Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series, #1)

Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series, #1)

by Martyn V. Halm

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Assassin Katla breaks her own rules when confronted with an unusual witness...

Blessed with an almost non-existent conscience, freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes, expert in disguising homicide, regards murder for profit as an intricate and rewarding occupation. Her solitary existence seems more than satisfactory until a blind musician wanders in on her crime scene.
Katla only kills for profit or to protect her anonymity, and Bram Merleyn seems harmless and unable to identify her. By sparing his life, she breaks one of her most important rules—never leave a living witness. A decision Katla might not survive to regret...

Reprobate is the first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.

With authentic details and brisk action against the backdrop of the notorious Dutch capital, featuring a devious heroine and a supporting cast of singular characters, Reprobate gives a rare glimpse into local Dutch culture, the narcotics trade, computer hacking, motorcycle gangs, mehndi bridal tattoos, martial arts, the psychology of social engineering, and the brutal efficacy of disciplined violence.

This e-book features a glossary.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016144023
Publisher: Pushdagger Publishing Limited
Publication date: 09/01/2012
Series: Amsterdam Assassin Series , #1
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 904,275
File size: 937 KB

About the Author

Martyn V. Halm lives in Amsterdam with his wife Maaike, two children, two cats, and countless imaginary characters vying for attention.


Writing realistic crime fiction is hard work, especially when you're a stickler for verisimilitude. When your protagonist is a seasoned killer, research can take you right up to Nietzsche’s abyss. Luckily, things get easier after the first few killings...

Apart from being an accomplished prevaricator, Martyn already possessed an eclectic variety of skills that qualified him to write the Amsterdam Assassin Series. Skills he shares with his deadly fictional characters...

