Listen free for 30 days

  • The Cleaner

  • John Milton, Book 1
  • Written by: Mark Dawson
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Cleaner cover art

The Cleaner

Written by: Mark Dawson
Narrated by: David Thorpe
Try for $0.00

$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $20.48

Buy Now for $20.48

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Meet John Milton. He considers himself an artisan. A craftsman. His trade is murder. Milton is the man the government sends after you when everything else has failed. Ruthless. Brilliant. Anonymous. Lethal. You wouldn't pick him out of a crowd but you wouldn't want to be on his list.

But now, after 10 years, he's had enough - there's blood on his hands and he wants out. Trouble is, this job is not one you can just walk away from. He goes on the run, seeking atonement for his sins by helping the people he meets along the way.

But his past cannot be easily forgotten, and before long it is Milton who is hunted, and not the hunter. The Cleaner. A career of state-sanctioned murder has taken its toll. Milton is troubled by nightmares, a long line of ghosts who torment his dreams. He resolves to make his next job his last and, then, perhaps, he can start to make amends for everything that he has done.

Sharon Warriner is a single mother in the East End of London, suicidal with fear that she's lost her young son to a life in the gangs. After Milton saves her life, he promises to help. But the gang, and the charismatic rapper who leads it, is not about to cooperate with him.

As London burns through summer riots, Milton finds himself in unfamiliar territory, dealing with an unfamiliar foe. And when his employer sends another agent after him, the odds against him are stacked even higher.

©2013 Mark Dawson (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Cleaner

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So disappointed

The story was ok in the plot area but things that John Milton did just wouldn’t be done by anyone in his position ever. Send a gang kid to the police to rat on a gang leader and not expect that that kid would end up a target? Going to people and laying his plans out to be filmed on YouTube? Just so many things are so unbelievably stupid that I just wanted to stop listening but was 3/4 of the way thru so thought I’d see how it ended and I was just so disappointed…. There are 3 more books, I doubt I get any more

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Realistic start to a series

Milton must make personal amends. Great start to a terrific series. The narrator is wonderful with different voices/accents.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Julius
  • Julius
  • 2015-09-28

High hopes but... I 'm disappointed

I hoped for a British Jonathan Quinn or maybe a little Victor the assassin. What I got was a lot of London teens from "the wrong side of the tracks" getting involved in crime with a little bit of "spy" on the DL thrown in for flavor. Very disappointing.
**Note: I didn't care for the narrator. I normally just deal with what I consider "intrusive narration," but I found Mr. Thorpe's performance too distracting. This is my first book of his, but in this case I didn't care his work. I might sample another in the future**
Overall I really wanted to like this book, but there is just too much "operative with a heart of gold" sitting on the side lines and not enough suspense / substance.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ted
  • Ted
  • 2017-04-17

Sizzling Beginning: 15 Stars!

Okay; weed away the PC offenses of James Bond and swirl him into John LeCarre's world of ominous bureaucratic dread. Then charge the whole thing with seasoning from Tom Wood's 'Victor The Assassin' - add a big chunk of Ludlum's 'Jason Bourne' and finally swizzle-stick it into throb-mode with Mark Dawson's dystopian imagination. Finally, have David Thorpe create this ensemble at a talent level set on high-craft. And that's how much "The Cleaner" entertained me.

Warning... this is the first part of a 'John Milton' epic. I'm off to download "Saint Death" the second in this series. Usually I hate adventures that are not entirely stand-alone. But this one is so close to a single story, and it is so damned exciting... that I've transcended my normal crankiness.

Yep, I really liked "The Cleaner". 15 Stars!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chip Atkinson
  • Chip Atkinson
  • 2017-05-11

Really fast paced and good story

John Milton the assasin is retired. He has let it be known he is out. And then, on his way home he notices a crowd shouting down at the tracks where his train was seconds away from arriving. A 30 something black woman is laying across the tracks. So he saves her. As fate would have it, she and her son would save him as well.

