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Summary

Can the man who never was catch the criminals who never get caught?  

John Milton is used to operating in the shadows, weaving his way through dangerous places behind a fake identity. Now, to avenge the death of a close friend, he must wear his mask of deception once more.  

Beau Baxter was brutally murdered by a drugs cartel, but that doesn’t stop Milton from blaming himself for his friend’s death. With the help of a trusted team of undercover experts and Beau’s son, Milton is determined to track down the killers. And he isn't just after the man who gave the order. He’s heading right for the top.  

Milton plans to follow the trail of cocaine from the nightclubs of Amsterdam all the way to its source in Colombia. Disguised as an ambitious buyer, he’s prepared to work his way up the cartel hierarchy one rung at a time. But the ladder can be slippery, and as Milton travels deeper into a world of violence, ruthlessness and greed, he finds himself in a jungle that could prove impossible to escape.

©2020 Mark Dawson (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Man Who Never Was

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I was ready to send it back at first

After the last book (let's be honest it was half a book) I was ready to send this one back as I feared it was headed in the same direction. However Mr Dawson pulled it back from the brink in the last 20 minutes. I may have to listen to both books again back to back as I found it difficult to invest any emotional capital as a result of the previous 'half a book debacle.

Without revealing any spoilers I think there was enough closure to count this as a book in its own right and enough intrigue to hopefully provide Milton with another 'multi book adversary' in the same vein as Avi Bachman, and to a lesser extent his former employers.

Please, please don't turn the Milton series into the never ending tripe that was the Isabella Rose books.

Apologies if the review seemed overly negative, it wasn't intended that way, I was just concerned that the peripatetic, flawed, vengeful Milton we know and love was being written away in favour of a settled and happy one. If that happened there'd be nothing to set him apart from average protagonists the genre is awash with.

With Love SH

5 people found this helpful

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enjoyable

As always a good listen. I'm invested in the story of John Milton so will keep getting the books. I won't lie I felt like the story this time was very rushed and some of the accents were bad but that did just endear me to the story telling. I like that the group are back and it should make the next installment more thriller like in listening

2 people found this helpful

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Not a great Milton

I guess this was fine but the pay off wasn’t worth the convoluted build up. I thought we’d be in political intrigue and a huge 3 way showdown that just fizzled out. SPOILER - why bother with all that and then just have single gun shot by not one of the main protagonists?
Questionable military tactics and character choices too. Not like MD to make such lazy mistakes. Think he Zoomed this on in!

2 people found this helpful

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Exceeded My Expectations

I love John Milton novels, but was afraid to start this one. With all his friends coming together, it seemed like this was going to be it for him! I couldn't start it until I knew the next had been published.

Lots of twists and turns, the only person missing was the police officer from Saint Death! Let's hope, going forward, Milton can count on one friendly government, especially as British interests were against both him AND the US.

1 person found this helpful

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Fast pace

The usual fast-paced thriller in this series - this time set in Columbia. Very well read.

1 person found this helpful

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One of the better Milton books

Series has been getting weaker but this one is a much improved story and not one AA meeting thankfully. Will try the next one in hope

Narrator as good as ever

1 person found this helpful

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A bit of a let-down

The John Milton series has been long on my list of must reads for holidays and long journeys, him being my favourite but somewhat flawed vigilante. In this story, Mark Dawson seemed to run out of steam and without having read (probably) all of the previous books in the series, I may not have had a clue who were the goodies, who were the baddies and generally, what was going on. I did just manage to get through to the end of the rather unbelievable and quite uninteresting story. Is this the end of the John Milton that we love? David Thorpe, however, gave a valiant effort as his style of narration is particularly suited to these books.

1 person found this helpful

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Milton

Found this book a bit boring maybe it's because it's the same old old story.

1 person found this helpful

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Another great read!

