Reprobate (Amsterdam Assassin #1)

Reprobate (Amsterdam Assassin #1) Alt Cover ASIN BVDJWAssassin Katla Breaks Her Own Rules When Confronted With An Unusual WitnessBlessed With An Almost Non Existent Conscience, Freelance Assassin And Corporate Troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes, Expert In Disguising Homicide, Regards Murder For Profit As An Intricate And Rewarding Occupation Her Solitary Existence Seems Than Satisfactory Until A Blind Musician Wanders In On Her Crime Scene Katla Only Kills For Profit Or To Protect Her Anonymity, And Bram Merleyn Seems Harmless And Unable To Identify Her By Sparing His Life, She Breaks One Of Her Most Important Rules Never Leave A Living Witness A Decision Katla Might Not Survive To Regret Reprobate Is The First Novel In The Amsterdam Assassin Series With Authentic Details And Brisk Action Against The Backdrop Of The Notorious Dutch Capital, Featuring A Devious Heroine And A Supporting Cast Of Singular Characters, Reprobate Gives A Rare Glimpse Into Local Dutch Culture, The Narcotics Trade, Computer Hacking, Motorcycle Gangs, Mehndi Bridal Tattoos, Martial Arts, The Psychology Of Social Engineering, And The Brutal Efficacy Of Disciplined Violence This E Book Features A Glossary

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[PDF / Epub] ☁ Reprobate (Amsterdam Assassin #1)  By Martyn V. Halm –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 450 pages
  • Reprobate (Amsterdam Assassin #1)
  • Martyn V. Halm
  • English
  • 16 April 2019

10 thoughts on “Reprobate (Amsterdam Assassin #1)

  1. says:

    My appetite for Halm s Assassin series was whetted by reading his novellas.Halm skillfully merges several story lines together in this entertaining novel Unlike his short works,, here he has added several interesting characters Deborah Stern, a DEA agent coming off a shooting who has been transferred to Amsterdam especially because she speaks fluent Dutch Bram Merelyn is a blind man whom Katla is watching as he happened upon her in the gallery of a man Katla had just killed They develop a relationship and there is a great scene where he, the blind man, takes her to a movie Katla is hired by some drug dealers to kill an undercover DEA agent who has wormed his way into their midst They happen to have a source within the police agency so they dare not kill him themselves and must have the killing look like it was done by a member from a competing gang Books about assassins rarely work well if the character is just a superhuman killing automaton Even Stark s Parker has a human side in his relationship with his girlfriend and Keller evolves into a father and regular citizen as Block s series evolves So Halm has begun to develop Katla, a professional in a bizarre profession She nevertheless makes mistakes and has an emotional side She has her own moral compass Halm s world is populated by very grey moral compasses As he says, In this world there is always room for smart immoral people I will certainly read the rest of the series, and I m hoping that the author focuses on Katla, perhaps developing the relationship with Bram, both interesting characters A minor gripe is that there were a couple of tidbits I thought to be extraneous For example the mugging of Deborah Stern, her disabling of the criminal, and then the comments regarding the Dutch legal system s apparent coddling of criminals If the story was intended to be a critique of their system, it was completely defanged by the subsequent prank played on Stern by her colleagues I d love to hear a comment from the author regarding my observation on this.It s always fun to read novels set in foreign cities For those interested in Amsterdam stories, besides Halm s, I can recommend Baantjer s Dekok series Dekok is a sort of Dutch Maigret.

  2. says:

    The concept is very interesting and compelling but I had a few issues.Bram and Katla s relationships was my favorite thing of the book It was done naturally though Bram s acceptance of her profession is quick And it was sweet, how she becomes attached to him and how he loves her despite her work I fell in love with Bram from the begging, he was thoughtful and affectionate Katla surprised me I thought she would be colder and calculating but I found her open and friendly.Katla s pet was hilarious a skating bird is a definitely original idea.There are a lot of POVs,too many in my opinion I was a little lost with the Dutch and Japanese words and the details about guns all of which I still don t understand.I don t really see the importance of Deborah s POV because there s not much character development and by the summary at the start I thought she was going to be co protagonist with Katla That why I was disappointed as I had great expectations.Well, as a whole, I liked the book and I m thinking about buying the following book.

