Friday, June 10, 2011

Read Alike: Lee Child

Lee Child has been a big name in the fast-paced suspense genre since the publication of his first novel, Killing Floor, in 1997. Killing Floor, an Anthony Award winner, was also our introduction to his independent hero, Jack Reacher. Reacher was a decorated officer in the U.S. Army Military Police before he mustered out, but life as a civilian has proven to be anything but peaceful.

Mr. Child's plot-driven novels are often violent, but never dull. The series can be read in any order, but the first title in the character's chronology is The Enemy. While most books are written in the third-person, a few, like The Enemy, are written in the first-person, which gives readers a greater insight into how Reacher's mind works.

Before trying his hand at novels, Mr. Child worked in British television. Most recently he edited First Thrills, an anthology of short stories by thriller and suspense authors both new and well-known. His next installment in the Jack Reacher series, The Affair, is scheduled for publication in October. You can read more about Lee Child and Jack Reacher on their official website:

If you're a fan of Lee Child, you may also like these authors:

F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series about the fast-paced adventures of the independent Jack Nelson include more supernatural elements than the Reacher novels, but the action-filled plots and interesting characters draw readers into the dangerous setting. Mr. Wilson has also written a prequel of sorts intended for a young-adult audience, starting with Jack: Secret Histories.

Bob Lee Swagger is a retired Marine sniper who served three tours in Vietnam, and the hero of Stephen Hunter's fast-paced suspense series. Mr. Hunter's writing was the basis for the 2007 action movie, Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg as Swagger. The most recent title in the series, Dead Zero, has Swagger on the hunt in the deserts and caves of Afghanistan.

P. T. Deutermann is another author who excels in writing fast-paced suspense novels. His Cam Richter series of mysteries follow Lieutenant Richter's adventures in North Carolina. The series starts with The Cat Dancers pits Richter's skills against a vigilante, and a growing group of people who enjoy taunting mountain lions.

James Lee Burke first-person mystery novels are not always as fast-paced as Mr. Child's novels, but his hardboiled heroes, like P.I. Dave Robicheaux, are no strangers to action. In the first book of the series, The Neon Rain, someone in New Orleans wants Robicheaux dead, and there are no shortage of suspects.

Michael Connelly's ex-military hero, Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, is a maverick detective with the L.A. police department who carries the scars of his time in Vietnam. His fast-paced mysteries have a gritty, noir atmosphere. His most recent Harry Bosch novel, The Reversal, also features Mickey Heller, the main character of his legal thriller series, as they fight to bring a child murderer to justice.

Robert Crais is known for taking the elements of the hardboiled detective story and adding a touch of humor to keep things a bit more upbeat. Readers of Lee Child may enjoy Mr. Crais's more recent Elvis Cole novels which introduce Joe Pike, and a slightly darker tone, or his stand alone titles like The Two Minute Rule, whose main character has been released from prison to find his son is dead.

Barry Eisler's Japanese-American hero, John Rain is a paid assassin and military veteran who follows his own moral compass, despite the danger to himself. The first book in this fast-paced series, Rain Fall, finds Rain protecting the daughter of a Tokyo politician.

You may also enjoy our Read Alike suggestions for Clive Cussler.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

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