10Apr/18

Books like Jack Reacher – Die Trying book review

I’ve started to go back through the Jack Reacher novels again to see if my top five books were still the correct best books in the Lee Child series.

Most of the Jack Reacher book series I do remember, there are the odd books that have got lost along the wayside and this book is one of them. “Die Trying” was one of those older books that I’m sure at the time I thought was really good but overtime I have read other authors and this has dropped off my book reading radar!

Die Trying – What’s it about?

“Die Trying” is a great read, I love the Reacher of the older books as he seemed a bit more gritty, more of a “do-or-die” mentality. The start of the book is quite special as Jack Reacher is helping a woman who is injured and then he expectantly gets thrown into a car and kidnapped.

A frantic journey ensues with Reacher stuck in the car with the woman who helped. He finds out the she is an FBI agent and is in the same boat as him. The pace of the book really picks up as the FBI obviously are searching for their agent and think that Reacher is the prime suspect.

Reacher and the agent are transported to a commune where the main leaders are creating an army sect and want the government to meet their demands.

Again we have Reacher on his own against the sect, defending the woman agent and trying to work out what the army sect are trying to do.

There is a great battle of leadership in this book as the FBI agent wants to assume control of the situations whereby Reacher, as in many of the Lee Child novels is really the go to hero and saves her from an attack which automatically puts him in charge of a plan to escape.

Is this one of the better books?

The good thing about this book is the pace a t which the plot plays out, lots of fights which is one of the trademarks of the Lee Child books. This really is another page turner, one of those books that you will be staying up until the early hours trying to finish it. The scenery changes from Reacher in the confinement of a car, to then being confined in a mountain community are well written, you can sense the claustrophobia and the tension rising and Reacher tried to plan his escape. I like the way Lee Child keeps the sense of mystery throughout the book, you are never really sure what is going to happen with the various FBI agents and the leader of the community. There is something very clever when the leader of the community sect is obviously quite deranged as his decisions are very random which is what keeps you on edge.

What about Jack Reacher?

This book really helps you to understand a little more of Reacher’s background, his clever clock in his “head”, why he travels without much equipment. I love that fact that after each book Lee Child lets you know more and more about Jack Reacher’s personality, this is a great way of getting you to read each of the Jack Reacher novels.  The first book “Killing Floor” is where you should start though to get to grips with the novel, my favourite is still “Bad luck and trouble”.

How do I buy it?

You can buy the book by clicking the link below, there are various platforms from Kindle to Hardback. I like hardback books just as they are usually the first to be published and are more my style. Kindle is great for commuters or people who don’t want to carry the book around. I would recommend this book for action and suspense, it does start a little slower than the previous “Killing Floor” book but is a very very good read.

BUY DIE TRYING HERE!

 


 

 

03Apr/18

Book of the Year 2018?

I had done that thing, you know the thing that really you shouldn’t do as a reviewer. I’d read some tweets about the latest Greg Hurwitz book, people seemed to be overwhelmed with praise for his latest book. Even though I tried to block out the praise and euphoria, I still couldn’t help myself. I went out and bought “Hellbent”, the latest Greg Hurwitz book that all of twitter was raving about.

Now I was in a dilemma, twitter fans talking about the book but I had not even started the second “Evan Smoak” book called “Nowhere Man”.

I knew that one of my rules is to read a book series from start to finish, rather than dipping in and out. So I got back to “Nowhere Man” hoping that it would still be a good read and worthy of the Orphan X book rating. See HERE.

So you finished “Nowhere Man”

I finished the “Nowhere Man” book and was pleasantly surprised that it had a great ending that lead straight into the third book in the “Evan Smoak” series. As I mentioned in the review the book was good, very good but not as good as “Orphan X”. Maybe my mind was already getting prepared for this third book, due to the twitter reviews, the retweets, the anticipation, could the third book in the series live up to the hype.

See the Orphan X review HERE!

Is “Hellbent” a good book?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a short answer to this question, YES, YES, YES. If “Orphan X” was the book to hook all readers of Jack Reacher novels into the series, then the “Nowhere Man” was a kind of middle story carrying on the journey for the fans. This third book blows you out the water, flips you around onto your back and then the ending, slaps you in the face just for good measure.

