I happened to chance upon buying this first Gregg Hurwitz book titled “Orphan X” in my local book store. Lee Child, the author of the famous Jack Reacher books had left a review on the back page saying the book is outstanding in every way.
If you would like a recap on my initial reviews have a look here ORPHAN X review.
The new Orphan X is available to buy today, see below for other books in the series. There are now lots of books like Jack Reacher and Lee Child novels. More and more characters are entering the crime thriller genre with a one man hero, I’ve read a lot of them, some I must admit haven’t made it to my website as I only review good books. The best characters like Jack Reacher can be found here, it just saves you the hassle of buying a poorly written crime thriller book that is supposed to be like Jack Reacher!
The new Gregg Hurwitz book
The lastest installment in the Orphan X series is titled “Out of the Dark”. Now judging by my latest reviews, you know I’m a fan of this main character. Evan Smoak, a hero who seems like the average guy but underneath the average veneer is a killer trained for action. Evan is a bit like the old Equalizer figure Edward Woodward (remember that tv series) You can buy it here
After Evan saves someone, he tells that person to give his phone number to another one who needs his special services. He’s a ghost, with justice always on his mind. If you like Jack Reacher you will love the writing style of Gregg Hurwitz. A bit like Lee Child in the way that he adds more and more to the main character, explaining why they think the way they do, some slight defects in their character that makes them the way they are.
Is the book any good?
The plot for the latest book goes for the jugular, the President of the United States . The President has a secret to hide and Orphan X is linked to that secret. All the Orphans in the Orphan X programme are being wiped out and now Evan decides its time to sort out the leader of this programme once and for all.
What is exciting about this book is the way that this is possibly the hardest task Evan has had to face. How do you eliminate the most defended person in the planet who has the most power in the world. Evan also has the small matter of the “Nowhere Man” phone which has someone ready to call when they need help.
I love the way we have our hero also trying to keep and portray a normal life outside of this mission. Trying to keep in contact with friends in his apartment block and a romance with a neighbour from previous books. This is where it get slightly different to the Jack Reacher books as Jack never really has much interaction with the same people, he is more of a drifter through society whereas Evan is in a fixed location, in a fortified apartment room with his own intelligence office.
What is good about this book?
Lee Child and Gregg Hurwitz are both great authors, Gregg’s character Evan Smoak really gets you sucked into the book on the first page. The president is also desperate as he has to rely on another trained Orphan to wipe out Evan so that no one finds out his secret. The fight scenes are again special, all the skills and gun fights on display for us all to see. We have great link ups with Evan and a previous enemy Orphan from another book. There is a really sensitivity with Evan and the person in distress who calls the Nowhere man phone number. It really feels like this plot is going to be too much for our hero and without spoiling the plot we know he is going to need some help from elsewhere! I like this idea, Jack Reacher is his own man, a force of nature who deals with things on his own terms, Evan is the same but even though he doesn’t trust anyone, he knows that at some point he is going to need help.
What about Gregg Hurwitz?
For me Lee Child is one of the best writers of crime thrillers along with Micheal Connelly and now Gregg Hurwitz. The detail, the scene setting, the fight descriptions, the weaponary and the plot endings are superb. I can’t recommend this series enough, if you like Jack Reacher books, then you will love the Orphan X series. I would always advise people to start with the first book Orphan X, this book will get you into who Orphan X is and why Evan wants to stay hidden. My warning to everyone who starts is to be prepared for late nights, some “NO WAY” moments and maybe some sadness once the you have finished the series.
Also by Gregg Hurwitz – Orphan X series.
Here are the books both UK and US options, buy direct by clicking the picture and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Mother: Josephine Moutier Reacher was 30 when Jack was born. Widowed in 1988. Died in 1990 when she was 60. When she was 13, she joined the French resistance and under the alias Beatrice worked with Le Chemin de Fer Humain (the Human Railroad), saving 80 men. She garroted a schoolmate, a boy who threatened to give her up to the Nazis. Josephine Moutier was awarded La Medaille de la Resistance (the Resistance Medal) for her heroism.
“The name Joe was hard for her. It was very short and abrupt, and she struggled with the initial J because of her accent. It came out like ZH. Like the boy was called Zhoe. Jack was much better. Her accent made it sound like Jacques, which was a very traditional old French name. Translated, it meant James. Privately, she always thought of her second boy as James. But she, like everyone else, called him Reacher.
Father: Born in Laconia, NH. Marine, served in Korea and Vietnam.
“A plain New Hampshire Yankee with an implacable horror of anything fancy…[he] had no use for wealth and excess.
Very compartmentalized guy. Gentle, shy, sweet, loving man, but a stone-cold killer, too. Harder than a nail. Next to him I look like Liberace.”
“Didn’t you like him?”
“He was OK. But he was a freak. No room for people like him anymore.”
Brother: Joe, 6’6″, 220-250 lbs. Born on an Army base in the Far East. Star-shaped scar on his neck from “messing with a broken bottle” when he and his brother were kids. Has a scar on his forehead too, gift of his brother. Two years older than Jack. Joe was taller than his brother, making him appear slight by comparison; Jack used to beat up the kids who gave Joe trouble in school. West Point graduate. He spent 5 years in Army Military Intelligence before joining the Treasury Dept. Never won any of the “good medals” only the junk awards. Kept a closet full of designer label suits (24 at last count). Died at the age of 38.
