The Professionals (Stevens and Windermere Series #1)

The Professionals (Stevens and Windermere Series #1)

by Owen Laukkanen

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The Professionals (Stevens and Windermere Series #1) by Owen Laukkanen

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.

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: 320,705
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 4.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

 After graduation, Owen Laukkanen answered a Craigslist ad—and for the next three years, he was the tournament reporter for a poker website, traveling from the luxurious casinos of Monaco and Macau to the sketchiest card rooms of Atlantic City.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The Professionals 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
wordbyword More than 1 year ago
Slow start. First 30 pages very slow and I had thoughts of putting it down. But then it took off like a rocket. I rooted for the bad guys and I liked the interplay with the male and female cops. The FBI character dialogue was funny at times. Excellent. Buy it. I'll be waiting for his next book.
SteveMacqueen More than 1 year ago
I'm an avid reader who is frequently looking for a young new author to add to my favorites such as Scott Sigler and Joe Hill. When I saw this book at Barnes & Noble I was instant intrigued by its plot summary. I enjoyed the fast pace, the character development and the constant shift of storytelling through three angles of 'professionals.' Because of this I was unable to put this book down. Unfortunately after completing the 370 pages I am left with mixed feelings. I suppose it was caused by a review I read prior to reading the book. The review gave the book 5 stars and the reviewer was pleasantly surprised by the ending. My expectations increased and throughout reading I was constantly wondering how the book would end. Now that it is over, I have to say I am disappointed. I give 90% of the book a 4 out of 5 and the remaining 10% of the book a 2 out of 5.
foothillgal More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books where I found myself rooting for the "bad" guys. Even though the four young adults in this novel were breaking the law by kidnapping people, they did it in such a humane way that it didn't seem like such a horrendous crime. The characters were so richly drawn that I couldn't help but have an affinity for them. Once they went too far and had both law enforcement and the mob after them, I still wanted them to escape because of the rapport I felt for them. This was an excellent first novel and I look forward to reading more by Mr. Laukkanen.
Twink More than 1 year ago
There's been lots of buzz surrounding Owen Laukkanen's debut novel The Professionals, so I was really eager to read it. Oh boy, seriously - run, don't walk to grab your copy - it releases today. Yes, it's that good. Crime, suspense and thriller fans, you're going to love it. (So did Lee Child, John Sandford and more!) A four person kidnap crew has been touring the country, snatching affluent men and holding them for ransom. Why? Well, it's the economy. Their university degrees are practically worthless. What started out as an offhand comment has mushroomed. Now they're working the Pender Method - nothing too big - sixty grand - enough that the family can easily raise the funds and won't call the cops. In and out clean - very professional. A few more and they can retire to somewhere nice and warm. Next stop - Minnesota. Minnesota - where Kirk Stevens has worked for the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) for ten years. "He caught his reflection in the patrol car';s rear window as he waited and he stared at it a moment, a forty-three-year-old career cop with thinning hair and a paunch, his tired eyes betraying a mounting fatigue....Another botched robbery, Stevens thought to himself. Another day in the glamorous life." Just another professional on the job. Until the crew hits the wrong man in Minnesota - a husband with connections to organized crime. And his wife sends in her professionals to track down the crew. Stevens is now on the case and it balloons. Then the FBI sends in Agent Carla Windermere and Stevens is called up to help these professionals. And where things go from there is a non stop, action packed, read 'til your eyeballs hurt ride. (Really, I had the day off, couldn't put it down and finished it by that night) You would never guess that this is a first novel. You'd think that Laukkanen is a professional. The writing is smooth, the dialogue flows so easily and the characters hooked me from the beginning. The plot? Well, the plot is just freakin' fantastic. The kidnappers owned this book, but Laukkanen has plans for another book featuring Stevens and Windermere. I look forward to seeing what he has in store for book two!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, I can't wait to read the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel from this writer & it is wonderful. This a contemporary story relating to the economic impact on young people today in obtaining a job. A group of these graduates concoct a bizarre plan to kidnap wealthy people to extract ransom because of their frustration looking for work. They then plan to make enough money to eventually move to the islands. It is exciting to the inevitable sad ending. I have read this writer's next novel which is even better!! I would certainly recommend this for a book club discussion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is incredibly funny. The plot is good and keeps you on your feet. This story is about a group of college grads who kidnap people to make a living, until they kidnap the wrong man, whose wife has connections to the... I'm not giving it away.
docham More than 1 year ago
I've read Sandford, Child, Burke, etc., and this young fellow is right up there with the pros. Very interesting plot, but the characters pull you in; you're pulling for both the good guys and the bad guys. I read this one at one sitting. I've only done that with three other books.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
The plan of kidnapping that these friends use is pretty genius, which alone is worth reading the book. Laukkanen has a good insight into the criminal mind, but meshes that with the minds of four everyday friends who never wanted to hurt anyone. These four characters are relatable and believable, and although they are the bad guys featured in the story, I still found myself rooting for all of them. I know what they are doing is wrong, that is clear, but the way that they are written it was easy to feel for them and to hope they met their goals as well. The FBI agent and investigator are both endearing as well. Stevens (the investigator) is living the dream now that he is working with the FBI to chase these guys, but it conflicts with his desire to be home with his wife and children. Adding this internal conflict in the story is something that I think other thrillers often miss. Laukkanen was able to provide the time for the reader to get to know each and every character, not easy to do with so many characters. Even the really bad guys, members of the mob, are shown more closely than I’ve read before. Seeing this story from all of the different angles keeps it interesting throughout. Each time I put the book down I kept saying “I want to know what’s going to happen next” and quickly returned to the story. Whatever Laukkanen writes next, I’ll be reading it. Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was overall unimpressed. Writing itself was descriptive enough but the plot lacked believability and originality. Charcter arcs did not line up and often betrayed even their simplictic origins. This book was a waste of approximately five hours of my life.
WaukeshaPhoenix More than 1 year ago
This book was simply simple. The only reason I read it to the end was out of curiosity to see if it could be consistently amateurish to the very end. It was. The plot line begins well then moves to incredible (meant in the worst way) and then finally get to preposterous. This accompanied by the straight line unimaginative writing of Mr. Laukkanen makes this book a ONE STAR. It reminds me of the review once given by Frasier in the comedic series of the same name "This book can stand next to any other book on you shelf". And that is all it will do for you unless you need a literary laugh..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is a lot of hype about this book, but it does not live up to the publicity.