Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jack Higgins: The Golden Age Novels

In 1975 a midlist writer thundered onto the worldwide bestseller lists with a World War 2 adventure thriller titled The Eagle Has Landed.  It was published as by Jack Higgins, but the writer was a former college lecturer named Harry Patterson.  Mr Patterson was a veteran writer in 1975; he had already published 34 novels and his work was becoming both more accomplished and more successful.

Mr Patterson’s work can be broken into three easily identifiable segments, (i), his pre-The Eagle Has Landed work (1959 – 1974), (ii) The Eagle Has Landed to The Eagle Has Flown (1975 – 1991), and (iii) Eye of the Storm to his most recent novel A Devil is Waiting (1992 – 2012).  Mr Patterson’s pre-The Eagle Has Landed work tended to be lean, deftly plotted, and very linear suspense novels.  I think of this era as his golden age.  It includes a bevy of truly excellent adventure novels, The Savage Day, A Prayer for the Dying, and The Last Place God Made, which are, by my reckoning his three best novels.

The next period is his bestseller period.  Mr Patterson hit it big with The Eagle Has Landed, and while he wrote several very successful novels he could never quite get out from under the shadow of his “big” bestseller.  The most recent, and final, period is the Sean Dillon era.  He introduced an antagonist in his 1992 novel Eye of the Storm, which in Mr Patterson’s subsequent work became a protagonist.  The Dillon novels are the weakest of Harry Patterson’s canon, but there are several, which are really quite good.

The following is a chronological listing of Harry Patterson’s golden age books.  It includes work published by multiple publishing houses and pseudonyms.  Many of Mr Patterson’s early work disappeared without a trace when it was first released, but most of it, with only two exceptions, are easily obtained today.  I listed the original United Kingdom and U. S. publisher for each title, but most of the books have been published in multiple editions, and all have been republished under Harry Patterson’s primary pseudonym Jack Higgins.    
Sad Wind from the Sea.  Published by John Long in 1959.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was not printed in the United States until 2010 when it was issued as an ebook and a POD trade paperback by Open Road Integrated Media.  Read the Gravetapping review.


Cry of the Hunter.  Published by John Long in 1960.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was not printed in the United States until 2010 when it was issued as an ebook and POD trade paperback by Open Road Integrated Media.  Read the Gravetapping review.


The Thousand Faces of Night.  Published by John Long in 1961.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was not published in the United States until 2010 when it was issued as an ebook and a POD trade paperback by Open Road Integrated Media.  Read the Gravetapping review.


Comes the Dark Stranger.  Published by John Long in 1962.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was not published in the United States until 2010 when it was issued as an ebook and a POD trade paperback by Open Road Integrated Media.  Read the Gravetapping review.

Hell is Too Crowded.  Published by John Long in 1962.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was issued in the United States in 1978 as a paperback original by Fawcett Gold Medal.  Read the Gravetapping review.


The Testament of Casper Schultz.  Published by Abelard-Schuman in 1962.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as by Martin Fallon.  It was published in the United States as a paperback original in 1978 by Fawcett Gold Medal.  This is the first novel (of six) to feature Paul Chavasse.  It was reissued in 2006 as The Bormann Testament; the new edition included a brief introduction explaining the “testament’ was originally Martin Bormann’s, but due to potential legal issues the publisher requested the title change, and the references to Martin Bormann be removed.  Read the Gravetapping review.


Pay the Devil.  Published by Barrie Rockcliff in 1963.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was published in the United States in 1999 as a paperback original by Berkley. Read the Gravetapping review.


The Dark Side of the Island.  Published by John Long in 1964.  It was originally issued as hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was published in the United States in 1977 as a paperback original by Fawcett Gold Medal.  Read the Gravetapping review.

Seven Pillars to Hell.  Published by Abelard-Schuman in 1963.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as by Hugh Marlowe.  It was published in the United States in 1994 as a paperback original with the title Sheba by Berkley. Read the Gravetapping review.


A Phoenix in the Blood.  Published by Barrie Rockcliff in 1964.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It has never been released in the United States.  Read the Gravetapping review.

Thunder at Noon.  Published by John Long in 1964.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It has never been released in the United States.  This title was rewritten and published in both the United Kingdom and the U. S. as Dillinger in 1983.  Dillinger was published by Hutchinson in the U. K. and Stein & Day in the U. S. as Harry Patterson. Read the Gravetapping review.


Wrath of the Lion.  Published by John Long in 1964.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was published in the United States in 1977 as a paperback original by Fawcett Gold Medal.  Read the Gravetapping review.

Year of the Tiger.  Published by Abelard-Schuman in 1964.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as by Martin Fallon.  It was rewritten and issued in the United States in 1996 as a paperback original by Berkley.  It is the second novel (of six) to feature Paul Chavasse.  Read the Gravetapping review.


Passage by Night.  Published by Abelard-Schuman in 1964.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as by Hugh Marlowe.  It was issued in the United States in 1966 as a paperback original by Avon. Read the Gravetapping review.

