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Killer Instinct | [Joseph Finder]

Killer Instinct

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.
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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.

©2006 Joseph Finder; (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC.

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (731 )
5 star
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3.9 (174 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (174 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Emma Potomac, MD, United States 06-08-06
    Emma Potomac, MD, United States 06-08-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Arlington, TX, United States 11-15-06
    Daniel Arlington, TX, United States 11-15-06 Member Since 2005

    Hopelessly addicted to Audio Books! I started listening as a distraction to the aggravation of driving, now I listen all the time :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    178
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    "One of my favorites in a while"

    While a little far fetched at times, the story is great!

    The character is likeable and I got seriously entwined with his plight throughout the story - definitely a potential recurring character.

    You may be put off if you can't bring yourself to believe some of the far fetched coorporate espionage antics, but in the end, it's all well worth it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loy Benbrook, TX, United States 08-06-06
    Loy Benbrook, TX, United States 08-06-06 Member Since 2006

    Born to read

    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
    ratings
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    384
    116
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    Overall
    "great book"

    great book, kept me listening all day. I like all of Finders books.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Beck Chester, MA 07-31-08
    Paula Beck Chester, MA 07-31-08 Member Since 2002

    baybay2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    284
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    "Dilbert-Like"

    I really enjoyed this. Joseph Finder does his homework, and sometimes you get the eerie feeling that he's been in your workplace, similar to the feeling you get reading a Dilbert comic!

    Look forward to many more of Finder's works.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-11-06
    08-11-06 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Killer Instinct"

    A "page-turner" . Very good story, well told.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Van Nuys, CA, United States 05-29-06
    Steve Van Nuys, CA, United States 05-29-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "DISAPPOINTING"

    First I will say that I loved Joseph Finder's first book "Paranoia." It was one of my favorite audiobooks. I liked "Company Man." It was interesting but not as much fun, nor as fast moving as Paranoia.

    This third book was just passable. I was never bored, but never really involved, either. And I often felt the lead character was too slow on the uptake.

    Overall, I was disappointed, and do not recommend the book. (Though it's not terrible.)

    By the way, I'm listening to "The Faithful Spy" right now, and it's fantastic.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 08-02-14
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 08-02-14 Member Since 2010
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    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 11-18-12
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 11-18-12 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great thriller!"
    What did you love best about Killer Instinct?

    the way it kept my interest every minute.


    What did you like best about this story?

    that good guys don't always finish last.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    he does a great job in all his readings! top notch reader!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    tension. especially near the end. finder made sure the last part of the book was good and tense.


    Any additional comments?

    i have found i like finder books and brick reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Tampa, FL, USA 01-27-10
    Douglas Tampa, FL, USA 01-27-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Follow your Instinct..."

    Killer Instinct is another great title by Joseph finder. It follows a lead character who has been getting slightly pushed around until he meets a new friend. Not exactly plausible, this story does a good job at building up the inevitable destruction of a friendship being built on lies and deceit. That being said, it is still a nice ride to watch a young man go from relative obscurity to top of the company. Wouldn't we all like someone working behind the scenes, gathering intelligence and helping us climb the corporate ladder. But once at the top, the person holding the ladder often wants to shake you from it and watch you fall all the way down!!!!! Nice book..unrealistic...but solid

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Laguna Beach, CA, USA 05-29-08
    Alex Laguna Beach, CA, USA 05-29-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Finder story!"

    Typical Finder corporate intrigue plot, except that this time I liked the protagonist. A bit predictable, but still enjoyable. Scott Brick makes his books a good listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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