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The Great Detectives: Thriller Heroes

Fictional heroes with nerves of steel

the great detectives thrillers

For today’s spotlight, we turn to the fictional heroes with nerves of steel: thriller detectives.

Thriller heroes are the daredevils and adrenaline junkies of the genre, men and women who won’t rest until justice is served. In this genre, powerful suspense and surprising plot twists make for an intense reading experience—and these sleuths keep up a blistering pace. Serial killers, Nazis, assassins, and terrorists are all part of a day’s work, and must be successfully outrun, outgunned, and out-manipulated. A great thriller will leave your palms sweaty and your heart racing. Here are a few that will hook you by the first page.

Stuart Kaminsky’s Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov is wise, brave, and kind—characteristics not highly valued by the KBG of Stalinist Russia. Rostnikov fights for justice despite a society steeped in corruption, anti-Semitism, and misery. He must not only track down killers but also step carefully when reporting what he finds, since the KBG is breathing down his neck. Rostnikov’s world is so frighteningly vivid that readers will be alternately awed by his adventures and afraid for his life. In the Rostnikov series, beginning with Death of a Dissident, our hero is on the verge of being murdered himself . . .

William Bernhardt’s Ben Kincaid tries to keep his fights inside the courtroom. But working for the largest corporate law firm in Tulsa brings out the worst in people—corrupt white-collar criminals and their hotshot lawyers look the other way so that they don’t lose their jobs. Kincaid does his best to represent people in need, but finally realizes that he’s too honest for corporate law. When he opens a shoestring practice on the rough side of town, his adventures truly begin. Kincaid’s idealism and ability to win seemingly impossible cases lead him to the city’s gritty underbelly, where innocent lives are on the line. Try reading from the beginning with Primary Justice.

Jon Land’s Blaine McCracken knows fourteen ways to kill a man in less than two seconds. A now-disgraced CIA agent, McCracken is too dangerous to keep in the field, but too valuable to let go. When his country needs him and civilian lives are at stake, there is no one better for the job. Whether he goes behind enemy lines, stalks a group of assassins, or faces down an evil secret society, McCracken takes no prisoners. Start with Omega Command.

We love the way that these thriller heroes just don’t quit. For more high-octane reads, get to know Lew Cassidy, a 1940s homicide detective (Kiss Me Once by Thomas Gifford); a British Intelligence spy on the run (Charlie M by Brian Freemantle); Butch Karp, a New York lawyer fighting corruption on all sides (No Lesser Plea by Robert Tanenbaum); or Tony Cassella, a PI who reaches deep into a federal conspiracy (No One Rides for Free by Larry Beinhart).

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