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Literature / The Survivor

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The Survivor (No Surivors in the United States) is a 2008 Thriller novel by Tom Cain, the second book in the Samuel Carver series. After the events of The Accident Man, the protagonist, Samuel Carver, is nearly catatonic in a Swiss hospital, trapped in his nightmares. Meanwhile, Waylon McCabe, a wealthy oil baron and Carver's only failed assassination target, has hatched a plan to spark Armageddon by acquiring a suitcase nuke and exploding it in Jerusaleum and Alex is pulled back into service with Russian espionage to foil his attempts. When Carver wakes up and realizes Alex is gone, he embarks on a quest to retrieve her and to foil McCabe.


This novel exhibits the following tropes:

  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Alex, as in the first book, is forced to break Carver's heart to save him.
  • Elite Mooks: At one point, a team of Spetsnaz are dispatched after Carver. They don't survive long. Similarly, the team of former Rangers acting as security detail in the latter half of the book are similarly easily dispatched by some of the villains.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Carver is a former British Royal Marine. Other elites in the book from Spetsnaz to Army Rangers fare much worse.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Alex's superior informs Alex that Carver is dead to motivate her. Alex is abashed to find out that he's alive, particularly since she'd just gotten married earlier that day.
  • Riding the Bomb: The airplane is on fire, so Carver and Alex ride the nuclear bomb to safety. Justified in that the bomb was being rigged for an airburst, so it has a working parachute.
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  • Ripped from the Headlines: This time, Cain based the book on Russia's admission that they no longer knew where about a hundred "suitcase nukes" were.

Alternative Title(s): No Survivors


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