  3. says:

    The first thing that must be said about Reprobate A Katla Novel is that the attention to detail is incredible Every moment of the book serves to show the author s unique knowledge of his subject material, from the weapons used by Katla to the street by street routes taken through Amsterdam While there are many unfamiliar words describing Japanese blades and culture, motorcycle parts, and locations in Amsterdam, I felt all of these were fitting inclusions that helped set the tone and credibility of the story.Katla Sieltjes is an assassin operating out of Amsterdam who is skilled in so many disciplines that she can carry out virtually any assignment under any assumed cover with enough planning She can stage deaths to look like cartel hits, complete accidents, or make a person disappear entirely With her unique skillset and dynamic personality, I equated her to a kind of James Bond spy character, except she works on the other side of the law The multiple assassinations plot is interesting and easy enough to follow, though there are a lot of pages to get through to reach closure.The story was honestly a long read, and it would be nigh impossible to work through in a single sitting As mentioned before, there is a lot of detail in the book, and at some points it becomes a little overwhelming When the minutiae was deployed in full force and the action lagged, I had to force myself to keep reading lest I put the book down and not return for hours or days I wouldn t mind having a fast forward button at certain points, such as when driving sequences are described turn for turn it did little to advance the plot, except to show off Amsterdam and portray Katla s inherent aversion to being tailed by somebody back to her house There are no info dumps, thankfully, but the entire book works as one dense collection of details that must be waded through to grasp the core story of murder and intrigue.Let s talk for a moment about the characters I love Kourou, Zeph, Katla, and Bram, in that order They feel like real people and a macaw that I might meet on the street and invite out for lunch.Katla has an interesting background she chooses to be a killer not because of a twisted childhood, but simply because she is good at it She manages to lead a fairly normal life when she is not on the job, and the lucrative nature of her work means we don t have to follow her working in an office to earn a living while keeping her secret identity.Bram is a blind jazz enthusiast who also leads his own mostly independent life, and out of the several points of view given in the book, his might be my favorite Ironic, I know, given the blindness, but his view is rich, deep, and believable, giving a tactile sense to things we d ordinarily see and dismiss.But do I love the idea of these two main characters being together I m not convinced Some of the scenes seem contrived simply to show one aspect or another of each character, with little connection to the actual story when they occurred, I immediately felt they were out of place The relationship between Bram and Katla happens a little too quickly, too, and the circumstances of their first few meetings still make me wonder There are also some illicit sex scenes that would be off limits for some readers, and again, I felt the sexual side of their relationship happened very abruptly in comparison with the slow emotional and intellectual build up.As I said earlier, there are multiple points of view in this story One such POV is the joint task force assembled to break up a local drug ring, which inevitably puts them on Katla s trail when an operation goes awry We see this perspective through the eyes of Deborah Stern, a DEA agent from America Ordinarily, I would love hearing both sides of the investigation and watching with growing anticipation as the agents of the law move in on the killer, but that doesn t happen here Deborah is given a little backstory that isn t relevant to the plot, and the group as a whole gets few descriptors besides one line adjectives At times, I could hear two characters speaking with the same voice and forgot a third one entirely In fact, I can t understand why any of these characters mattered in this book, except for the build up into a series that requires their introduction at some point I felt that their presence and dialogue was redundant throughout the story, serving mostly to explain once again the details of scenes we ve already seen through Katla s perspective A lot of this perspective s scenes and characters fell flat, severely lacking the depth given to those on Katla s side of the story.In terms of punctuation, grammar, and formatting, this book is nearly perfect If there are errors, they are so small and negligible that they don t interrupt the flow of the story.Overall, I enjoyed the plot The murders are interesting, the details are pristine, and I can imagine everything going on in this world as the characters experience it I disliked the entire lawful side of the book, feeling it was unnecessary for understanding 99% of what was going on, and some characters lacked the verisimilitude achieved in other parts of the book I would be interested in checking out the sequel, but because of the density of its detail and almost plodding pace at times, I would be hard pressed to find the determination to read through this first installment again.3.5 5 stars.

