This is for those of you who love Jack Reacher. Being a big fan of Lee Child’s series of novels, I am delighted to find two additional series, which match the adept and self-sufficient protagonist, Jack Reacher.
First, let me introduce you to Peter Ash, soon to join the ranks of Reacher, Spenser, Doc Ford and Myron Bolitar. Ash is also a recently discharged vet who has PTSD, to the extent he can only briefly enter any type of building or other enclosed space without a panic attack. Like Reacher, Ash is a good guy who travels about solving other’s problems.
In The Drifter, Nick Petrie introduces us to Ash who tries to help a fellow Marine’s widow after he commits suicide. Lots of pulse-pounding action with the ugliest dog alive and memorable characters galore. I have read all three of Petrie’s Peter Ash novels and all of them are quality writing – as with the Lee Child novels, I await the next thriller because I have come to care about the main character and the side kicks who help him survive his crazy world where good always triumphs.
Then, there is The Gray Man. I started with the 7th book in the series because I didn’t know! Agent in Place by Mark Greaney sounded like Jack Reacher as SPY, so I scooped it up. Indeed, the Gray Man is more Jack Reacher than even Reacher is – he is deadlier and more moral than any character I have read. The Gray Man is an ex-CIA professional assassin who only kills when it is moral to do so.
These Gray Man books are ultra-action novels, rather Jack Reacher on speed, but I loved the great writing and the unbelievable skills of this killer. In Agent in Place, for instance, his goal is to kill one of the most disgusting world leaders that you can imagine (no spoiler here). Yes!! Go Gray Man!
I should have started with book one in the series, called The Gray Man, of course. So that is where I will go next, but I read Agent in Place in two days – and they were busy days for me! I hated to put the book down and there is no greater compliment for a book than that. The books are meant to be stand-alones, however, so do yourself a favor and take your pick from the seven published.
If you like the Jack Reacher escapist novels from time to time, now you don’t have to wait a year for the next Lee Child book to find excellent writing in your action novels. Petrie is very similar to Child while Greaney’s character is international in its range. Either author will give you a quick and enjoyable Jack Reacher fix in this action thriller subgenre.
My rating: 5 of 5