136–145: Alpha Force

Despite the distinctly medium (but eminently marketable) name, the “Alpha Force” books are actually a rather good collection of novels in the Famous Five tradition, with an extra dash of the survival genre thrown in. Ryan (the pen-name of Colin Armstrong, a former member of the SAS who famously evaded capture during the First Gulf War) becomes a more confident author as the series progresses, and gets a better feel for his characters and prose.

I’m actually fairly serious about the Famous Five comparison – albeit a Five who have the resources to travel to exotic locations with the latest gear and receive specialised training. But in the broad brush strokes, it holds.


Survival
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2002
Pages 191
Best character Little Emilie

Rat-Catcher
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2002
Pages 170
Best character Alex’s father

Desert Pursuit
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2003
Pages 192
Best character Philippe

Hostage
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2003
Pages 176
Best character Amaruk

Red Centre
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2004
Pages 328
Best character Tommy

Hunted
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2004
Pages 321
Best character Patrick

Blood Money
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2005
Pages 316
Best character The engineer in the clinic

Fault Line
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2005
Pages 329
Best character Felipe

Black Gold
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2005
Pages 304
Best character Danny

Untouchable
Author Chris Ryan
Published 2005
Pages 344
Best character Martin Fletcher


Image copyright © by Murray M Carter.

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