The Ultimate best Characters like Jack Reacher

I’ve spent a year reading and rereading the Jack Reacher series. I’ve loved every book that Lee Child has written and reviewed them on my website. This has given me the opportunity to check out other books that are like Jack Reacher, other books that have a powerful character lead. These books are real page turners, these books are seriously addictive and these books will leave you wanting more.

My list is based upon the following:

Is the main character like Jack Reacher?

Does the plot of the book grip you straight away?

Are there anymore books in the series that will keep you going throughout the year?

Number 5

Will Robie – Author – David Baldacci

Amazing hit man who you would want on your side in any battle. Great book series that involves other characters’ and brings out main characters’ history. 

 See the reviews HERE!

Best Book in the series – THE TARGET – 9.3/10

Number 4

Carter Blake – Author – Mason Cross

Brilliant character who finds people who don’t want to be found. The books have amazing plots that keep you guessing all the way through. 

 See the reviews HERE!

Best Book in the series – PRESUMED DEAD – 9.3/10

Number 3

John Puller – Author – David Baldacci

Physically strong character – combat veteran military. Various plots which include aspects of John’s family. The books have strong plots that are really creative and usually feel like film topics. 

 See the reviews HERE!

Best Book in the series – THE ESCAPE – 9.4/10

Number 2

Evan Smoak – Author – Gregg Hurwitz

Unusual character – ordinary guy with an amazing hidden skill set – Helping people less fortunate with plots that are really varied. 

 See the reviews HERE!

Best Book in the series – HELLBENT – 9.4/10

Number 1

Victor – Author – Tom Wood

Ruthless assassin – paranoid and emotionless – intriguing plots, gritty fight scenes and tension built through the books 

 See the reviews HERE!

Best Book in the series – KILL FOR ME – 9.7/10

Other character to mention are JOE BECK by Author Alastair Brown and JOE REZNICK by Author JB Turner. They may make the list in the future but just miss out due to the top writing of the authors in the top 5. If you like books like Jack Reacher, these are the books to buy.



Get the latest Jack Reacher book by clicking the photo and see my review here!


The New Lee Child Book – PAST TENSE (Jack Reacher 23)

I have taken a little while to write this review of the latest Jack Reacher book. Being a Jack Reacher fan, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t just jump to a conclusion straight after reading it. I wanted to check that after reading 22 Lee Child novels, I didn’t want to confuse previous books in the Jack Reacher series with this book, as we all know Jack Reacher has changed kind of evolved since the first book in the series “Killing Floor”.

PAST TENSE – The Review

After waiting a whole year between reading the last Lee Child book titled Midnight Line – SEE REVIEW HERE, I have had the opportunity to look at lots of other books that have really good strong characters in that are like Jack Reacher. Now my thoughts of the previous book were that it was good, not the best Jack Reacher book but as with any Lee Child book a decent read. This is my issue with the latest Jack Reacher book “Past Tense”, I’ve been used to the old Jack Reacher character, fast paced, act now sort the consequences out later, a guy who was a force of nature in any situation. Now the new Reacher is maybe a tad ponderous, slightly slower pace. Still hard as nails but would rather sort things out by thinking things through.

Now there is nothing wrong with the new Reacher, nothing at all. The book is a great read, the plot keeps you guessing the characters are intriguing yet there is something that seems to be missing from this latest book.

What’s the Good?

The good as is always the Lee Child writing. The classic description of vast land, roads and where they could lead. Even the sense that you are in the open spaces ready to look out and choose your own path whist in the USA. I love this part of Lee Child books, the descriptive characters and the way that they interact, you can almost generalise who these people are without even meeting them.

The plot is also clever, I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet but Jack Reacher is wondering as usual where to go next. He sets out on an road trip across America but doesn’t quite get very far. In the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been – the town where his father was born. When he arrives at the town, he is told no one named Reacher ever lived there. Straight away you think why would people lie about this? And then you are into the book, clever Lee Child eh!! The other part of the plot is that there is a young couple trying to get to New York City who stop off looking for a hotel and wander into a motel in the middle of nowhere. They then become trapped as their car won’t start and you know that this isn’t going to end well.

Lee Child weaves these two stories together really well and this is what kept me reading as I was interested to know about Jack Reacher and his family heritage.

Is this book like any movies?