“[He was] built like a brick outhouse. Hands like shovels, face like a catcher’s mitt. We were clones, physically, the two of us. But we had different brains. Deep down, he was a cerebral guy. Kind of pure. Naive, even. He never thought dirty. Everything was a game of chess with him.”
You may have heard the rumours, the chat, felt the excitement and even seen the films but who is Jack Reacher. This fictional character created by author Lee Child that seems to have sparked a new craze of people actually reading hard back books again. With any Jack Reacher book you will find a great amount of action, some tough baddies out to do harm and people who need to be rescued. Sounds like a simple book and in some ways it is. Jack Reacher books are simple to read but I can guarantee once you have read one of the Jack Reacher books, you will be back for more!
So the Facts –
Name : Jack Reacher
Born : October 29th
Height : 6’5″
Weight : 220-250lbs (16 – 18 stone)
Chest : 50″
Coat Size : 3XLT
Reacher left home at 18, graduated from West Point. Performed 13 years of Army service, demoted from Major to Captain in 1990, mustered out with the rank of Major in 1997.
“I was born in Berlin. Never even saw the States until I was nine years old. Five minutes later we were in the Philippines. Round and round the world we went. Longest I was ever anywhere was four years at West Point. Then I joined up and it started all over again. Round and round the world.”
“Where’s your family now?” she asked.
“Dead,” he said. “The old man died, what? Ten years ago, I guess. My mother died two years later. I buried the Silver Star with her. She won it for me, really. Do what you’re supposed to do, she used to tell me. About a million times a day, in a thick French accent.”
“Brothers and sisters?” she said.
“I had a brother,” he said. “He died last year. I’m the last Reacher on earth, far as I know.”
“When did you muster out?” she said.
“April last year,” he said. “Fourteen months ago.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Just lost interest, I guess,” he said. “The defense cuts were happening. Made the Army seem unnecessary, somehow. Like if they didn’t need the biggest and the best, they didn’t need me. Didn’t want to be part of something small and second-rate. So I left. Arrogant, or what?”
In TRIPWIRE, Jodie (Jodie Garber, KNOWN ASSOCIATES tab above) noted “His lazy lopsided grin. His tousled hair. His arms, so long they gave him a greyhound’s grace even though he was built like the side of a house. His eyes, cold icy blue like the Arctic. His hands, giant battered mitts that bunched into fists the size of footballs.” Reacher has a scar on his arm where his brother struck him with a retaliatory chisel (see FAMILY tab above, Brother: Joe).
Born on an Army base in Germany. His father chose his name; it read “Jack-none-Reacher” on the birth certificate faxed to the Berlin Embassy. They called his brother Joe, but nobody ever called Jack by his first name. How it came about, no one knows but Jack was always called Reacher.
As kids, Jack and his brother moved so much that spending a full school year in any one place felt weird. “Our friends just kept disappearing. Some unit would be shipped out somewhere and a bunch of kids would be gone. Sometimes we saw them again in a different place. Plenty of them we never saw again. Nobody ever said hello or goodbye. You were just either there or not there.”
Service Awards (circa 1990):
Top row: Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit
Second row: Soldier’s Medal, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart
Bottom row: “Junk awards”
“Medals?” she asked.
“Dozens of the damn things,” he said. “You know how it is. Theater medals, of course, plus a Silver Star, two Bronzes, Purple Heart from Beirut, campaign things from Panama and Grenada and Desert Shield and Desert Storm.”
“A Silver Star?” she asked. “What for?”
“Beirut,” he said. “Pulled some guys out of the bunker.”
“And you got wounded doing that?” she said. “That’s how you got the scar and the Purple Heart?”
“I was already wounded,” he said. “Got wounded before I went in. I think that was what impressed them.”
What he doesn’t have: A driver’s license, Federal benefits (doesn’t want them), tax returns (doesn’t do them; he hasn’t filed taxes since he left the Army).
The city looked small on a map of America. It was just a tiny polite dot, near a red threadlike road that ran across an otherwise empty half inch of paper. But up close and on the ground it had half a million people. It covered more than a hundred square miles. It had nearly a hundred and fifty thousand households. It had more than two thousand acres of parkland. It spent half a billion dollars a year, and raised almost as much through taxes and fees and charges. It was big enough that the police department was twelve hundred strong.
And it was big enough that organized crime was split two separate ways. The west of the city was run by Ukrainians. The east was run by Albanians. The demarcation line between them was gerrymandered as tight as a congressional district. Nominally it followed Center Street, which ran north to south and divided the city in half, but it zigged and zagged and ducked in and out to include or exclude specific blocks and parts of specific neighbourhoods, wherever it was felt historic precedents justified special circumstances. Negotiations had been tense. There had been minor turf wars. There had been some unpleasantness. But eventually an agreement had been reached. The arrangement seemed to work. Each side kept out of the other’s way. For a long time there had been no significant contact between them.
Until one morning in May. The Ukrainian boss parked in a garage on Center Street, and walked east into Albanian territory. Alone. He was fifty years old and built like a bronze statue of an old hero, tall, hard, and solid. He called himself Gregory, which was as close as Americans could get to pronouncing his given name. He was unarmed, and he was wearing tight pants and a tight T-shirt to prove it. Nothing in his pockets. Nothing concealed. He turned left and right, burrowing deep, heading for a backstreet block, where he knew the Albanians ran their businesses out of a suite of offices in back of a lumber yard.
