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FRiction FRiday: Top Ten Favorite Characters begins!

Santa Claus is just packing his cooler for the long trip … and you’ve probably got a few extra days to kick back, a favorite adult beverage in hand and lose yourself in a great story. Lucky us, huh?

[All names in Bold Italic … BLACK for authors, titles in GREEN, characters in ORANGE … except URL references in RED. No affiliate links.]

Top Ten Favorite Characters

As if we could hide from it … this is the time of year for lists … Christmas Lists, Top Ten everything lists from 2010, New Years’ resolutions … so I’m contributing my list of my Top Ten Favorite Characters from the mystery-thriller-suspense genre. Not all today but before the New Year.

The nice thing about the word “favorite” is that it’s very personal, isn’t it? They’re MY favorites so you don’t have to like them … you can disagree … and I hope you will because I’m always eager to learn about a great character I’ve missed.

When I started, I wasn’t sure how hard it might be to identify 10 great characters .. until I started writing them down. I’ve already had to create an Honorable Mention category for those that didn’t make it … so you’ll see that soon, too. Maybe the first Friday in 2011.

I decided against any 1-10 ordering since they are all so great … but I had to list them in some order … so let’s call it random. When I look at the list, though, there are some that are MORE FAVORITE than others and those are toward the top of the list … but all of them are eminently worthy … and for different reasons ….

Longevity is one key to Favorite Characters

One prominent thread among virtually all of the Top Five (or so) … is longevity … a series in which I’ve been indulging for a long time. You’ll soon see how this is quite a differentiating characteristic. I have a feeling that most series with less than 10 books probably won’t make it … further confirmation that for many of us, these series characters become old friends that we’re always eager to meet again.

Enough, already. Who are they?

So, accumulated over many years, here are some of my favorite guys … and gals … in this wonderful mystery-thriller-suspense genre. I’m not going to say much about each of them this time around but I’ll elaborate in forthcoming posts about why each of them is here.

If you’re an avid reader of this genre, I hope you discover some great characters and fabulous novelists from this list. If they’re not new to you, you should already know why they’re here. (You’ll see in parentheses how many books appear in the series; and then the name and date of the first book in the series.)

  1. Dave Robicheaux, New Orleans detective from James Lee Burke. (#18; Neon Rain #1 in 1987)
  2. Bob Lee Swagger, former Marin sniper from Stephen Hunter. (#16; Master Sniper #1 in 1980)
  3. Harry Bosch, LA cop from Michael Connelly. (#10+; Black Echo #1 in 1992)
  4. Lucas Davenport, Minn. cop from John Sandford. (#20; Rules of Prey #1 in 1990)
  5. Jack Reacher, former Army MP from Lee Child. (#15; The Killing Floor #1 in 1997)

Hmmm … as I look at this list, 4 out of 5 are cops with a sniper thrown in for good measure. All except for Harry Bosch have 15+ books. (You’ll note that I’m uncertain how many “Bosch” novels Connelly would count since Bosch appears in the Micky Haller series as well.) These characters have also been around an average of 20 years. There are many more great characters coming … but you’ve got about 80 books right here that should hold you until then.

BTW, remind me to tell you the story about Dave Robicheaux’s “podner”, Clete Purcell. When I met James Lee Burke at an appearance at the fabulous Book Passage book store in Corte Madera, CA, I asked Jim about the origin of this character. I’ll tell you another time but it’s hilarious.

Bookshelf software

Shelfari continues to be on hold for the moment but I intend to sort it out over the holidays. Need to get a little deeper there and will report back soon. I’ve added another one since last time, so let me know if you have any experience with any of them … with Goodreads or Collectorz or LibraryThing … or other bookshelf software.

Now Reading …

Alan Folsom’s latest, The Hadrian Memorandum. (Yeah, I know most of his book titles sound like the collection from Robert Ludlum. So what? Why not follow another one of the great artists?) If you haven’t read Folsom’s first novel, the blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, it’s awesome and a rare book that I  can actually remember. (Remember, we talked about how we tend to remember characters more than books? That’s what I mean but this book is an exception … like Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.)

Still Savoring …

Nothing’s changed here … but you can see what’s coming at the bottom of last week’s blog post, FRiction FRiday | Baldacci Rocks!

Just arrived …. and arriving

Nothing much has changed here either. Take a look at FRiction FRiday: Imagine having a 007 license! Cody McFadyen, Christopher Reich, Jack Higgins, Brad Meltzer are all on deck.

So much more to say … so little time …. What are you reading? Who do you like?

See ya next week!

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