“Nowhere Man” had you scared for Evan, how was he going to get out the situation he was in, the helper becoming the person who needed the help. The odds were stacked high against Evan, but not nearly as high as in the book “Hellbent”. We get the full picture, all bells and whistles of it, conspiracy, government, family, revenge, you name it, it is in this book.

So what was so good about this book?

By now after the second book “Nowhere Man” we have got used to Evan Smoak, trying to live a normal life in his apartment but also helping out people in distress. Not unlike Jack Reacher, but younger and probably with a lot more skills at his disposal, which he really needs, as people are trying to find him and kill him.

The opening of this book is brilliant, from the start there is a casual apartment chat with Evan’s love interest, straight (I mean straight) into a kidnap situation with his one and only mentor. The story then unfolds into such an amazing plot that we have to give Greg Hurwitz a pat on the back, he really utilises his skill full writing to create a bleak picture of Evan’s future. There are so many nice touches, Evan having to leave his so called “normal life”, bringing in additional characters to help assist him and a baddie that is truly bad.

I think this is the one thing that kept me so hooked into the book, Evan trying to understand “normal life” and human feelings as well as having to avenge a friends’ death and look out for people calling him for help on his emergency phone. He really is torn throughout the plot, on one hand trying to do the right thing, on the other hand wanting to gain a personal revenge. To have three rogue Orphans after him as well as twenty five trained operatives, you know the stakes are really high, how can he possibly survive this?

Final thoughts

With the intensity that Greg Hurwitz writes, you can start to feel a little out of breath whilst reading this book. There is one scene in the book, where Evan has to challenge a terrible gang leader in a ruined Church, just to protect an innocent. The scene layouts with descriptive writing and characterisations are so on point that you sense the loneliness Evan is feeling against the force of this whole army.

The main reason you start to feel out of breath, is you are not fully sure if the main character really wants to live or is going to stay alive. Most books like Jack Reacher, you kind of know that the main hero will live, fights are easily won and there are no wounds to the Hero at all.

Here though, you go through lots of Evans emotions, how should he act, will he gain revenge and what will that hold for his future? When you through into the mix a baddie like the new head of the Orphan Program, Van Sciver, (you can practically feel the hate oozing out of him towards Evan) you are then caught in the whirlwind of Evan’s survival world. Cue lots of fight scenes, last minute ingenuity, grit and determination, family bonds of love and trust plus an ending that leads into book number four I have to rate this as one of, if not the BEST book of 2018 so far……..

UK – BUY “HELLBENT” HERE!

USA – BUY “HELLBENT” HERE! 

 

Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

30Mar/18

Books Like Lee Child Novels!

Earlier I raved on about new author Tom Wood in my previous post HERE! You can see that I was mightly impressed with the brilliant descriptive style of writing and for me, one of the books is so far topping the rating list for Crime Thriller books!

As I normally do, I went back to my book shelf and pulled out another Tom Wood book titled “The Enemy”. As I review the books after reading them, my first port of calls when analyzing, is the main question. Is this book like a Lee Child novel or a Jack Reacher character. Then I look at the author’s writing style to see whether this matches up to the skill level (of the highest order) of Lee Child.

You’ve already read this book?

I have read this book before, a couple of years ago and thought I’d try it again. To be honest I couldn’t quite remember the plot or whether the book was good or not. This last point didn’t really paint the book in the right light as surely I would have remembered this, if it was THAT good. Well for those who are like me and read so many books over a year, you will know that you kind of get mixed up with, which book was good and which book was just average. That is why I always recommend going back over old books to see what they are like in a new refreshing way, sometimes reading a book again in a new setting or environment can give a much better review than reading it the first time.

What’s the book like then?

This is the second book in the Tom Wood series and again centres around Victor the assassin. What I really, really like about this book is the plot which at first can seem slightly overwhelming as there are so many characters involved at first. As you continue to read through though, Tom Wood makes a brilliant story unfold before your eyes. Victor working for the CIA, in a way trapped by his new bosses who present him “Jobs” to do under very impossible time constraints. As with this Victor series, that is like Lee Child novels we get to see Victor pressed from powers above, against top formidable teams and to top it all off, he even has to deal with a mole in the CIA. No spoilers for you but I did want to mention a particular scene which is an example of the great work that Tom Wood achieves.

