Thirty-one years ago Robert Ludlum published the first of his original “Bourne Series.” The three international bestsellers (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum) follow the trials and tribulations of Jason Bourne, whose real name is David Webb, a military man who became an assassin and who, through a mission gone awry, becomes amnesic and an assassin gone horribly wrong. It took a few decades before Hollywood decided to take Bourne to the silver screen, casting Matt Damon as Bourne/Webb, with the three films being released in 2002, 2004, and 2007, respectively.
In 1984, Tom Clancy introduced CIA operative Jack Ryan in a series that would eventually land the hero, who endlessly and tirelessly had traveled the globe to put things right, in the White House, as President Ryan. The protagonist appeared in a dozen or so novels and four of those have made the big screen. The first was The Hunt For Red October, in 1990, starring Sean Alec Baldwin as Ryan, then two with Harrison Ford as Ryan in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994). The Sum of All Fears (2002) starred Ben Affleck as Ryan.
Following years of writing successful thrillers Jack Higgins presented IRA activist Sean Dillon in Eye of the Storm (1992, the first of 17 or so adventures) who, eventually, becomes part of a quite secret, small and highly effective branch of undercover operatives whose boss reports directly to the Prime Minister of England. How one of the most-feared master terrorists becomes a member on the opposite side is intriguing and once Dillon is “recruited” the action and adventure only gets better with each succeeding book.
Transfer of Power, published in 1999 by Vince Flynn, introduced Mitch Rapp, a CIA counterterrorism operative who, through eleven novels, has traversed continent after continent (as well as working in the US), to bring a halt to terrorists bent on destroying cities, countries, even the world. Rapp flies directly into the bowels of hell, only to (somehow eventually) emerge successful, but not always in the best of health. His exploits are that of unknown legend.
In his 4th novel, The Kill Artist, published in 2000, Daniel Silva brings forth Gabriel Allon, an art restorer who is also a Mossad assassin, or vice versa. It is true, he really does restore art, very valuable old paintings to be exact. It is also very true, he is a deadly assassin. In the eleven books, to date, in which Allon has appeared, the agent has undertaken incredible assignments across the globe, with a returning cast of characters that add depth and outstanding interplay amongst and between them.
Though the movies are quite good, they cannot and do not capture all the detail contained in a novel. World-class storytellers Ludlum, Clancy, Higgins, Flynn and Silva have created larger-than-life, though all-too-human heroes, who get better with age, who find the ways and means to achieve their goals each and every time regardless of the odds, and who totally and completely satisfy the reader’s deep desire for entertainment and escapism at its absolute very best.
This post is not to slight other best-selling authors who have captivated millions of readers with international/political/spy thrillers, such as Len Deighton, John le Carre, Frederick Forsyth, Ken Follett, to name a few, it is simply a viewpoint being shared concerning favorite authors of this particular blogger. After all, it is Certain Points of View™.
Over For Now.
Main Street One