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The Cleaner Audiobook

The Cleaner: John Milton, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Meet John Milton. He considers himself an artisan. A craftsman. His trade is murder. Milton is the man the government sends after you when everything else has failed. Ruthless. Brilliant. Anonymous. Lethal. You wouldn't pick him out of a crowd but you wouldn't want to be on his list.

But now, after 10 years, he's had enough - there's blood on his hands and he wants out. Trouble is, this job is not one you can just walk away from. He goes on the run, seeking atonement for his sins by helping the people he meets along the way.

But his past cannot be easily forgotten, and before long it is Milton who is hunted, and not the hunter. The Cleaner. A career of state-sanctioned murder has taken its toll. Milton is troubled by nightmares, a long line of ghosts who torment his dreams. He resolves to make his next job his last and, then, perhaps, he can start to make amends for everything that he has done.

Sharon Warriner is a single mother in the East End of London, suicidal with fear that she's lost her young son to a life in the gangs. After Milton saves her life, he promises to help. But the gang, and the charismatic rapper who leads it, is not about to cooperate with him.

As London burns through summer riots, Milton finds himself in unfamiliar territory, dealing with an unfamiliar foe. And when his employer sends another agent after him, the odds against him are stacked even higher.

©2013 Mark Dawson (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (588 )
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3.7 (535 )
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4.1 (534 )
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Julius 09-28-15
    Julius 09-28-15

    A straight-tailed slick-Hog knuckle dragging mouth breather; and proud of it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    "High hopes but... I 'm disappointed"

    I hoped for a British Jonathan Quinn or maybe a little Victor the assassin. What I got was a lot of London teens from "the wrong side of the tracks" getting involved in crime with a little bit of "spy" on the DL thrown in for flavor. Very disappointing.
    **Note: I didn't care for the narrator. I normally just deal with what I consider "intrusive narration," but I found Mr. Thorpe's performance too distracting. This is my first book of his, but in this case I didn't care his work. I might sample another in the future**
    Overall I really wanted to like this book, but there is just too much "operative with a heart of gold" sitting on the side lines and not enough suspense / substance.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Goodwin 07-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    33
    11
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    0
    0
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    "left questions"

    I went back over several times to see what happened to the boy. never found an answer. That's disappointing!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norma Miles 04-30-15
    Norma Miles 04-30-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
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    35
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    "Meet John Milton"

    Meet John Milton, once a soldier, then for many years, a government assassin. But John is tired. Plagued by painful memories and fighting alcohol dependency, he wants out and a quiet, normal life. He isn't going to get it.
    In Milton, Mark Dawson has created a charismatic but troubled man trying to run away from a relentless past which will not let him go. And neither will his erstwhile employers. The book is exciting, well crafted and both the characters and places are fully developed with a light touch. I have to confess, I am a fan of this author, from his betrayed heroine of the Beatrix Rose series to the escalating drug chaos of the young lawyer in Subpoena Colada but , for me, Milton is his best creation yet.

    A book can be made or destroyed by it's narration and, because I had previously read the book, there was also the fear that the pictures in my head would not fit with those offered to me by the reader. But no problem here. David Thorpe narrates clearly with an even pace. But he really excels when putting voices to the characters in conversation. Excellent.

    I have no hesitation in recommending this audio book and I am most grateful to the author for gifting it to me in return for an honest review.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brent 04-22-15
    brent 04-22-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    36
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good listen"

    I wish the author would slowed down a little more in the beginning of th book. Other than that, it was an entertaining book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taniqua Detroit, MI, United States 05-04-15
    Taniqua Detroit, MI, United States 05-04-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    79
    10
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    "No Jack Reacher...."

    This book was touted as the next Jack Reacher in a review. While there are similarities, the story wasn't compelling. I probably won't continue this series.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sq 06-03-16
    sq 06-03-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
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    226
    42
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    "Not a book about an assassin but a book about a kid joining a gang"

    This was a disappointment. I expected a book about an assassin. Instead if was about a kid and the gang he hung with. The so called assassin is a washed up alcoholic who quits the secret service. He moves to the bad side of town and tries to help the boy. For a guy that has killed 136 people, john Milton the assassin is woefully inept. This supposed super assassin has a hard time taking out a street gang lord and two of his cronies. The assassin who's supposed to kill the main character is also inept. He has the guy in his sights. Instead of pulling the trigger, he listens to the guy talk then is distracted and loses the upper hand...

    This book is obviously written by someone who has very little knowledge of the trade. It was tedious. I listened to it at double speed just to get to the uninspired ending.

    Try the john rain series or the victor the assassin series instead. They are much better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arlen Placentia, CA, United States 01-29-16
    Arlen Placentia, CA, United States 01-29-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    0
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    "BORING"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Have Dick Hill read it. David Thorpe is horrible - I want my money back, it was that bad.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Dawson again?

    Not if it is read by David Thorpe.


    What didn’t you like about David Thorpe’s performance?

    Absolutely nothing. He needs to find a new line of work.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story could have been a good one except it went off the rails because the author mixed in too many traits that just don't happen in life with a character like John Milton. He made Milton go from a potential great good guy to an average dope that makes bad decisions.


    Any additional comments?

