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In the Company of Killers

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An intricate, propulsive debut thriller about a globe-trotting investigative reporter who doubles as a CIA spy—and now learns he’s the one being targeted. Tom Klay is a celebrated investigative wildlife reporter for the esteemed magazine The Sovereign. But Klay is not just a journalist. His reportage is cover for an even more dangerous job: CIA spy. His press credentials gi An intricate, propulsive debut thriller about a globe-trotting investigative reporter who doubles as a CIA spy—and now learns he’s the one being targeted. Tom Klay is a celebrated investigative wildlife reporter for the esteemed magazine The Sovereign. But Klay is not just a journalist. His reportage is cover for an even more dangerous job: CIA spy. His press credentials give him access to places that the CIA usually cannot penetrate, and the information he gathers is indispensable. But while on assignment in Kenya, Klay’s closest friend is killed and his own life is threatened—and the carefully constructed double life that he has created begins to come tumbling down. As Klay begins to investigate the forces behind the attack in Kenya, he inadvertently becomes part of a larger, more lethal puzzle—one that includes the top levels of governments across the world. The deeper he digs, the more Klay realizes that everything he thought he knew about his work may have been a lie. In this riveting, twisty debut, the roles of good and evil are reversed, and absolutely nothing is as it seems.


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An intricate, propulsive debut thriller about a globe-trotting investigative reporter who doubles as a CIA spy—and now learns he’s the one being targeted. Tom Klay is a celebrated investigative wildlife reporter for the esteemed magazine The Sovereign. But Klay is not just a journalist. His reportage is cover for an even more dangerous job: CIA spy. His press credentials gi An intricate, propulsive debut thriller about a globe-trotting investigative reporter who doubles as a CIA spy—and now learns he’s the one being targeted. Tom Klay is a celebrated investigative wildlife reporter for the esteemed magazine The Sovereign. But Klay is not just a journalist. His reportage is cover for an even more dangerous job: CIA spy. His press credentials give him access to places that the CIA usually cannot penetrate, and the information he gathers is indispensable. But while on assignment in Kenya, Klay’s closest friend is killed and his own life is threatened—and the carefully constructed double life that he has created begins to come tumbling down. As Klay begins to investigate the forces behind the attack in Kenya, he inadvertently becomes part of a larger, more lethal puzzle—one that includes the top levels of governments across the world. The deeper he digs, the more Klay realizes that everything he thought he knew about his work may have been a lie. In this riveting, twisty debut, the roles of good and evil are reversed, and absolutely nothing is as it seems.

30 review for In the Company of Killers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alma Katsu

    IN THE COMPANY OF KILLERS is an inside look in the high-stakes world of nature media that will appeal to fans of classic international intrigue as well as those craving a more modern take on the geopolitical thriller. An adventure story for the thinking man.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Tom Klay is an investigative journalist for a magazine called The Sovereign, which seems like a fictional version of National Geographic. However, Tom has been living a double life, also working as a CIA asset. On assignment in South Africa where elephants are still being poached for their ivory, Tom and his group come under the gun of a sniper. Tom's friend Bernard is killed and Tom is shot in the shoulder. Tom vows revenge against a terrorist named Botha who he believes is responsible for Bern Tom Klay is an investigative journalist for a magazine called The Sovereign, which seems like a fictional version of National Geographic. However, Tom has been living a double life, also working as a CIA asset. On assignment in South Africa where elephants are still being poached for their ivory, Tom and his group come under the gun of a sniper. Tom's friend Bernard is killed and Tom is shot in the shoulder. Tom vows revenge against a terrorist named Botha who he believes is responsible for Bernard's death, but things are not as they seem. The deeper Tom gets into the politics of both his magazine and South Africa, the more he realizes that he knows nothing at all. In the Company of Killers had a great deal of potential as a revenge tale or story of the little guy defeating the big guy, but instead it devolves into a plot filled with corruption where nobody ever really wins and the world as we know it is doomed. The book jumps from flashback to flash forward to foreshadowing so much that it is tough to identify the key players and the main story line. None of the characters are well developed, and at the same time, are unlikable. Overall, In the Company of Killers could have been an excellent romance, political thriller or action adventure, but ends up being a disappointing jumble, defying description.