He was followed all the way, from his first step across the line. Calls were made ahead, so that when he arrived he was faced by six silent figures, all standing still in the space between the sidewalk and the lumber yard’s gate, like chess pieces in a defensive formation. He stopped and held his arms out from his sides. He turned around slowly, a full 360, his arms still held wide. Tight pants, tight T-shirt. No lumps. No bulges. No knife. No gun. Unarmed, in front of six guys who undoubtedly weren’t. But he wasn’t worried. To attack him unprovoked was a step the Albanians wouldn’t take. He knew that. Courtesies had to be observed. Manners were manners.
One of the six silent figures stepped up. Partly a blocking manoeuvre, partly ready to listen.
Gregory said, ‘I need to speak with Dino.’
Dino was the Albanian boss.
The guy said, ‘Why?’
‘I have information.’
‘Something he needs to know.’
‘Don’t you have his phone number?’
‘This is a thing that needs to be said face to face.’
‘Does it need to be said right now?’
‘Yes, it does.’
The guy said nothing for a spell, and then he turned and ducked through a personnel door set low in a metal roll-up gate. The other five guys formed up tighter, to replace his missing presence. Gregory waited. The five guys watched him, part wary, part fascinated. It was a unique occasion. Once in a lifetime. Like seeing a unicorn. The other side’s boss. Right there. Previous negotiations had been held on neutral ground, on a golf course way out of town, on the other side of the highway.
Gregory waited. Five long minutes later the guy came back out through the personnel door. He left it open. He gestured. Gregory walked forward and ducked and stepped inside. He smelled fresh pine and heard the whine of a saw.
The guy said, ‘We need to search you for a wire.’
Gregory nodded and stripped off his T-shirt. His torso was thick and hard and matted with hair. No wire. The guy checked the seams in his T-shirt and handed it back. Gregory put it on and ran his fingers through his hair.
The guy said, ‘This way.’
He led Gregory deep into the corrugated shed. The other five guys followed. They came to a plain metal door. Beyond it was a windowless space set up like a boardroom. Four laminate tables had been pushed together end to end, like a barrier. In a chair in the centre on the far side was Dino. He was younger than Gregory by a year or two, and shorter by an inch or two, but wider. He had dark hair, and a knife scar on the left side of his face, shorter above the eyebrow and longer from cheekbone to chin, like an upside down exclamation point.
The guy who had done the talking pulled out a chair for Gregory opposite Dino, and then tracked around and sat down at Dino’s right hand, like a faithful lieutenant. The other five split three and two and sat alongside them. Gregory was left alone on his side of the table, facing seven blank faces. At first no one spoke. Then eventually Dino asked, ‘To what do I owe this great pleasure?’
Manners were manners.
Gregory said, ‘The city is about to get a new police commissioner.’
‘We know this,’ Dino said.
‘Promoted from within.’
‘We know this,’ Dino said again.
‘He has promised a crackdown, against both of us.’
‘We know this,’ Dino said, for the third time.
‘We have a spy in his office.’
Dino said nothing. He hadn’t known that.
Gregory said, ‘Our spy found a secret file on a standalone hard drive hidden in a drawer.’
‘His operational plan for cracking down on us.’
‘Which is what?’
‘It’s short on detail,’ Gregory said. ‘In parts it’s extremely sketchy. But not to worry. Because day by day and week by week he’s filling in more and more parts of the puzzle. Because he’s getting a constant stream of inside information.’
‘In the back of the file was a list.’
‘A list of what?’
‘His confidential informants,’ Gregory said.
‘There were four names on the list.’
‘Two of them were my own men,’ Gregory said.
No one spoke.
Eventually Dino asked, ‘What have you done with them?’
‘I’m sure you can imagine.’
Again no one spoke.
Then Dino asked, ‘Why are you telling me this? What has this got to do with me?’
‘The other two names on the list are your men.’
Gregory said, ‘We share a predicament.’
Dino asked, ‘Who are they?’
Gregory said the names.
Dino said, ‘Why are you telling me about them?’
‘Because we have an agreement,’ Gregory said. ‘I’m a man of my word.’
‘You stand to benefit enormously if I go down. You would run the whole city.’
‘I stand to benefit only on paper,’ Gregory said. ‘Suddenly I realize I should be happy with the status quo. Where would I find enough honest men to run your operations? Apparently I can’t even find enough to run my own.’
‘And apparently neither can I.’
‘So we’ll fight each other tomorrow. Today we’ll respect the agreement. I’m sorry to have brought you embarrassing news. But I embarrassed myself also. In front of you. I hope that counts for something. We share this predicament.’
Dino nodded. Said nothing. Gregory said, ‘I have a question.’
‘Then ask it,’ Dino said.
‘Would you have told me, like I told you, if the spy had been yours, and not mine?’
Dino was quiet a very long time.
Then he said, ‘Yes, and for the same reasons. We have an agreement. And if we both have names on their list, then neither one of us should be in a hurry to get foolish.’
Gregory nodded and stood up.
Dino’s right-hand man stood up to show him out.
Dino asked, ‘Are we safe now?’
‘We are from my side,’ Gregory said. ‘I can guarantee that. As of six o’clock this morning. We have a guy at the city crematorium. He owes us money. He was willing to light the fire a little early today.’
Dino nodded and said nothing.
Gregory asked, ‘Are we safe from your side?’
‘We will be,’ Dino said. ‘By tonight. We have a guy at the car crushing plant. He owes us money too.’
The right-hand man showed Gregory out, across the deep shed to the low door in the roll-up gate, and out to the bright May morning sunshine.