    The author could be on to something with his new character John Milton but if he ever hopes to compete for reader affection like we have for someone like Jack Reacher or Mitch Rapp, he needs to give John more backbone, more cunning, more committed to stopping evil. This first book just made John too passive even though he did accomplish a few necessary tasks, if you get my drift.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Lake Forest, Illinois 11-27-16
    Matthew Lake Forest, Illinois 11-27-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
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    Story
    "The best narration I've ever heard"

    That's not an exaggeration. The narrator is so talented you feel like you're watching the action like a movie. His accents are incredible, and he performs each character uniquely. I felt like several different people were performing. He even does the sound of machine gun fire. The story is really great but the narration is truly fantastic. Best I've ever heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew.quada 09-13-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    10
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    "A little slow to get the stew prepared, but..."

    I found the story to be exciting but it took a little while to get warmed up before the action kicked in. Overall, this story took somewhat predictable turns but ended up rounding out to a solid finish. This was a good introductory novel to a series with a lot of promise. Looking forward to book number 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail 08-20-16
    Gail 08-20-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    26
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    "Hard to listen to and I had to force myself to fin"
    What disappointed you about The Cleaner?

    The entire story line. No excitement and it was depressing and dark


    What could Mark Dawson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Don't know. It was just not up to my expectations.


    What didn’t you like about David Thorpe’s performance?

    British accent, and hard to listen to.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment in that I wasted a credit.


    Any additional comments?

    I would not recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • James
    Dog Lane, Kelsall, United Kingdom
    10/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, can't wait for number 2"
    If you could sum up The Cleaner in three words, what would they be?

    awesome, realistic, gripping


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    milton


    What does David Thorpe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    just great, never listened to any book read by him before


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    gripping & compelling


    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Yellow bookworm
    6/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mark Dawson cleans up with first John Milton novel"

    Mark Dawson's John Milton is an intriguing and captivating character, an assasin who has developed a conscience. I love tough guys and black ops units and this novel has the best. It is well-written, pacy and unexpected and also read beautifully. I thoroughly recommend it.

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • anne
    Bedford, United Kingdom
    9/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More the story of young black men in London"

    I expected this to be more of a thriller and was disappointed to find it was mainly about young black men and boxing. I found the main character to be one dimensional and boring. Not an enjoyable listen for me. I shan't be buying any more in this series.

    23 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Jason
    8/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fantastic!"

    well worth listening too, narrator was good, kept me on the edge of my seat! looking forward to the second book.

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. P. S. Davies
    Sussex,UK
    8/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I expected"

    Not sure what I was looking for but well told. This was more a story of East London gangs than that of a contract killer.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Reido
    UK
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read fast pace"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Cleaner to be better than the print version?

    Great narration would recommend


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Milton is an intriguing character, strong resourceful and caring.


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

    John Milton is a down to earth character, torn by legacy, personal strengths and weaknesses.


    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Wras
    Kildonan
    3/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First and last for me"

    This is a book so full of cliches that it erodes what could have been a very good story into a parody of itself, the settings are good and contemporary but the premises and motivations of the characters are so rudimentary and repetitive you can predict the consequences of every accion.

    You have the killer with a heart on his sleeve, the boxing trainer trying to save good boys gone bad, the bad boys lost without fault of their own, the bad guy that wants to be good, and the real bad guy that needs to be killed.

    This is a world where all good intentions go wrong and only violence can cleanse the blood with more blood, morals are primitive and reptilian in nature for the good and the bad, there are no shades of morality just wrong and right killing sanctioned and unsanctioned.

    The main character wants to be good but after killing 160 plus people he has no idea what that is.

    The potential was there but the simplistic morality and the obvious predictable plot killed the story for me.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • T
    10/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not bad, worth a read/listen"

    A reasonable start to a hopefully good series.

    The characters are well performed and I think the main figure may turn out to be a good chap!

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Sakhile
    10/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "LOVERS OF VICTOR THE ASSASSIN STEER CLEAR!"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Social workers, people working with inner city troubled youth as well as deaf people would enjoy this book more than I did.


    What could Mark Dawson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Mark could have delivered on what he promised. A high octane, car chasing, bullet dodging, explosion surviving lead, in compelling situations.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Thorpe’s performances?

    Yes. his narration was the best thing about the book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom and disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    After having read all the books in the Tom Wood series, I was on the market for a similar feeling series that I could sink my teeth into. Sadly this was definitely NOT it.
    Honestly, only the first 5 minutes of the book were anything close to what I was expecting. The rest was a LONG drawn out snooze-fest about plucking a misguided youth from the horrors of gang life.

    NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!!!

    Don't get this book if you are looking for action, adventure thrills and fun.

    Consider yourself WARNED.

    15 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Mikey
    poole, United Kingdom
    8/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly excellent!"
    Any additional comments?

    After making my way through the Victor the assassin series by Tom Wood, it was pretty hard to imagine a similar assassin hero that could entertain me in the way Victor did. Well, I was surprised to find myself listening to this story any time I could; in the car, cooking, walking on the treadmill at the gym - this book became an addiction. Coming from South London myself, where the story is set, I can honestly say the narrator did a wonderful job with accents and depicting the culture in the rougher areas of the region. It took me back in time a bit which was a a little bonus, but the storyline was fantastic. I really wanted to hear what would happen next, hence the addict-listening. I have warmed to John Milton straight away. He's definitely a character you can learn to love and I cannot wait to move on to book 2 in the series, Saint Death. Look out for my review :)

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful

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