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Editorial Reviews

The John Milton audiobook series continues with Book Three The Cleaner, written by tremendously popular crime thriller writer Mark Dawson and narrated by expert voice artist David Thorpe. John Milton, once government assassin now fugitive haunted by his conscience, hides in the back streets of San Francisco driving a cab. He has remained anonymous until a chilling murder draws him out of the shadows. He feels compelled to find the missing girl and the gruesome killer. Perhaps the only way to absolve his conscience is to enter the life of a vigilante. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

John Milton has started to hope that he might have a future.

He has a job driving a taxi around the streets of San Francisco. He has his anonymity and his solitude. Being invisible has become a comfortable habit. He doesn't want to be found.

But when a girl he drives to a party goes missing, Milton is worried. Especially when two dead bodies are discovered, and the police start treating him as their prime suspect. Milton is a fugitive from the British Secret Service, and a man in his position needs extra attention like he needs a hole in the head.

As unpleasant secrets leak out, and the body count rises, one thing is for sure. Milton might just be the right guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Driver is a taut, nail-biting adventure which once again stars Mark Dawson's irresistible hero, the maverick ex-MI6 assassin John Milton. Mark Dawson has worked as a DJ and lawyer and currently works in the London film industry. His first books, The Art of Falling Apart and Subpoena Colada have been published in multiple languages.

©2014 Mark Dawson (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another good listen

John Milton is Jack Reacher, John Wells, and The Grey Man all rolled into one. David Thorpe also does a great job. He is slowly becoming one of favorite narrators.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

You can drive me, John Milton!

John Milton is likable. He is an ex-SAS assassin who got tired of the blood and decided to go straight and only help people out. His home office doesn't want him out there with all his knowledge of procedure and missions and personnel, so they keep sending assassins to kill him, or bring him in. Thus he must be on the run constantly. Milton is also a recovering alcoholic who attends AA meetings but doesn't believe he can ever atone for his sins. In every town he lands in he ends up finding trouble and causing nearly as much as he smooths. In this book, he is looking for a missing hooker he taxied to a "party", and trying to find out who killed the other working girls.

At least in this story, none of his new, short-term friends get offed while John is trying to atone. It is interesting all the way through, and we live for the spec ops skills John brings into play. His newest sometime partner, bounty hunter Bo (or Beau, I don't know) reappears to our delight, even though he can not take the place of the lamented Rutherford from book 1.

The narration constantly amazes me. Thorpe's default voice seems to be that of a slightly nerdy, prissy English prig, but he did the English thugs and druggies superbly in book 1, Mexican drug lords in book 2, and now he does Americans of all accents and social levels. He seems to change height and weight as his voices change.

If you like the genre and the premise, this is a good series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved this book, was a great read.

If you like Jack Reacher you will love Milton. Action packed with great detail and we'll developed characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A British San Francisco

What disappointed you about The Driver?

The story itself is bland and meandering. Worse yet, it's a British narrator reading a British-language story set in San Francisco. As a result, all of the local names were mis-pronounced (Mos-CONE Center for Mos-CONEY Center) as well as all the Latino names. Furthermore, all of the idioms were British. I found this only distracting.

A better plot might have worked past this deficit, but the story has no center. It's just a guy who's on the run from a life of alcohol and violence having to dust off his fight skills from time to time as random events occur in his life. It's fun to see a guy with those skills go mano-a-mano with various bad guys, but it's not enough to salvage the book's other deficits.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • JC
  • 07-02-17

Good, but not remotely as good as the first two books.

Good, but not as good as the first two books. I would still recommend it, because it continues the wonderful story of John Milton. And David Thorpe remains a genius with his interpretations of the characters. The problem I had with this book was the story/plot. It was seriously lacking compared to the magnificence of the previous stories. Also, the first half of the story dragged on without a sense of building anticipation. There was one tiny error in the audio book wherein the same line repeated. All in all, a necessary book for better understanding the series. Barring plot flaw, I would recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow starter

This installment of John Milton was a show starter, dragged, and generally was not as engaging as the previous two books. But every author has a few like that and with Dawson working as hard as he is to keep his readers entertained, I'm not going to fault him for having a dip. Thorpe had his narrating hands full with a book that was ninety-nine percent American accents. He did a laudable job and can't be faulted for the lapses that did occur. Overall, the book was okay but I hope Dawson picks up the pace again in his next offering of Ghosts.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacqui
  • Marrickville, Australia
  • 10-30-16

Good story

The narrator is English & has the worst American accent I've ever heard. He thinks there is only one generic accent for all Americans. It's appalling

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • James T
  • Lindon, UT, United States
  • 07-11-16

Stereotypes in full swing

Predictable? - yes. Enjoyable? - yes. Not much to this third addition to the John Milton Series yet it is still a fun listen. He throws his stereotypes into full swing (but I suppose he has bad teeth) in this one with one exception - it will be a cold day in hell before a republican of this caliber is ever voted in as governor in California (unless he is an actor).