Infamous scene!

Anyone seen the film by John Woo called “Hard Boiled”? Very few people I would say, but there was this classic action film back in the day by one of the best action movie directors of the early nineties. Buy the film HERE!. The film has lots of action sequences that back then, everyone spoke about. There was a particular scene where a cop is trying to save people in a hospital and the whole sequence is just carnage, shotguns, people getting shot, martial arts, panic and terror. Can you picture it? If not, then click the link here to see this scene.

This scene depicts the last 30 or so pages of the book “The Enemy”, Victor is having a meal with his “girlfriend”.  Again using his memory skill set he recalls something that has just happened to him on that particular night.

Too late, he knows the “Kidon” (Israel’s Mossad) are onto him and there is nothing he can do about it.

What happens next is such a page turner that you can’t stop reading and reading and reading until the book ends. 30 pages of Victor trying to save his “girlfriend”, taking out some other assassins, getting kidnapped, car crashing, epic gun fights in a warehouse to getting a blade of glass pushed in towards his eye. You actually feel quite relieved when the book has finished.

Final thoughts

I did actually laugh to myself when finishing this book as I had forgotten how good it was. The plot was quite demanding due to the various characters throughout who were again very well written. For each character there was a reason for them to be in there, you could also picture what they were like in person due to their dialogue. Again a great skill of the author Tom Wood. I do think this book is not for the faint-hearted, if reminded me of the earlier Lee Child books like Jack Reacher’s, “Killing Floor” and “Tripwire”.

“The Enemy is a book that will stay with you for a while after you have read it, how can Victor survive? You will have to read the next one in the series to find out……….

Let me know what you think after reading this book, whether you agree with me in the comments box.



29Mar/18

Jack Reacher Books Order?

What order should I read the Jack Reacher books?  Are the Jack Reacher books in any order?  How many books are in the Lee Child book series?  These are some of the questions I have been asked over the last few years upon telling people about the character that is Jack Reacher.

I have found that lots of people are asking, what order to read the Jack Reacher books? Now most avid Jack Reacher fans would suggest reading from Book 1 “Killingfloor” to book 22 “Midnight Line”. Most people who are not avid Jack Reacher fans would not know that there are other books in between this selection. These otherwise unknown books really do enhance your understanding of who Jack Reacher truly is.  For some of you who are not familiar with the Jack Reacher book series may be wondering who writes Jack Reacher novels.  Find out below who writes Jack Reacher novels.

Jack Reacher Book order

The order of the Jack Reacher books are as follows:

Killing Floor (1997)

Die Trying (1998)

Tripwire (1999)

The Visitor (2000)

Echo Burning (2001)

Without Fail (2002)

Persuader (2003)

The Enemy (2004) Prequel set eight years before Killing Floor

One Shot (2005)

The Hard Way (2006)

Bad Luck And Trouble (2007)

Nothing To Lose (2008)

Gone Tomorrow (2009)

61 Hours (2010)

Worth Dying For (2010)

The Affair (2011) Prequel set just before Killing Floor

A Wanted Man (2012)

Never Go Back (2013)

Personal (2014)

Make Me (2015)

Night School (2016) Prequel set in 1996 before The Affair.

The Midnight Line (2017)

Past Tense (2018)

CLICK THE IMAGE TO RESERVE THE LATEST JACK REACHER BOOK!

Lee Child short stories

Fresh Blood 3 (1999) Lee’s story, “James Penney’s New Identity”, features a pre-Killing Floor Jack Reacher.

Like a Charm (2004) Serialized novel; Lee Child wrote Chapter Six: “The Snake Eater by the Numbers”.

The Cocaine Chronicles (2005) Lee’s story: “Ten Keys”.

Greatest Hits (2005) Lee’s story: “The Greatest Trick of All”.

Thriller (2006) Contains an edited version of “James Penney’s New Identity” originally published in Fresh Blood 3.

MWA Presents Death Do Us Part (2006) Lee Child’s story: “Safe Enough”.

Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology (2006) Lee Child’s story: “The .50 Solution”.

The Best British Mysteries IV (2007) Lee Child’s story: “The Greatest Trick of All”.

The Chopin Manuscript (2007) Audio serialized novel; Lee Child wrote Chapter 15.