If you have read anything on my website before, you already know that I am an action movie fan. I know the books which liken to a movie and this latest book by Lee Child is no exception. Straight away as the plot thickened at the Motel and the young couple became more and more intense, I pictured a film. Jean Claude Van Damme (remember him) starred in a 90’s film titled “Hard Target”. Now Hard Target was a well directed film by John Woo who at the time was one of my favourite directors. The plot of the film is that Van Damme is forced to join a game whereby trained hunters have to kill him. Cue lots of high Van Damme kicks, shocked facial expressions and crazy action stunts. This film and the plot is quite similar to the latest Jack Reacher book called “Past Tense”. Yes watch it and see for yourself and let me know if you agree with me.



What is the Bad?

There isn’t really anything bad in the book, for me the author Lee Child doesn’t really write any bad books. All Jack Reacher books have been either Amazing or great/good. This one doesn’t quite fit into the Amazing category, not because it hasn’t got good parts to it, more the fact that Lee Child has so many top books that this just doesn’t quite reach the heights of some of the others. This is going to happen when you have written 23 books with the same character as we are all comparing each latest one to our personal favourite.

One thing that I found in this book was the pace of the plot. For me it was slightly too slow but this does help with the setting of the various scenes so that we can picture what certain areas and towns are like. We can even imagine what lifestyle the people have just from the pace of the book and the low interaction between certain people in the community. The last section of the book picks up pace, mainly due to Jack Reacher being on the hunt which is really what we all want to read, its maybe that this latest Lee /child book takes a little while to get there.


Great fights, Reacher family history and classic bad guy menace does mean that I like this book. I don’t love it but would buy it as a fan and also as a present for one of my friends. There was a slight air of dissatisfaction once I had finished it, mainly as I knew that it was going to be another year until I got to read another Lee Child book but also because I had put so much anticipation into this that it perhaps didn’t reach my high level of excitement.

You as a Reacher fan will buy the book, lets face it that is just what we do. I just have this slight nagging sense that maybe the game has moved on, Jack Reacher (speaks quietly) may be getting a little old now or maybe I just have too high expectations.

A brilliant alternative book series that I have really enjoyed so far is Victor the Assassin by Tom Wood. SEE THE BOOK REVIEWS HERE

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.


Introducing Joe Beck by author Alastair Brown

Remember the 1980’s action films?  Before Jack Reacher came on the scene, before any books like Jack Reacher were available there were films with one hero who saved the day against numerous baddies.  Films like Die Hard with Bruce Willis, Rambo with Slyvester Stallone and one of my favourites Commando with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Commando was about one man who had to go against an army to get his kidnapped daughter back.

If like me, you used to love these type of films, with over the top violence, an easy story to follow and a happy ending then this new book I have read is just for you.  The start of the book hooks you right in, two deaths and Joe Beck at a funeral wondering what had happened to one of his best friends.  A friend who he would call a brother, did his friend commit suicide or was this a murder?

Who is Joe Beck?

He’s a former cop from Nebraska turned unlicensed outlaw private eye, after being convicted for a crime he didn’t commit and spending a year inside the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Unlike other private eyes, he’s effectively a drifter with no formal office or fixed abode, who operates with three things: a cell phone, an unregistered Smith & Wesson pistol and a Smith & Wesson six-inch HRT boot knife which he keeps in a holster strapped to the crux of his leg.

Motivated by nothing other than money and justice for the wronged, he’s part saviour, part mercenary. Basically, an avenger for hire, who you can call up or bump into and try to persuade him to help solve your problems. And, standing an imposing 6’5″ and with a full muscular frame built like the side of a house, he’s not somebody you want to wind up on the wrong side of.
He’s basically the sort of private eye you don’t want looking for you. The kind who shoots first, then asks the questions later. He thinks nothing of beating a guy’s ass for answers or cutting his throat, if he thinks he’s lying.
He survives on coffee, beer, whisky and mammoth portions of meat-based meals. And he has a soft spot for beautiful women and can’t resist helping a damsel in distress. He roams the length and breadth of America seeking out suspects, dishing out vigilante justice and bringing the untouchable criminals of the world to a permanent end and knocking their criminal enterprises onto its knees.
He’s big. He’s bad. And he’s as hard as they come. You’d best hope you’re not the one he’s looking for and you’d better not stand in his way.

As you can see, Joe Beck is just like Jack Reacher, as person that you don’t want to mess with but someone who is fighting for justice in the world.

I managed to get an email chat with Alastair Brown the author of the Joe Beck book titled “Army of One”.  See the whole conversation below.

What inspired you to create Joe Beck?