At that same moment Jack Reacher was seventy miles away, in a Greyhound bus, on the interstate highway. He was on the left side of the vehicle, towards the rear, in the window seat over the axle. There was no one next to him. Altogether there were twenty-nine other passengers. The usual mixture. Nothing special. Except for one particular situation, which was mildly interesting. Across the aisle and one row in front was a guy asleep with his head hanging down. He had grey hair overdue for a trim, and loose grey skin, as if he had lost a lot of weight. He could have been seventy years old. He was wearing a short blue zip jacket. Some kind of heavy cotton. Maybe waterproof. The butt end of a fat envelope was sticking out of the pocket.
It was a type of envelope Reacher recognized. He had seen similar items before. Sometimes, if their ATM was busted, he would step inside a bank branch and get cash with his card from the teller, directly across the counter. The teller would ask how much he wanted, and he would think, well, if ATM reliability was on the decline, then maybe he should get a decent wad, to be on the safe side, and he would ask for two or three times what he normally took. A large sum. Whereupon the teller would ask if he wanted an envelope with that. Sometimes Reacher said yes, just for the sake of it, and he would get his wad in an envelope exactly like the one sticking out of the sleeping guy’s pocket. Same thick paper, same size, same proportions, same bulge, same heft. A few hundred dollars, or a few thousand, depending on the mix of bills.
Reacher wasn’t the only one who had seen it. The guy dead ahead had seen it too. That was clear. He was taking a big interest. He was glancing across and down, across and down, over and over. He was a lean guy with greasy hair and a goatee beard. Thirty-something, in a jeans jacket. Glancing, thinking, planning. Licking his lips.
The bus rolled on. Reacher took turns watching out the window, and watching the envelope, and watching the guy watching the envelope.
Gregory came out of the Center Street garage and drove back into safe Ukrainian territory. His offices were in the back of a taxi company, across from a pawn shop, next to a bail bond operation, all of which he owned. He parked and went inside. His top guys were waiting there. Four of them, all similar to each other, and to him. Not related in the traditional family sense, but they were from the same towns and villages and prisons back in the old country, which was probably even better.
They all looked at him. Four faces, eight wide eyes, but only one question.
Which he answered.
‘Total success,’ he said. ‘Dino bought the whole story. That’s one dumb donkey, let me tell you. I could have sold him the Brooklyn Bridge. The two guys I named are history. He’ll take a day to reshuffle. Opportunity knocks, my friends. We have about twenty-four hours. Their flank is wide open.’
‘That’s Albanians for you,’ his own right-hand man said.
‘Where did you send our two?’
‘The Bahamas. There’s a casino guy who owes us money. He has a nice hotel.’
The green federal signs on the highway shoulder showed a city coming up. The first stop of the day. Reacher watched the guy with the goatee map out his play. There were two unknowns. Was the guy with the money planning to get out there? And if not, would he wake up anyway, with the slowing and the turning and the jolting? Reacher watched. The bus took the exit. A state four-lane then carried it south, through flat land moist with recent rain. The ride was smooth. The guy with the money stayed asleep. The guy with the goatee beard kept on watching him. Reacher guessed his plan was made. He wondered how good of a plan it was. The smart play would be to pickpocket the envelope pretty soon, conceal it well, and then aim to get out of the bus as soon as it stopped. Even if the guy woke up short of the depot, he would be confused at first. Maybe he wouldn’t even notice the envelope was gone. Not right away. And even when he did, why would he jump straight to conclusions? He would figure it had fallen out. He would spend a minute looking on the seat, and under it, and under the seat in front, because he might have kicked it in his sleep. Only after all of that would he start to look around, questioningly. By which time the bus would be stopped and people would be getting up and getting out and getting in. The aisle would be jammed. A guy could slip away, no problem. That was the smart play. Did the guy know it? Reacher never found out. The guy with the money woke up too soon. The bus slowed, and then stopped for a light with a hiss of brakes, and the guy’s head jerked up, and he blinked, and patted his pocket, and shoved the envelope down deeper, where no one could see it. Reacher sat back. The guy with the beard sat back. The bus rolled on. There were fields either side, dusted pale green with spring. Then came the first commercial lots, for farm equipment, and domestic automobiles, all spread over huge acreages, with hundreds of shiny machines lined up under flags and bunting. Then came office parks, and a giant out-of-town supermarket. Then came the city itself. The four-lane narrowed to two. Up ahead were taller buildings. But the bus turned off left and tracked around, keeping a polite distance behind the high-rent districts, until half a mile later it arrived at the depot. The first stop of the day. Reacher stayed in his seat. His ticket was good for the end of the line. The guy with the money stood up. He kind of nodded to himself, and hitched up his pants, and tugged down his jacket. All the things an old guy does, when he’s about to get out of a bus. He stepped into the aisle, and shuffled forward. No bag. Just him. Grey hair, blue jacket, one pocket fat, one pocket empty. The guy with the goatee beard got a new plan. It came on him all of a sudden. Reacher could practically see the gears spinning in the back of his head. Coming up cherries. A sequence of conclusions built on a chain of assumptions. Bus depots were never in the nice part of town. The exit doors would give out on to cheap streets, the backs of other buildings, maybe vacant lots, maybe self-pay parking. There would be blind corners and empty sidewalks. It would be a thirty-something against a seventy-something. A blow from behind. A simple mugging. Happened all the time. How hard could it be? The guy with the goatee beard jumped up and hustled down the aisle, following the guy with the money six feet behind. Reacher got up and followed them both.
