Skinner, by Charlie Huston

fleurette's review against another edition

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I have never heard about Charlie Huston before. I have read this book because I read the blurb and found it interesting. I have many very mixed feelings about this book.

I don't think I liked the writing style of the author. After some time I got used to it but still it was wearing. What I definitely liked are the characters who are unique and fascinating. Skinner with his past is definitely not an ordinary hero. With Jae they make an interesting couple.

I only wish the ending is different. I would like to see Skinner find his peace at least a bit and not being so lonely again after all the things that happened. Also, I didn't see any hints about the continuation of this story, that's a pity.

explenture's review against another edition

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Convoluted slow moving plot does it mean n

silentjohn's review against another edition

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Charlie Huston is one of my favorite authors... I loved his Joe Pitt and Caught Stealing series, as well as all of his other books.

Skinner is so different than all his other books. It's serious. It's tedious. None of the quirk and badassedness that exists in his other books. I rarely write reviews (if ever?), but I feel like people need to be made aware that this book is completely unlike all of his others.

If you like a slow-paced espionage-esque book, by all means read this one. However, I got more than halfway through and had no idea where the book was going and didn't care for any of the characters.

niratuer's review against another edition

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DNF at 87 pages.

vkemp's review

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Skinner works for Terence who runs Kestrel. Skinner is a product of his parents' psychological experiments as a child and he never learned emotions. He works in "asset protection," a bodyguard who will kill anyone who makes an attempt on his asset's life. The beginning of the book deals with a case gone bad and Skinner disappears for six years, but Terence calls him back to protect Jae, a genius who can see patterns in her head who builds robots. Terence has been forced out at Kestrel and Cross and Haven have taken over. When Terence is killed in Paris after meeting with Skinner and laying out the plan, Skinner knows Cross and Haven are dirty, too. Now, he is on the run with Jae, helping her read the patterns between a cyber attack that almost takes down the East Coast power grid and a small city in India. This read is an adrenaline-laced adventure teetering between spycraft and technological mayhem.

knowledgelost's review

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Skinner is in the ‘asset protection’ game and he was really good at it. His method was fear, he believed the only way to truly protect someone is to make the cost of acquiring an asset far greater than the asset themselves. His employees were uncomfortable with his methods and eventually burnt him; now he is needed again and Skinner needs to re-establish his reputation once again.

I’ve not read Charlie Huston before; I knew he wrote the noir novels featuring Hank Thompson and the supernatural vampiric private eye Joe Pitt series. Both series sound right up my avenue, so why did I start with Skinner? Availability. I went into this novel not really knowing what to expect but hoping for a dark spy thriller; what I got was so much more.

While Skinner is written as a modern day spy thriller the complexity behind the espionage reminds me of the hey days of John le Carré. Skinner has been asked to come back, working for Kestrel which is a private offshoot of the CIA. The whole concept of a corporate owned intelligence agency is no new concept but it leaves Huston with the ability to blur the lines and keep the reader wondering if what is happening is on the level. Skinner’s asset, Jae, is a robotics expert and data analyst which gives us the predictable romantic interest, something that worried me the most within the book.

What I like most about this novel, apart from the complexity, is the way Charlie Huston throws the reader into the story, slowly revealing backstory and small clues into what is happening. This technique leaves the reader guessing about the missions and the characters involved. While this reads as a spy thriller, the way Huston works the characters is masterfully executed and left me wondering, and often not seeing a twist until it is happening.

Skinner is a cutting edge thriller; a novel I had so much fun reading and couldn’t recommend enough for anyone interested in books about espionage. The novel will keep you guessing, leave you thinking and the characters are great, I hope this is the start of a new series because I want Skinner to return. Exploring the terrors of modern warfare and cyber terrorism, you will fly through Skinner but then you won’t stop thinking about it.

This review originally appeared on my blog;