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Even since elementary school. I would always write stories and win the weekly ‘Super Writer’ award. It’s always been in me, I guess. One day, I just decided to do it and started typing words into a note-taking app on my phone.
At first, It was a collection of random thoughts and happenings, scenes for an action novel with a male lead character. A detective who operated outside the law, followed his own rules and got the job done, no matter the means. Eventually, after a bit of trial and error and a good bit of visualizing and re-visualizing, outlining, planning, writing and re-writing, those words became my first novel – Army of One: Introducing Joe Beck.
I guess the real inspiration for that book, though, was the antagonist. And the seed came from a box of shortbread I saw sitting on the table one day in my family’s kitchen. The title on the side was ‘Chairman’s Collection’ and, without wanting to spoil the plot of Army of One for anyone who hasn’t read it, I saw that title and began to wonder, who’s the Chairman?

What do you want to get out of writing these books?

Obviously, anything is possible. Right? If I ended up writing ten, twenty, thirty books, sold a million copies and had them made into a TV or movie series, then that would be terrific.
But what I’m doing it for is entertainment. My own and that of the readers’. For me, there’s nothing better than hearing somebody say ‘I read that book you wrote and thought it was great.’
At their core, books are a form of entertainment. They compete with just about everything else out there for people’s time, whether that’s against sports, music, movies or browsing the internet. People invest their limited time in return for enjoyment. And to be able to say I’ be given that somebody who’s bought a copy and used their time to read it or read it for free on Kindle Unlimited, that’s my nirvana.

What inspired you to create Joe Beck?

I had read some of the Jack Reacher, Spenser, Jon Reznick, and Harry Bosch novels and really enjoyed them. I also thought I could do this, too. And so I set about doing something with a strong male lead, as that’s what struck me most about those books – the power of the main character.
Initially, while concepting ‘Joe Beck,’ I burned through lots of thoughts and ideas, from doing something about a Texas Ranger to a New York cop. But I quickly realized, if I was going to do the character I wanted, he couldn’t be confined to any particular organization and its bullshit practices and procedures. I also realized, if I set it in one particular place, it would become a bit episodic with recurring similar characters. I didn’t want to write about the exact same people each and every time, so I decided to make him a drifting private eye. That way, I allowed myself the flexibility of being able to write about anything and anywhere.
After I had the premise sorted, I had to come up with a name. I new it had to be something memorable, something cool, something that would stick. I went through a list the length of my arm on that one and narrowed it down to being between four or five I initially liked.
Then, I started thinking about the depth of character. I knew he had to have a plausible background and basically be big and bold, a bit larger than life. Otherwise, why would people take note? A five-foot-six stiff in a suit drifting around and looking into things? No thanks. People wouldn’t buy it. They wouldn’t care. It wouldn’t capture them into suspending their belief and taking them to a reality other than their own.
So, I put a lot of thought into it, drew out what I liked about the characters I’d read before, and just came up with him and his background. Like many authors do, at the core of it, he’s basically me, I guess, given some of his traits and motivations. Except I made him bigger, badder, louder, cruder, and a whole lot more violent than I would ever be. The character actually came before I settled on the name. One day, Joe Beck just hit me. He was originally going to be called something else!
It’s funny, actually. When writing, it’s like channelling an alter ego in a sense. I find myself thinking, OK here’s the scene. What would I really do in this case, then what would I probably do if there were no real world restrictions. That’s pretty much it, I guess, me without restriction of any sort. Not to the sci-fi extent, though, because that would just be silly.
But all in all, it’s great fun.

Conclusion – What other Books is Joe Beck in?

Army of One: Introducing Joe Beck
The first book in the Joe Beck series.
Ex-cop, turned unlicensed outlaw private eye, Joe Beck is in McAllen, Texas, for the funeral of an old friend who took his own life, but winds up being taken hostage at gun point, alongside a prostitute he only just met, by three men he’s never seen before. Three men who know more about Joe Beck’s dead friend than they ought to.
What will happen? What do they know? And how will Joe Beck react?

Payback: A Short Joe Beck Thriller

The second book in the Joe Beck series.
Ex-cop turned unlicensed outlaw private eye Joe Beck meets Brandi Burrows, a brunette bombshell, at a bar in Trinidad, Colorado. She’s slim, tanned and attractive. She has it all. Except, her left eye is horribly blackened, caused by the hand of an abusive ex-boyfriend.
Beck offers to deal with the guy, no questions asked, but winds up getting sucked into handling a local outlaw biker gang.

Easy Money: A Joe Beck Thriller
The third book in the Joe Beck series – Due to be released in 2019
Ex-cop, turned unlicensed outlaw private eye, Joe Beck is in a snowy Detroit, Michigan, hot on the trail of a murderous drug dealer wanted by the U.S. Marshals. He witnesses an unrelated murder on a deserted main street and deals with it in the way he does best.
But his actions don’t go unnoticed.