The Graveyard Shift.  Published by John Long in 1965.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was issued in the United States in 2002 as a paperback original by Berkley.  This is the first novel (of three) to feature Nick Miller. Read the Gravetapping review.


The Keys of Hell.  Published by Abelard-Schuman in 1965.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as by Martin Fallon.  It was issued in the United States as a paperback original in 1976 by Fawcett Gold Medal.  It was rewritten and reissued in 2002 by Berkley.  This is the third novel (of six) to feature Paul Chavasse.  Read the Gravetapping review.

The Iron Tiger.  Published by John Long in 1966.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was released in the United States as a paperback original in 1979 by Fawcett Gold Medal. Read the Gravetapping review.


Midnight Never Comes.  Published by John Long in 1965.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as by Martin Fallon.  It was issued in the United States as a paperback original in 1975 by Fawcett Gold Medal.  This is the fourth novel (of six) to feature Paul Chavasse.  This was extensively rewritten and published as On Dangerous Ground  in 1994; Sean Dillon replaces Paul Chavasse.  Read the Gravetapping review.


A Candle for the Dead.  Published by Abelard-Schuman in 1966.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as by Hugh Marlowe.  It was not printed in the United States until 2010 when it was issued as an ebook and a POD trade paperback by Open Road Integrated Media.  It was adapted as a film titled The Violent Enemy released in 1967.  The novel was retitled as The Violent Enemy and reissued as a paperback in the U. K. by Coronet in 1969. Read the Gravetapping review.


Brought in Dead.  Published by John Long in 1967.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was issued in the United States in 2004 as a paperback original by Berkley.  This is the second novel (of three) to feature Nick Miller. Read the Gravetapping review.

Dark Side of the Street.  Published by John Long in 1967.  It was originally issued as a hardcover as by Martin Fallon.  It was issued in the United States in 1974 as a paperback original by Fawcett Gold Medal.  This is the fifth novel (of six) to feature Paul Chavasse. Read the Gravetapping review.



East of Desolation.  Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1968.  It was originally published as a hardcover as by Jack Higgins.  It was released in the United States as a hardcover by Doubleday in 1969.  This is the first use of the Jack Higgins pseudonym, and the first title published in the U. S. in hardcover. Read the Gravetapping review.


Hell is Always Today.  Published by John Long in 1968.  It was originally published as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was issued in the United States in 2005 as a paperback original by Berkley.  This is the third novel (of three) featuring Nick Miller.

In the Hour Before Midnight.  Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1969.  It was issued as a hardcover as by Jack Higgins.  It was released in the United States as a paperback original by Lancer Books as The Sicilian Heritage in 1970.  Lancer later released an edition with its original title.


A Fine Night for Dying.  Published by John Long in 1969.  It was issued as a hardcover as by Martin Fallon.  It was released in the United States in 2007 as a paperback original by Berkley.  This is the sixth novel (of six) to feature Paul Chavasse.

Night Judgment at Sinos.  Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1970.  It was issued as a hardcover as by Jack Higgins.  It was released in the United States as a hardcover by Doubleday in 1971.


A Game for Heroes.  Published by Macmillan in 1970.  It was issued as a hardcover as by James Graham.  It was released in the United States as a hardcover by Doubleday in 1970.  This is the first novel (of four) released under the James Graham pseudonym; interestingly Mr Patterson was a lecturer at James Graham College between 1968 and 1970.  

The Last Place God Made.  Published by Collins in 1971.  It was issued as a hardcover as by Jack Higgins.  It was released in the United States in 1971 as a hardcover by Holt.


Toll for the Brave.  Published by John Long in 1971.  It was issued as a hardcover as Harry Patterson.  It was released in the United States in 1976 as a paperback original by Fawcett Gold Medal.  This is the final novel Mr Patterson published with his long time publisher John Long.

The Wrath of God.  Published by MacMillan in 1971.  It was issued as a hardcover as by James Graham.  It was released in the United States in 1971 as a hardcover by Doubleday.  This is the second novel (of four) released under the James Graham pseudonym.  It was adapted as a film released in 1972.   



The Khufra Run.  Published by MacMillan in 1972.  It was issued as a hardcover as by James Graham.  It was released in the United States in 1973 as a hardcover by Doubleday.  This is the third novel (of four) released under the James Graham Pseudonym.

The Savage Day.  Published by Collins in 1972.  It was issued as a hardcover as by Jack Higgins.  It was released in the United States in 1972 as a hardcover by Holt.


A Prayer for the Dying.  Published by Collins in 1973.  It was issued as a hardcover as by Jack Higgins.  It was released in the United States in 1974 as a hardcover by Holt.  It was adapted as a film released in 1987.
The Run to Morning.  The U. K. title is Bloody Passage.  Published by MacMillan in 1974.  It was issued as a hardcover as by James Graham.  It was released in the United States in 1974 as a hardcover by Stein & Day.  It was reprinted with the title Bloody Passage in the United States by Open Road Integrated Media.  This is the fourth novel (of four) released under the James Graham pseudonym.

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