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General A&A Discussion > Looking for Action Series recommendations

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message 1: by David (new)

David Graham (davidgraham) Hi,

I'm looking to see if there are any action/thriller series featuring recurring characters that you would recommend. I've read the Bourne series, The Bob Lee Swagger series, The Joe Pike/Elvis Cole series, the Nicholas Linnear series, The Jack McClure series, the Jack Reacher series, the Mitch Rapp series, the Sean Dillon series (Jack Higgins). I wondered are there any obvious action thriller series that I should look to get, ideally I like there to be some kind of mystery involved but it's not essential.

thanks in advance


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 785 comments I've read & liked most of those you listed. A couple of older ones that I like even better are Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm series & John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series.

Hamilton's books are now being republished a few each year & are available through Amazon. Soon we should get the final Matt Helm book that Hamilton wrote, but never published! Can't wait.

I just read The Incendiary Agent by Joseph C. Reiss a new author. This is the first of a series, but he hasn't written any more yet.


message 3: by David (new)

David Graham (davidgraham) That's great Jim, thanks. Big fan of Travis McGee meant to say that, here's a review I did of one of his books ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... ) but will definitely check out Matt Helm and look at the book by Reiss.


message 4: by Feliks (last edited Apr 30, 2014 09:37AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) +1 for Matt Helm and John D. MacDonald; but don't forget Ross Macdonald, either.
The Drowning Pool (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Ross Macdonald
...'The Drowning Pool' is just one great sample from his 'Lew Archer' series. Fine movie, too.

Also, what about Don Pendleton's 'Mack Bolan, The Executioner'? Can't beat it for length and consistency. I think there's 126 titles. Here's the first: War Against the Mafia

War Against the Mafia (The Executioner, #1) by Don Pendleton

or, how about the infamous Ed McBain?

Another obvious choice would be, David Morell who we really owe the revitalization of the entire action-genre. He and Clive Cussler. What Morrell did with 'First Blood' can never be under-estimated. Start his best series with:
The Brotherhood of the Rose (Mortalis, #1) by David Morrell .

Also, my fave hard-boiled author (modern): Andrew Vachss. He doesn't play around with too-incredible, far-fetched characters like ex-Navy SEALS. His character, 'Burke' is just a badass ex-con. Start with:
Strega (Burke, #2) by Andrew Vachss .
There's 5-7 titles; the whopper/peak being ' Blue Belle (Burke, #3) by Andrew Vachss .
'Blue Belle' is just off-the hook.

'The Siskiyou Two-Step' The Siskiyou Two-Step by Richard Hoyt is (I think) part of a rough-and-tumble series set in the PNW. 'Cool Runnings' and 'Fish Story' are other titles by this author.

The Quiller Memorandum by Adam Hall
...launches the gritty 'Quiller' character from Adam Hall.

Crack-shot Roy Huggins starts his run in
The Domino Principle by Adam Kennedy
'The Domino Principle' by Adam Kennedy.

These titles all kick off other series I would recommend to anyone:
Prizzi's Honor by Richard Condon by Richard Condon
Gorky Park (Arkady Renko, #1) by Martin Cruz Smith by Martin Cruz Smith
Firefox (Mitchell Gant, #1) by Craig Thomas (two book series) by Craig Thomas
The Eiger Sanction by Trevanian by Trevanian
The Dark of the Sun by Wilbur Smith by Wilbur Smith
'The Tangent Factor' and The First Deadly Sin (Deadly Sins, #2) by Lawrence Sanders by Lawrence Sanders (Sanders has multiple series)

'A Dime to Dance By' is part of a brief series which includes The Two Dude Defense by Walter Walker . Highly recommended.

The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley by James Crumley features one of the greatest modern-day detectives ever; its maximum hard-boiled yet stylish; and is actually my #1 top-fave, single, modern, standalone detective novel, bar none. I believe the rest of Crumley's works feature the same lead character.

George V. Higgins--author of the legendary 'Friends of Eddie Coyle'--has a line of 6-7 other titles which may be a series (frankly, I forget).

Elmore Leonard may have a recurring character series among his fine writings on crime (I forget that too). I was just reflecting the other day, on how excellent '52 Pick-Up' is.

Check out Richard North Patterson. His series is 'Lasko'.

As well as, Ridley Pearson.

