Already the best book I’ll read this year! - Amazon Reviewer
Finding the killer was only the beginning...
The sound of a gunshot rips through the peace of a sunny Sunday morning in Milan. One body - two potential targets.
High-flier Lieutenant Raphael Conza, the son of an Italian diplomat is tasked with unravelling the mystery behind the murder outside the Hotel Napoli. It’s Conza's toughest case yet. As he seeks the rider of the moped spotted leaving the murder scene, key witnesses go missing and someone is leaking details of the case to the press…and others.
For the first time in his career, Conza begins to doubt his instincts and is torn between his pursuit of the criminals and the need to protect the vulnerable.
The Milan Contract takes the reader on an extraordinary journey across Italy, the UK and Germany as Conza attempts to unravel the secrets behind the killing of a grey-haired man in Milan.
“Already the best book I’ll read this year.”
“WOW. An absolute stunner of a book.”
“A captivating and thrilling read that’s hard to put down.”
“….occasionally, you have to remind yourself to breathe.”
“….definitely recommend for lovers of crime novels.”
“The crime thriller you've been waiting for!”
“Hugely enjoyable, the story thunders along…”
“…a real thrill and a treat.”
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Average rating from 13 members
Stunning debut novel! An action based thriller that keeps you turning pages as quickly as you can read. You become invested in his characters and the plot is involved but never over played. As is the vogue at times there is a need to refer to earlier events and explain with background information. However, this is never at the expense of the modern day drama unfolding. In some novels these past references can slow down the progress but here they are used to great effect and enhance the reader’s enjoyment and grasp of the story. A professional style hit on a business man checking out of his hotel at first seems like a bundled robbery; maybe even a case of mistaken identity. But the case seems more complicated still when witnesses are threatened and killed. Furthermore there appears to be leak within the police team itself which places others at risk. I liked the humanity of the police officer heading up the investigation. I enjoyed the sense of conflation and frustration within serving officers. I loved this focus on the Italian police model and the locations used to convey the story. The writing is informative but seldom less than entertaining, despite the events described. I appreciated this realism and as a police procedural it had quality. However what lifts the story further it has historic roots , yet totally current, believable but essentially it is greater than its parts. Since it also falls into the category of Cold War thriller, with espionage and action two components that ratchet up the drama and the tension. Without trying to be too clever, the author weaves a credible story with victims and perpetrators being ordinary people acting under duress or in the wrong place at the wrong time. I also liked the implication that crime is not always solved; criminals can avoid consequences of the law due to powerful and influential backers. This reflection on why people become involved; their apparent quilt established along the way but how evidence isn’t always found, even if there was a will and motivation to bring down those pulling the strings. Blackmail, implied force and the ability of friends to enact revenged makes the story more authentic for me. I found I cared about the characters and from the dilemmas thrown up made me empathise with those caught up in these events, as black and white seemed to blur together and cynicism made everything seem grey. Hopefully not a one book wonder. Potential clearly evident, more satisfied readers might help launch this author’s career. A great debut, more of the same, please.
Thank you to NetGalley, Stephen Franks (author) and Mooncatbooks (publisher) for giving me the opportunity to read The Milan Contract. For a first novel by Stephen Franks it is a "ripper". I loved it. To start off I thought hang on a minute there are way too many characters continually being introduced, how am I going to keep track of them all. Yes, there were quite a few characters, but the brilliant way they were described, it was easy to keep track of who was who. Lieutenant Raphael Conza was the main policeman but he was very able supported by a few others. The book was set in Italy, but it also encompassed, UK and Germany among other countries. I will not say too much about the book or plot, but if you get a chance to read this one, do yourself a favor and make sure you get it. I would love to see some sequels to this and make it into a mini series. A couple of the main players may have already left the scene, but I am sure it could be developed further. If so, I would love to read some more. I will keep my eye open for more books by Stephen Franks. I have no hesitation in giving this the highest rating of 5 stars from me.
Fast paced, exciting, relentless, action packed thriller jam packed with well drawn characters and a plot that resonated with me. I was drawn in from the first chapter and finished it - breathless- the same day. An exciting new talent has been revealed. Highly recommended.
Wow! It’s so hard to sit and write a proper review over this novel when my mind is still exploding from the creativity that went into writing it. To state that it’s a page turner simply doesn’t do it justice. From the first moment I began flipping through the pages and reading, I knew I was going to love it. Mixing thrill with an adrenaline pumping storyline, Franks goes into an amazing tale about corruption, betrayal, and sticking things out to the end. Throughout the book, it was difficult to force myself to put it down at night. The way it’s so beautifully written, it’s as if the book is a 5 star meal at the best steakhouse in the city. Each chapter, written in various perspectives of the characters, details their trials and thoughts. It leaves you curious, wondering how the different pieces are going to fit together by the end. And, when that ending comes, it is as action packed as expected. To keep things short, would I pick this up at a bookstore and read it again? Yes. I’d take it with me on my next flight and spend hours reading through and picking apart the flaws in each wonderfully detailed character. Both good and bad are part of humanity, and I think this book does more than represent a realistic crime story. It leaves you wanting more. Phenomenal read.
That was one hell of a ride. I checked out this eBook with every intention to just read “the first few pages” before going to bed. Instead, I spent the next 2.5 hours reading until I fell asleep from exhaustion. And when I woke up, I immediately took the finishing the last 25%. To say that The Milan Contract was “gripping” “a page-turner” “exciting” would be a huge understatement. Indeed, I was on the edge of my seat almost the entire time, holding my breath. I guess it helps that I personally like seeing different POVs in thriller books. The Milan Contract had so many different characters that I was at first worried it was going to get confusing, but surprisingly, it wasn’t. I also appreciated the fact that we were given glimpses into the antagonists’ backgrounds — after all, every bad guy has his own story. Anyway, I’m happy the way the story ended for the most part, although there’s just one thing I wish hadn’t happened (you’ll know when you read it!) The epilogue was a nice touch. Now I’m looking forward to Stephen Franks’ other books! I’d like to say thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of this book. This is actually my first NetGalley book and, my goodness, I’m so glad it’s as memorable as it is!