adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP

Try our newest plan – unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
$7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $11.72

Buy for $11.72

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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.

In this second dip into his case files (see 1000 Yards for a further novella), Milton is sent to Italy to investigate the death of a colleague from Group 15, the secret assassination squad that liquidates those considered to be impediments to the furtherance of British interests. Milton discovers that the agent was involved with the Camorra, the powerful Mafia clan that controls the territory from Naples to the tip of the Italian boot. He identifies the assassin as a man nicknamed Tarantula. Now Tarantula, and his boss, are entries in Milton's ledger. And all debts need to be paid.

©2014 Mark Dawson (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Tarantula

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    206
  • 4 Stars
    116
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    220
  • 4 Stars
    79
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    175
  • 4 Stars
    102
  • 3 Stars
    42
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Attentive

Not bad. Not memorable. Kept reader engaged. Formulaic. Speaker was entertaining. Story was less so. All in all, average story. Worth the free read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great short story

I highly recommend this book, all meat and potatoes it was a great story. David Thorpe does a nice job narrating. Can’t wait for the next book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

John Milton tries to exit British intelligence

John Milton is an assassin with British intelligence Group 15. He has worked there for 10 years and wants to leave. He is not allowed to leave. In this novella Milton is forced to go to Italy to investigate the death of another agent. This is an excellent espionage story. I highly recommend this novella and the 8 novels that follow it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

too easy?

The British secret special operations office decides that the killer of one of their agents must be eliminated. So John Milton is sent to find out who the killer is and dispose of him. He does so brilliantly, while actually accomplishing far more than that one simple operation. That part is interesting. I liked the setup even though I had no idea why he was doing what he was doing until it was done.

It all seemed too easy. I guess when you are him, you know how things work and where to go and whom to speak with. But it's like he was looking for a specific movie, so he read the paper, located the theater, and bought a ticket. I guess when you are an expert killer sent to kill an expert killer, you either do it or you don't, and your story is over. Well he prevailed this time, and went home. A bit pat.

I really enjoyed The Cleaner, and its other prequel, 1000 yards. This is a short story, so it has to wrap up quickly, just not my favorite.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Pop Quiz: what does MC John Milton look like?

What’s Milton’s backstory? What does he feel about his assignment? Personality? Favorite foods? Quirks? Don’t know? Me neither. Admittedly, this was my first introduction to the series. But if you’re going to introduce a Jack Reacher or Bond type lead, I need something more than “he’s a super good killer.”

The story of Milton getting in good with an Italian mafia is told in one note: Milton does this, then the bad guy says that, and so on... with no tension, emotion, or depth. The only colorful part of the story comes with the narrator’s accents and over-acted phrasing. The narrator, however, might as well have read Guns N Cars magazine and the effect would be the same. Want to hear about his rifle? His car? The word aluminum? (which is said a lot with the British pronunciation as “a-lu-mi-NEE-um, egad!)

As my mind faded out in boredom at this flat character and rote story, I looked at the summaries for the first two full length books in this series. Like this book, Milton takes on various mafia, gangs, and cartels. This forecasts the same formula path. I am thankful this novella prequel was free, because listening ensured I will avoid wasting a credit on book 1. For me, the series started and ended here.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What are you doing?

The rifling only goes part way. Really? The speed of the rifling has to do with the weight of the bullet. If the bullet is light, a fast rifling will make the bullet explode, before impact. If the bullet is heavy, a too slow riffling will not make the bullet stabilize. Just ONE shot, come on, always at least two! He's number 8? In book one he was number one. In book one, after he killed the man and women, he didn't kill the child. That's why he decided to leave Group 15. Your next book is less than 6 hours? Come on fellow, give us our moneys worth. I think you need some one that knows firearms and reads your books, before the next one. BTW, I really enjoy the John Milton series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

One more to Die

Good short book. Plenty of action, just ended too soon. Makes you want the next book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JC
  • 08-03-18

Good Short Story

This was a pretty good story! I wish it were longer though. The Dawson and Thorpe wonder team succeeds yet again. I highly recommend to all.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great read and listen..


So, another short story about The Cleaner John Milton. This time he was sent to Italy to find out what happen to Agent Three and take care of business once he did find out, which he did.

I did start reading the book The Cleaner but I felt a little lost so after 6 chapters I quit and went on to other books BUT now think I understand John better and why he wanted to quit The Group. And I get why he feels the need to help people in need instead of just killing people because he was told to. He already had 50 kills so he wanted something more out of his life.

As to the narration: He was great. When the book called for a laugh by Ernesto David Thorpe let loose a nasty, evil laugh. His reading skills are simply wonderful.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It was okay

This book was okay but not my favorite to listen to. It was violent (the series is about an assassin after all) but there was so much narrative rather than conversations between characters that it made it a little boring.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anthony Shapero
  • Anthony Shapero
  • 05-15-17

Too expensive !!

The story was fine and the performance was great but just cost too much for a couple of hour listening....

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MR NEALE McCONNELL
  • MR NEALE McCONNELL
  • 02-14-21

OK but

The short story was fine but I would have been disappointed had I paid full price for it. It was only worth the discounted price.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alec
  • Alec
  • 12-24-19

Good but Short

Mark Dawson is really a master of this area of covert operations. I enjoyed the story but it was rather short and rather expensive for what it was.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MR
  • MR
  • 03-08-19

More like a story for a magazine

The book was too short with very little plot.
Not up to the usual standard of this writer.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Miss S.
  • Miss S.
  • 03-30-20

Enjoyable enough for a short story

Characters are fairly superficial and fairly basic plot but it was ok. Would have preferred more depth to the story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew P Smith
  • Matthew P Smith
  • 03-11-20

riveting! couldn't put this one down

loved this book, I am a mark dawson fan and have read the entire milton collection in print, this is the first of his audiobooks I have listened to and it absolutely does not disappoint

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 01-07-20

Bit short and generic, good for a flight or drive

I'm not exactly sure of the purpose of the 0.5 and 0.6 novels in the series? They are more novela length really.

If you're looking for depth, characterisation, etc. look elsewhere (The Slough House series is good). But if you like a spy/action thriller then these are well put together. and well narrated.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Judy Lovelock
  • Judy Lovelock
  • 09-15-17

Good work

Another great story from Mark Dawson ,and great narration from David Thorpre , the perfect partnership , can't wait to listen to the next .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew Johnson (Matt Saxx)
  • Matthew Johnson (Matt Saxx)
  • 01-15-19

Excellent John Milton novella

I recently listened to 1000 Yards, the first of the two prequel novellas in the John Milton series. I felt Mark Dawson stepped up a gear with Tarantula, the second of the two. Mark's writing was more descriptive, the plot was equally as captivating and I listened to this in two sittings. Whereas before I was a little hesitant about the prospects of the full-length JM novels, now I approach them with a sense of excitement and they have shot up my reading list.

Another excellent performance by David Thorpe whose dynamic contrast, vocal speed delivery variations and believable accents were on point. It only lost a star on story because while sitting at a bar, John orders a Martini - come on Mark, give him his own drink, that's Bond's! That said, I don't think Mark Dawson would do a bad job writing for the Fleming estate like Horowitz.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr STEVEN PEARSON
  • Mr STEVEN PEARSON
  • 07-11-17

Slightly violent but with a sense of humour

Milton always get the job done, in this case with some style and not too much bloodshed.