  4. says:

    The term Reprobate is used synonymously with scoundrel or villain, but it is defined as an unprincipled person Katla Sieltjes might be unscrupulous by general standards, but according to her own moral compass she couldn t be principled She doesn t maim, she doesn t torture, she kills whomever she is paid for killing and she only kills bystanders if they could identify her, to name just a few That s why she lets Bram Merleyn live when the blind man inadvertently invades her job site, a gallery whose owner she s just killed with one of his own swords.What makes Katla so intriguing is that she is thoroughly human She s a consummate professional assassin or corporate problem solver , but sometimes she makes mistakes, too The story line is believable and whatever Katla does is as surprising and inventive as it is realistic In counterpoint to the fast paced action stands her slow, almost sensual pursuit of the blind man She is drawn to him by his looks and demeanor and she methodically stalks him, getting closer and closer until he turns the tables on her and reveals that he recognizes her from the gallery What results is the slowly evolving romance of two people who are without prejudice about each other.While the main story line around the contract killings was a little predictable and I guessed the villain early on in the story, what pulled me along most was my desire to get to the next chapter in the evolution of Katla and Bram Several times I had to restrain myself from jumping ahead to get straight to their next interaction Details about both of them are revealed slowly, sometimes expected, often surprising, but never clish d In between the story unfolds with interesting secondary characters and you can t help rooting for Katla when she is double crossed And while some readers might feel righteous elation and schadenfreude at Katla s successful pursuit of the double crosser, Katla herself sees nothing but clinical necessity to protect herself.By the end of the story I was thoroughly enthralled and I can t wait to get my hands on the second novel Peccadillo to find out who and how Katla will be killing next and how her relationship with Bram will continue to evolve.

  5. says:

    3.5 stars I initially struggled to get into this book, but am glad I persisted The author obviously has extensive knowledge on the subject matter, and has the ability to give Amsterdam a pulse I even learnt something about Japanese weapons and motorcycle parts, and being Afrikaans I could easily pick up on some of the Dutch words.My only problem was with the main character, Katla I found it hard to warm up to how she is portrayed, and even after finishing this book, I still do I do hope that in the sequels we will get of an insight into what exactly it is that makes her tick She comes across as a bit un female like, but that being said, she has the ability to make Bram see past what she does for a living, and he accepts it willingly I am confident that she will probably make me as the reader see past it too in the future I like an anti hero, and make that anti hero a strong woman and I m sold.Great read for anyone who enjoys a challenging thriller.

  6. says:

    SUMMARYA secretive assassin, Katla, is hired to kill a man in the Netherlands, but in the process is interrupted by a blind man On a whim, she allows him to live, despite the fact that he is a potential witness She then proceeds to play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with him throughout the city, brushing ever closer toward the one thing that has always eluded her an actual human relationship Meanwhile, Deborah Stern, a DEA agent who is recovering from a harrowing ordeal, is offered a job in the Netherlands An American soldier overseas has overdosed on heroin, leading the higher ups to suspect a drug ring targeting the military Deborah is assigned to apprehend the culprits, but she doesn t know that a mole is feeding important secrets to the members of the drug trade who, concerned over the DEA s new plans, decide to hire a certain assassin to take care of their problems THE GOOD 1 Awesome beginningWe begin with a cold blooded assassin doing what she does best kill people She uses, of all things, a samurai sword YES Awesomeness abounds.2 Strong female charactersDid we mention that this book has two female leads Both Deborah and Katla were interesting, fully fleshed out characters, and it was a real treat for us to read a story that held its two female leads in such high esteem We liked them both so much that at times it was hard to decide who to root for .3 The blind man and the killerThis was a wonderful combination We really enjoyed the interplay between the assassin and the blind witness It was fun to watch as they grew closer, to be continually surprised how well they interacted on a personal level, and to discover new aspects of them both as they forged their relationship At several points, we even came to ask ourselves who between them is crazier We normally don t like romances, but this hit in just the right ways, so we give it two thumbs up.4 Creepiness and suspenseThis story has action, but we were impressed by its ability to hold us in suspense The tension in many scenes so palpable that we kept on reading far too late into the night, just to see what happened next The assassin, Katla, has just the right level of creepiness that anyone can tell she is a psychotic She seriously stalks a blind man after deciding not to kill him who does that but a crazy person At one point, the narrator even informs us that She didn t want to kill him yet Our response while reading SAY WHAT Did the room s temperature just drop five degrees THE BAD 1 Character blitzThere s a point, around 50 pages in, when there s a half dozen characters introduced in around two pages This is the most obvious example, but there are other cases of the same or similar Every so often, there will just be too many characters on the page too many names flying by, too many people to remember, too many cooks in the kitchen For the most part, however, the story does manage to keep its focus narrow on a small subset of characters.2 Not a complete storyThe story is full of interesting moments, but it is only the first in a series fortunately, two other books of the series have also been published, so interested readers don t have to wait Some people might like that this is a longer story, one that lasts for several books, and that it leaves a good set up for the next book at the end However, we prefer when a book contains a story of its own Of course, that s just personal taste your mileage may vary.THE BIZARRE 1 Parrots are awesomeOne of the characters has a parrot that imitates the sounds of an angry dog whenever someone enters the home This is awesome.2 Ninja blind manThere s a blind man He s really good at self defense and calm under pressure, and he also knows a lot of Japanese related stuff This is also awesome Though, regrettably, he is not an actual ninja AND THE VERDICT This book is GOOD.It s an impressive set of writing, plot, and suspense If you like foreign settings, police procedurals, and insight into the criminal mind, then this is a definite plus All in all, an entertaining read The occasional action scene left a real punch, while the suspense kept us on our toes throughout We give special kudos to this author s ability to depict people s relationships We hope to see this author grow and tackle and even better story next time.

