The Gray Man by Mark Greaney is a book that really left an impression on me as an absolutely brilliant first book in a series. In a similar vein to The Terminal List by Jack Carr, I was blown away by how much action and drama Mark Greaney was willing to put into this first novel.
The Gray Man is a myth, just a legend. He’s an assassin in the dark who people have heard of doing these incredible things but no one believes they’ve seen. Court Gentry is The Gray May and there are few more dangerous than him, but he may well have finally met his match.
Plot – 4.5/5
The Gray Man sees Court Gentry face a French organisation that want Gentry dead after a very wealthy Nigerian man calls for Gentry’s§ murder after he killed his brother. In their attempt to kill him, they attempt to lure him to the home of his handler Sr Donald Fitzroy by kidnapping Fitzroy’s family, causing Fitzroy to call in Gentry’s help.
The plot was intense. There’s a lot of really cool and impressive action scenes and moments where you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat. You’ll find yourself really rooting for Gentry and often find yourself very satisfied with how different scenes play out. There’s some good plot writing here with moments that keep you entangled right up until the end.
Characters – 4.5/5
I loved Court Gentry in The Gray Man. Mark Greaney has created a character that everybody will think is a real badass. He’s a man who is clearly feared by many and throughout this book shows you why. However, he’s also a man that begins to realise that the reputation he’s grown over the years may not be the one he wants for the rest of his life.
Without making him the funniest or the warmest, Greaney cleverly has you rooting for Gentry and his supporting cast. He makes him feel just warm enough and empathetic enough that the relentless killing he does all seems justifiable.
There a couple of villains within this book and Greaney pulls off the impressive feat of making you understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. With any well-written “baddies” you can’t help but think “yeah, fair enough.” But they do small things that remind you why they’re the bad guy.
The Gray Man summary – 5/5
I was wholly impressed by this novel by Mark Greaney. The Gray Man features a compelling protagonist and hateful antagonist. It features some of the best action scenes and some of the highest level of badassery I’ve read in a book. If you don’t come out of this book wanting to read the sequel then I’m afraid we can’t be friends.
You’ll be pleased to know (if you do end up being a fan of this book) Amazon is making a series featuring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling as Court Gentry and one of the main villains. If you love this book and are keen to find more, it’s definitely worth checking out my other Thriller books reviews.