Jack Reacher

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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  Keeper on Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:46 am

The Courtney Series by Wilbur Smith are classics. Picked up "When The Lion Feeds" prior to the World Cup in SA and marched through the entire series in no time. "The Burning Shore" is probably my favorite. Thought his latest, "Those In Peril," was entertaining and I love how the old boy takes no time getting to the guns, sex, and adventure. Just watched the movie "The Wild Geese" and it greatly reminded me of something Smith would have written.

John Rain is a great character and the tradecraft is top notch in Eisler's books. Nice work with pacing and transporting the reader to settings.

I'm surprised nobody here has mentioned George Pelecanos. His gritty portrayal of DC and the beltway is spot-on and most of his protagonists are hard scrabble cops, detectives, and PIs with a grudge and a gun. Not to mention he frequently wrote for the best television series ever, "The Wire."

If you'd like a masterful portrayal of life as a cynical homicide detective, check out Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko series. Beginning with "Gorky Park," he will keep you spell bound with the settings, characters, and unique twists of fortune and plots that drag Renko all across the USSR, New Russia, Cuba, Chernobyl, Germany, and America. The last in the series, "Three Stations," did leave me a bit disappointed. Felt like he rushed that story to the publisher at the last minute to meet a deadline.

Oh and I've only ready "With A Vengance" by Marcus Wynn. For a buck on my Kindle, it was entertaining and authentic. I liked the plot, CQC fight scenes, and story about domestic terrorism. Didn't seem a bit far-fetched and he had some recommendations from well-respected members of the self-protection scene.

For anybody who enjoys a bit of medieval or fantasy fiction, "A Song of Ice and Fire," by George R.R. Martin should not be missed. Those door stops will keep your nose in the pages for at least a couple months.

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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  Nick Hughes on Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:42 pm

The Courtney series is indeed brilliant. My two Smith favorties though have to be Dark of the Sun and Wild Justice. The former was made into a movie with an Aussie actor playing Bruce the main protagonist

Gorky Park was good...movie wasn't shabby either...didn't realize he had others out.

I've also read a couple of Pelecano's but I prefer the whole international travel genre where the stories take place across the world.

If you liked Marcus' grab a hold of "Air Marshall's" that's probably my favorite of all of his.

Nick
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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  Mr Nobody on Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:57 pm

I second Martin Cruz Smiths Renko series too. Haven't read the most recent but the others are very well written and a nice change on the genre with a Russian detective as the lead character.
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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  Chris on Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:49 am

Wild Justice is a great book. One of Smith's best pared down thrillers. Not his best reviewed novel but a personal favourite. He wrote a series of one off books that set the bar for me when it comes to almost hemmingway lite prose. Sean Courtney by the way was one of the great adventure heroes.

Michener is another great find, he was a genius level iq combined with a photographic memory. As a result his novels are a work of academic quality combined with a love of language. A genius who likes to entertain.
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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  Peter on Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:45 am

Keeper wrote:
For anybody who enjoys a bit of medieval or fantasy fiction, "A Song of Ice and Fire," by George R.R. Martin should not be missed. Those door stops will keep your nose in the pages for at least a couple months.

Thanks for the tip, I like that sort of book and can highly recomend Simon Scarrows books about the Roman Legions.

I just downloaded "Air Marshalls" and the first few chapters are off to a good start Nick
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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  Nick Hughes on Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:45 pm

The great thing about Air Marshalls Pete is that Marcus was one back when they set the original group up back in the late seventies. Unlike a lot of authors who get things wrong everything in that book is spot on.

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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  Peter on Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:58 pm

I take it the character Lufty Wideman is based on Lofty Wiseman? Any others in there Nick?
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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  Dave on Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:45 am

GOVINDA wrote:Sorry to go off topic, but since we are chatting about books, did anyone see a programme called Banged up Abroad recently, basically it was about a guy, a long time Karate teacher who fell on hard times in Spain who needed to make cash pretty quick, anyway he made some wrong decisions and was caught, but I can't remember his name but he is now writing about his experiences and going by the programme it looks like its pretty good reading, anyone know anything ?

Lone Brit on 13: A Prisoner's Hell in Spain's Toughest Jail, by Christopher Chance:

I've got a signed copy of this book somewhere, not a great book, the usual found myself on hard times, did what I did, was pretty good at it (still got caught) went to prison, had to sort a few people out and put up with no shit, Its been done before and dare I say will be done again.
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Re: Jack Reacher

Post  cartmelpete on Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:22 am

Chris wrote:

Monster by Sanyika Shakur is an inteteresting read if you want to understand how kids in the "developed" world can be drawn into a gang mentality and subsequent criminal activity.


Yes, I read that about three quarters of the way through about 15 years ago I think. I got to the part where he meets an older guy inside who tells him that human really means hue man, as in man of colour. Don't know why but after that I just couldn't get into it, I should really finish it as up until then it was quite interesting. I haven't got it to hand but wasn't he called Cody Scott and his 'Street' name was Monster?
His younger brother Li'l Monster was actually featured on some of the news footage after the LA 'Rodney King' riots.

If you're into the prison lit

One of the forerunners to that book was called 'BAD' a prison autobiography by James Carr. It is a story of a guy from the LA ghettos in the 60's and 70's who spends most of his time in San Quentin, Folsom, Soledat and Chino.
Quite brutal in parts featuring all manner of violence and prison rapes but also interesting as one of the author's co inhabitants was George Jackson who was one of the founding members of The Black Panthers.
The author throughout shows an fairly callous disregard for the people who are the victims of his and others violence and in that respect is an eye opener and insight into the mind of someone who will brutalise others without a second thought. I've still got a dogeared copy which I bought in LA airport in '75.

An eye opener to all those who think the 60's was all Peace, Love, long hair and beads.

Another book which was released later but goes back to the 50's is 'Mr Blue' by Edward Bunker. He played a bit part in 'Reservoir Dogs', hence the name. He was the youngest ever inmate of San Quentin at 17.
This guy really was swimming with the sharks as a youngster in an adult jail and had to prove himself early on, which he did do, a really 'don't mess with me dude'.
Even gives the history and origins, which go right back to the 40's and 50's, of the baggy clothes and jeans down around the arse which are so popular now......amongst a certain segment of society.

He also wrote three books which although fictional are based on his real life experiences 'Little Boy Blue', 'No Beast So Fierce', which was later made into a movie Straight Time featuring Dustin Hoffman and 'Dog Eat Dog'. All good very realistic crime novels based on his own experiences as a professional criminal and I think are his life story.

Both books, BAD and Mr Blue mention a famous con Shiek Thomas or Shiek Thompson who apparently was a bit of a legend in San Quentin at the time.

Only about 5' 8" he had a fight with a guy in the yard, got shot by the guards about 5 times, continued fighting until he was overpowered. Put in the prison hospital where the doctors thought he would never walk again.

He was running around the sports field with a 100lb sandbag on his back within a few months...and the guy was in his 50's.

A sobering thought as there are guys like this around although thankfully not that many.

Sorry for the long waffle


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