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The Ninth Step

John Milton, Book 8
Narrated by: David Thorpe
Series: John Milton, Book 8
Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (387 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

John Milton is a former assassin for the British government. He is a ronin, trying to atone for his past sins by offering his services to those people who have no one else to whom they can turn.

Milton is keeping a low profile in London when he meets Eddie Fabian. Fabian confesses that he is considering suicide and that the reason for his depression was the abuse that he suffered as a child. Milton offers to help, but, before he can, Eddie is found dead in circumstances that Milton considers suspicious. And then events take a turn that no one could have anticipated....

Milton's attempted good deed becomes a quest to unveil corruption at the highest levels of government and murder at the dark heart of the criminal underworld. Milton is pulled back into the game, and that's going to have serious consequences for everyone who crosses his path.

Cover design by Stuart Bache.

©2016 Mark Dawson (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

a bit slow but nice to have John Milton back!

Milton is back in London, and thankfully why he left Australia and Matilda is explained, although I think if he truly loved her he could have found something else to do so as to stay with her. Maybe she wasn't willing to make any changes. Anyway...

Three years on the wagon and John is struggling with AA's Twelve Steps. You see, the ninth step is to make restitution to those you have harmed, and John can't do that because all the people he wronged are dead. Nor can he divulge his wrongs to any of his new friends, or anyone for that matter. The first long part of the book sets up the background for the action and retribution to come next. Even though it does go on a long time, we like Milton and his life is interesting even if he isn't throwing his special forces training around all the time.

There are several things happening in the story and John steps in to help out, all the while arranging that HE be invisible in the end. Some of the stories become cleverly intertwined, and justice gets sorted out.

Two plot points that didn't sit well were first, why the journalist confided in John so fully when they first met, and second, not much was made of the bad cop. The journalist seemed really astute but twice behaved foolishly naively. The bad cop story just quietly ended.

However, in the end Milton did save a number of people, dealt justice for a wrongful death, and seems to have found some compromise and peace in how he will continue to handle the ninth step.

3 of 3 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
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 03-09-16

Not the best John Milton thriller

I had a decision to make this morning as three books I had pre-ordered were released including this one. Since the Kindle version of The Ninth Step was released several weeks ago and had an average customer rating of 4.8 stars I selected it. I am a huge Mark Dawson fan, but after listening to the first 6 hours I was tempted to return the audiobook without finishing it. It was slow, excessively wordy, and boring. Then things changed and from there on it deserves a solid 5 star rating. I'm down rating the book to 4 stars because of its slow and boring start.

The "ninth step" in the title refers to the 9th step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program; “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” It follows step 8 which states, "Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all." Step 9 is always the most difficult for an alcoholic. After three years of sobriety John Milton was having a very difficult time with it. The Ninth Step is very much about John Milton's struggle with Step 9.

This book, at least the last half, has constant action and suspense. I still prefer Mark Dawson's Beatrix Rose series to the John Milton series, but since Rose died in book 3 of the series there will be no more.

I recommend this book for those who like action and suspense thrillers. There are lots of action and suspense packed into the second half of the book.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Super! Six stars

Ive read all this series several times. I'm a rereader. It takes a terrific story for me to enjoy again. These are that kind of story. John is a real hero.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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This is anti-Semitic drivel

Following the anti-Israel plot of the previous book in the series, the author unleashes a preposterous plot, laced with an anti-Semitic undertone.

Pure and utter drivel

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Intense

Dawson just gets better with each novel. Milton continues to put his life in jeopardy to help others and atone for his past sins.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very entertaining

The narration is great. The story is good enough. Not the best book ever, but moves at a good pace with a lot of action. It kept my attention the whole time. Gotta love John Milton. Or should I say Smith...

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not perfect but better than most

I keep reading these, they are not perfect but something drags me along watch time. Wish the author knew as much about ordinance as he pretends to... once in a while there is something glaring that makes me cringe.... not winning any Pulitzer’s here but good entrainment anyway. I’ll keep reading them for fun.

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  • JC
  • 09-02-17

Consistently Wonderful

I would recommend this book to fans of the John Milton series, for sure. I would also recommend it to those who are into spy-type edge of your seat-type thrillers. John Milton does not follow a conventional formula and he is not a spy, but he fits well into the genre. Whenever Milton is around, something seems to happen that has you biting your nails. This story in particular was pretty good: though not the best in the series thus far.