Or, Thomas Perry; I think he starts a series of at least three titles (mafia assassin) beginning with
The Butcher's Boy (Butcher's Boy, #1) by Thomas Perry .

Even though not a 'series' author, you should of course be familiar with the works of Jim Thompson. And make room for them on your shelf.

Embrace the Wolf by Benjamin M. Schutz
'Embrace the Wolf' is the start of a hard-boiled detective series which I found to be awesome, much in the Robert B. Parker mode; but (to my mind) even finer. Not sure how many other titles followed in the train of this one; but it was outstanding.

Chiefs begins a memorable series from the slick Stuart Woods.

Another classic: the 'Parker' series by Donald Westlake / aka, Richard Stark. Start with The Outfit.

Finally, allow me to recommend The 'Axbruder' character from author Stephen R. Donaldson. This is really a gem.
The Man Who Risked His Partner by Stephen R. Donaldson .


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 785 comments I agree with you about David Morell, Ross MacDonald & several of the others, although I'm not a fan of the Executioner series.

In 1972, my step father bought 3 books to shut me up for a long train ride. One was Boston Blitz, the 12th Executioner book. Even back then, I didn't care for Pendleton's writing. He described every super duper weapon Mack Bolan carried in excruciating detail & half the time a rock would have worked just as well. A lot of my friends liked the style so I tried a couple more, but it just never worked for me.

The second was The Valley of Creation by Edmond Hamilton was adventure-SF. I've reread it & several others by him over the years. They're fun & many were pure space opera, but well done.

The third was Chinese Puzzle, #3 in the Destroyer series by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir. I loved that series until Saphir died around book 65 or so. He was a political columnist & tempered Murphy's ridiculousness with wonderful satire. They make fun of James Bond & other heroes, political & religious leaders, & just about everyone who caught the public attention. Unless you remember the times, it probably wouldn't read well today, but they kept me chuckling for years. I went back & read the first two books later. They were OK, but I think the series really gets going with the third.


message 6: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Whole-heartedly agree about Pendleton; it was over-the-top to an absurd degree; but I just thought I'd mention him for the sake of completeness. And that series is quite as long as anyone could ask for, if that was the real aim of the OP--length.


message 7: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) p.s. Aha, Warren Murphy was behind the Remo Williams saga? Hoot! I love it. What a fun movie that was.


message 8: by Feliks (last edited Apr 30, 2014 10:27AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) p.p.s. and --oh no--I now realize he also penned Grandmaster, one of the most lurid thrillers I've ever read! Bwaahahah aha aha it all makes sense now


message 9: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (pattipunkin) | 267 comments David wrote: "Hi,

I'm looking to see if there are any action/thriller series featuring recurring characters that you would recommend. I've read the Bourne series, The Bob Lee Swagger series, The Joe Pike/Elvis ... the Sean Dillon series (Jack Higgins)..."


I am a great fan of Jack Higgins earlier work--mostly WWII stuff. I read Sean Dillon occasionally, but I find those to be too repetative.


message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 785 comments Murphy has his moments. He continued to write the Destroyer (Yes, Remo & Chiun) to around 150 books, then there were some 'New Destroyer' books, which didn't seem so new, although I think someone else is writing them. I pretty much quit reading after 100 or so, but kept all those. Occasionally it's fun to flip through one.


message 11: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (pattipunkin) | 267 comments For those that don't know, I am the MugeonMama. Now recovering from a stroke. Don't type easily, so I don't much. Maybe I should say MugeonGhostMama.


message 12: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) | 5327 comments Mod
David wrote: "Hi,

I'm looking to see if there are any action/thriller series featuring recurring characters that you would recommend. I've read the Bourne series, The Bob Lee Swagger series, The Joe Pike/Elvis ..."


Thank you Ghost Mamma....

and I really like the Destroyermen Series by Taylor Anderson the first book is Into the Storm. This is an 8 full book series with the 9th coming out in early May. They are available in paperback, hardback, kindle and Audiobook format for sure. I bet it's availible in other formats as well. Taylor Anderson is an actual historian who specializes in ballistics. The stories are wonderful.

Good characterization. Wonderful scary villains. People get eaten hurt and kilt and there is room for luv too.

I really like these.


message 13: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) | 5327 comments Mod
Jim wrote: "I agree with you about David Morell, Ross MacDonald & several of the others, although I'm not a fan of the Executioner series.

