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Literature / The Accident Man

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The Accident Man is a 2007 Thriller novel by Tom Cain, the first book in the Samuel Carver series. The protagonist, Samuel Carver, is a killer for hire who kills people in ways that resemble accidents. He has a firm policy of only killing people who deserve to be killed, but he's tricked into killing a member of the British Royal Family and is forced to fight for his life as his employers have sentenced him to death.

No relation to the film, Accident Man.


This novel exhibits the following tropes:

  • A Father to His Men: Trench was Carver's commanding offer in the Royal Marines and Carver considers him a father figure. That, of course, makes the betrayal that much worse.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: According to Yuri, the electric belt has been condemned by Amnesty International for causing extreme pain, lack of motor control, permanent neural damage, and incontinence.
  • Blinded by the Light: A green laser "dazzler" is used by Carver to cause the car to crash early in the story. Ironically, later in the story, he is tortured by being forced to stare into a bright light for hours at a time.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: After Alex is captured by Yuri, she knows that Yuri will kill her and Carver if he discovers the truth, so she acts incredibly cruel to a captured Carver, breaking his heart and spirit so as to be in a position to save him.
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  • Electric Torture: After Carver is caught by Yuri, he has a remote-controlled electric belt attached to his waist by which they can punish him.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Carver is a former British Royal Marine.
  • Flare Gun: Used to kill Trench. The low accuracy is noted in the book.
  • Honey Trap: This is Alex's former profession as part of the Soviet Union. She gets to brush off old skills.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: This is how Carver operates. Helicopter rotor failures, car crashes, and fatal boating accidents show up in the novel.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The incident which gets Carver marked for death involves using a "dazzler" to distract a driver coming out of a tunnel while pursued by paparazzi, causing a crash which kills a member of the Royal Family.
  • Sensual Slav: Alexandra Petrova, the Russian honeypot agent, becomes Carver's compatriot and lover.


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