  3. 4 out of 5

    BookTrib.com

    In an intricate and propulsively exciting thriller that is full of surprises, Tom Klay will discover that everything he thought about this case — and the events of his own life — have not been what they seemed. The lines between good and evil have just been blurred, and in the end, it may be only his enemies that he will be able to trust. A little. Read our full review here: https://booktrib.com/2021/03/26/wildl... In an intricate and propulsively exciting thriller that is full of surprises, Tom Klay will discover that everything he thought about this case — and the events of his own life — have not been what they seemed. The lines between good and evil have just been blurred, and in the end, it may be only his enemies that he will be able to trust. A little. Read our full review here: https://booktrib.com/2021/03/26/wildl...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    3.5 stars. There was much to like about this debut espionage thriller. The Africa-centric plot was different. And I loved the use of a loosely fictionalized Nat Geo, an organization I know a thing or two about. The plot had the requisite twists, turns, and betrayals. But at the end of the day, I just didn't connect with or really care about the characters. Alas. 3.5 stars. There was much to like about this debut espionage thriller. The Africa-centric plot was different. And I loved the use of a loosely fictionalized Nat Geo, an organization I know a thing or two about. The plot had the requisite twists, turns, and betrayals. But at the end of the day, I just didn't connect with or really care about the characters. Alas.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    Tom Klay, the hero of Bryan Christy’s new series, is a journalist who investigates crimes against endangered species for a NatGeo-like magazine, The Sovereign. He has written several stories about poachers in Kenya, where rhinos are killed for their horns. While on a trip there, he is attacked, and one of his sources who has become a close friend is killed. Klay suspects that Ras Botha, a former South African cop, is behind a poaching operation that is responsible for his death. Shortly after the Tom Klay, the hero of Bryan Christy’s new series, is a journalist who investigates crimes against endangered species for a NatGeo-like magazine, The Sovereign. He has written several stories about poachers in Kenya, where rhinos are killed for their horns. While on a trip there, he is attacked, and one of his sources who has become a close friend is killed. Klay suspects that Ras Botha, a former South African cop, is behind a poaching operation that is responsible for his death. Shortly after the attack, the magazine’s publisher, Vance Eady, persuades Klay to join the CIA, using his work as a cover in order to find out more about Botha’s network, and potentially its connection to an international ring. Meanwhile, Eady agrees to sell The Sovereign to the Perseus Group, a security company that provides international paramilitary support to governments and private organizations. Are these two events connected? If so, who is Klay really working for? The revelation that Perseus’ owner, Terry Krieger, grew up in South Africa provokes suspicion. Complicating Klay’s actions is his failed relationship with a South African prosecutor, Hungry Khoza, who is also investigating Botha. When he arrives in Pretoria with his colleague, David Trenchant, Klay rekindles their affair, only to find that she is engaged to one of the people whom his investigation is targeting. Then Trenchant himself comes under suspicion. Klay --- and the reader --- can’t decipher which side to root for, or indeed if there are any good guys at all. Adding to the confusion are a number of plotlines and flashbacks that seem insignificant at one point, only to reappear later. Are the politicos who meet Krieger in the South China Sea working with the Africans, against the Americans, or both? Was the American operative who was murdered in Kenya working for the US, or for himself? Is Eady looking out for Klay, or using him? Although much is resolved by the end of this twisty novel, what makes the journey noteworthy are the locales and locals to which we are introduced through the eyes of the world-weary Tom Klay. It will be interesting to see how he, and Christy, evolve throughout the course of the series. Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley

  6. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Tom Klay's work as an investigative journalist takes him around the world and gets him into contact with a lot of interesting people - which comes in quite handy for his second job as a CIA asset. This is a quite clever set-up for a spy thriller I haven't come across before, and Christy spins an intriguing tale in his debut novel that turns out to be a lot more complex than it first seems. The story takes its time to get going, but it's worth sticking with until it does. Tom Klay's work as an investigative journalist takes him around the world and gets him into contact with a lot of interesting people - which comes in quite handy for his second job as a CIA asset. This is a quite clever set-up for a spy thriller I haven't come across before, and Christy spins an intriguing tale in his debut novel that turns out to be a lot more complex than it first seems. The story takes its time to get going, but it's worth sticking with until it does.

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Rumery

    Not a five star book but it exceeded my expectations. Interesting story. Flawed protagonist. Nice revenge arc. It made me feel like an insider with the political sausage making of the CIA and the current media environment. Plus a thin veiled critique of Eric Prince and the private sector military complex

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    I liked the concept of this one - an international journalist is a perfect fit for a CIA operative. Once I got used to the slightly more abrupt chapter endings I started to get into the work. It was a bit complex and violent but overall I enjoyed it. The narrator was excellent and the ending was realistic and not drawn out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    s...l...o...w...

  10. 4 out of 5

    TC

    Recommended. Review posted at Tzer Island book blog: https://www.tzerisland.com/bookblog/2... Recommended. Review posted at Tzer Island book blog: https://www.tzerisland.com/bookblog/2...

  11. 4 out of 5

    John Siemens

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krissy Neddo

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gary

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dave Sloan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maryanne Moses

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sterling Shanks

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marc V.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kellon Hassenstab

  21. 5 out of 5

    Juanele90

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Fergus

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristinc

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bill Berger

  25. 5 out of 5

    Peridot

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claire Leone

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maryellen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  29. 5 out of 5

    William S

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bryant Butingan

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