Killer Year: Stories to Die For (2008) Lee Child edited but did not contribute a story.

Guy Walks Into a Bar (June 7, 2009); prequel to Gone Tomorrow includes Jack Reacher.

Phoenix Noir (2009) Lee Child’s story: “Public Transportation”.

The Copper Bracelet (2009) Audio serialized novel; Lee Child wrote one chapter.

The Line Up (2010) Lee Child gives the inside story on Reacher and his origins.

What other books are from Lee Child like Jack Reacher?

Lee Child also published some short stories that give a back ground to Jack Reacher and also his many adventures from the past. I would seriously buy these short stories as they range from Reacher being younger and in his army days right through to when he left the army. They also give some clues into Reacher’s character and psyche’ why he thinks like he does and respond the way he does.

CLICK THE IMAGE TO BUY THE COMPLETE COLLECTED SHORT STORIES!

Competition for Jack Reacher?

It does seem that there are a lot of books out there with a one man hero going around unscathed and righting wrongs in the world. Now I know that you could look at it as since Lee Child has got famous from the Jack Reacher books, everyone has jumped on the band wagon and created similar characters. Well I did some research and after looking through some crime thriller books history, I have to conclude that again, NOTHING IS NEW UNDER THE SUN!

As you can see there are many Jack Reacher books to get stuck into.  I guarantee that you will not be bored once you start on the once one which you can buy here.

Conclusion

One of Lee Child’s influences for the Jack Reacher book series was an author called “John D MacDonald”. John D MacDonald wrote about a character called Travis McGee who has similarities to Jack Reacher in that if you are in trouble and lose something, Travis McGee can get it back for you for a fee!


There are 21 books in the series, and there’s only one of them where anything actually happens on page one. All the other 20, nothing ever happens on page one, nothing happens on page two… but by page three you cannot put it down. The thing that I found about these books that were published in the 60’s was that Travis is very much a hero no mess around type of guy. He looks the part – was in the US army, has few possessions and lives in a house boat. Thick wrists and long arms, 6ft 4″with superb reflexes just like someone else we know.

If you are interested in seeing another slightly older series but just as good as the current Lee Child Jack Reacher books, then look here to buy the first selection of them.  Don’t forget the latest Lee Child novel is available to pre order HERE.

Click the image below to buy the books!

25Mar/18

The Nowhere Man book review

After reading the first Evan Smoak book titled “Orphan X” which is reviewed HERE. I had a scout round to see if I wanted to try another mystery book like Jack Reacher or go back and try an old Jack Reacher book. I was tempted to look into another book series just because I was sensing a need for a change in author.

The thing is, all my twitter feeds and Facebook posts were jumping around about the latest Greg Hurwitz book titled “Hellbent”. The reviews seemed out of this world and I thought right that’s decided it for me I’m going to go for this book. BUT and it’s a big BUT, I struggle to read books out of order. I like to read them as they have been written where possible, and for me, I knew that there was a second Evan Smoak book titled “The Nowhere Man”.


So that’s what I did, I went online to amazon (which you can do from my website HERE) and bought the book. It took me three days, that’s right three days to read the book and although it doesn’t top the Tom Wood book “A Time to Die”, it does come close to the other books in my page of great reads.

Is it better than Orphan X?

Well the short answer for this is a big fat NO! “Why oh, Why” you may ask. Well let me just recap, “Orphan X” is a classic read, as I mentioned before it is such a good book that it is going to be hard to beat. It’s not to say “The Nowhere Man” is not a great book, it is, just not in the same level as “Orphan X”. To me its like comparing a Ferrari car with a Range Rover. They are both class cars, both worth loads of money but in reality, everyone wants a Ferrari experience and the speed (which is what Orphan X is) but the Range Rover is there for a nice ride and a bit of a luxury holiday outdoor weekend away!


 

 

 

 

So you kind of get what I mean, “the Nowhere Man” is the perfect book to pick up for a weekend and get engrossed in the plot.

 

 

So what’s the Plot?

Back of the book

One day, though, Evan’s luck ran out . . .

Ambushed, drugged, and spirited away, Evan wakes up in a locked room with no idea where he is or who has captured him. As he tries to piece together what’s happened, testing his gilded prison and its highly trained guards for weaknesses, he receives a desperate call for help.

