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Action Thrillers

Action thrillers are characterized by emphasis on exciting action scenes - such as car chases, martial art fights or races to prevent imminent disasters. The fast-paced plot usually avoids long-winded character narrations. A typical action thriller leaves its reader breathlessly biting his or her nails - unsure whether the hero will be able to catch the villain or prevent the planned terror attack.
In one famous action thriller a father is trying to track down the kidnappers of his daughter and wife, before they might be killed or sold to a brothel. Luckily, the father is a lethally trained special ops guy, who can handle flying cars or lethal gun fights with cold precision.
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Cormac McCarthy
No Country for Old Men
2006 (First published: 2005)
Mixture of action thriller, Western and psychological drama. Starting with an antelope hunt near the Rio Grande the story proceeds into a man-on-the-run thriller, populated by a psychopatic killer and an elderly Sheriff, who is smarter than most, because he knows his limitations. Made into movie by the Coen brothers! More ...
309 Pages
5/5
61
David Baldacci
The 6:20 Man
2022 (First published: 2022)
Every day without fail, Travis Devine puts on a cheap suit, grabs his faux-leather briefcase, and boards the 6:20 commuter train to Manhattan, where he works as an entry-level analyst at the city's most prestigious investment firm. Then one morning Devine's tedious routine is shattered by an anonymous email: She is dead. Sara Ewes, Devine's coworker and former girlfriend, has been found hanging in a storage room of his office building. More ...
432 Pages
5/5
47
Jack Carr
Savage Son: A Thriller
Book 3 of Terminal List
2020
Former Navy SEAL James Reece must infiltrate the Russian mafia and turn the hunters into the hunted. Deep in the wilds of Siberia, a woman is on the run, pursued by a man harboring secrets—a man intent on killing her. More ...
512 Pages
4/5
16
John Grisham
The Firm
2009 (First published: 1991)
About a law firm controlled by the Mafia. Fast-paced, smart, with believable characters. One of the best legal thrillers on the market. Made into a movie directed by Sydney Pollack - starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman.  More ...
544 Pages
5/5
52
Joseph Finder
Buried Secrets
Book 2 of Nick Heller Novels
2011 (First published: 2011)
Hedge fund titan Marshall Marcus desperately needs Nick’s help. His teenaged daughter, Alexa, has just been kidnapped. Nick Heller, a private spy who finds out things powerful people want to keep hidden. Clearly one of the best action thrillers of the year. More ...
400 Pages
4/5
50
Lee Child
Killing Floor
Jack Reacher - Book 1
2012 (First published: 1997)
Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell. More ...
576 Pages
5/5
22
Lee Child
Die Trying
Jack Reacher - Book 2
1999 (First published: 1991)
In a plot to overthrow the U.S. government, Montana neo-Nazis abduct the daughter of the nation's top general and her male companion, Jack Reacher. One of the kidnapper in a truck filled with dynamite is driving to San Francisco, where he plans to detonate in the middle of a crowd celebrating the Fourth of July. Reacher, however, turns the tables on the captors.  More ...
677 Pages
4/5
22
Lee Child
Tripwire
Jack Reacher - Book 3
2012 (First published: 1999)
Ex military policeman Jack Reacher is enjoying the lazy anonymity of Key West when a stranger shows up asking for him. He’s got a lot of questions. Reacher does too, especially after the guy turns up dead. The answers lead Reacher on a cold trail back to New York, to the tenuous confidence of an alluring woman, and the dangerous corners of his own past.  More ...
416 Pages
5/5
20
Lee Child
Without Fail
Jack Reacher - Book 6
2011 (First published: 2002)
Jack Reacher arrives in Atlantic City after hitching a ride cross-country with a couple of aging blues musicians. There he is approached by the Secret Service to test their shield around the new vice president of the United States, ex-miliary copy Jack Reacher discovers that a team of assassins is already planning a hit on the vice president. More ...
592 Pages
4/5
22
Lee Child
The Enemy
Jack Reacher - Book 8
2011 (First published: 2004)
North Carolina. New Year's Day, 1990. A soldier is found dead in a sleazy motel bed. Jack Reacher is the officer on duty. The soldier turns out to be a two-star general. The situation is bad enough, then Reacher finds the body of the general's wife. This stomach-churning thriller turns back the clock to a younger Reacher, in dogtags. A Reacher who still believes in the service. More ...
592 Pages
4/5
21
Lee Child
One Shot
Jack Reacher - Book 9
2011 (First published: 2005)
Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me. And sure enough, from the world he lives in - no phone, no address, no commitments - ex–military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. - Was adapted into a 2012 film starring Tom Cruise More ...
384 Pages
4/5
25
Lee Child
Bad Luck and Trouble
Jack Reacher - Book 11
2011 (First published: 2007)
From a helicopter high above the empty California desert, a man is sent free-falling into the night. In Chicago, a woman learns that an elite team of ex–army investigators is being hunted down one by one. And on the streets of Portland, Jack Reacher - soldier, cop, hero - is pulled out of his wandering life by a code that few other people could understand.  More ...
528 Pages
5/5
24
Lee Child
Better Off Dead
Jack Reacher - Book 26
2022 (First published: 2021)
That morning Reacher he was heading west, walking under the merciless desert sun - until he comes upon a curious scene: A Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. A woman is slumped over the wheel. Dead? No, nothing is what it seems. The woman is Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent trying to find her twin brother, who might be mixed up with some dangerous people. More ...
