The new Bond movie finally hits theatres in a couple of weeks – with all kinds of surprises coming our way.


In the midst of the hype I looked back to 1960, when I read my first James Bond paperback – Dr. No.


007 was my first ‘adult’ hero – although he never replaced The Lone Ranger really.  He was just more fashionable!!  I had to ‘grow out’ of The Lone Ranger when I was 13 at Lancaster Royal Grammar School, and Cowboys with Indian side-kicks and moral values were replaced by heroes with those Timeless Teen Male Values of sex (whatever that was), beautiful girls, guns, gadgets, fast cars and elegant fisticuffs.


(The Lone Ranger though has stood the test of time – at least in my heart and my eyes – as you can see from the memorabilia we have here in Desert Dream – complete with our new soon-to-be-finished rooftop bar overlooking the desert – Tonto’s.  And from other KRC blogs – September 12 2019, February 8 2018, July 15 2013, January 1 and 2 2013.)


I saw Dr. No – my first 007 movie – in 1962, followed by From Russia With Love and Goldfinger and I’ve seen every one since.  Like many fans, Sean Connery and Daniel Craig have been my two favourites.


Anyway, this got me thinking about which fictional characters I liked reading about nowadays, so here’s my list of men of action on the printed page – not the silver screen – that I follow today.

  • Gabriel Allon – Daniel Silva’s Sabra intelligence officer – a good man.  20 years, 21 books so far.  The Cellist out now.  The Kill Artist started it all in 2000.
  • Orphan X (Evan Smoak) – Gregg Hurwitz’ loner – recommended to me by my brother-in-law Colin.  Six books so far, number seven Dark Horse out in February next year.
  • James Beck – John Clarkson’s Brooklyn ‘good’ criminal.  Three books so far, latest is Death Comes Due.
  • The Gray Man (Court Gentry) – a legendary ex-CIA operative from Mark Greaney.  10 books so far, number 11 Sierra Six due in February.  The Gray Man movie wrapped in July this year – $200 million budget – Netflix Original due for release Summer next year.  Ryan Gosling is The Gray Man, Chris Evans and (one of my favourites) Billy Bob Thornton in the cast.
  • John Rain – Barry Eisler’s Japanese-American assassin.  10 books, The Killer Collective is the latest.


With honourable mentions to:

  • Jack Reacher of course, mantle now moving from Lee Child to brother Andrew.  Better Off Dead due out on October 26th.
  • Lance Spector – Saul Herzog’s American operative.  Four books so far with number five The Splinter due in February 2022.
  • Marcus Ryker – Joel C. Rosenberg’s all American hero.  Four books so far – The Beirut Protocol is the latest.
  • Scot Harvarth – Brad Thor’s man keeps on going.  26 so far – Black Ice the latest.


Pure Escapism!



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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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