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    2 out of 5 stars
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hard to follow plots

way to many plot lines,with no smooth transitions. need 100% attention to follow

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not for me

I enjoy this kind of story generally and this narrator is superb. I can live with a few mispronunciations, because he's one of the few British readers who can do American accents that aren't strained. The book disappointed me. The writing was dull, the character uninteresting, and the story moved slowly and was illogical in parts. Also, it really wasn't necessary that I had to listen to political drivel that ordinarily would have forced me to use the "power" button on the TV remote. All in all, except for the narrator, a stinker.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mikey
  • 09-18-15

This series just gets better and better

Any additional comments?

My title says it all. I can't tell you how much these audiobooks have entertained me. I was going through a tough time while I was listening to this book and it actually helped ease things, sounds weird but it really helped me take my mind off things for an hour or so at a time and it was a great form of escapism.

You'll love this. Whatever floats your boat book-genre wise you need to give this a go. I would be surprised if anyone turned around and said they did not enjoy listening to it. It's so refreshing to have such a great series to listen to, especially after the Victor the assassin series I previously finished prior to starting this, a series of books I never wanted to end!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Salter
  • 09-23-18

Another Milton masterpiece...

Mark Dawson really does have a super series, in the form of John Milton novels . I've really enjoyed the adventures thus far, and looking forward to the remainder of the series.
In this instance, Milton - whilst earning a bit of pocket money driving taxis, stumbles across a sinister plot that is resulting in young women disappearing. As Milton digs deeper, it becomes clear that the plot goes as deep as the Senate itself. Milton - the ex-hitman with a conscience - once again can't ignore the plight of those in need of his help.
Superbly enthralling storyline, which is masterfully narrated by David Thorpe.

Highly recommended..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 01-20-18

Milton Trumps America!

The third installment in what is proving to be a very entertaining series. Milton is a troubled man and trouble seems to find him, this time in the US. I'm really enjoying his motivation to redeem himself from his past and to combat the addictions that resulted, a real man on a mission.

On this occasion he throws himself into a mystery involving disappearing women while a rather Trump-like politician and his entourage are on the campaigning trail. The story generates a decent pace throughout and all of the strings are pulled together neatly at the end. It's described well by David Thorpe who gives an excellent performance as narrator.

It's all good stuff with a good balance between action, intrigue and character interaction. For sure it's not going to do anything like re-defining the genre but it's good quality thriller writing and John Milton is an interesting character of increasing depth.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr
  • 06-17-17

Another Thrilling Masterpiece. I will certainly continue with this eries

My first introduction to John Milton was Book 1 in the series. This was quickly followed by Books 2 and then this one. The masterful narration of David Thorpe brings all the characters to life, which is hard to do when the narrative switches from Male to Female, and from English to American characters. Just as in Saint Death ( book 2) , the main character, John Milton, elicits sympathy and you find yourself warming to the " anti hero" as he battles on to " make amends " . If you want a great read(listen) search no further. Mark Dawson is now a firm favorite of mine, up there with Rachel Abbot, Peter May and Jeffrey Archer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • I OFarrell
  • 10-19-16

Man on a mission

What about David Thorpe’s performance did you like?

He has the most fantastic range of voices.

Any additional comments?

John is back in London and serving up coffee and fried food to London’s black cab drivers. Working towards the AA’s ninth step in the program is proving difficult for Milton but he’s finding a way around that. And, as usual, trouble finds him and he is unable to walk away.
This is another brilliant episode in the Milton series. Milton is a modern James Bond but having grown tired of the service for his country because it sucks away his soul one piece at a time he concentrates on what he can do for the living. Sometimes it goes smoothly, sometimes it doesn’t, but it always ends up with Milton on the winning side.
I love Milton’s character. The man has flaws and baggage but who doesn’t? He is not only a cool killer but a man who struggles endlessly with that baggage. Dawson has a formula for his Milton series and it works every time without tiring the reader’s patience. Every mission has complications and casualties and every episode requires a new start because of the consequences.
Dawson’s writing is very masculine. It isn’t bogged down with emotion but it isn’t emotionless; it is understated and insinuated. The action scenes are told well and anyone who isn’t familiar with weapons and military strategy will still be able to follow it without confusion. I recommend the audio version of this book because the narrator is particularly good and really compliments the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • PaulR
  • 11-20-15

Couldn't keep my attention

A reasonable listen and the story was okey but with so much random detail, taking you nowhere and with minimal action, I struggled with my attention constantly wandering off.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 11-19-15

Another awesome story!

Any additional comments?

This both well written and narrated, I am totally hooked on the John Milton Series, don't want it to stop....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 12-16-15

Third in series and still can't decide

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes as I don't want to be the only confused listener. I would have to add a warning that it won't distract you from your work.

Would you recommend The Driver to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes as above.

What about David Thorpe’s performance did you like?

Great as normal

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

No, very easy to start and stop. Not gripping at all.

Any additional comments?

I'm not sure about this Milton series at all. I can't put my finger on the problem, they should have everything and they kind of do but its all mediocre. It's all a bit up and down and all over the place.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • mike
  • 10-14-18

can't wait to get the next one

a great continuation for story of John Milton the amount of research that goes into the book is excellent can't wait to get to the next one

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  • HC
  • 08-24-18

Great story, with excellent story telling by the narrator

The narrator did a first class job in bringing this story to life. Really enjoyed it.