With time running out, he will need to out-think, out-manoeuvre, and out-fight an opponent the likes of whom he’s never encountered to have any chance of escape. He’s got to save himself to protect those whose lives depend on him. Or die trying . .

I didn’t know what to expect from this mystery book, as I just wanted to get started with the read and see where it would take me. The basic premise is that Evan is caught whilst trying to help someone in trouble, he as you well know is the help for people, but in this book the irony is that he can’t really help himself.

This plot was a great idea although it was quite samey all the way through the middle as it focused on Evan being held hostage. The descriptions were still brilliant, the action sequences ere amazing but just the pace of this book compared to “Orphan X” is the thing that let it down just slightly.

Has Greg Hurwitz lost it?

As with most books like Jack Reacher, and any mystery book or crime thriller series, there are some books that just don’t quite reach the high bar set by one of the other books in the pack. This just could not get to the bar that “Orphan X” set but then not many books could get that high either so its not really a bad thing.

What you saying?

The reality is, go and buy this book, see for yourself why I awarded it 8.9/10 and then let me know what you think. I’m sure that some people will agree with me about the pace, there will be some people who read this first before “Orphan X” and absolutely love it.

So there you have it, buy “The Nowhere Man” read it over a weekend, then let me know if you think I’m right or if you think I’ve been slightly harsh on this.

 

23Mar/18

Introducing Evan Smoak and author Gregg Hurwitz

It was one of those days, you know, you’ve had them before. You’ve finished your latest book series after the Christmas period, you’ve had a short gap of not reading anything for a couple of weeks. Then the cravings start hitting, I NEED to read a decent book, especially at night before bed, something to look forward to as the nights get dark so quickly.

The next day, into the bookshop I go, I have a quick flick through the usual authors I know of, nope nothing new there, I spot a few others on the discount shelf (always looking for a bargain), nope nothing there worthy of attention. Then I have a quick “click and check” of some books, you know the method, check the back of a book, google the title and see what some reviews say. This is such a painful process as I only have 30 minutes lunch break and I HAVE to do this method currently as there are not many websites like www.bookslikejackreacher.co.uk which help you quickly find something that is decent.

After 20 minutes of my lunch break gone, I stumble upon an author called “Greg Hurwitz”. I thought, I recognise that surname from a book I’d bought before, which I thought was okay when I had read it. The book in front of me was titled “Orphan X” and to be honest looked okay but the main thing that I noticed on the front of the book was a quote from LEE CHILD stating that the book was “Outstanding in every way”

What happened next?

Yes you guessed it, I went and bought the book. It was quite funny though, as when I got home I realised that the author who I thought sounded the same, was in fact someone else entirely called Anthony Horowitz and the book was called “Trigger Mortis” which you could BUY HERE!

“Oh no” I thought had it all gone wrong, got the wrong author, perhaps read the wrong reviews, it’s probably not a book like Jack Reacher surely. Have I wasted my hard-earned cash??

Go on tell us….

I was greatly surprised to find out that this book is one of the best books like Jack Reacher out there currently. I’ve been introduced to a totally refreshing character named “Evan Smoak” who like Jack Reacher is a loner but again has an amazing set of skills to combat the bad guys. The plot is brilliant, Evan Smoak is a person who senses great victory in helping people who are in danger. He does this by leaving people that he has saved from harm with a phone number that they can pass onto anyone (only one) person they meet who is also in desperate need.

What I love about this plot is that you sense something bad is going to happen all the way through, it’s much too easy for Evan to go through life and not have any harm come his way. What would be the point in that, him helping people and strolling around, no one wants to read this. As you read more about his background, you realise that not all is as it seems and Evan is in great, great danger.

Is this as good as a Lee Child book?

As with all comparisons, it is hard to compare the two characters Jack Reacher and Evan Smoak. I can only say that for me, Evan Smoak is like a younger brother to Jack Reacher. He can handle himself, has the usual eye for detail and investigative skills, the main difference is that he is up to date with the latest technology to aid him. Evan has such an amazing set of skills from, knowing all the time if something is wrong in a situation to checking online databases and hacking into various systems to help him in the search for people.

Greg Hurwitz has created a great character who interacts with other people in his apartment block, and again, the detail that goes into painting the picture about the protection Evan has installed into his own apartment is incredible.