  7. says:

    Books Sweet Epiphanywww.booksandsweetepiphany.blogspot.comIf you like a kick ass heroine, multi talented and a non judgmental main character, Reprobate is the book for you.Reprobate has a great start, it ll hook and drag you into the story whether you want it or not.Katla is an assassin and she is a damn awesome one at that In fact, she s like the Assassin Creed guy The HitMan guy all in one.I love how Martyn introduces the character in the story Not only that, each and every character has a certain quality about them that I can t get enough.It is represented through different points of views at different times and it all merges in the end with the crossing of paths with one another.It is also something like the Vantage Point.This is also my first time in reading a novel of such storyline Reprobate is unique and each character compliments one another.I just want to gush at Katla s abilities She s just so awesome The whole storyline has that quality of a TV Series but if you think that s boringwell, it s your loss DI love all the parts where there s action, shooting and killing in it I love how each and every detail of the kill is being described It made me feel like I m actually learning something valuable in the book, not that I WANT to kill someone It s just knowledge to me.I believe this book is awesome enough to be in my favourite books list.Sincerely,Selina.

  8. says:

    Reprobate by Martyn V Halm is a great read with interesting fresh characters As an American who has unfortunately limited experience with Europe I only managed to get as far as England and Paris a few times , I found the Amsterdam locale refreshing The author s descriptions and attention to detail quickly made me a fan.The story is out of the ordinary, combining a mild thriller with a motley crew of well fleshed out characters A femme fatale assassin, a blind jazz musician, some intriguing DEA agents who are forced to spend as much time battling politics as drug dealers, and a colorful array of bit players make the novel richly satisfying I could easily see this as a basis for a great film as it isn t too complicated and doesn t try to be too much it s just right.The novel reads very well and doesn t drag at any point, it was only marred by strange twists of grammar attributable to the author s unfamiliarity with the English language I suspect Overlooking those minor points I enjoyed the details and respected the amount of research the author put into it.Despite my dislike of book series , since this story was closed ended and the characters attractive enough to want to know , I will certainly check out Martyn s other works.

  9. says:

    Move over James Patterson This is an awesome book I love the femme fatale character Katla The author did a good job of developing the character as well as the underlying love interest This book has definately piqued my interest in Katla and I look forward to reading of her adventures This is an action packed story that kept me interested The author brought the various story lines together and tied it all up with a neat bow at the end Great job Martyn, keep them coming.

