The Professionals : Stevens and Windermere

  • by Owen Laukkanen
  • Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
  • Series: Stevens and Windermere
  • 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Four friends, recent college graduates, 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 - quick, efficient, low risk - works like a charm. Until they kidnap the wrong man.
Now two groups they've very much wanted to avoid 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 all crisscross the country in deadly pursuit and a series of increasingly explosive confrontations, each of them is ultimately forced to recognize the truth: The true professionals, cop or criminal, are those who are willing to sacrifice...everything.
A finger-burning page-turner, filled with twists, surprises, and memorably complex characters, The Professionals marks the arrival of a remarkable new writer.


What the Critics Say

“Fasten your seat belts, Owen Laukkanen’s The Professionals is one heck of a wild ride. A first-class thriller by a terrific new voice.” (John Lescroart)
“Really terrific – characters that live and breathe, a just-right story, and chills aplenty. Highly recommended." (Lee Child)
“Smoothly written, with a slam-bang ending, The Professionals is a brutally beautiful piece of work. Owen Laukkanen takes us straight into the hearts of the bad guys, and what we find there is something very complicated and still very bad. The cops are just as complex as the villains, and Laukkanen nicely captures the personal and sexual tension between Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere as they track down the gang: this is a pairing that will wear well.” (John Sandford)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A thrilling new voice in thrillers

For a first novel, this is some book. I found myself saying "Wow" about five times when I finished it. Both the author and the narrator are excellent. The plot involves four liberal arts grads who can't find jobs and decide, on a lark, to kidnap people for ransom. Gutsy plot choice, and there are some implausibilities in it, but both of these guys are so talented that you forgive the left turns. The crew has some early success, but they are tracked down by an FBI-Minnesota State police team, Windermere and Stephens. These two people are beautifully drawn, as is the sexual tension between them. The chase accelerates to the point at which the trap closes on the kids, and the writing gets even better, if that is possible. Mr. Laukkanen knows how to ramp up the pace, and Mr. Balerini gets every note right. The kidnappers travel around the Eastern U.S. in order to evade capture, but the noose keeps tightening, and violence escalates. The end of the book is so exciting that, even though you may be able to guess it, you are still held entranced. A standoff in a cruddy motel room, with hundreds of cops, media everywhere, a hostage, and finally the last man standing. He keeps you guessing until the very last moment, with the final scene on a jet plane. Read this quickly, and let's all hope this author is writing his next book right now.
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- Richard Delman "I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books."


This book started out fine and I was looking to settle into a good thriller but it soon began to deterioate. As the gang began to make mistake after mistake I found myself getting more and more frustrated. It was like watching a slapstick movie. The narrator was very good and made it possible to hear the book through to the end.
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- Sharron

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-29-2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio