Top 5 Action Thriller Book Characters

Top 5 Action Thriller Book Characters

By April 2, 2014 Uncategorized 4 Comments
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Some time ago I read a blog on Omnivoracious where they asked an author their top book characters of all time. It got me thinking, who are some of the characters from reading adventures that have ingrained themselves in my mind?

Here are my top five book characters – from action and thriller writers such as Patricia Cornwell, legendary storytellers Ian Fleming and Arthur Conan Doyle.


Cover of Jack Higgin’s Solo

1. Colonel Asa Morgan (SOLO by Jack Higgins)

This character is typical of Higgins: a stoic, relentless soldier in this case driven to avenge the death of his daughter. I love the intensity of the conflict within this guy. He’s a Parachute Regiment officer, an absolute professional career soldier… and I love the name!


Lucy Liu as Dr Watson

2. Dr John Watson (SHERLOCK HOLMES by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Watson is undoubtedly an underrated hero of Doyle’s Sherlock series. John Watson is robust, loyal and utterly dependable; not the bumbling old man typically portrayed in the old movies.  Many people don’t know that Watson is actually based upon the career and experiences of Conan Doyle.  It is from John Watson’s perspective that all of the legendary Holmes tales are told.


Angelina Jolie cast as Dr Kay Scarpetta

3. Dr Kay Scarpetta (POSTMORTEM by Patricia Cornwell)

Resilient, intelligent, devoted to family, and an expert in her field, with just enough vulnerability to make her real.

Book cover of Octopussy

4. Major Dexter-Smythe (OCTOPUSSY by Ian Fleming)

This character is a tragically autobiographical freeze of Fleming at the very point in his life when he wrote this story. Nothing like the comic-fluff of the 1980’s movie, this is classic post-war fare.  We meet Dexter-Smythe in decay, a once good life wasting away. He is a shadow of the former, decorated Royal Marine officer of his war years. Within a truly gripping short story, Fleming explores the onset of middle age, the damage wreaked by years of excess and a deep malady brought about by boredom.


Rainbow Six

5. John Clarke (WITHOUT REMORSE, RAINBOW 6 by Tom Clancy)

This guy is a solid character: an ex-Navy SEAL decorated for rescuing shot-down pilots in Vietnam. The unexpected and traumatic death of his beloved wife drives him into seclusion. Yet, a chance encounter with a girl needing protection flicks a switch that conjures every bit of the experience and training he thought he’d left behind. I love that this guy is unstoppable, no matter what’s thrown at him.  He is, at his core, a protector.

There’s my top five action thriller book characters.

Who are your favourite book characters? I’d love to hear them!

PS: Here’s Momentum Books’ Top Five | Melissa Writes’  Top Five | SarAllenConsult’s Top Five | JenAva’s Top Five | That Book You Like’s Top Five

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Chris Allen writes escapist action thrillers for realists, having seen and done it all.

Serving in three Commonwealth armies across two decades and four continents, one of the paratrooping elite, Chris saw the world from under a billowing parachute, often by night, entering foreign countries with the usual passport-stamping obligations eschewed.

Exiting military life with injuries, Chris transitioned into humanitarian aid work during the East Timorese emergency, served with three major law enforcement agencies in Australia, protected Sydney’s most iconic landmark in the wake of 9-11 and between 2008 & 2012 was the Sheriff of New South Wales, one of the oldest law enforcement appointments in the land.

Chris’s creative literary brainchild, Intrepid, the sword of Interpol, is the culmination of his military and law enforcement insider experience. Intrepid is the Intelligence, Recovery, Protection and Infiltration Division: the razor-sharp, ultra-secret, black ops division of Interpol, established to operate across the world, regardless of borders, politics or race.

  • Nathan Farrugia

    Nice range of characters!

  • Candice Lobo

    Good article! :)

    My favourite would include a lot of childhood loves.
    – Candy, Abarat by Clive Barker
    – Artful Dodger, Oliver Twist
    – Rowan, Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda
    – Shane Schofield, Matthew Reilly
    – Howl, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

    • Nathan Farrugia

      Haha, Schofield, of course!

      Howl is an interesting choice too.

  • Greg Barron

    Good choices Chris, though I haven’t read any Patricia Cornwell yet.

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