A fourth book is in the works!
Plus there’s a fourth book in the series, which I’m currently working on, although I can’t give away much more details just yet. But be on lookout for Joe Beck Book Number 4!

As you can see I have read the first book in the series and absolutely loved it.  Jo Beck is just like Jack Reacher, probably more of a straight forward get the job done rather than a thinker but with his skill set he cannot be underestimated.

I recommend that you go and buy this first book and add another brilliant crime thriller book that is like Jack Reacher to your collection.  Let me know what you think in the comment below.


Like Jack Reacher – Carter Blake by Author Mason Cross

The English summer which is usually full of bad weather, some days are slightly mild whilst others are absolutely freezing. This is when I kind of think okay lets get a book and stay indoors as going outside isn’t really an option. However the summer that we just had was off the charts, most days we were waking up to the sun, each day was a total surprise. This new-found summer season meant that I was rather busy, mostly with sun bathing and outdoor activities with the family but also sorting out the garden which consisted of watching the grass and then panicking as I watched it disappear into dust!

I saw that the author Mason Cross had tweeted about his latest book on offer for 99p. Yes 99p which is really a freebie in a way. I thought to myself “hey, why not, what is there to lose”. His last books were really, really good and the main character was like Jack Reacher in most ways. See my previous review here

So here we are in late summer reading the book.

The thing about Mason Cross books

I thought I knew what the main character Carter Blake was like from reading the Mason Cross previous books. He seems to be Mr average in appearance but with an intensity and a problem solving mind that helps him achieve his goals, which is to find people that don’t want to be found. Jack Reacher intense but not so brutal, maybe a conscious that keeps him in check when the need arises. In this book Carter Blake is at a loss from the start. Someone has seen their sister, they are sure of it, one glimpse whilst passing on a bus. No big deal you think, the only problem is, their sister died 15 years ago. Blake is asked to find this person. This thing is, he isn’t 100% sure that she is alive either. Carter is stuck, which I quite liked as Mason Cross delivers a real clever plot by using first person writing so that you can feel the anguish and turmoil in Blakes thought process, not fully realising if he is on the right track.

Is this the best Carter Blake book?

For me I think it is. The plot situated in a Mountain area, a small town with locals whereby news travels faster than social media. There is a feeling of Carter being out of place in this back water area where everyone know each other and they don’t take kindly to strangers. The writing is top-notch from Mason Cross, scenes set to entice you into the drama as you realise death has hit this town and people are paranoid. A serial killer could be on the loose, the deaths start to mount up and the police plus Carter Blake don’t seem to be able to find out who is responsible

I found that what was brilliant about this book was the feeling of not knowing who was responsible for the killings. It made me want to keep turning every page until I found out. Usually you have a slight suspicion when you are reading a book about who the baddie really is. It was a bit like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher in that the writing was cleverly done so that each day is named at the start of the chapter and you can feel the tension build until the very last chapter as the days pass.

Is there any Jack Reacher action?

There is some action, mainly gun fights and the odd outside of the bar scuffle. Tense moments between the police and some rogue cops who think that Blake is treading on their toes. Nothing as gruesome as some Jack Reacher books or the Tom Wood novels SEE HERE!

Final thoughts

Without spoiling the plot for you, I was really surprised by how good this book was. Don’t get me wrong, Mason Cross is a brilliant author but for some reason I couldn’t imagine this topping the previous book I had read “A Time To Kill”. Each character is likable, each scene is descriptive, there is enough action for any reader of the Jack Reacher series. I suggest you go and buy it, then like me you will go onto the next book by Mason Cross. I have already ordered the previous book “Don’t Look For Me”. You can buy it HERE!

On a special note, the ending had me shocked, a bit like if you had watched an old movie (one of my favourites) titled “Usual Suspects”, it leaves you looking at the last page saying “WHAT”!!!!!!
Leave me some comments below – what do you think about this book and the Carter Blake series?


Best crime thriller of 2018 – “Kill For Me” by author Tom Wood

I had been waiting for this book since reading the previous Tom Wood “The Final Hour” in July 2017 on holiday. This summer had high hopes, England were through to the semi-finals of the World Cup, Roger Federer (my favorite tennis player) was through to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and Tom Wood’s new book was out soon.

Then it all went so, so wrong, England crashed out of the World Cup by losing to Croatia, Roger Federer lost to Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon. It was all left to Tom Wood to bring out a book that would be a decent read, maybe even better than the previous book “The Final Hour”.

