The Gentle Assassin

Ryan David Jahn

11 September 2014
352 pages


It wasn't every day you had the chance to track down the man who'd killed your mother.

In 1964, Andrew Combs' mother is killed in front of him. His father Harry vanishes soon afterwards. Twenty-six years later Andrew wants revenge. There's only one way he can let go of his past and become the man he wants to be: track down and kill his mother's murderer. His father.

But while Andrew thinks he knows what happened all those years ago, the truth is far darker. For Harry Combs turns out to be a man of many secrets.

As shadowy figures from Harry's past threaten his life, and Andrew inches closer to killing him, the two men find themselves playing a very dangerous game of life and death. And only one of them can survive.

A brilliant thriller with the pace and tension of Mark Billingham and the laconic style of Ramond Chandler.

Gripping . . . Ryan Jahn is staking a permanent place at the high table of poetically brutal hard-boiled crime writing.
My first taste of this author's work, and I doubt very much that it will be my last . . . It is violent and it pulls no punches, but it is also powerful and compassionate. Ryan David Jahn writes with a brutality that can be quite unsettling at times, but the authenticity of his words, and his expert dissection of the human psyche is excellently done . . . I enjoyed The Gentle Assassin very much.
I found this an unusual story because while it is one of a broken family trying to address their history it is also packed with action and emotion . . . The first Jahn I have read and hopefully it won't be the last.