In 1972, my step father bought 3 books to shut me up for a long tra..."


Okay Felix, this is quite a list! THanks for taking the time to post.


message 14: by David (new)

David Graham (davidgraham) Guys, these are brilliant , thanks.


message 15: by Roger (new)

Roger Weston | 81 comments Has anyone read Trevor Scott? I've heard his books are action-packed.


message 16: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Martin (cemartin2) | 58 comments In addition to The Destroyer series, there's now a spinoff, Legacy (Heirs of Sinanju) about Remo Williams' son and daughter training in a Native American variant of Sinanju. Decent books, with the same Destroyer action, a tinge of the satire and none of the raunchiness.

Legacy Forgotten Son (Book 1) by Warren Murphy

The Killing Fields(Legacy # 2) by Warren Murphy

Overload(Legacy, book III) by Warren Murphy

And if you're wanting a space opera version of The Destroyer, with two-fisted action and a great deal of satire of diplomacy in general, check out the old Retief novels by Keith Laumer. They were great.


Retief! (Retief) by Keith Laumer


message 17: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) | 5327 comments Mod
Monster Hunter Nemesis comes out next month!

Monster Hunter Nemesis by Larry Correia


message 18: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 449 comments Whispers from the Curmudgeons Ghost wrote: "Monster Hunter Nemesis comes out next month!

Monster Hunter Nemesis by Larry Correia"


Waiting (not too patiently) for this one to come out ... as well as one by Mercedes Lackey ...

May and June will not be kind to my book budget!


message 19: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) | 5327 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "Whispers from the Curmudgeons Ghost wrote: "Monster Hunter Nemesis comes out next month!

Monster Hunter Nemesis by Larry Correia"

Waiting (not too patiently) for this one to..."


I just finished the recently releases book 9 of the Destroyermen series too. It was good, like the rest of them :).


message 20: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 449 comments Whispers from the Curmudgeons Ghost wrote: "
I just finished the recently releases book 9 of the Destroyermen series too. It was good, like the rest of them :).
"


Just started this one myself. Not too far into it, just enough for Silva to get into trouble already!


message 21: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) | 5327 comments Mod
Silva and Earl go fishin' with the cats! Yeah, that's a funny scene and so well woven within the rest of the plot. Silva and Gunny Horne have a lot of fun later in the book.

yeah, it's Silva's idea...


message 22: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 449 comments Whispers from the Curmudgeons Ghost wrote: "Silva and Earl go fishin' with the cats! Yeah, that's a funny scene and so well woven within the rest of the plot. Silva and Gunny Horne have a lot of fun later in the book.

yeah, it's Silva'..."


Every so often, I read one of the Silva scenarios and I'm touched with a sense of "heard this one before" ... a story I've heard from my husband from his 20 years as a Navy Chief!


message 23: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) | 5327 comments Mod
In the audiobooks. The narrator's Silva voice reminds me of the voice of Jayne Korn (Corn?) from Firefly. "You know, that there was one oh dem distractions I was talkin' about that we should be takin' advantage of."


message 24: by Justin (new)

Justin Brad thor's Scott harvath series is good. Jack coughlin has a good series. And the Earl swagger series by Hunter is as good as bob Lee. Agree with the others also. Can't go wrong with any of David Morrells


message 25: by Aymen (new)

Aymen Ben cheikh jason Bourne, a great action series, interesting characters, 3 books written by Robert Ludlum, but after his death the series survived with Eric Van Lustbader who also did great job with 6 new books. You probabely saw one of the movies, but the books are different with many other characters and events, i read the bourne ultimatum (3) and i was surprised by a whole different story.


message 26: by T.W. (new)

T.W. Barton | 13 comments Two new indie author's series that I enjoyed are The Fixer By Rex Carpenter and Ethan Justice By Simon Jenner reviews can be read at Book Reviews


message 27: by Evan (new)

Evan Phillips | 9 comments I'm new to Goodreads and was glad to find this group. I've read a lot of the recommendations on here, but would like to add Rex Chase I literally met Mr. Wheat in a bar, he sold me a book for a dollar, and to my surprise I loved it! It's very Cussler, but also has kind of a Matrix/Star Wars feel to it. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but although it isn't super prominent it has this science fiction element to it. I seem to remember him telling me the second and third books were going to lean on the sci-fi a little more heavily. Anyway, just thought I'd add my two cents!


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