Book Notification

Joe Ryker Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Joe Ryker Books

The Sniper (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hammer of God (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Terrorists (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Agent of Death / The Death Squad (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Smack Man (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cannibal (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Night of the Phoenix (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon

The “Joe Ryker” series by Nelson DeMille are from thriller genre. They focus on a man named Joe Ryker who is a Detective Seargent with the New York Police Department. Ryker is a regular guy who knows his surroundings very well, something that gives him the edge when it comes to tracking down the criminals. He works by himself, unless you count the snub nose .38 police special that he keeps on his ankle, and the .357 Magnum that is on his shoulder.

Joe Ryker is about as unlikable as they come. Nowhere in the series, however, does DeMille, say that Ryker is the hero here in the series of novels. He seems to be an antagonist in the protagonist’s role. No one in the police department likes him and everyone seems not to like what he says and is shocked every time something appalling comes out of his mouth. His ideas usually backfire, even though Ryker is certain that they are the only ones that are worth trying out; these backfires usually get fellow cops killed or put in harm’s way.

A cop named Peter Christie is tasked with the unenviable. Being Joe Ryker’s partner. He only has a silver badge, and seems to be the true hero of things. But throughout, Ryker corrupts Christie every chance he gets. He goes from being a regular nice guy who wants to get away from all the crime and corruption in New York to doing things that please even Ryker himself.

There are only six novels that Joe Ryker stars in; novels to the series were released in 1974 and 1975. Leonard Levinson wrote part three in the series (but DeMille was credited with writing it), and parts five and six were actually published under the name Edson T. Hamill. It is unknown who actually wrote the fifth and sixth books, but it probably was not Nelson DeMille. The rest of the novels in the series were written by DeMille himself. The series was re-released in 1989 under DeMille’s Jack Cannon pen name. That being said, the novels are hard to get, with most copies being sold online at very high prices. This is due to the fact that DeMille became famous much later after these novels off other books that star much more likable people; not to mention the fact that there really weren’t that many copies of this series printed as there weren’t a demand for that back then.

“The Sniper” by Nelson DeMille is the first novel in the “Joe Ryker” series and was released in 1974. Joe Ryker is sent out to catch a sniper, who chooses victims at random with cold and professional skill, and is named Homer Cyrus. Either Ryker or Cyrus will be the only one to survive.

Fans of the novel like the ruthless Ryker a man that gets results, no matter the costs or what happens to anyone else. Some like the way you can see a young DeMille at work here, and fans of the Corey series can see a precursor to that series here in this one. Fans liked the way the novel is led by a guy who is so unlikable as it adds something to the story because usually the good guy is good. But here you get someone who is only slightly better than the villains.

Some did not like that the novel is very much like what DeMille would do with John Corey, but just a little toned down. Some found that this was just a cheap imitation of Dirty Harry here.

“The Hammer of God” by Nelson DeMille is the second novel in the “Joe Ryker” series and was released in 1974. Joe Ryker is on the hunt for a serial killer that hunts down victims that he deems need to be killed. These victims insult something that the killer finds to be holy. In all honesty, though, he just thinks these women he is killing are witches.

Fans of the novel enjoyed the novel, especially the killer’s reasons for killing. The ending of the novel was a knockout that stuns the fans of this novel. Quite a bit of excitement for fans of this here novel, and they wished that DeMille had written more than just six novels for this series. Fans like Ryker and think he is a complete jerk, they call him every bad name in the book (misogynist, homophobic, sadistic, and racist), but still love it. The novel moves pretty quick and the character in this all come to life, as do the streets of New York.

Some did not like the way that the novel feels too short. Nothing all that spectacular happens here, people should read other things that DeMille has written and they will have a better time with that. There is not a lot of action pieces here to get excited over, and these novels just feel rushed and sloppy without much to write home about.

“The Smack Man” by Nelson DeMille is the third novel in the “Joe Ryker” series and was released in 1975. Hookers are being given heroin that is laced with strychnine (also called hot shots). Joe Ryker is told to investigate things, and he is to be aided by a female detective and a cop who is supposed to pose as her pimp. Ryker does not take an active role in things until his partner turns up dead.

Fans of the novel liked to see the way DeMille wrote his early novels, as it is quite different than that of his later bestsellers. The novels in this series give a nice view of DeMille’s full body of work. It shows the way things were back in the seventies, with pimps and drugs. Not to mention the way the police handled things back then. This is one series that readers cannot get enough of and will return for as many as they can find.

Some did not like how dated the novel feels, and they wish that the novel had someone more likeable as the lead character. He was just so unlikable that it was hard for some to keep reading the novel; the way you see him insult everyone around him all the time got old kind quickly.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Joe Ryker

Leave a Reply