Victor the Assassin

Tom Wood’s books are all about the assassin Victor. An ice cool hit man who like Jack Reacher has a skill set mainly centered around paranoia as there is always someone ready to kill him. The only way for him to stay alive is to be overly careful, always on the look out for enemies, never going a direct route to his destination just in case. Victor is more vicious than Jack Reacher, he wouldn’t think twice about killing you even if you had tried to help him. In this new book, Victor is a raw killing machine, more so that previous books. He covers his tracks, killing people, if it means that these people may try to eliminate him at a later date if he had kept them alive.

Is this the best Tom Wood book?

This book is the best crime thriller of 2018. Yes Hellbent was top of this list for 2018, this has now changed. Tom Wood has brought in a thriller that keeps you engaged all the way through, right until the end.

Victor is now his own man, arranging contracts through his broker himself rather than working for the CIA to fulfill their obligations. The book starts with Victor looking to purchase a gun, the people who are selling the gun are trying to set Victor up. This leads into a fight, killings and the typical Victor self-preservation instincts.  The scene is set so well, a bit like a western, Clint Eastwood style with an outlaw taking on multiple cowboys.

The main reason why this book is so much better than other crime thrillers is the plot. Victor is tasked with taking down a Cartel drug leader who is at logger heads with their sister (also a Cartel Drug lord) across the city. The problem is the contract is set up by one sister against the other, hoping that when the other sister is killed by Victor, the city will be back to normal and peaceful. This is a family war that Victor is now involved with, outside of his familiar European territory and in a city that seems to have no real laws. Everyone is potentially an enemy to Victor, who can’t blend in as easy, which only heightens his surveillance skills even more.

Is there any action?

The action in this book is intense, from the opening page set up to the final end scene we are treated to gun battles, martial arts, wrestling and genuine skilled assassins trying to kill. One of the double-cross moments in the book is that Victor is meant to be the only person on this kill contract but the person who orders the hit has also without Victors knowledge hired another assassin. This Assassin is exactly like Victor, highly trained, enjoys the kill and ready to get to the Cartel Drug lord before Victor does. As you can probably guess, the new assassin decides to go after Victor as well, so that they can get all the money from the job.

Final thoughts

The pace of the book and the intriguing character of Victor means that for me this is the best book of the year so far. Jack Reacher fans will be able to enjoy this book before the latest Lee Child book “Past tense” comes out. I would argue that Victor is a better character than Jack Reacher as we don’t know Victor’s past yet.  In this book, some moments come back from the past every now and again to make you wonder how he got to where he is but we don’t yet know what made him an assassin in the first place.

The action is hard and gritty, people are shot in the knee, thrown through windows, shot in the back of the head, strangled, drowned, you name it. Guns are described intricately, scenes are laid out so that you imagine you are there in the hot city of Guatemala. I think Tom Wood has brought out all his skills in this book to make every Jack Reacher fan want to start the Victor series.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


Introducing author – Mason Cross

I got a Waterstones book voucher for my birthday.  So without really thinking I went to my local shop and searched around for a decent crime thriller to read.  I scanned the shelves trying to find something that I thought looked good.  I had read all the Tom Wood (Victor the Assassin) books, the Michael Connolly books were all done, David Baldacci done – oh wait what’s this book.  “The Time to Kill” by Mason Cross, ah now I remember, I had read “The Killing Season” before and thought it was excellent.  I had given the book a rating of 9.2/10 which is a top mark, I do think you will struggle to find another book as good.

Is this book like Jack Reacher?

Well, the main character Carter Blake is a brilliant hero.  He tracks people and finds people that don’t want to be found.  I must admit the logo on the front of the book with a quote from Lee Child saying “My kind of book” did help me decide to buy it.  Carter Blake is a clever guy, has compassion for people, uses his military skills to find people which doesn’t always work out easy and does get him in lots of trouble.  He works solo, half the money up front, half the money once the person has been found.  A loner like Jack Reacher, he can plan ahead, well in advance to see what opportunites will come his way in tricky situations.

What is the book about?

The book starts with someone on the run, being chased by professional assassins.  You know the person being chased is also a professionsal but you are not sure why they are being chased and if they survive.

The plot then goes back and forth in time, current day with Carter Blake choosing his new job and seeing how to find the missing person.  Then going back to a time when Carter had a girlfriend and worked for certain under the radar government projects.

