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Patriot Acts (2007)

Atticus has completed the training Drama’s lessons provided, and she—the world’s premier assassin—has learned from Atticus in return. Now with one threat eliminated, there’s yet no peace in sight. Beginning with a shocking betrayal, a brutal ambush and the murder of a friend, these two former enemies work as a team, as threats to their safety spread. The trail leads from the pine barrens of New Jersey to the Black Sea and back, culminating at the heart of the US, in Washington, D.C.

As a bodyguard, Atticus Kodiak once protected his clients against professional killers, but now —

“You cannot learn what you have learned and remain unchanged.”

“I am not a murderer.”

“Yes, you are. You have only to meet your first victim….”

Read an excerpt, or listen to an audio excerpt below:

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Release information

Bantam US hardcover August 2007 0553804731 / 9780553804737
Bantam e-Book August 2007 0553904116 / 9780553904116
BBC Audiobooks America (9 unabridged CDs) August 2007 9781602833104


[E]lectrifying. Rucka expertly blends intense shoot-’em up scenes with biting political commentary… Kodiak fans who’ve waited a long time for this installment will find it exceeds all expectations.
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Atticus Kodiak has been THE action hero in thrillers for over a decade. Kodiak took the mantle from such characters as Smiley and Bourne at the pen of one of fiction’s finest storytellers with stunning detachment. He moved the traditional intelligent thriller nonchalantly from the government clutches to the private sector while preserving all the traditional thriller hero’s internal conflict, natural abilities and stealthy resolve.

[A] must read book… a Global thriller. Rucka is so grounded in presention of place, that you will travel with Kodiak from Washington state to Washington D.C. wishing you’d packed a suitcase… Rucka builds all of his characters without taking many breaks in the action of the story and even fewer in the dialog… one of the year’s most visual books.

Living in a world of paid assassins and financial privilege, being in love, and demanding vengeance for the doomed are classic thriller points that Rucka and Kodiak stoke with new flames. Intelligent, frightening and written in many shades of gray, PATRIOT GAMES will have you wondering where the moral line and public good meet. Rucka will leave you waiting for the next chapter in his epic and smart tale.

P.S. Rarely does Crimespree post reviews of new books on our website before they make the magazine. The strength of this novel inspired me to do so. Rucka is a compelling writer whose work in prose benefits greatly from his work with the graphic novel and visa-versa. No one writing today has quite the same style or visual awareness of how words can paint the story and propel it forward with a breathtaking pace. Descriptive paragraphs can indeed be hidden in action. Characters can be refined with a simple task and defined within dialog. When Rucka writes he uses all of the tools a writer has at his disposal; that he does it with the equivalent of an illusionist’s slight of hand makes his books a form of magic. Sparse and lean and full of muscle mass, Rucka’s work is Novel on Steroids.
—Ruth Jordan for CentralCrimeZone/CrimeSpree Magazine

Greg Rucka just might be the most dangerous novelist working today for two reasons:

One, his prose reads so addictively that you literally can’t tear yourself away, forcing you to avoid loved ones, miss work and stop eating and showering.

Second, there’s so much realism in this nail-biting, action-packed, thought-provoking thriller that you get the impression Rucka himself can actually crush your trachea and kill you with one blow, much like his protagonist, Atticus Kodiak…

[S]hades-of-gray morality lies at the heart of what makes Patriot Acts such a gripping, character-driven read, but there’s plenty of thrills to keep your adrenaline pumping. Rucka, a PhD in ass-kicking technical details, can stage an action sequence like nobody’s business, while the taut, gripping style of his writing makes even the how-to sections of the book—Rucka delves into intricate detail on how to create new identities, stalk a proposed target or even disable a combatant with ricochet fire—into pulse-pounding entertainment.
—Andy Serwin for Wizard Universe

[O]ne of the most engrossing, edgy and provocative thrillers I’ve read in a good while. Clever and slick characterizations, dazzling action, sharp political observations and a crackerjack story line, (all of which are presented in taut, Technicolor prose), make this a must read for die hard thriller fans—especially ones who enjoy stories brimming with various shades of gray.
—Martina Bexte for Bookloons