592 Pages
4/5
23
Lee Child
No Plan B
Jack Reacher - Book 27
2022 (First published: 2022)
A woman dies under the wheels of a moving bus. The death is ruled a suicide. But Jack Reacher saw what really happened: A man in a gray hoodie and jeans, moving stealthily, pushed the victim to her demise—before swiftly grabbing the dead woman’s purse and strolling away. When another homicide is ruled an accident, Reacher knows this is no coincidence. With a killer on the loose, Reacher has no time to waste to track down those responsible. More ...
368 Pages
4/5
27
Stuart MacBride
Birthdays for the Dead
Ash Henderson - Book 1
2013
His daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. A year later the first card arrived: with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front – Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. But Detective Constable Ash Henderson hasn’t told anyone – they all think she ran away – because if anyone finds out, he’ll be taken off the investigation. And he will not give up before his daughter’s murderer gets what he deserves. More ...
512 Pages
4/5
23
Stuart MacBride
A Song for the Dying
Ash Henderson - Book 2
2015
Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man’ murdered four women and left three more in critical condition – all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside. Then the killer just disappeared. Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot has change since then. His family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters. And now a nurse has turned up dead, a plastic doll buried beneath her skin. More ...
544 Pages
4/5
21
Stuart MacBride
The Coffinmaker's Garden
Ash Henderson - Book 3
2021
A village on the edge. As a massive storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smiths home is falling into the North Sea. But the crumbling headland has revealed what hes got buried in his garden: human remains. With the storm still raging, its too dangerous to retrieve the bodies and waves are devouring the evidence. Ex-Detective Inspector Ash Henderson is done playing nice. Hes got a killer to catch, and God help anyone who gets in his way. More ...
500 Pages
4/5
21
Tom Clancy
Patriot Games
A Jack Ryan Novel - Book 2
2013
While on vacation with his family, Jack Ryan prevented an assassination attempt on Britain’s royal family and earned him the gratitude of an entire nation—and the scorn of an ultra-left-wing faction of the IRA. Irish terrorist Sean Miller and his followers in the Ulster Liberation Army intend to make sure Ryan pays for his interference in blood. More ...
800 Pages
4/5
46
Tom Clancy
The Cardinal of the Kremlin
A Jack Ryan Novel - Book 3
2013
Two men possess vital information on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is Cardinal -- America's highest agent in the Kremlin -- and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other one is the American who can save Cardinal and lead the world to the brink of peace ... or war. More ...
816 Pages
4/5
47
Tom Clancy
Clear and Present Danger
A Jack Ryan Novel - Book 4
2018
When Colombian drug lords assassinate both the U.S. ambassador and the visiting head of the FBI, their actions trigger a covert response from the American government--a response that goes horribly wrong... As the newly named Deputy Director of Intelligence for the CIA, Jack Ryan should be privy to the Colombia operation, but he's been left completely in the dark. More ...
976 Pages
4/5
42
Tom Clancy
The Sum of All Fears
A Jack Ryan Novel - Book 5
2018
Peace may finally be at hand in the Middle East, as Jack Ryan, Deputy Director of Intelligence for the CIA, lays the groundwork for a plan that could end centuries of conflict. But ruthless terrorists have a final, desperate card to play: a nuclear weapon hidden somewhere in the United States. More ...
1216 Pages
4/5
44
Tom Clancy
Dept of Honor
A Jack Ryan Novel - Book 6
1995 (First published: 1994)
Jack Ryan plunges into two, seemingly unrelated, occurrences being a chain of events that will stun the world. Called out of retirement to serve as National Security Advisor to the president, Ryan, with the help of CIA officers John Clark and Domingo Chavez, must prepare the untested president to meet the challenges of a new world order. More ...
1008 Pages
4/5
52
Tom Clancy
Executive Orders
A Jack Ryan Novel - Book 7
1997
At the climax of Debt of Honor, the most devastating terrorist act in the history of the world left the President, the Joint Chiefs, the Supreme Court, and nearly all of Congress dead. Only Jack Ryan, confirmed Vice President mere minutes before, survived to take the reins of a shaken and leaderless country. Now he must rebuild a government. More ...
1376 Pages
4/5
45
Tom Clancy / Mark Cameron
Chain of Command
A Jack Ryan Novel - Book 21
2022
A shadowy billionaire uses his fortune to further his corrupt ambitions. Along the way, he’s toppled democratically elected governments and exacerbated divisions within stable nations. Now, he’s ready to implement his most ambitious plan of all. There’s only one force standing in his way—President Jack Ryan. More ...
544 Pages
3/5
47
Vince Flynn / Kyle Mills
Enemy at the Gates
Book 20 of Mitch Rapp Series
2022
CIA counterterrorist agent Mitch Rapp has decided to back away from his proffesional life, but then the world’s richest man asks Mitch to rescue a scientist, who’s bio research compound has been burned to the ground and is on the run from an African terrorist. More ...
400 Pages
4/5
48
Vince Flynn / Kyle Mills
Oath of Loyalty
Book 21 of Mitch Rapp Series
2022
The new murder business is based on double-blind secrecy. Neither the killer nor the client knows the other’s identity. Because of this, assassins can’t be called off nor can they afford to fail. No matter how long it takes until their target is dead. More ...
368 Pages
4/5
85
William Goldman
Marathon Man: A Novel
2001 (First published: 1974)
An epic, fast-paced thriller with just enough humor to prevent you from getting overwhelmed by the violence, evil and sadism. Made into a movie with Dustin Hoffman with the most harrowing visit to the dentist in cinematic history. More ...
336 Pages
4/5
54

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