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The Truth Will Come

Lots of things going on that finally bring the story together. Another good adventure for Milton.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • James T
  • Lindon, UT, United States
  • 07-25-16

Eight is Great

Dawson's best book of the series so far. The narrative on the sick wife is a little cliché though. Why is it people complain about the cost of medicine in the US yet it is the only place the medicine is obtainable at all?

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  • Wickerman49
  • 03-17-16

John Milton is back !!!

Mark Dawson brings JM to his brilliant and best form in this ninth book of the series, taking on the rich and powerful along with the underbelly of the crime world to right the wrongs in his own initimable style.
Every reviewer says " unputdownable " but I would prefer to say, find a day where you have nothing to do, make yourself comfy with a coffee, a nice treat to eat and listen in one go. I did and it is the best way to kill a day by far.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Salter
  • 11-23-18

Just Fantastic...

Another wonderful Milton adventure, and a continuation of the brilliant series from Mark Dawson.
This time, Milton goes out of his way to help someone who he sees has troubles similar to his own. Just as he thinks the corner has been turned, a body turns up and Milton is determined to get to the bottom of what happened.
It soon becomes apparent that not everything is as cut and dry as the police would want you to believe, and Milton is soon caught between a mafia-style family, and a group of elite ex-soldiers whose boss is using blackmail for his groups financial gain.

An immersive, compelling storyline, extremely well read by David Thorpe.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 04-01-16

Awesome, John Milton is totally Brilliant!

If you could sum up The Ninth Step in three words, what would they be?

Awesome, Brilliant, Totally believable!

Who was your favorite character and why?

John of course!

Have you listened to any of David Thorpe’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes all brilliant!

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

All Dirty, Filthy Scumbags get their comeuppance! Thankfully!

Any additional comments?

Just loved it!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • andrew devlin
  • 04-12-16

Excellent entertainment

Can't stop listening to the John Milton series my new distraction from inspector John rebus

3 of 3 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
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  • R_Murray
  • 04-10-16

superb, gotta love JM ☺

you gotta love John Milton , please more of the same, I don't think we have seen the last of young Hicks.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben Johnson
  • 07-28-16

Definitely Worth A Credit

Where does The Ninth Step rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Until the new Ben Hope book comes out this is my favourite book

Which character – as performed by David Thorpe – was your favourite?

I liked Hicks but you can't beat Milton himself, I just like how he's come along from the first book "The Cleaner" I wouldn't mind him having another love intrest though

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

Now I liked the storyline in this one, Eddie's past history and his reasons for drinking are very thought-provoking, but what I really like about this whole series is it really takes you into the life of a recovering alcoholic, John's battle with drink is always there in every book, it makes it feel real when you're listening to the story

Any additional comments?

This is a great book and one I could spend all day listening to

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Christopher J. Fallows
  • 05-21-16

The adventures get better

Mark Dawson has turned a character into someone,everyone can relate to,sorting dirtbags and general nasty people into their place.
John Milton is sometimes fragile,weak and fighting his own demons.......but other times,when he or his friends are wronged,he's precise,calculated and deadly.
Another exciting addictive addition to the John Milton story.
In short,a great book.
Also a quick mention for David Thorpe who really gets Milton and brings him to life.Great performance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann D
  • 04-13-19

Just a bit bland!

I really enjoyed the first few books in this series. I do like the John Milton character, though I think this may be in part due to the way he is narrated. David Thorpe does an excellent job. Character development is lacking as the series progresses and this story is, in my opinion, weak. With 2 hours 28 minutes left, I simply don’t care anymore and I will be returning the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Taghrid Jammoul
  • 04-22-16

Great

Good story exciting gripping till the end. The narrator is great too. Loved it so much

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
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  • L. E. Walsh
  • 03-17-16

great listen

loved it work got in the way of listening when's the next book ??? ?

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carolyne
  • 05-08-16

Great story

Only bad point was the repetition of some sentences in the latter part of the book. It was well written and compels the reader to want to know "what happens next' I will definitely read more from this author

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-26-16

Nice and well thought out book

it was a nice and well thought out book... there was some questions at the beginning but was answer at the end. well done to the author and the narrator who keep me asking question and answer it at the end. Thank you.