Final thoughts

I included Evan Smoak in my characters in books like jack reacher as he is such a brilliant read and hero that I think people who read Lee Child novels will absolutely love. He always seems to be out of danger and then the plot is flipped so that you can’t see a way out for him. I really do like the idea of the interaction of a man made human weapon, engaging with the public in his apartment block. These scenes really give a sense of the caring side of an assassin and it does help the reader to relate to the story a lot more.

I say buy this book now, you will not be disappointed at all!

Let me know what you think, when you have read the book in the comments below.

20Mar/18

Introducing a new author – Tom Wood

On my last post where I was totally and utterly shocked and surprised to find a book that might have just surpassed Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character. I decided to keep going with this series.  I kept on buying the “Tom Wood” books and storing them up to read and review thoroughly,  this Victor assassin series.  I was slighty anxious as I had read “A Time To Die” (the more recent book in the series) and had reviewed that on this website.  I didn’t want to feel that this first book in the series would be a let down or not on par with the more recent books in the series.

What just happened?

I went straight into the bookshop and bought the first book of the series titled “The Hunter”. Now I was starting to think, “Oh no” have I rushed with the rave reviews on my website and put the recommendations out too early for people to buy “A Timetp Die”. Yes “A Time to Die” is one of the best crime thriller books that I have read, perhaps debatable, but in my humble opinion its better than all the books in the Lee Child series.

Okay, What about “The Hunter” Book?

Well the back of the book says:

His name is a cover

He has no home

And he kills for a living

Victor is a hit man, a man with no past and no surname. His world is one of paranoia and obsessive attention to detail; his morality lies either dead or dying. No one knows what truly motivates the hunter. No one gets close enough to ask.

When a Paris job goes spectacularly wrong, Victor finds himself running for his life across four continents, pursued by a kill squad and investigated by secret services from more than one country. With meticulous style, Victor plans his escape . . . and takes the fight to his would-be killers.

In this first novel in the explosive Victor series, it’s not about right and wrong – only about who lives and who dies.

There you go, great back of the book synopsis, surely this is something that you, like me thought “Yes, this seems like it could be a good book”. After two chapters of reading “The Hunter” I was quietly smiling to myself, trying desperately to find negatives as I was reading but at the same time just agreeing that this was going to be another mighty fine read.

General idea

To try and understand the plot without spoiling it for people, I as a previous Jean Claude Van Damme fan (apologies I was a teen martial arts fan) there was one stand out film that this book brought back to my memory. The film was called “HARD TARGET” (BUY HERE) and was basically Van Damme, accidentally entering into a game where the hunter became the hunted. To be honest the film now looks a little dated and probably has “B” rated action, the plot though is really rather excellent. Specialist baddies, chasing after Van Damme who uses his ex army skills to defend himself and fight back. This is what Victor the assassin does in this book like Jack Reacher, being chased by deadly hardened trained teams who go up against him, with the intent to kill.

Tell us the good

I defy anyone to read this book and not finish it within a week! Bold statement I know and I am being deadly serious.  The amazing pace, the twists and turns, the locations, all lead to a dramatic ending which leaves you just absolutely exhausted. We get to understand Victor, strange morals, thinking for himself, he really is about self-preservation. Even with all this going on, men reading this book will want to be him, cool in situations, always thinking ahead of the game, paranoid and observant, a cross between Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne. Perhaps the ultimate assassin you would say in some ways.

BUY THE BOOK HERE!

Okay you’ve convinced me

The reason this book is just like Jack Reacher is that again the author Tom Wood writes with such detail that you really feel like you are in the scenes. Jack Reacher isn’t exactly a hero and he does have strange morals, which relates slightly to Victor. For some reason you are routing for Victor even though he isn’t one of the good guys in a typical sense.  You are practically willing him to get through to the end of the book.  Even when everything is stacked against him and he is against some serious opposition, you are never sure he is going to make it.

I love the way that Victor even with all the skills in the world can still look and sound vulnerable. To me this is realistic, with so many enemies, so many tight situations that he has to think in an unconventional way to escape or not get killed.  With this high el meant of danger and the sublime pace of this plot, I do put this book firmly up there with a high score like the best Lee Child, Jack Reacher novels.

