Killer Instinct

  • by Joseph Finder
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jason Steadman is a 30-year-old sales executive living in Boston and working for an electronics giant, a competitor to Sony and Panasonic. He's a witty, charismatic guy who's well liked at the office, but he lacks the "killer instinct" necessary to move up the corporate ladder. To the chagrin of his ambitious wife, it looks as if his career has hit a ceiling. Jason's been sidelined.But all that will change one evening when Jason meets Kurt Semko, a former Special Forces officer just back from Iraq. Looking for a decent pitcher for the company softball team, Jason gets Kurt, who was once drafted by the majors, a job in Corporate Security. Soon, good things start to happen for Jason, and bad things start to happen to Jason's rivals. His career suddenly takes off. He's an overnight success. Only too late does Jason discover that his friend Kurt has been secretly paving his path to the top by the most "efficient", and ruthless, means available. After all, as Kurt says, "Business is war, right?"
But when Jason tries to put a stop to it, he finds that his new best friend has become the most dangerous enemy imaginable. And now it's far more than just his career that lies in the balance. A riveting tale of ambition, intrigue, and the price of success, Killer Instinct is Joseph Finder at his best.

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What the Critics Say

"[A] masterful business thriller....Readers who enjoy movies where you have to fight the urge to shout 'Stop! Don't open that door!' will love this one." (Publishers Weekly)
"Steadman's 10-month ride from complacency to terror is filled with...thrills and chills." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mediocre at best

I love mystery and suspense novels as much as the next person, but found nothing endearing about the book. Every character and relationship was an absolute steriotype. The sports-driven salesman married to a formerly-wealthy indy-film-watching abstract-art-dealing wife was enough to make me roll my eyes. Worse was the ridiculously obvious plot that a four-year-old could have written, and dull, predictable ending. Nothing in this book was surprising or suspenseful, and I'm sorry to have wasted my time.
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- Emma

Well done characters and story.

Behind the scenes in the corporate world using war tactics.

Not many stories are set within corporations. The author makes it interesting. His research is talking to corporate guys.

The first half of the book was fascinating. Jason is a salesman of plasma tv screens. He sells to corporations like auto dealers (for their waiting rooms) and airports. Jason meets Kurt. They become friends. Kurt was in the army. Kurt talks about war, the enemy, getting intel. And then Kurt helps Jason by getting intel on Jason’s buyers and competitors. Kurt has no “off” button when it comes to evesdropping, spying, getting info, destroying property, and killing people. This is war -- to get ahead in the corporation.

But the last third of the book was kind of a downer for me. It was scary with a helpless victim feel.

I don’t like 1st person narrative books - which this was. I wish the author would use more 3rd person.

Something I wanted to know before I read the book - Is it a happy ending?:
CAUTION SPOILER:
I “require” happy endings. I don’t want the guys I root for to go to jail or get killed. And the ending was good for me.
END SPOILER.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Scott Brick is not a favorite of mine. He is sometimes too sarcastic, condescending, and smart-alecky. But in this book he was very good.

Genre: suspense.
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- Jane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-10-2006
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio