The Professionals (Stevens and Windermere Series #1)

The Professionals (Stevens and Windermere Series #1)

3.8 17
by Owen Laukkanen
     
 

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Four friends, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it’s no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise works like a charm—until they kidnap the wrong man.

Now two groups are after them—the law, in the form of veteran state investigator Kirk Stevens and hotshot young FBI agent Carla

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Overview

Four friends, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it’s no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise works like a charm—until they kidnap the wrong man.

Now two groups are after them—the law, in the form of veteran state investigator Kirk Stevens and hotshot young FBI agent Carla Windermere, and an organized crime outfit looking for payback. As they crisscross the country in a series of increasingly explosive confrontations, each of them is ultimately forced to recognize the truth: The real professionals, cop or criminal, are those who are willing to sacrifice everything.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Really terrific—characters that live and breathe, and chills aplenty.”—Lee Child

“Fasten your seat belts, Owen Laukkanen’s The Professionals is one heck of a wild ride.”—John Lescroart

“Ingenious.”—Jonathan Kellerman

“Smoothly written, with a slam-bang ending.”—John Sandford

“A coiling plot, insightful characters, and a tale fraught with dangers…top-notch.”—Steve Berry

“A high-octane, adrenaline- and gunpowder-fueled rocket ride.”—C. J. Box

Publishers Weekly
Laukkanen’s clever debut, the first in a new crime thriller series, compares favorably to Scott Smith’s classic caper novel, A Simple Plan. Four college friends, who possess varying skills but are unable to find work in today’s grim job market, decide to make money by kidnapping bankers and other extremely wealthy men around the U.S. The gang stays below law enforcement’s radar by demanding ransoms so modest that the unharmed victims are inclined not to report their abduction. The group’s luck runs out on a Michigan job when their target turns out to be connected to the Mafia, a mistake that starts an avalanche of violence. Their crime spree leads to the involvement of FBI agent Carla Windermere and Minnesota state investigator Kirk Stevens, who race the mob to catch the kidnappers. A few developments strain credulity, but the story’s breakneck pace will carry most readers along. Author tour. Agent: Stacia Decker, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Four friends, recent graduates from the University of Washington, are caught in a terrible job market. One of them jokes that they should go into kidnapping, and soon they develop a scheme to kidnap wealthy businessmen for relatively small ransoms ($60,000 to $100,000) so that the victims can be convinced not to report their kidnapping to the police. Their plan succeeds for two years until the friends kidnap the wrong man; his wife happens to be connected to the mob. Soon hot on their tails are not only the mob but also Minneapolis police investigator Kirk Stevens and FBI agent Carla Windermere. VERDICT This well-written debut crime novel features a chillingly postmodern amorality and well-developed protagonists on both sides of the law who will have readers rooting for them. Thriller fans will be chomping at the bit for the next Stevens and Windermere novel in the planned series.—Vicki L. Gregory, Univ. of South Florida Sch. of Information, Tampa
Kirkus Reviews
A fast-moving debut thriller with enough twists to fill a pretzel bag. They aren't bad people. It's just that times are tough in Michigan, and none of these young friends can find a decent job. So Pender, Sawyer, Mouse and Marie decide that kidnapping a few rich people for quick, modest ransoms would solve their financial woes and let them live out their lives on a beach in the Maldives. No one gets hurt, no one gets greedy and they all stay professional. They just need to grab some rich businessmen, make a few quiet deals and walk away with a $60,000 payoff each time. One victim even complains he's worth way more, but $60K is enough for them. The plan works beautifully until they mess with the wrong guy and their great retirement plan goes insanely haywire. Meanwhile, state cop Kirk Stevens and FBI agent Carla Windermere team up to investigate the crimes. The characters are as much fun as the plot. Stevens is happily married and faithful, and Windermere has a beau, yet when they work together the sexual tension between them is obvious. They are the real pros in this case as they try to nail the criminals and stop the mayhem that spirals out of control. And for all the danger, Stevens and Windermere tell each other they're having so much fun they wish the case would go on forever. The kidnappers, however, enjoy themselves somewhat less while they learn that some things may be more important than money--like staying alive, for example. Let's hope Laukkanen writes more thrillers like this one.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425250495
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Series:
Stevens and Windermere Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
167,320
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 4.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Really terrific—characters that live and breathe, and chills aplenty.”—Lee Child “Fasten your seat belts, Owen Laukkanen’s The Professionals is one heck of a wild ride.”—John Lescroart

“Ingenious.”—Jonathan Kellerman

“Smoothly written, with a slam-bang ending.”—John Sandford

“A coiling plot, insightful characters, and a tale fraught with dangers…top-notch.”—Steve Berry

“A high-octane, adrenaline- and gunpowder-fueled rocket ride.”—C. J. Box

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