What sets the book off plot wise is the clever way Mason Cross writes from the different perspective of Carter and the person he is trying to track.  Then we realise some background tension, that his old under the radar projects are coming back to haunt him, with a specific request to shoot and kill.  Can Carter Blake escape from the best trackers in the world, the people who he used to work for intent on taking him out.  Can he finish the job that he has been contracted to do?  The detail with which Mason Cross writes is brilliant.  We learn about the various team characters that Carter worked for within the past, we also find out about the new head of the secret unit he used to work for and why she feels compelled to shut Mason down.

Is there any Jack Reacher action?

The plot flies by at speed.   Mason Cross uses the plot and speed of writing to crank up the pace as you need to know if Carter will survive.  As we are in the World Cup season and England are doing very well, I thought that I would struggle to read this book unless it had lots of action.  Well I can say there was lots of action, clever twists as Carter has to navigate through surving enemy after enemy.  I didn’t have lots of confidence in Carter staying alive, as he hasn’t the same fighting skills that Jack Reacher has.  He can fight, use weapons and talk his way out of situations, the only thing is these people who are after him are trained and know all the tricks in the book to try and capture him.

Final thoughts

Without spoiling the plot for you, I just generally thought this was an excellent book to read.  I like the Jason Bourne films and did think that this has a similar thread to the movies, explosive action and twists a plenty.

From the very first page I was gripped, I wanted to know about Carter Blake’s history and the project that he worked for. Why was the main agency trying to kill him and what had happened back when he did the projects.  If you are looking for an amazing read that will only take you a couple of days to read then I suggest this book is for you.


Have a look at my other reviews of books that are like Mason Cross, here!  Let me know what you think in the comments box below.


Introducing James Patterson

I have never ever read a James Patterson book. It’s not that I haven’t heard of James Patterson, its just that due to my interest in the Jack Reacher books, I never really looked into this author. If you need to find out about the Jack Reacher series then you need to look at my site HERE.

I saw that there were great reviews on amazon for his books and that he was one of the best-selling authors worldwide. I had seen some of his films adapted from his book like “Kiss the Girls” and “Along came a spider” so I knew that his books were full of suspense and mystery.

How did I end up with a James Patterson book you may ask. Well it was my birthday last week and my wife decided to surprise me with not one but two James Patterson books. She knows I like Jack Reacher and the author Lee Child but knew that I was waiting for the next Lee Child book to be published. You can get the new Lee Child book HERE!

So I wasn’t too impressed with the idea of starting another new author who I didn’t feel was someone I wanted to read. Oh boy how wrong was I !!

This book was a real roller coaster ride. It took me a little while to get into it, partly as I wasn’t reading about a lone action hero and was instead reading about a family who are in deep deep trouble.

What’s so good about “The Store”?

James Patterson is a brilliant author. The book starts with the ending, first person written about a man running away from someone or something that is after him. The person is Mr Brandeis who by all accounts seems like a homeless person who has lost everything. We then go back 9 months before this incident to find out about his family, what led him to this running scared point and who could be after him.

Why is this book so good?

I’ve mentioned on here before that when I get a book that has just been published, if it doesn’t grip me from the first few pages, it is hard to keep reading. This book got me straight away, the first six pages, are incredibly tense and make you want to find out what has happened to lead this poor man into this position. The family dynamics are well-thought-out with the parents dealing with elderly teens and how they have to deal with situations that happened in the area on which they live. Why are people acting so strange in their neighborhood and why does everyone know everything about them. Not to give a spoiler away, the destructive nature of the main character is also brilliantly done, you feel genuinely sad that his life has changed so much and shaped his own world views.

Is James Patterson a good author?

Short answer is “YES”, the face pace nature of the book and the really descriptive setting of plot helps you to join in with the main characters. Add to this the reality that the book is looking at the current world situation in which we are operating within now and raises the question of privacy, consumerism and friendship. I am now a fan of James Patterson, about to start the next book that has been bought for me titled “NYPD RED 5”.  For those people like me who have read many Jack Reacher books, James Patterson is up there with the likes of Lee Child and David Baldacci as very good authors.



If you like books like Jack Reacher then I would say that James Patterson could be the author for you. With his mystery of whom dunnit and the suspense/thriller aspect then you are really onto a winner. I would recommend “The Store” book for a start as it is quite short and you can read it over a weekend.

I am still patiently waiting for the latest Lee Child Novel to be published titled “Past Tense” but in the meantime, these mystery books and maybe some of the best mystery books by James Patterson will keep you occupied for the time in between.


Let me know your thoughts on this and other books that I have reviewed in the comments box.






Worst David Baldacci Book?

I’ve waited for a while for this new book. David Baldacci one of my all time favourite crime thriller and mystery authors. His latest book is another story using the main character Amos Decker. Amos Decker is one of the characters I love, you can find the info about him here. 

Due to a sports injury – Amos has a great ability to retain memories of events and situations that happen throughout his life.  He has also suffered great loss and cannot emphasise with people in the way that he used to.

What is the story about Amos Decker?

I always think that a book that starts well, really hits you in the gut and gets you interested. Too much slow, slow, slowness can drain you before you even begin. For a book to be worthy of the Jack Reacher series it needs to grab you right by the hand and take you into the scene. This latest book by David Baldacci does this, it starts with the lines “Who killed you? Or, who murdered you? There was after all, a distinct difference.

Yes I’m hooked, here we go again, but like a boxer doing the jab, jab then bam, right cross, the book has Knocked you out!

This time Amos is visiting his friend Alex Jamison’s sister in western Pennsylvania which is like a skeleton of its former self due to economic downward spiral. Decker realises that something doesn’t look right in a house opposite so goes on a quick hunt to find out why a light would if flickering.

This sets a murder inquiry off which although Amos and Alex are supposedly on holiday they decide to get involved with the local police.  You are drawn into this weird eery place called Baronville, Pennsylvania.  David Baldacci understands how to create a back drop to the investigation, vast landscapes of poverty, drug use and a sense of decline compliment the story.

Is this a book like Jack Reacher?

I think this is one of the closest books to the Jack Reacher novels that David Baldacci has written. Amos in a place he doesn’t’t know, the scenes of decline, weird people around not wanting Police to investigate. There is also a history brought in of the area, why have other people died in the past? Amos is uses his photographic memory, his wit and humour to dig deep and find out who has killed in this town

Is there any Jack Reacher action?

Although Amos is not like Jack Reacher in stature, there is plenty of action and thrills to make even the best Jack Reacher fan happy. The way that Amos thinks will keep you intrigued as his skill set and slightly quirky nature is a brilliant attribute that David Baldacci really utilizes throughout the book.  We also find that Decker and Jamison are in strong danger, the closer they get to finding out who the killer could be.

Final thoughts

If you haven’t yet read the Memory Man book, then start here as this will get you in to series of books and you will grow to love Amos Decker. If you do like your mystery books and crime thrillers then I really think you will like this book.

My top three crime thriller books will soon change as I think this book needs to be somewhere at least in the top 5. David Baldacci has really changed the game by introducing this book as I think it may be more appealing than his other series with Will Robie which as you know I am a big fan of.

If you like books like Jack Reacher then get this book as you will absolutely love it. Again be ready for the late nights and tired eyes as you will be flipping through the pages wanting to find out if Amos will catch the killer.


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Are these the Best Crime Thriller Books like Jack Reacher!

What could possibly be the best book I have read so far this year in 2018.  As you know I am currently patiently waiting for the Lee Child newest book titled “Past Tense”.  Over 1 million people round the world are waiting in anticipation that this could be the best Lee Child novel yet, time will tell if this fulfills everyones wishes.

In the meantime I have decided to compile my top list of books that are like Jack Reacher.  To rate these books I have tried to find what similiarities are like the author Lee Child.  What similarities are like the character Jack Reacher and then finally what similarities are like the Lee Child storylines.

So here we go with my list, again this is my oppiniion based on the Jack Reacher books in order.

Number 1 – The Gray Man – Author Mark Greaney – Rating 9.2/10

Fast paced thriller, top hero character and add to this the writing format, this makes a brilliant book that I read in two evenings ( I did stay up late).  From the opening chapter through to the final cliff hanger, this book is like Jack Reacher in nearly everyway.  The Gray Man is ruthless, a killing machine who has a sense of righting all the wrongs in the world.  If you like Lee Child or Jack Reacher, this is the best book so far for you.





Number 2 – Orphan X – Author Greg Hurwitz – Rating 9.3/10

I love this book, incredibly fast paced, unusual character with a great back ground story.  The way that Evan Smoak (Orphan X) tries to blend into his normal everyday life but is a trained killer is really impressive.  Greg Hurwitz writes great thrillers, this is maybe one of the best books like the Jack Reacher series you could find, the only reason why it is not top is The Gray Man is a bit more like Jack Reacher as a character, Evan Smoak is just a few percentages different in personality. If you like Lee Child or Jack Reacher, this is the best book so far for you.