Imagine the scenario, you have just finished the latest Jack Reacher book, you are sat with your head in your hands. What are you going to do next? You have read all the Jack Reacher books in order from the first Jack Reacher book to the latest Jack Reacher book yet you want more. You have a choice, either pop out to the local book shop and just grab anything in the crime thriller books section, sit down on google and search through loads and loads of reviews.
Or come to www.bookslikeJackReacher.co.uk where I can help
you choose your next book straight away. How easy is it, at a click of a
button, you can scroll through this site and pick your next read.
If you are still not sure, then have a look at the Lee Child
Jack Reacher novels here
and see for yourself the character that I am talking about….
Top 5 characters like Jack Reacher
Well here is the list of fictional Characters that we wil be reviewing over the next few weeks so that you can see why we think they are like Jack Reacher. Each Character is from a Crime Thriller book, some are from up and coming authors, others are from well known established authors. So before you go back through your list of Jack Reacher books in order again, have a look at this selection and let us know what you think.
1 – Will Robie
A government assassin, a killer who kills people to order.Will Robie although maybe not like Jack Reacher in statue, more than makes up for this in skill set and mental attitude. Created by David Baldacci,Will Robie is an excellent book series to get started on. Each book is brilliantly written, with plots that absorb you and fight scenes that are tense and well written. There are five Will Robie books currently in print, the first novel is called “The Innocent” and i recommend that you start here as it will help you understand how the main character changes over time. Buy the book here.
2 – Jon Reznick
Jon Reznick is a “ghost”: a black-ops specialist who takes his orders from shadowy handlers, and his payroll from the US government. This book series is one of my latest reads and I kind of stumbled onto it by accident.Jon Reznick is just like Jack Reacher, similar height, similar thought pattern and similar skill set. The main difference is that he is a family man, I won’t spoil it too much for you but lets just say he has commitments that JackReacher doesn’t have. This again though makes you want to see how his plots pan out. Created by J.B Turner and there are currently five books in this series, starting with “Hard Road”. All the books in the series start with the word “Hard”. Buy book number 1 Here.
3 – Evan Smoak
I found this due to a comment on the back from author David Baldacci saying “Read this book, you will thank me later”. this intrigued me massively as I thought it really can’t be that good and this is another clever sales slogan. I was WRONG, if you need something to read as soon as possible, as you are craving from finishing the latest Jack Reacher book.Then read this book now …… did I say now – yes read it NOW, BUY IT here. Created by Gregg Hurwitz, Evan Smoak is a complex character, trained like Jason Bourne into an assassin, now living a life to help people. Like Jack Reacher, a loner, analyser, survivor and a person who battles for the underdog. Let me know what you think in the comments box.
4 – Carter Blake
Carter Blake is a unique character as this is not his real name. He is a skilled professional who provides a straightforward service: fora price, he’ll find people who don’t want to be found. Created by Mason Cross,Carter Blake is a guy who takes no messing. Like jack Reacher, Carter Blake doesn’t trust anyone, he is a problem solver who seems to see things that others don’t, just like Jack Reacher. There are currently four Carter Blake books with a fifth one on the way in April 2018. Buy the first one here.
5 – Amos Decker
Amos Decker has an injury, this life changing brain injury means that he now can’t forget anything, he remembers everything, even stuff that he doesn’t want to remember. Again another complex character but also some how you always feel slightly sorry for him. Like Jack Reacher, he sometimes struggles to fit in, even when working in a team he doesn’t seem to be quite on the same wave length as the other characters. Created by well know author DavidBaldacci, Amos Decker series has four books with another coming this year in April. Perhaps not as physically fit as Jack Reacher or as strong but AmosDecker has a unique skill set that sets him apart from the rest. Buy the book here.
That’s All Folks!
So there you have it, something to get you teeth into,please leave some comments with what you thought about these characters. I will be posting more characters overtime and keeping you up to date with the latest books in each of the series. What is amazing about these books is that they are at different times for publishing so you haven’t got much time to wait in between the releases.
I know Jack Reacher is unique, the way that Lee Child writes is unique, but don’t let that put you off exploring and seeing if there are any other characters that you could get into. Don’t compare but embrace what each one has and the unique ability to solve mysteries and kick butt when required.
Each of the books will be listed on this bookslikejackreacherwebsite so that you can see for yourself how similar in certain ways that they are to Jack Reacher. One other thing, if you haven’t seen the first Jack Reacher movie yet, I would recommend it to you as it does have a real suspense feel and “who done it” type of thriller. Not 100% on having Tom Cruise as the main character but we can talk about that in another post. See my film post about the actors and Jack Reacher book.
As you can see there are lots of characters like JackReacher. If you like Jack Reacher then have a look at the Lee Child JackReacher books order HERE.
Its another one of those times whereby I have been bought a birthday book that is slightly outside my normal crime / thriller genre. I mentioned before (when reading “My Name is Nobody” by Mathew Richardson – SEE REVIEW HERE) that the spy genre has some great books and this new read is certainly one of them.
The plot starts with the main character Kate Henderson, an a MI6 officer, with her team chasing and catching a women who appears to be a highly trained assassin. It then explains the reason why Kate was chasing her and what the MI6 need from this fugitive to accomplish capturing one of their own high priority targets in Russia.
I read this book very quickly, the author Tom Bradby really sets his main characters up well and also gives you enough information about their personal lives to ensure you understand who they are and why they are in MI6. The main character Kate is shown as a person who although a spy, is also a mother a wife and a daughter, trying to juggle all these roles whilst keeping ahead of the game is really enjoyable to read.
