Jack Higgins

Jack Higgins

Infobox Writer


imagesize = 150px
name = Harry Patterson
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pseudonym = Jack Higgins
birthdate = Birth date and age|1929|7|27|mf=y
birthplace = Newcastle upon Tyne, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Novelist
nationality =
period =
genre = Thriller
subject =
movement =
influences =
influenced =


website =

Jack Higgins (b. July 27, 1929) is the principal pseudonym of UK novelist Harry Patterson. Higgins is the author of more than sixty novels. Most have been thrillers of various types and, since his breakthrough novel "The Eagle Has Landed" in 1975, nearly all have been bestsellers. "The Eagle Has Landed" sold tens of millions of copies worldwideFact|date=November 2007.

Life

Patterson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland with his mother after his parents' marriage foundered, and was raised there amid religious and political violence. First in Belfast and later in Leeds, Patterson proved to be an indifferent student and left school without completing his studiesFact|date=November 2007. He found a home in the British Army, however, and served two years as a non-commissioned officer in the Household Cavalry on the East German border during the 1950s. Patterson found, during his military service, that he possessed both considerable sharpshooting skills and considerable intelligence (scoring 147 on an army intelligence test)Fact|date=November 2007. After leaving the army, he returned to school, studying sociology at London School of Economics and Political Science while supporting himself as a driver and labourer. After completing his degree, he worked for a time as a teacher and began writing novels in 1959. The growing success of his early work allowed him to take time off from his teaching, and he eventually left the classroom to become a full-time novelist. He currently lives in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, and continues to publish a new novel annuallyFact|date=November 2007.

Work

Patterson's early novels, written under his own name as well as under the pseudonyms James Graham, Martin Fallon, and Hugh Marlowe, are brisk, competent, but essentially forgettable thrillers that typically feature hardened, cynical heroes, ruthless villains, and dangerous locales. Patterson published thirty-five such novels (sometimes three or four a year) between 1959 and 1974, learning his craft). "East of Desolation" (1968), "A Game for Heroes" (1970) and "The Savage Day" (1972) stand out among his early work for their vividly drawn settings (Greenland, the Channel Islands, and Belfast, respectively) and offbeat plots.

Patterson began using the pseudonym "Jack Higgins" in the late 1960s, but it was the publication of "The Eagle Has Landed" in 1975 that made "Higgins'" reputation. "The Eagle Has Landed" represented a step forward in the length and depth of Patterson's work. Its plot (concerned with a German commando unit sent into England to kidnap Winston Churchill) was fresh and innovative (although the plot is clearly reminiscent of Alberto Cavalcanti's wartime film "Went the Day Well?"), and the characters had significantly more depth than in his earlier work. One in particular stood out: Irish gunman, poet, and philosopher Liam Devlin. Higgins followed "The Eagle Has Landed" with a series of equally ambitious thrillers, including several ("Touch the Devil", "Confessional", "The Eagle Has Flown") featuring return appearances by Devlin.

The third phase of Patterson's career began with the publication of "Eye of the Storm" in 1992, a fictionalized retelling of an unsuccessful mortar attack on Prime Minister John Major by a ruthless young Irish gunman-philosopher named Sean Dillon, hired by an Iraqi millionaire. Cast as the central character over the next series of novels it is apparent that Dillon is in many ways an amalgamation of Patterson's previous heroes - Chavasse with his flair for languages, Nick Miller's familiarity with martial arts and jazz keyboard skills, Simon Vaughn's Irish roots, facility with firearms and the cynicism that comes with assuming the responsibility of administering a justice unavailable through a civilized legal system.

Bibliography

eries

;Paul Chavasse
*The Testament of Caspar Schultz (1962) aka The Bormann Testament
*Year of the Tiger (1963)
*The Keys of Hell (1965)
*Midnight Never Comes (1966)
*The Dark Side of the Street (1967)
*A Fine Night for Dying (1969)
*Day of Judgment (1978)

;Simon Vaughn
*The Savage Day (1972)
*Day of Judgement (1979) (a number of sources have this listed as featuring Paul Chavasse, but they are in error; this is a prequel to The Savage Day);Nick Miller (writing as Harry Patterson)
*The Graveyard Shift (1965)
*Brought in Dead (1967)
*Hell Is Always Today (1968)

;Liam Devlin
*The Eagle Has Landed (1975)
*Touch the Devil (1982)
*Confessional (1985)
*The Eagle Has Flown (1985);Dougal Munro and Jack Carter
*Night of the Fox (1986)
*Cold Harbour (1989)
*Flight of Eagles (1998)

;Sean Dillon
*Eye of the Storm (1992) aka Midnight Man
*Thunder Point (1993)
*On Dangerous Ground (1994)
*Angel of Death (1995)
*Drink with the Devil (1996)
*The President's Daughter (1997)
*The White House Connection (1998)
*Day of Reckoning (2000)
*Edge of Danger (2001)
*Midnight Runner (2002)
*Bad Company (2003)
*Dark Justice (2004)
*Without Mercy (2005)
*The Killing Ground (Feb 2008)
*Rough Justice (Aug 2008)
*Darker Place (Jan 2009)

;Rich and Jade (all with Justin Richards)
*Sure Fire (2006)
*Death Run (2007)
*Sharp Shot (2009)

Non-Series Novels

*Sad Wind from the Sea (1959) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*Cry of the Hunter (1960) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*The Thousand Faces of Night (1961) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*Comes the Dark Stranger (1962) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*Hell Is Too Crowded (1962) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*The Dark Side of the Island (1963) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*Pay the Devil (1963) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*Seven Pillars to Hell (1963) (writing as Hugh Marlowe) aka Sheba
*Thunder At Noon (1964) (writing as Harry Patterson) aka Dillinger
*Passage By Night (1964) (writing as Hugh Marlowe)
*Wrath of the Lion (1964) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*A Phoenix in the Blood (1964) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*A Candle for the Dead (1966) (writing as Hugh Marlowe) aka The Violent Enemy
*The Iron Tiger (1966) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*East of Desolation (1968)
*In the Hour Before Midnight (1969) aka The Sicilian Heritage
*A Game for Heroes (1970) (writing as James Graham)
*Night Judgement At Sinos (1970)
*The Last Place God Made (1971)
*Toll for the Brave (1971) (writing as Harry Patterson)
*The Wrath of God (1971) (writing as James Graham)
*The Savage Day (1972)
*The Khufra Run (1972) (writing as James Graham)
*A Prayer for the Dying (1973)
*The Run to Morning (1974) (writing as James Graham) aka Bloody Passage
*Storm Warning (1976)
*The Valhalla Exchange (1976)
*To Catch a King (1979) (writing as Harry Patterson) aka The Judas Gate
*Solo (1980) aka The Cretan Lover
*Luciano's Luck (1981)
*Exocet (1983)
*A Season in Hell (1988)
*Memoirs of a Dance Hall Romeo (1989)
*Sheba (1995)

External links

*
* [http://www.scintilla.utwente.nl/users/gert/higgins/ The Unofficial Jack Higgins Homepage]
* [http://jackhiggins.co.za/ Jack Higgins Blog]


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