 

Let me know what you think? Have I got the review right, is he as good as Jack Reacher? Leave comments below.

 

 

 

 

16Mar/18

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10Mar/18

Like Jack Reacher – Welcome Harry Bosch

At www.bookslikejackreacher.co.uk we review characters that are like Jack Reacher. Not just in appearance but also in personality, mentality or character. I found a great character that although slightly different to Jack Reacher, this character is someone who I would recommend due to the story lines he is involved with and the detective skill set that he possesses.

Harry Bosch is the main man

The character I am referring to is Harry Bosch from the well-known author Michael Connelly. Michael Connelly is a massive name amongst the genre of crime thriller books and someone who you can rely on for a good read in your spare time. The first book I read of Michael Connelly’s was The SCARECROW, and boy what a book it was. The general premise was that main character Jack McEvoy has to track down a serial killer who is known as the “scarecrow” which we start to realise why he is called this name, later in the book.

One of the fascinating things with this book was the in depth research that Michael Connelly had done in providing us details of the FBI, the accessing of digital storage for large companies and also how he details all the facts of a court case. One of the reasons that Michael Connnelly is such as descriptive writer is due him being a police crime reporter earlier in his career. This previous role really helps him create the chaos and confinement that you feel when reading his books. Like a lot of Lee Child books, the background descriptions of landscapes and people, keep you fully attentive whilst reading.

What about Harry Bosch?

I finished the “Scarecrow” book and thought, you know what, I’m going to look out for another book from this author. I chose the book “THE BRASS VERDICT”, partly because from reading the back of the book it looked like something that could be a Hollywood film.

Back of the book content

Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is ready to go back to the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent’s killer may be coming for him next.

Enter LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent’s killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.


As you can see, just this premise of a lawyer getting a break and then having to rely on an LAPD detective to assist with the case really intrigued me. As the book started off with a lawyer called Mickey Haller (who later became more well-known in the LINCOLN LAWYER film), I started to warm more to Harry Bosch. A worn, older veteran of the LAPD, kind of old school detective with vast experience, lots of hard cases which he has solved on his own.

Not to spoil the plot but you see elements of Jack Reacher in the way that he works the case and starts to pick holes in the investigation. A lot of the action is less fighting, with a lot more gun shots and threats with the odd street fight thrown in for good measure.

Other books like Jack Reacher?

After reading “The Scarecrow”, I went straight to my local Waterstones bookshop and bought this book “THE BLACK BOX”, I absolutely loved it. The book goes back to an old case that hasn’t been solved and then Harry Bosch goes back to try to dig it up again and see if he can get any new evidence. The speed of this book is remarkable, you do actually end up flying through it, wanting to know who committed the crime and how Harry will solve it.

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In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photojournalist during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch’s ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue.

Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the “black box,” the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together. Riveting and relentlessly paced, The Black Box leads Harry Bosch into one of his most fraught and perilous cases.

What’s next?

For new readers to the series, its exciting as there are lots of Harry Bosch books out there. Here they are in order for you to buy:

The Black Echo (1992)

The Black Ice (1993)

The Concrete Blonde (1994)

The Last Coyote (1995)

Trunk Music (1997)

Angels Flight (1999)

A Darkness More Than Night (2001)

City Of Bones (2002)

Lost Light (2003)

The Narrows (2004) (sequel to The Poet)

The Closers (2005)

Echo Park (2006)

The Overlook (2007)

Nine Dragons (2009) (also featuring Mickey Haller)

The Drop (2011)

The Black Box (2012)

The Burning Room (2014)

The Crossing (2015)

The Wrong Side Of Goodbye (2016)

Two Kinds Of Truth (2017)

Dark Sacred Night (coming October 2018)

Conclusion

I recommend reading any of the Harry Bosch books as they are so cleverly written, you may think that you know what is about to happen when reading them, then the plot twists right round to another outcome entirely. Don’t forget you can buy the books on kindle as well if you like reading them on your tablet or phone.

Even the location of where Harry Bosch lives is so finely described you can actually imagine the road, the sun and the freeway in the distance. Sitting in your armchair on the veranda, sun slowing setting, beer in hand watching the world play out before you.

If you feel like this is a good series, like Jack Reacher novels, that you could get into then see the link below to purchase from amazon. There is also the Harry Bosch TV series which is HERE TO BUY.

