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Jack Reacher or Elvis Cole or Mitch Rapp or Scot Harvath or THAT GUY?

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We are talking thriller characters here, specifically those thriller characters associated with action.

And we are debating which thriller character is the best named.

That one name which instantly evokes imagery of silent deadly force,  of hunters, of mean streets and bad lights…you get the picture. We will discuss only those characters that have a series around them, since it is such characters that are best remembered.

Some of the contemporary thriller writers I enjoy and their character creations, are below. This is by no means an exhaustive list of course and there are many more authors and books out there that I haven’t heard of. But let’s limit the universe eh?

So in no particular order, here goes:

Lee Child  – Jack Reacher

the late Vince Flynn – Mitch Rapp

Brad Thor – Scot Harvath

Robert B. Parker – Spenser and Hawk (Hawk being Spenser’s occasional partner)

Robert Crais – Elvis Cole, Joe Pike ( In the earlier books, Cole was primary character and Pike was his partner, but Crais has started a new series with Pike as the central character. And that series is awesome.)

Harlan Coben – Myron Bolitar and Win (Win being Myron’s partner)

Tom Wood – Victor

Robert Bidinotto – Dylan Hunter

Stephen Hunter – Earl Swagger, Bob Lee Swagger, Ray Cruz (each of these characters have a few books around them)

Mark Greaney – The Gray Man

Jack Higgins – Sean Dillon

Stephen Leather – Spider

There are many other authors that I have read but the above are some of my favorite and whose books I look forward to eagerly.

And of all these characters, there’s one whose name rolls of the tongue and demands respect, whose names evokes images of fast draws and the sound of a gun clearing leather.  A character whose name embodies ‘indomitable.’

indexAnd that character is Bob Lee Swagger. You should read Stephen Hunter’s books featuring him. I can pretty much guarantee you will find them as exciting and entertaining as I did.





Who’s yours? Why don’t you take the poll below and nominate yours?  And if you would like to nominate  some other character, or my own creation, Zeb Carter,  don’t be shy!









  1. Nice poll. In my opinion, it’s Mitch Rapp, then Bob Lee Swagger.

  2. Jack Reacher says:

    1 Rapp, 2 Swagger, 3 Raylan Givens (not TImothy Olyphant although he’s badass), 4 Harvath. Thanks for the list of others i’ll check them out.

  3. Mike says:

    It is 8 May 2014 So, who won? I’m very curious.

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