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Donald Hamilton Books In Order

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Publication Order of Matt Helm Books

Death of a Citizen (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wrecking Crew (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Removers (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Silencers (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murderers' Row (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ambushers (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shadowers (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ravagers (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devastators (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Betrayers (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Menacers (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Interlopers (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Poisoners (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Intriguers (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Intimidators (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Terminators (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Retaliators (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Terrorizers (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Revengers (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Annihilators (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Infiltrators (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Detonators (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vanishers (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Demolishers (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Frighteners (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Threateners (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Damagers (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Date With Darkness (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Steel Mirror (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
Night Walker (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Smoky Valley (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rough Company (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Line of Fire (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mad River (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Assignment: Murder (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Assassins Have Starry Eyes (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Country (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man from Santa Clara (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Texas Fever (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Two-Shoot Gun (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mona Intercept (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Murder Twice Told (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Guns of William Longley (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Iron Men and Silver Stars(1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Greatest Western Stories of the 20th Century(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Donald Hamilton was a famous Swedish-American author, who liked to write short stories, novels, and nonfiction books. His novels are mostly paperbacks and consist of spy fiction, westerns, and crime fictions.

Author Hamilton is particularly famous for writing the long running Matt Helm series. This series chronicles the exciting action-packed adventures of the undercover counter agent/assassin named Matt Helm, who works for a secret agency under the common of the American government. Anthony Boucher, a well known critic, has praised Hamilton by saying that he has brought the authentic, hard realism to spy novels, and all his stories are compelling and filled with truthful espionage.

Author Hamilton was born as Donald Bengtsson Hamilton on March 24, 1916. His birth had taken place in Uppsala, Sweden. Later, his family moved to America, where Hamilton studied at the Chicago University. He received a BSc degree in the year 1938. During the Second World War, he served in the Navy as well. Hamilton was married to a woman named Kathleen Stick, who died in 1989. With Kathleen, Hamilton has 3 children, Gordon, Hugo, Victoria, and Elise.

Author Hamilton resided in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a long time. He was a highly skilled hunter and outdoorsman. Initially, Hamilton used to write nonfiction articles for several outdoor magazines and released a book-length article collection. After moving out of Santa Fe, author Hamilton stayed on his yacht for a few years. Later, he shifted to Sweden. It was here that Hamilton lived and worked until he breathed his last in 2006. Many of the Matt Helm books by author Hamilton are set in the American Southwest and Santa Fe region.

And also, as Hamilton had developed a great interest in the aspect of boating, a number of his books include nautical component also. Author Hamilton started his career in the year 1946 by submitting his works to fiction magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s Weekly. In the next year, he published his first book called Date With Darkness. During the course of the next forty six years of his life, author Hamilton wrote and released 38 more novels. The first 3 books of his career were released by Rinehart in hardcover. Following the 2nd World War, the publishers in America started to experiment by publishing original paperback.

Most of Hamilton’s early novels, from 1954 to 1960, were typically paperback originals. They were fast moving stories having lurid covers, and in the categories of spy, western, or suspense. Assignment: Murder is considered as the most interesting one among all his novels.

This novel shows the story of a mathematician, who works on a nuclear bomb design and is forced to deal with several shadowy villains in order to save his abducted wife. A couple of classic western films, The Violent Men and The Big Country, were adapted from the western novels of Hamilton. The Matt Helm books were more substantial. This series began in 1960, ran for altogether 27 books before coming to an end in 1993. Helm is depicted as a wartime secret agent, who specializes in assassinating the Nazis.

He gets drawn back to serve in the postwar world of assassination and espionage after living for 15 years away from duty as a normal citizen. Matt Helm narrates the adventures in brisk tone with an element of humor in them. He describes knife fights, sexual conquests, gunfights, and torture with careful professional detachment.

The noted writer of mystery novels, John Dickson Carr, considered Hamilton’s Matt Helm stories as his favorite stories about secret agents. Author Hamilton died on November 20, 2006, while sleeping in his house in Sweden. The Charles Young Library at the California University in Los Angeles houses Hamilton’s papers.

The Matt Helm series written by Donald Hamilton is comprised of 27 books in total, which were released between the years 1960 and 1993. Its debut novel is entitled ‘Death of a Citizen’. This book was released by the Gold Medal publication in the year 1960. Author Hamilton has set the book’s story in Santa Fe. At the start of the book, it is shown that Matt Helm was enjoying a cocktail party when someone enabled him to join back the secret service after 15 long years. Matt believes that he dead for all these years and had become a household pet with kids and a wife. He was dying to get back to work and took the first opportunity he got with both hands.

As Matt Helm starts his service again, a girl having the codename of Tina comes back into his life. Because of this unwanted entry, Matt’s complacent and settled life appears to be slipping away. He starts feeling that he has been back into time when his world along with that of the other agents was quite alive and savage. At that time, Matt Helm was a trained lethal animal with young blood who used to carry out cold blood killings under the orders of his secret agency, while Tina used to partner him in the acts. However, Matt Helm feels that he is once again ready to work with Tina and tackle the hell of world that they used to share previously.

Another excellent book of this series is called ‘The Ambushers’. It was released in 1977 by the Fawcett publication. The main characters of this novel include Matt Helm and Sheila. At the beginning of the story, it is depicted that Matt Helm is asked to play God to a beautiful, tortured, and beat-up girl in the jungles of Costa Verde. This mission seemed opposed to what Helm used to carry out usually. But, with the codename Eric, Helm is skilled to do any job given to him. Therefore, moves ahead with this new mission. After a little while, a foreign agent lures Helm into an unfamiliar trek into the northern Mexico wilderness.

Helm had tried finishing off this foreign agent in the past, but couldn’t succeed. The mission takes a deadly turn when Matt Helm learns that a political fanatic has acquired a Russian missile smuggled from Cuba. When Helm arrives in Costa Verde in a fictional nation of Latin America, he is given his first mission of killing a rebel leader standing at a distance of 350 yards from him, with a 0.3 rifle. While in the course of completing this mission, Helm discovers several important things that seem integral parts of the mission. One of those discoveries is Sheila, an American agent, who was sent to assassinate the rebel before Helm, but was captured, raped, tortured, and starved. The other important discoveries by Helm include a Russian made ICBM, that disappeared from Cuba, and a war criminal called by the name Heinrich von Sachs.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Donald Hamilton

2 Responses to “Donald Hamilton”

  1. David: 3 months ago

    Some years ago, I sent a letter to Mr. Hamilton asking if he was going to do any more Helm novels. He sent me back a note saying Helm had arthritis in his trigger finger; a terrible handicap for a man in his line of work. He added that getting old was for the birds.

  2. Winston: 6 months ago

    It’s my understanding that Donald Hamilton had written another Matt Helm novel just prior to his death. Are there any plans to print and release it?
    My favorite although not a MH was The Mona Intercept.


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