One of my favourite audio books in the John Milton series. A very enjoyable listen

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I'm biased,

I'm biased, as a big fan of the other john milton books I kinda knew what I was going to get and in no way was I disappointed. a smart and stylish action packed thriller, loved it from the start to the end

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bruce
  • 16-11-20

Too boring by half

Start after chapter 50 or 60. You won't miss any of the action and you will save a lot of time listening to excruciatingly boring details about the setup of the operation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • S. Winters
  • 19-10-20

Too long winded and scattered

I’m a huge fan of Mark Dawson and this series, but this newest installment was the weakest I’d say. Just my opinion.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Charles Rower
  • 15-09-20

Dawson finally gets it back together

After Mark Dawson's recent abortive foray into his ill-advised attempt in authoring mystery novels, he seems to have quickly learned from his errors and returned back to John Milton's land. The characters are phenomenal and David Thorpe has to be among the best of the best of all narrators. Every time one of the Mexican cartel bosses sounds off with, "Meeester Smith!" my wife and I crack up. We're not halfway through yet and at this point we think Mark Dawson might have been better advised to not make Group 15 the bad guys - thus veering off in the direction of many lesser spy authors who seem to love building plots that our governments are filled with the baddest of bad actors, all of whom are organized to create and control their own version of how the world should be. Don't start down that road, Mark. But other than that, and even though I'm not a fan of drug cartel novels - 5 x 5 here.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elisha
  • 07-09-20

Where is Milton?

The author has gotten away from what makes me want to read the John Milton series. In the earlier books, John is a loner struggling with sobriety and a guilty conscience. He copes by helping those in need of his "skillset". He's an unassuming badass that takes down the bad guys one by one. The books were straightforward with lots of detailed fight scences, gunfights and interesting ways Milton killed an opponent. All of the action I like entwined in a good plot with humor and character development. This book has NONE of that. Milton was not the skilled, unbeatable agent I love. He didn't get out of any scrapes. He actually seemed nervous and scared throughout the book! He fought once and got his ass kicked. He once again he gathered a team which didn't serve much purpose. They made it through most situations by luck, not skill. It seems like the author rushed the book or was trying to squeeze in so many side characters, that he forgot about the main character. I did get excited when Milton said he needed to become Number 1 again. In my mind I thought Milton would flip a switch to get that cold, ruthless mindset and kill 'em all...not. I like that he has a moral code but Milton has just become too soft. He's lost his edge and relies too much on these makeshift teams he pulls together. If this is your first book in the series, its an ok read. As someone who's read every book in the series, it was so disappointing. I'm all for having a character grow and evolve but the essence of Milton is gone.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Trish R.
  • 22-04-21

Great book and wonderful narration..

This was a great part that started in book 15, and it still doesn't feel like it's finished. It was about John Milton going after the cartel. The ones that killed his friend. AND, even though, Group Fifteen was supposed to have been ended, it wasn't. And the new assassins aren't so trustworthy.

No romance and the F-bomb was used 17 times.

As for the narration: David Thorpe is simply wonderful..

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  • Shannon
  • 09-10-20

Another winner!

These John Milton books just keep better and better as Mark Dawson adds more rich layers to his characters.

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  • Sam
  • 06-10-20

Refueled my love for the series


For a while there I was worried that Mr. Dawson was losing steam and was becoming disinterested with the John Milton series. I am so happy that is not the case, and the series has picked up the feeling and energy from the earlier novels. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer but killa city should be releasing soon and I can’t wait.

They really need to make this series into a Netflix special!

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  • K.R. Hiney
  • 20-09-20

Amazing as the rest of the series! 5 STARS

This series is one of the best ever! 5 Stars! MILTON IS NON STOP AWESOME!

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  • Daud
  • 09-09-20

Great story and great performance

The story telling is gripping and the narrator is fantastic. The reintroduction of group 15 is unexpected and can't wait for the next installment.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chet M. Maccio
  • 08-09-20

I totally enjoy audio books and the variously

pl0ts,twist with all the and turns or the narrative. For me to.lay back and simple.list is very.relacihng