Let me know how you get on in the comments box below.

 

 

 

 

07Mar/18

My 5 best Jack Reacher books.

For all new and old readers of the Lee Child Jack Reacher series, I wanted to get your feedback. The Lee Child novels have been spanning 21 years now. Yes that’s right 21 years, talk about longevity in a series of books. It got me thinking, out of all the 22 books so far that I have read, which one is my favourite?

To even look at this question, I sadly had to go back through and read some earlier Jack Reacher novels as I couldn’t quite remember the plot lines. I’ve heard this happens when people get older so please forgive me!

So here is my list, in no particular order maybe, let me know your thoughts on whether you think I’m right.

Jack Reacher favourite books Number 1

Tripwire

I’m going to try not to spoil it for you by divulging the plot lines but this book is very special. It was the first time I thought of Reacher being human, someone who could get wounded and hurt. In previous Jack Reacher books I have always found that somehow he would stay alive, here I wasn’t so sure.

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He spends his days digging swimming pools by hand and his nights as the bouncer in the local strip club in the Florida Keys.

He doesn’t want to be found.

But someone has sent a private detective to seek him out. Then Reacher finds the guy beaten to death with his fingertips sliced off. It’s time to head north and work out who is trying to find him and why.

You can buy the book here


 

 

 

 

Jack Reacher favourite books Number 2

Bad Luck and Trouble

As I mentioned in my previous post about this book here, this book has fond memories for me so will always be one of my favourites. This coupled with the team that Jack Reacher has to look after and the loyalty shown, it really is a masterpiece of Lee Child proportions. I love the way as you are reading this book, you are really willing Reacher to find justice for his old team and somehow figure it all out.

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He is as close to untraceable as a person can get. A loner comfortable in his anonymity and solitude. So when a member of his old army unit finds a way to contact him, he knows this has to be serious.

Buy the book here

Jack Reacher favourite books Number 3

61 Hours and Worth dying for

Now this is slightly controversial as I have two books here at number 3. Just let me explain, these two books go hand in hand as one ends quite abruptly with a cliff hanger and then the other starts where the first book left off. So this as you can see means that these two books are one book but in two parts. Clever Lee Child I hear you say and yes you would be right. Jack Reacher gets himself in a right pickle in this book, the descriptive words used and the description of the landscapes are breath taking and really do create a distinct feel to these two books.

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61 Hours – Icy winter in South Dakota. A bus skids and crashes in a gathering storm. On the back seat: Jack Reacher, hitching a ride to nowhere. A life without baggage has many advantages. And disadvantages too, like facing the arctic cold without a coat.
Worth dying for – There’s deadly trouble in the wilds of Nebraska…. and Reacher walks right into it. He falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing 8 year old girl, already decades old that Reacher can’t let go.

Buy the book 61 hours here and Worth dying for here

Jack Reacher favourite books Number 4

Gone Tomorrow

I must have read the first chapter of this book a few times as it is so descriptive and speaks right into the paranoia that is around currently in society. Reacher deciding in his mind through training if the person sitting opposite him on the train is a suicide bomber. Classic suspense and drama, Reacher against lots and lots of bad guys, so much suspense, and humor make this one of the Lee Child novels I will always remember.

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Suicide bombers are easy to spot.

They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs. There are twelve things to look for. No one who has worked in law enforcement will ever forget them.

New York City. The subway, two o’clock in the morning.

Jack Reacher studies his fellow passengers. Four are OK. The fifth isn’t.

The train brakes for Grand Central Station.

Buy the book here

Jack Reacher favourite books Number 5

Personal

This has to be on my top 10 for me as it is based across Europe for a change! When I was reading this book, it took me back to the classic James Bond story lines when I was around 10 years old and watching someone (guy called Jaws) try to get Bond (Roger Moore). Needless to say there is some great fight scenes, one against a “Giant type character”, mastery weapon descriptions and it also made me forget the Never go Back Jack Reacher novel, which to me wasn’t on par with the rest in the series.

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Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president.

Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.

This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child’s number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris – and then to London. The stakes have never been higher – because this time, it’s personal.

Buy the book here

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Conclusion

So there you have it, my list and subject to change in the future. Let me know what you think in the comments below.