Why should you read this book?
The main reason why you should read this book is the plot. Once you start, you begin to realise that all is not what it seems within MI6. Confidential data is given to the wrong people, politicians are used to portray a certain viewpoint by being threatened, you can never really know who is telling the truth over anything. Add to this the main plot of the Russians maybe planting or scheduling a person to become prime minister in the UK, we see that there are repercussions for anything that a top MI6 agent does. Kate has to work with her team (in the hope that her bosses are not corrupt) and solve the mystery whether someone could have been planted by the Russians to become Prime Minister. We don’t know whether this is true or a way to keep MI6 chasing their tails and take their eye off the main threats to the UK.
Is it like Jack Reacher?
The main character is a women who is slightly like Jack Reacher in that she wants to solve issues and right wrongs within the world. She is not a loner, someone who has more acceptance within groupings at political dinners and functions rather than hiding in motels and hitchhiking. The story is very much like a Lee Child novel, we see undercover agents from within MI6 trying to work out who is good or who is looking to destroy the UK. There are many twists and turns within the plot that made me want to reach the end and work out who was on the good side and not just in this for their own political gain.
There are a number of fight scenes and the usual car chases in this book, the amount no where near what I would like but this didn’t bother me as I knew it was a different type of book and genre.
Should I buy it?
My answer to this would be yes. I like books that keep me guessing all the way through and have a twist at the end. I don’t want to give too much away but I also think most of the the plot was realistic, I could imagine Whitehall, the situations and areas around London where the MI5 and MI6 offices are located.
The dilemma of Kate trying to keep teenagers and children looked after whilst looking after her mother and supporting her husband in his work was well thought through. A big shock at the end of the book made it worth reading in a few sittings and the end was not what I thought it would be. GET THE BOOK HERE
Now and again you start to read a book and think to yourself, “am I going to get tired of this series?”
Well the answer to this question is “NO”, the Gray Man book series gets better and better. Author Mark Greaney seems to know just how to write these crime thriller books to keep you wanting more.
This setting this time is the main character, Court Gentry aka the Gray Man is back in the USA, Washington, still trying to hide from the people who are wanting to kill him. The CIA has a personal agenda to get rid of the myth and will stop at nothing to get rid of Court. For some reason they do not want to let what Court has done or knows to be leaked out.
When Court arrives in the USA, it sends ripples throughout the CIA as the National Clandestine Service (NCS) Director knows why he has come back and is worried. The main reason we find out is that Court Gentry wants to look at why the USA government are wanting to kill one of their own. What could he have possibly done to deserves this worldwide hunt.
Author Mark Greaney manages to keep the plot going at an incredible rate, from Gentry being stuck in a Macdonalds restaurant to a stand off in the CIA bunker, the high octane adrenaline rush will ensure you read this book in a day or two.
We also get to see a lot more of The Gray Man’s history, why he joined the CIA in the past and who his old friends/brothers in arms were. We get to see what motivates The Gray Man and even witness him at his lowest point.
All and I do mean ALL the stops are pulled out by the CIA even utilising other countries agencies and technology to identify the Gray Man so they are ready for the kill. Court has to operate in the shadows, trust no one and use his brutal force to get what he needs.
For me this reminds me of the old style Jack Reacher books, gritty, intense with the feeling that anything could happen. There were moments in the book where you were not sure of The Gray Man’s state of mind. I liked this as you could never presume what he was going to do next.
If you like Jack Reacher or any of the Lee Child novels then this is the book for you. Start off on the first book just titled “The Gray Man” as I know that this book will be a classic for the future. You can buy this book by clicking the image below!
Let me know what you think in the comments below, feel free to sign up to my mailing list and find out the latest books like Jack Reacher.
Jack Reacher books are a joy to read. We finish them, with a certain amount of sadness knowing that there will be another years wait until the author, Lee Child releases the next book in the Jack Reacher series.
I have found a way to deal with this sadness and decided to help you! Instead of waiting a full year until the next Lee Child novel, what about checking out these 4 new Jack Reacher type characters that could actually, potentially steal the Reacher number 1 position in years to come.
If you like Jack Reacher, you will love these books, I can guarantee it.
To start you need a good scoring system to rank the Jack Reacher type characters.
I have ranked the characters on the following:
1) My Books Like Jack Reacher website review. If the books good, then it’s been reviewed on my site. Higher ranking books that have been reviewed, then the higher the Jack Reacher type character. See my book reviews here.
2) Any character like Jack Reacher has to have a certain type of physicality – are they able to handle themselves against any enemy?
3) Weaponry – Can the main Jack Reacher type character use a variety of weapons to do their job and escape danger?
4) Character – Jack Reacher is a loner, calm in danger, someone who operates on their own. Can the new Jack Reacher type of character handle the heat, have they got an ice cool demeanor in any impossible situation.
5) Plot – Jack Reacher books are written to grab your attention from the first page so that you start to read the Jack Reacher books in order. This score is decided by the first few pages, am I gripped from page one or do I want to throw the book in the bin straight away!
6) The Book ending – This is really important for me. Do you care about the Jack Reacher type character and do you want me to read the next novel in the series straight away? As with all Jack Reacher books, you want to start straight away on the next book.
These are the 6 score factors to decide which are the new characters that are like Jack Reacher.
