Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
While writing this article, I realized something: To really appreciate this month’s recommended reads, you’re going to need a soundtrack.
So before you read any further, I need you, dear reader, to start humming the “Indiana Jones” theme inside your head. Got it? Then it’s full steam ahead to adventure reads!
Though they may vary in setting and character, there are several things all of these books have in common. They all have political and/or military intrigue that takes us to far-flung, exotic locales. They’re rich with fascinating details of history, archaeology, science or mysterious secrets. Heroes or antiheroes, individuals or ensemble cast, all of the protagonists are people you want to cheer for. And most of all, they all feature nonstop edge-of-your-seat adventure as the plot leaps from one cliffhanger to the next.
Clive Cussler is one of the more famous authors in this genre, as are “The Da Vinci Code” writer Dan Brown and Michael Crichton of “Jurassic Park” fame. If you’re a fan of those authors, here are some others you may enjoy.
James Rollins has always been one of my top go-to authors when I’m in the mood for some lively action. I love the lost-treasure aspect of the classic adventure tale, and Rollins provides that in spades, but he never settles for a purely treasure-based tale. A Rollins story is also going to have some Crichton-esque science, military action and exotic locals full of fauna almost as dangerous as the humans who live there, all combining into plots that skirt the edge of “over the top” to land solidly in “massively fun reads.” New readers should start with the first book in the Sigma Force series, “Map of Bones.”
Speaking of Crichton-esque, the writing duo of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child never fail to deliver high-intensity action with a scientific twist and a touch of paranormal horror. Start with “Relic,” the first book in the Pendergast series, where a museum’s exhibition of dinosaur remains rapidly turns into a scene of mysterious death and terror. And if you’ve already read their co-authored works, be sure to check out each author’s individual writing.
History and the secrets of the past are the driving force behind Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone novel, but then, what else would you expect when your hero is a one-time U.S. operative turned antiquarian book dealer? First in the series is “The Templar Legacy,” a mix of modern-day intrigue and long-buried religious conspiracies that make it an obvious choice for Dan Brown fans.
And if you want an action hero who could make James Bond feel inadequate, look no further than Ted Bell’s Lord Alexander Hawke: British billionaire, descendant of pirates, former Navy commander and the go-to man for tricky situations of international espionage. Spy action verges on swashbuckling in “Hawke” as his present-day assignment brings back long-repressed memories of his parents’ murders, the first in a can’t-read-just-one series loaded with escapism and excitement.
Genevieve Baillie is the extension services librarian at the Wilson County Public Library.