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Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series, #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
MA_Carson More than 1 year ago
Looking through eyes that cannot see, in a land I’ve never been. Reprobate is the first in the Amsterdam Assassin Series and follows master assassin Katla Sieltjes, an expert at making murder look like an accident. She is tough, intelligent, and not one to cross when swords are nearby. She is one of several three-dimensional characters that you follow in the book, and each one is set apart with vivid description and crisp dialogue. I’ve never read a story that features a blind main character, but the writing put me in his shoes. I also haven’t been outside the country, but the imagery, language, and locations made me feel like I was touring Amsterdam. That’s the best part of Reprobate: the attention to detail. Whether it’s an assassin preparing for her next kill, or the DEA agents investigating the remains of her last, both sides are well-written and believable. Violent when it needs to be. Sexy when the time is right. Am I happy I read this book? Happy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Katla is a professional killer. She is good at what she does, and her reputation for not leaving loose ends (especially living witnesses) recommends her highly to her clients. She is a classic sociopath in so far that she feels no remorse, shame or guilt towards her victims, and she is able to keep her business completely separated from her personal life. That is, until the day one of her contracts is interrupted by the intrusion of a blind man. Knowing that he could never formally identify her, Katla breaks her fundamental rule, and allows him to live. Will this prove to be a mistake? Will the exception to her rule turn out to be her undoing? Or will the blind man have a more profound effect on her life? Reprobate: A Katla Novel by Martyn V Halm is the first in the Amsterdam Assassin series. Set mostly in and around Amsterdam, Halm portrays a dark world that no tourist would ever want to see. A world where corruption and ambition spread into the upper ranks of the law enforcement agencies, where drug cartels ruthlessly plot to protect their turf, and the authorities are patently incapable of protecting anyone, however innocent or guilty they might be. With a tremendous eye for detail, Halm leads us through this world, where nothing is quite as it seems, and no one can be completely trusted. And at the centre of it all, the unfathomable but ultimately fascinating character of Katla: one moment charming, the next moment ruthless; a mistress of disguise, diversion and misdirection; an expert in the art of killing. I wish I’d found the glossary of Dutch, German and Japanese terms before I’d finished the book, but I can’t wait to read the next in the series!
ElaineWhite More than 1 year ago
Author – Martyn V. Halm Star rating – ¿¿¿¿¿ Plot – very well thought out and put together Characters – intriguing, relatable, likeable Movie Potential – ¿¿¿¿¿ Ease of reading – really easy to read Cover – ¿ Suitable Title – ¿ Would I read it again – Yes. ** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW ** I really enjoyed this story. But let me start off by pointing out the one or two things that didn’t work for me. They are all because of personal preference. First off, we deal with the FBI, DEA, a hired killer and some experts in this book, so a lot of the ‘official’ stuff goes over my head. For example, the DEA/FBI talk, the martial arts moves and the technical terms are just pretty words to me, so I had to let my imagination do the rest – not really a problem, but something I thought I should point out. Also, I’m not a big fan of having accents written out. I had to read a few bits of dialogue over twice to figure out the real meaning. Saying that, the rest is all good. The story started with a fast, great hook that kept me interested. I loved how we were left in limbo at points of the story to jump from Katla’s perspective to Deborah or Simon’s. I love when we’re left on a cliffhanger waiting to find out what’s going to happen to our favourite characters while we see what’s going on elsewhere. I think the use of the FBI and DEA was a genius touch. It gave me – the reader – the feeling of being ‘in’ on the secret of what had really happened and waiting to see if the FBI or DEA would cotton on or not, and how. It did take me a little while to get into the book, but that’s just because of the genius of the author’s writing. I loved Katla from the minute I read ‘Fundamental Error’, before jumping into this novel and by the time we moved on from her story I only loved her all the more. Especially when Bram came into the story. He was a class act of a character. He lightened the mood quite a bit, while providing a realistic reaction to Katla’s chosen career and personality. I loved that he got to know her for who she was before he knew anything about her job. I also have to admit that I really liked the little characters: Painless Paul and his grandson, James Creoux, Zeph, Kourou and the Japanese staff. They were all nice touches to an already well written and intriguing story. I liked that we got to know a little about Bram before we ‘officially’ met him as well. I will admit, however, that when we first met him I got him mixed-up with the elderly man walking his dog outside the store and spent two chapters thinking he was old. Way too old for the way Katla started thinking about him. ;) But, I will blame that on not feeling well and trying to devour the story too quickly. Having absolutely no experience of Amsterdam at all, I enjoyed getting really vivid descriptions of locations throughout the story. It wasn’t overly done or done too often and it let me really set the scene for the characters. I also love the little bit at the back of the book, letting us know what locations are pure imagination, like the amazing Roustabout. I’m a big fan of Jazz, so I was really pleased to have little touches of it creeping into the story every now and then. I like to think that me and Bram would get on really well. I also happen to have a really morbid fascination with murder, crime, crime scenes and forensics so I would have no problem chatting to Katla either. Overall, I loved the focus on Katla and Bram, even when they weren’t directly in the scenes and I thought the gradual development and conclusion of the plot was perfect. It made it more realistic than having everything happen within hours or days when we all know that real life is never that accommodating, especially when it comes to crime scene investigations. I’m rating this story a 4 instead of a 5 for two reasons: 1) the technical jargon going way over my head and 2) the ending. I think it maybe ended a little abruptly, but I’m undecided of whether this is a good or a bad thing. At the moment it’s a bad thing, because I can’t go straight into the next book, which I think is the point of the cut off. However, I will definitely be reading the rest of the series soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I keep coming back for more. Halm keeps the reader aware of that different world we seek, the one in which Katla lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gypjet More than 1 year ago
This book surprised me. I actually accidentally signed up to read it for free for an honest review, because the idea of reading about a female assassin heroine was not something that interested me. I like my good guys to be good and I have never been the fan of the anti-hero. Yet, I found myself really liking Katla. Is she ruthless? Yes. Does she kill without remorse? Yes. But the character is so well drawn that you still like her and want her to succeed.  I have always liked stories that are more character driven then plot driven, so this book fits my reading style. The plot is simple, we have an assassin for hire, that does a job for some screwed up people that try to set her up to be caught. It has a romance and a pet parrot (I could just read about him; he was so cute!).  Pros: Katla is well-written and well rounded. She is a perfectionist and pure professional at her job. She has an understated, yet forceful character. She is perfectly confident in her abilities and everything she does is thought out and analyzed. Her romance with Bram, the blind man adds depth to her character and warmth as you realize she is not without feeling or compassion for her fellow man. She keeps herself compartmentalized. She only kills when she has a contract and too protect herself, period. A code of sorts, but without any pesky morality about why or who she takes a contract on keeps the character true to herself, a reprobate. I also liked Bram in the sense of having a blind boyfriend who can add texture to her planning with his knowledge of the other senses. The cast of quirky characters was also interesting. I did like seeing the other two sides of the story from the cop angle, to the bad guys angle as well as Katla's. Cons: There are a few cons. I get the idea that Bram struggled with his conscious a little when he found out what Katla really did for a living. I just don't think he would have been so accepting so fast, but maybe more about his past will come out in the next books. Some of the scenes with the cops and all the acronym agencies got confusing and I couldn't figure out who was who. I did want to know more about Deborah, but you get the feeling she's being introduced to take part in later adventures. I wanted to know more about Katla's back story, but the pace was fine for a series, and I can wait. Overall, this was a great story and it definitely had the feel of a mainstream novel. I would find it easy to believe if the author gets an offer from a mainstream publisher if he put it out there. It was really well written and interesting. I was never bored, and I couldn't wait to find out how Katla took care of her problems. Which, by the way she did very cleverly!
PatriciaReding More than 1 year ago
I was provided a copy of REPROBATE through Goodreads' Read It & Reap program in exchange for my fair and honest review. I really wanted not to like Katla.  I really wanted to think that a story about an assassin, entirely amoral—yes, a reprobate in the truest sense of the word—would be so disquieting that it would leave me wanting no more.  Instead, I found that Katla was likeable—not lovable—but, likeable and that though she lived by no code that would be readily recognized by most, she was able to—and indeed did—have her own vulnerabilities and feelings for others that helped to make her “human.”  As I made my way through, I realized that not only was I enjoying Katla’s story, but that I would be interested in following Katla further. The characters were well drawn and believable.  Katla/Loki acted with precision.  If great research had not been done into making her actions believable, it certainly appeared that it had been!  Bram was a believable blind man and had the heart of a musician.  The Rastafarian was a simple hearted assistant; Coen a good hearted friend, Focke, a chain-smoking surprise.  The FBI, DEA and other government agents pursued their quarry while we saw glimpses into the politics behind the goings-on of law enforcement.  All that said, perhaps my favorite character was Katla’s macaw, Kourou.  The pet added realism to the story.  Able to bark like a dog, be angry when left for long periods, greet people with the simple query “happy?” and skate his way though Katla’s apartment, Kourou was a unique, fun and well developed character in his own right  Perhaps the most difficult part of REPROBATE was that the story was located in Amsterdam, where street names and the like are difficult for an American English-speaker to identify.  Even so, they added to the foreign feeling of the story and took nothing away from the enjoyment of it.  KATLA was the kind of story I would expect a traditional publishing company to jump at.  Perhaps such will be in Halm’s future.