1) Books Like Jack Reacher website review – 9.7/10
2) Physicality – 9.5/10
3) Weaponry – 9.6/10
4) Character – 9.0/10
5) Plot – 9.0/10
6) The Book ending – 9.7/10
TOTAL SCORE 56.5/60
Victor is ranked at number 1 on our site as the last book titled “Kill For ME” was so good. The best character like jack Reacher so far. Two of the classic highlights in the book series amongst many, were the biting off an enemies’ ear, letting a baddie use a shard of glass to slice through the side of his own face so that he could escape.
If you want to start at the beginning of this book series that is like Jack Reacher then see my review HERE.
NUMBER 2 on the list
COURT GENTRY – (AKA THE GRAY MAN) – AUTHOR MARK GREANEY
1) Books Like Jack Reacher website review – 9.2/10
2) Physicality – 9.6/10
3) Weaponry – 9.8/10
4) Character – 9.3/10
5) Plot – 9.3/10
6) The Book ending – 9.2/10
TOTAL SCORE 56.4/60
Court Gentry is ranked at number 2 on our site as this “Gray Man” series just seems to get better and better. I would go as far as saying he is close to the top and one of the closest to being the best character like jack Reacher. Classic highlights in the book series amongst many, Court getting captured and then tortured, for any person reading it – wow its intense. Court taking out a whole army of soldiers and rescuing his best mate who is caught by a bomb explosion.
If you want to start at the beginning of this book series that is like Jack Reacher then see my review HERE.
1) Books Like Jack Reacher website review – 9.4/10
2) Physicality – 8.9/10
3) Weaponry – 9.3/10
4) Character – 9.7/10
5) Plot – 9.5/10
6) The Book ending – 9.5/10
TOTAL SCORE 56.3/60
Evan Smoak is ranked at number 3 on our site as this “Nowhere Man” series is absolutely fantastic. Evan is an average character who is a trained assassin but is using his skills to help people and find out why he was made into a killer.
Classic highlights in the book series amongst many, Evan looking to assassinate the President of America who he thinks is behind the plot to terminate him. The Nowhere Man’s apartment layout, like the bat cave but in a normal housing apartment.
If you want to start at the beginning of this book series that is like Jack Reacher then see my review HERE.
1) Books Like Jack Reacher website review – 9.4/10
2) Physicality – 9.8/10
3) Weaponry – 9.1/10
4) Character – 9.8/10
5) Plot – 9.2/10
6) The Book ending – 8.9/10
TOTAL SCORE 56.2/60
John Puller is a huge bloke, so similar physically to Jack Reacher so he has to enter our top 5 list of characters like Jack Reacher. David Baldacci is an accomplished writer and sets brilliant scenes for his main character, he also develops the main character really well throughout the series.
Classic highlights in the book series amongst many, Puller trying to solve the mystery of who killed his father. Jack Reacher style suspense as Puller is investigating a family murder whilst beating up weird townsfolk.
If you want to start at the beginning of this book series that is like Jack Reacher then see my review HERE. So there it is, my top books like Jack Reacher.
If you are still looking for the latest Jack Reacher book, then look here as you can see the books in order HERE and the lastest Jack Reacher book to order HERE
Jack The Reacher – the best books like Jack Reacher on our website – we review so you don’t have to waste time trying to find a book like Jack The Reacher.
As you know by now, we review books that are like Jack Reacher. If you are still in the hunt for a great crime thriller then look at my past reviews or go to my shop HERE.
Every now and again I get asked to look at another genre of book by a publisher and this is one of those weeks when this book came across my desk or kindle! After looking at the synopsis I thought this could fit onto my site as it has a main character, a one man army against the bad guys. I thought “yes” this is just like a Jack Reacher book and could be as good as the amazing Lee Child novels.
For those who don’t know about the Lee Child books, we are used to seeing Jack Reacher, roaming from place to place, stumbling upon questions that need answers and making it his mission to put right what has gone wrong for individuals – but what about tackling threats to a nation, a religion or a whole way of life? I was intrigued by the title of this new book by T.R. Kurtz, and I was introduced to a different kind of hero in exactly this situation…
So what is the book about?
As terrorist threats increase, the world’s fragile peace is put at risk by groups who are desperate to advance the cause of Islamic fundamentalism and see Christianity destroyed. Operating in secret, the Catholic church’s intelligence agency, the Canonical Order, assembles a group of agents whose aim is to discover and thwart plots before they can become a reality.
Enter the main man, Chad Stryker…
Is Chad Stryker like Jack Reacher?
Tormented by the loss of his wife and living alone, fueled by anger and motivated by strong convictions, Stryker is a highly-skilled and sought-after ex-CIA officer who has been employed by Vatican Intelligence. He finds purpose and a new focus, taking part in clandestine missions on behalf of the Catholic church. His team operates under the radar, using the program name ‘Black Swan.’ Stryker himself is just the kind of guy we can admire and root for; he’s highly-trained and talented, physically impressive, strong and quick-thinking and yet hot-headed and compromised because of the sadness and loss he’s experienced. In this way, we can relate to him as a result of this more vulnerable and human side to his character. Jack Reacher has similar qualities but I feel that T.R Kurtz does bring out the vulnerability of Chad, which does make you root for him even more.
Why should I buy this book?
What makes this thriller so tense and compelling is the parallel between fictional events in the novel and the all-too-familiar news stories about terrorist attacks that we’re used to hearing about.
