• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Authors similar to Lee Child?

Book talk

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

May 22, 2008, 5:20am Top

I absolutley love Lee Child. I am wondering if anybody else can recommend very similar Authors in regards to writing style and content?

May 22, 2008, 7:13am Top

Lee Child and Jack reacher for the touchstones.

I find he's a fairly unique voice, and haven't read much similar. If you can find them bagley has a range of books with similar heroes, it's not a series as the protagonist changes each time, but the style is similar. Some of Innes might work too.

For a lighter style maybe Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt books, but they get annoying fluffy sometimes. For slightly more complex plotting maybe the early Tom Clancy novels before they become daft.

the thriller group is a better place to get more ideas.

Edited: May 22, 2008, 8:32am Top

The first book that came to my mind was Rogue Male by Geoffrey Houshold. I don't know about the rest of his books but that one is every bit as good as Lee Childs.

May 23, 2008, 7:22pm Top

Some say that John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books are in some ways similar. I actually think they are better.

May 24, 2008, 2:50pm Top

I very much like Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar character (I believe Darkest Fear is the first book), also, maybe try the Prey series by John Sandford and the Stone Barrington books by Stuart Woods. And you could always read the venerated Spencer books by Robert Parker.

Edited: May 24, 2008, 4:24pm Top

Hmmm . . . .depends what you mean by "similar."

Spenser and Travis McGee (mentioned above in #4-5) are tough guy/avenger types similar to Jack Reacher, but (and depending on what appeals to you about Lee Child's books it could be a big "but") they're both have strong ties to a particular place (Boston for Spenser, South Florida for McGee) and to networks of close friends. Tom Bethany, a PI featured in a half-dozen books by Jerome Doolittle, is closer to the Jack Reacher "type" in terms of his disconnection from society . . . but even Bethany has a long-term lover.

Tom Clancy's Without Remorse and Robert Crais' The Watchman both have supporting characters from the authors' long-running series in the lead roles . . . and thus come closer to the "look and feel" of Child than the rest of their books do.

A lot of British thrillers written between the mid-1950s and the early 1970s feature what the Brits would call "hard men" dragged into dangerous situations and forced to use their wits and talent for violence to get out. Desmond Bagley (touchstone not working) and Hammond Innes (ditto) have already been mentioned . . . but also try the early work of Jack Higgins (especially East of Desolation and The Last Place God Made) and Gavin Lyall (Shooting Script, Midnight Plus One, Blame The Dead, and so on).

The closest thing I can think of to Child's style is Donald Hamilton's "Matt Helm" series, paperback originals written between 1960 and the mid-1980s. Helm is an undercover agent working for a super-secret "black ops" agency who narrates his missions in a matter-of-fact first person voice. The plots are less complex than in the Jack Reacher books, but the cool, dry voice is similar . . . as is the casual, matter-of-fact attitude toward violence.

Greg Rucka, a modern writer, is also a pretty fair match for Child in terms of style, and both bodyguard Atticus Kodiak (in Keeper and its sequels) and undercover agent Tara Chace (in A Gentleman's Game and Private Wars) would . . . at the very least . . . get on well with Jack Reacher if they ever ran into him in a bar someplace in the multiverse.

Jun 5, 2012, 7:09am Top

I am surprised no one has mentioned Brian Haig. His writing is excellent, and the personality of his main character is similar to Elvis Cole. I enjoy that touch of humor, sarcasm and self deprecation. As far as authors whose works I enjoy reading they are: Robert Crais, Robert Parker, Michael Connolly and as mentioned, Brian Haig. I have read some of the other authors mentioned in this forum, and while they were ok, in my opinion, not up to the same level and Lee Child. However, I will try some of the others mentioned here as I have read all the books of the aforementioned authors and need to find another new favorite. Thanks for the suggestions.

Group: Book talk

196,331 messages

This group does not accept members.


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,417,488 books! | Top bar: Always visible