deals with revenge and its aftermath and a bunch of characters with flawed personalities, including the hero.
David Highton
Not surprised this is a first novel - reasonable plot but not the best execution - and the high class prostitute with a heart of gold stretches credibility
Wan Ni
Promising setup and beginning, but part 2 of the book just felt like a rush job written by someone else. A waste, sadly. A very straightforward revenge gone awry plot.
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Stephen Leather was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also written for television shows such as London's Burning, The Knock and the BBC's Murder in Mind series. For much of 2011 his self-published eBooks - including The Bestsell ...more
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