  10. says:

    From 12 Dec 2014Reprobate is a thriller, one of a series Amsterdam Assassins concerning Katla Sieltjes, a female murderer for hire working under the name Loki In this incarnation, Katla is hired by some one unknown of a cloud of people and groups in the Dutch drug trade, including the suppliers and their enforcers, and agents of several different European and American police forces Heroin has been discovered on a NATO base, and the quality of it points to the Dutch as middlemen If you think it implausible that Loki would not know who hired her, read the book Loki s tradecraft is impeccable, and puts in the shade the ludicrous precautions taken by so many other fictional people who work undercover The set up takes about a quarter of the book, as there are a great many people and loyalties for Halm to create This is handled systematically in a series of lucid chapters The second quarter of the book concerns the hit itself This is not entirely successful, a mixed outcome which provides the source for the suspense of the second half, for strangely we find ourselves rooting for Katla Our partisanship is complicated by the presence of a love interest, a blind man, Bram Merleyn Bram is an entirely admirable character He is urbane, centered and at ease with his blindness, athletic, and knowledgeable about a great many things including jazz and Japanese The friendship between these two very opposite people is quite believable in Halm s hands and offers a number of outcomes, enhancing the story s suspense More of the plot I will not reveal.The author has a detailed knowledge of Amsterdam, as he should since he lives there He also knows a lot about motorcycles he owns at least one , scooters, cars, and bicycles Other matters guns and knives, Japanese language and food, jazz, cops, autopsies, drug cartels, blindness, saxophones, expensive hotels, regulations, and so forth can be acquired by research, and Halm has been assiduous and meticulous Rather too much so, in some cases, with brand and model names and geographic details It s a tic, but in many cases it is hard to see what changes might be made without harm to the authenticity of the narrative Indeed, the liking for these details brings many characters and actions to life When Katla in her Loki persona gets shot in the leg I will say only so much the description of the physical consequences is immediately believable.Reprobate is one of those suspense stories in which the reader finds himself on the side of a character he wouldn t ordinarily Ordinarily, we would not like to increase the world s stock of assassins This is Bram s problem An ordinary thriller seeks only to engage us in the chase A ambitious tale must engage our loyalties and morally re interpret the actions of its characters Many such stories are built on the detective formula The hero of a suspense story must, for her own protection, sort out the facts and discover the nature of the threat The search for truth is always admirable, and gives a story like Reprobate a built in advantage if the author is intelligent enough to use it Halm is that, but he also has the brass and self confidence not to let matters rest there The threat to Katla comes not entirely from out and out baddies but from some police agents who we have also come to like, particularly two women So as the thriller proceeds, the reader finds himself in a quandary This is also Bram s quandary, and Bram is the moral ground on which the reader will interrogate his own morality.Being in part a search for truth, Reprobate is at first a detective story, not a thriller We are presented with a crime albeit remotely, the reported heroin fatality and a number of applicants for the position of crimesolver This situation is rapidly overborne Loki is hired by someone who wants to cover up matters and protect the drug trade But when the hit goes bad the original drug crime becomes irrelevant Loki s problem is to identify the villain, as any detective would that is, the person behind her own attempted assassination but she is also working against competing detectives who want to know as well her own identity Part of the suspense of this clever story is how the author will resolve it without either disappointing our loyalties or damaging our respect for the truth.In the classic period of Holmes and Poirot, the knowledge needed to solve the crime was acquired by observation and reasoning As the story line shifted toward the hard boiled the method shifted to interrogation and confession At the same time the impetus for the story evolved away from the detective who works in defense of society, to one who works to protect a few people from a corrupt society, to one who works to protect himself The hero of a thriller works against a society which is set against him not for passing convenience, as in the hardboiled novel, but on principle The hero of a thriller is a threat to a whole social order And so the stage is set for a story in which detection is in service to quashing both the criminals and what they stand for and an action hero can be a cold blooded killer.The case here is stark Katla may be working for the wrong people, but she is targeting some people who are worse She is good at her job, and we tend to root for such people as we do for superheroes Finally, she has shown us a soft side in her relationship with Bram and in a number of small kindnesses to people she comes across So the first half of the book resembles a quest story with a twist It is not until the second half, after Katla is injured, disabled, and under a threat from which her formidable combat skills cannot save her, that the book becomes an out and out thriller By this time we have come to like Katla and are in the habit of rooting for her.This, of course, can be carried only so far This is not a hermetic, intellectual literary novel It s a thriller, we came aboard to be thrilled, and so we are.Loki, for those who don t know, is a Norse god of considerable importance in the Edda In Wagner s Das Rheingold he is the trickster who helps Wotan to get the Ring from Alberich, something of a comedown from his many powers and shape shifting talents in the older mythology Our Loki belongs to the Edda lineage.

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