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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.

Critic Reviews

"[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 Ratings


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  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 08-02-14

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?:
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.

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Daniel
  • Arlington, TX, United States
  • 11-15-06

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

  • Overall

great book

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cathleen
  • upper darby, PA, United States
  • 05-31-06

A Dynamic Duo

Finder writes the plot,and Brick interprets it. I just go along for the rollercoaster experience, only to find myself barely able to hold on , but unable and unwilling to get off. The giddy sensation of surviving the experience actually makes me smile...hope it does for you, too!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


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

  • Overall

Killer Instinct

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • S
  • new york, NY, United States
  • 11-28-10

Pretty good!

A different kind of suspense/thriller. Part "single white female" with "The firm" mixed in. The characters were really interesting and the plot was well paced. Definitely recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Alex
  • Laguna Beach, CA, USA
  • 05-29-08

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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  • Creeda
  • 03-13-17

Quite thrilling - although the hero is a wimp!

If you could sum up Killer Instinct in three words, what would they be?

Exciting, frightening, gripping

What other book might you compare Killer Instinct to, and why?

Company man by the same author

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

Excellent performance in every way

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really - don't like to reach the end of a good book

Any additional comments?

The wife seems to be an absolute pain in the neck- first she keeps pushing her husband to make lots of money, while making no money herself, and then claims money is of no importance to her (once he has achieved a high position and salary). There's a rather rude word to describe people like her, but I pretend to be well brought up!!