Number 3 – A Time to Die – Tom Wood – Rating 9.6/10

Now you may be thinking – wait up, this is your number 1 book on this website rating wise.  Yes you would be correct in that thinking.  Again though we are looking at books that are like Jack Reacher and there can only be one winner for me in crime thriller books.  Author Tom wood has really come up with a brilliant hero who is a high level assassin.  Someone who can plan jobs and sort situations out at the drop of a hat.  Like Jack Reacher in the analysis of his environment, physically capable in any fight sitution and for me probably a better fighter than Jack reacher.  A Time to Die sets him against everyone, most people would be up to their neck in it with this plot that Tom Wood has set out.  Although Victor (the assassin) is in great danger, you just read the book to see how it will play out, always guessing if he will ever survive.  If you like Jack Reacher then this is the book for you, I’ve placed this third on the list just because Victor the Assassin is too ruthless for even Jack Reacher and the writing is slightly more gritty than author Lee Child.



Are these the only books like Jack Reacher?

There are so many books that are like Jack Reacher, this is my top 3 at the minute which could be subject to change.  One book that I didn’t mention in this list which is just slightly and I mean slightly under the radar for this list is a book titled “The Target”, main character like Jack Reacher is Will Robie.  Again a great plot, brilliant series like the Lee Child novels and another good book if you have finished the latest Lee Child novel.



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New Author Mark Greaney – Books like Jack Reacher

I am getting lazy, it is one of those things that happens to lots of us who review books. I’ve read a few over the last month and the problem that I am starting to have is, that unless the book grips you from the first chapter then I’m onto another one.  

So superficial you may say, you are missing out on so many good books that are slow burners. You would be right, I’ve missed out on some good books probably so I will change my ways. I will go back to my roots and finish books that I have started even if they don’t grip me straight away. You have my word. Only after this latest book that got recommended to me on twitter. The cover page has a great quote from author Lee Child “exactly what a thriller should be”. Just in case people don’t know who writes Jack Reacher books, YES it is Lee Child.  See how Lee Child got the inspiration for his Jack Reacher character here.

I need to read this – so here is my starter review…….

The Gray Man

I have read the first two chapters and I’m hooked. I’m hooked, the opening scene of a soldier in a Land Rover, seeing a US helicopter being gunned down bu he is on his own mission. Can he go back and help the soldiers or keep focused on his own mission, the torment inside is too great. Being the super soldier like Jack Reacher we get to see a man who is at the top of his training as he takes out lots of terrorists who are Al-Qaeda that have rounded on the crashed helicopter.

I know that I am in for a great read, just the rapid descriptive writing of the opening chapter we can clearly see that author Mark Greaney is a top writer. Like the Jack Reacher books I can see that the Gray man is going to be a reluctant hero, writing the wrongs of the world. CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO BUY











Mark Greaney is now one of my recommended authors, It was a bit like reading a Greg Hurwitz Orphan X book. I couldn’t believe just how similar the main character was too Jack Reacher. If you though that Jack Reacher liked to remain anonymous then wait until you read about Gentry aka The Gray Man. He is just off the grid, described as someone who can kill you from a long distance or can easily sit next to you and slide a knife across you throat, a ghost as they say. As I am reading this book, I am so enthralled with the plot, the Gray Man being double crossed by his handler who in turn is being blackmailed and then to add more insult to injury the worlds best military teams as assigned to kill him.

How is this guy going to survive, we know he does as there are more books in the series, even so this is top writing crime thriller writing at its best. Descriptive fight scenes, great unlikable baddies and a reluctant hero, what more could I ask for. I like the way with this book, The Gray Man was betrayed, we knew he was going to be betrayed as we read the various conversation before the actions were implemented. This is a good twist as you know before the Gray man that he is up to his neck in deep water. Can he survive with all the hunters after him?

If you like Lee Child?

If you like Lee Child as an author then I have to recommend reading this book. Lots of Lee Child fans always ask me, “There’s Rapp. There’s Reacher. Who else is there?” Well now we can add to this list another person, The Gray Man!

The highlight for the book to me was the plot folding out and then going back over a scene that we see from the Gray Man’s perspective. This was a really good technique as we see a situation happen and then we see how it really played out from our Hero’s perspective.  An example of this would be when The Gray Man is in small storage hut in the middle of nowhere, the baddies ambush him but we get the story told from the baddies side up to the entry of the storage hut.  Then it reverts back to the story from The Gray Man’s side to show what happened when the baddies do show up.  Powerful stuff and it got me reading until 1am for two nights in a row……

Well done Mark Greaney – a great book and one that I shall mark very high. The ending is really clever as it leads you into the next book of the series.  So after reading many Jack Reacher books and you are now at the end of the Jack Reacher series, it may be time to look at something that is just as powerful.

If you are questioning Who is the Gray Man, then look HERE.