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Publisher's Summary

John Milton is a former assassin for the British government. He is a ronin, trying to atone for his past sins by offering his services to those people who have no one else to whom they can turn.

Milton is keeping a low profile in London when he meets Eddie Fabian. Fabian confesses that he is considering suicide and that the reason for his depression was the abuse that he suffered as a child. Milton offers to help, but, before he can, Eddie is found dead in circumstances that Milton considers suspicious. And then events take a turn that no one could have anticipated....

Milton's attempted good deed becomes a quest to unveil corruption at the highest levels of government and murder at the dark heart of the criminal underworld. Milton is pulled back into the game, and that's going to have serious consequences for everyone who crosses his path.

Cover design by Stuart Bache.

©2016 Mark Dawson (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Ninth Step

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Trudy Owens
  • 2016-03-12

a bit slow but nice to have John Milton back!

Milton is back in London, and thankfully why he left Australia and Matilda is explained, although I think if he truly loved her he could have found something else to do so as to stay with her. Maybe she wasn't willing to make any changes. Anyway...

Three years on the wagon and John is struggling with AA's Twelve Steps. You see, the ninth step is to make restitution to those you have harmed, and John can't do that because all the people he wronged are dead. Nor can he divulge his wrongs to any of his new friends, or anyone for that matter. The first long part of the book sets up the background for the action and retribution to come next. Even though it does go on a long time, we like Milton and his life is interesting even if he isn't throwing his special forces training around all the time.

There are several things happening in the story and John steps in to help out, all the while arranging that HE be invisible in the end. Some of the stories become cleverly intertwined, and justice gets sorted out.

Two plot points that didn't sit well were first, why the journalist confided in John so fully when they first met, and second, not much was made of the bad cop. The journalist seemed really astute but twice behaved foolishly naively. The bad cop story just quietly ended.

However, in the end Milton did save a number of people, dealt justice for a wrongful death, and seems to have found some compromise and peace in how he will continue to handle the ninth step.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 2016-03-09

Not the best John Milton thriller

I had a decision to make this morning as three books I had pre-ordered were released including this one. Since the Kindle version of The Ninth Step was released several weeks ago and had an average customer rating of 4.8 stars I selected it. I am a huge Mark Dawson fan, but after listening to the first 6 hours I was tempted to return the audiobook without finishing it. It was slow, excessively wordy, and boring. Then things changed and from there on it deserves a solid 5 star rating. I'm down rating the book to 4 stars because of its slow and boring start.

The "ninth step" in the title refers to the 9th step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program; “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” It follows step 8 which states, "Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all." Step 9 is always the most difficult for an alcoholic. After three years of sobriety John Milton was having a very difficult time with it. The Ninth Step is very much about John Milton's struggle with Step 9.

This book, at least the last half, has constant action and suspense. I still prefer Mark Dawson's Beatrix Rose series to the John Milton series, but since Rose died in book 3 of the series there will be no more.

I recommend this book for those who like action and suspense thrillers. There are lots of action and suspense packed into the second half of the book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Joyce Eriksen
  • 2016-03-11

Super! Six stars

Ive read all this series several times. I'm a rereader. It takes a terrific story for me to enjoy again. These are that kind of story. John is a real hero.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Trish R.
  • 2020-12-24

This was as good as all the others..

I put off reading this a while back then tried it again yesterday, starting at the beginning again, and I really liked it. It was about 2 different groups that John had to get even with, and the people he felt the need to help at the same time. I turned out to be a really good book**********

No romance and the F-bomb was used 21 times**********

As to the narration: David Thorpe does such a great job narrating.

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  • VA Barnhill - Author
  • 2020-10-09

Another John Milton Thriller

I’ve read each of Mark Dawson’s different series and enjoyed them all. The Ninth Step, from Dawson’s John Milton series, is one of my top ten Dawson books. The twists and turns kept me engaged and left me disappointed that it was over. Well done Mr. Dawson

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  • Silverhamr
  • 2020-08-11

I love John Milton!!

This is definitely one of the best series! It takes place around the world and has the perfect narrator!! I try to spread out the books so I never run out!! Highly recommended.

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  • ND Roughrider
  • 2020-04-28

Another great novel by Mark Dawson!

The author has written an excellent novel with plenty of intrigue and suspense! The narration is superb!

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  • Shannon
  • 2020-02-10

Loved it!

John is at it again. Trying to make amends for his past while still adding to the pile of bad guys he's leaving behind.
This is a good story and I think one of the more "human" John Milton life chapters. I really enjoyed it.

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  • K R D
  • 2019-01-06

This is anti-Semitic drivel

Following the anti-Israel plot of the previous book in the series, the author unleashes a preposterous plot, laced with an anti-Semitic undertone.

Pure and utter drivel

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  • Debora Aldridge
  • 2018-09-25

Intense

Dawson just gets better with each novel. Milton continues to put his life in jeopardy to help others and atone for his past sins.