Running alongside the main events, we get to keep a close eye on Stryker’s personal struggles and attempts to resolve them. From intelligence chiefs to computer whizzes, the team he works alongside – Moldovan, Anderson, Divers, D’Orio and Navarre – all share in his journey and each member plays an important role in seeking to manage the mission and support their operative (just imagine a hi-tech, intelligence version of the A-Team and you won’t be far wrong!)
Is there any Jack Reacher style action?
The action begins when there is an attack on the Pope during a worldwide address on live television and the sudden realisation by the Canonical Order that it has failed to foresee and prevent this act of terrorism. Add to this the fact that the Pope had been speaking about the need to combat religious extremism and the stage is set for the agency’s greatest mission to date: to find those responsible and to prevent the greatest attack against Christianity that the world has ever known. Stryker’s mission takes him to the streets of Iraq, Dubai and eventually to Italy as secrets are revealed and the full story is far more terrifying than anyone could have imagined. Can he uncover the truth in time? And is it just possible that someone he knows could be attempting to jeopardise the operation as the clock ticks? Get ready for lots of gun fights, snipers galore and lots of descriptions of the weaponry kind of like MARK GREANEY’S GRAY MAN series.
So why should I Buy This Book?
There are a few extra touches that set the book apart from other thrillers. Each chapter of the book begins with a quotation from the Bible, and this sets the scene for the action that follows, similar to an introduction. This also seems to emphasise the solemn way in which the agents view their task. Kurtz also includes some fantastic detail about the technology available to the Canonical Order, and the array of gadgets and weapons available to Stryker on his mission. From hair-raising bike rides across the desert to adrenalin-pumping chases through the ancient streets of busy cities, this story’s twists and turns keep you guessing right up to the closing chapter. This story is an adventure to read, I was actually disappointed when it had finished. If you like Jack Reacher novels, if you like a good spy thriller, if you like the Punisher films, then this is the book for you, you can buy the book on this page along with other classic Jack Reacher style books.
The latest Lee Child book “Past Tense” has been out for a little whilst now, I don’t think it was Jack Reacher at his best but then I’ve got a lot to compare with as I have read all the Jack Reacher books in order. If you are wanting to do the same then see my list of Jack Reacher books in order HERE.
Is there a new kid on the block?
I’m generally always on the look out for a new character that has similarities to Jack Reacher but also the author must have a good writing style that keeps you interested in the plot, again similar to Lee Child.
This takes me to an author called Mark Greaney. I’ve mentioned his books in another review HERE.Mark Greaney has brought out a character called the Gray Man. The Gray man is an assassin, a person who works in the shadows, no real fixed abode, no friends or family, to most people he is a myth.
Who is the Gray Man?
The Gray Man’s real name is Court Gentry, sent to do jobs that no one else wants to do. An Ex CIA Assassin, he goes in, then achieves his mission, then comes out without anyone knowing. This man is lethal, he somehow always finds a way to win against the odds. He is resourceful and doesn’t seem to have any compassion for his fellow man, go in, kill, let people ask questions later. His use of weaponry is on another level as he doesn’t miss his target. I think even Jack Reacher would have trouble fighting the Gray Man, he uses all the fighting techniques you can think of the only difference between The Gray Man and Jack Reacher is that people worldwide are wanting to kill the Gray Man.
The World of the Gray Man.
As you go through Mark Greaney’s Gray Man series you start to realise that various organizations are conspiring to kill him. He is dangerous and they want to get rid of this asset. When you factor this into the plot, wherever Court Gentry is located, you know that there are other people around him that could be a target. This creates tension and suspense just like a Lee Child Jack Reacher novel. Jack Reacher is similar in that he drifts from one setting to another, not because he is on the run but more that he likes to experience new adventures.
See the world of the Gray Man and what he is up against HERE.
What about the Author?
Lee Child is a brilliant writer, with a unique style. Not many authors can write like him, the scene setting, the fight scenes and the character descriptions make his Jack Reacher books stand out. Mark Greaney is close, he has his own style, each Gray Man book I think contains more action than most Jack Reacher novels and there is always a setting that looks like Court Gentry cannot escape from. There is a high level of detail and description given for each weapon used by the Gray Man. Like Jack Reacher, Court Gentry analyses what steps need to be taken for a mission to succeed but always has numerous back up plans as they both know that everything is capable of changing in at any time. Mark Greaney always starts his books with a set scene, a bit like an entrance trailer for a film, here is the Gray Man and guess what, he is in a tight situation.
What are the books currently out there?
Currently there are 7 books in the Gray Man series. The first book is aptly titled “The Gray Man” and kind of introduces us to Court Gentry. From this first book – you have to read from book one in my opinion, you go on this journey across the world, with various organizations trying to locate Court to end him. Meanwhile, Court is employed to take certain people out and gets double crossed along the way. The order of books is as follows:
1) The Gray Man
2) On Target
4) Dead Eye
5) Back Blast
6) Gun Metal Gray
7) Agent in Place
8) Mission Critical
If you are looking for a brilliant series of books that is like the Jack Reacher novels then this is it. Lee Child novels are great, yes we know that, but at one book a year you need something else to fill in your time and this Gray Man series will not disappoint. I would go as far as saying that the Gray Man will become a classic read in the future, which most other books in this genre will be measured to. Some of the torture scenes in the series and clever tracking of our main character are a joy to read. You are never truly sure if the Gray Man is going to survive. This is due to the amazing plot and the author’s talent for writing such incredible plots. Jack Reacher may have to move out of the way in the future, the Gray Man is here, book number 8 is on the way – click the picture below to buy now.