Suddenly an ex special forces assasin finds himself living in the ghettos of London where street gangs rule. He is there to help this woman save her teenage son from a life on the streets. Now that is what makes this story so intriguing. Great characters, believable story and yet tragedy remains in the end.

Milton, in this novel anyway, is almost like a Jack Reacher or Mitch Rapp, but with more humanity than super powers. But the premise has me thinking. What if the Government dropped special forces teams to violently wipe out all the gangs in LA and Chicago. These novels with super ex seals more or less advocate that. Collateral damages aside, gangs could be obliterated in weeks and it would protect thousands of lives and billions of dollars. The answer is that we are a nation of laws.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 2015-04-30

Meet John Milton

Meet John Milton, once a soldier, then for many years, a government assassin. But John is tired. Plagued by painful memories and fighting alcohol dependency, he wants out and a quiet, normal life. He isn't going to get it.
In Milton, Mark Dawson has created a charismatic but troubled man trying to run away from a relentless past which will not let him go. And neither will his erstwhile employers. The book is exciting, well crafted and both the characters and places are fully developed with a light touch. I have to confess, I am a fan of this author, from his betrayed heroine of the Beatrix Rose series to the escalating drug chaos of the young lawyer in Subpoena Colada but , for me, Milton is his best creation yet.

A book can be made or destroyed by it's narration and, because I had previously read the book, there was also the fear that the pictures in my head would not fit with those offered to me by the reader. But no problem here. David Thorpe narrates clearly with an even pace. But he really excels when putting voices to the characters in conversation. Excellent.

I have no hesitation in recommending this audio book and I am most grateful to the author for gifting it to me in return for an honest review.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Taniqua Carter
  • Taniqua Carter
  • 2015-05-04

No Jack Reacher....

This book was touted as the next Jack Reacher in a review. While there are similarities, the story wasn't compelling. I probably won't continue this series.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James R. Drebelbis
  • James R. Drebelbis
  • 2017-05-31

John Milton is a walking disaster.

John Milton's involvement in the lives of the other characters failed to improve their lot in life. At the conclusion they were either burned and homeless, dead, or continuing on the road to ruin. The story left me dissatisfied with the principal character.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sharon Goodwin
  • Sharon Goodwin
  • 2015-07-29

left questions

I went back over several times to see what happened to the boy. never found an answer. That's disappointing!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Arlen
  • Arlen
  • 2016-01-29

BORING

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Have Dick Hill read it. David Thorpe is horrible - I want my money back, it was that bad.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Dawson again?

Not if it is read by David Thorpe.

What didn’t you like about David Thorpe’s performance?

Absolutely nothing. He needs to find a new line of work.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story could have been a good one except it went off the rails because the author mixed in too many traits that just don't happen in life with a character like John Milton. He made Milton go from a potential great good guy to an average dope that makes bad decisions.

Any additional comments?

The author could be on to something with his new character John Milton but if he ever hopes to compete for reader affection like we have for someone like Jack Reacher or Mitch Rapp, he needs to give John more backbone, more cunning, more committed to stopping evil. This first book just made John too passive even though he did accomplish a few necessary tasks, if you get my drift.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matt Quan
  • Matt Quan
  • 2016-06-03

Not a book about an assassin but a book about a kid joining a gang

This was a disappointment. I expected a book about an assassin. Instead if was about a kid and the gang he hung with. The so called assassin is a washed up alcoholic who quits the secret service. He moves to the bad side of town and tries to help the boy. For a guy that has killed 136 people, john Milton the assassin is woefully inept. This supposed super assassin has a hard time taking out a street gang lord and two of his cronies. The assassin who's supposed to kill the main character is also inept. He has the guy in his sights. Instead of pulling the trigger, he listens to the guy talk then is distracted and loses the upper hand...

This book is obviously written by someone who has very little knowledge of the trade. It was tedious. I listened to it at double speed just to get to the uninspired ending.

Try the john rain series or the victor the assassin series instead. They are much better.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mathew
  • Mathew
  • 2017-04-01

F-bomb party palace. Could not finish the book

I have read Gray Man before, but there were so many f-bombs that I could not finish the book

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

6 people found this helpful