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John R. Maxim Books In Order

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Publication Order of Bannerman Books

The Bannerman Solution (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bannerman Effect (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bannerman's Law (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bannerman's Promise / A Matter of Honor (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bannerman's Ghosts (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Dark Star: Meteoric Rise and Eclipse of John Gilbert (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon

Critically acclaimed author John R. Maxim has written a total of fifteen novels and one biography. Platforms, his first novel, was published in 1980. It centers on Peter Halloran, a typical New York City commuter, who takes the train into the urban jungle every day from his home in suburban Connecticut. He is, like many characters with a similar background, profoundly unhappy: he no longer loves his wife and cannot find a way to communicate with his son. Halloran’s dismal, yet ordinary life suddenly becomes extraordinary when he sees a dead man waiting with him on the train platform. He tries to convince himself he had been hallucinating, until he sees the same man, supposedly deceased, again and again. Halloran is then caught up in the violent secrets of his supposedly quiet Connecticut town, forcing readers to question their own suburban safety and whether or not their lives are really as ordinary as they think. With this well received debut, Maxim used some of his own life experiences to solidify the personal style that marked many of his early novels: thrillers, mainly set in a meticulously described New York City, in which average people are involuntarily involved in amazing events that allow them to break out of their everyday routine. Perhaps this is because Maxim himself abruptly changed his own life by publishing his first novel well into his adult years.

Maxim was born on February 18, 1937 in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City to parents Hiram Julian and Mary A. Maxim. His father was an investigator and his mother was a business manager. He was raised Roman Catholic and attended two Jesuit institutions, Xavier High School and Fordham University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1958. He dabbled in many hobbies as a young man, including piloting, skydiving, and racing. He then pursued a career in marketing and advertising. He started as a product manager at Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati in 1962. In 1964, he married his first wife and moved them both to New York City in 1966 to accept the vice president position at McCann Erickson. He then moved on to take the role of senior vice president of Marschalk Company in 1970, also in New York City. After his divorce in 1978, Maxim moved out to Connecticut, accepting the job of senior vice president in charge of marketing at Davidoff Advertising Agency in Fairfield. In 1985, he opened his own consulting firm in Westport, CT, Maxim Associates, of which he retains the role of president.

Around the time of his move out of New York City, Maxim decided to pursue one of his lifelong dreams — to become a writer. 1980 proved to be a momentous year for the now successful author: he married his second wife, Christine Giles Sterling, and published Platforms, his first novel. He also raised three children, Jeffrey, Christopher, and Vickie Lewis Maxim. Throughout the next three decades, Maxim published many more books, drawing from his life experiences as the son of an investigator and a resident of both New York City and suburban Connecticut. When he and his wife moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, which is where they currently reside, Maxim, expectedly, began to feature his new home in his novels. The other two settings, however, feature prominently in The Bannerman Series.

Straying from his original formula of the average man finding himself in extraordinary situations, Maxim paints a quaint and ordinary setting in The Bannerman Series and then splatters the canvas with vivid characters. In the first book, The Bannerman Solution, Maxim introduces his readers to Pasul Bannerman, the leader of a band of retired contract agents who move to Westport, Connecticut. The former assassins, interrogators, and weapon’s specialists take up average jobs around the town — postman, bartender, care salesman. These deadly men and women truly want to pursue a normal life, but Bannerman soon discovers that the government sent his team to this suburban town in order to dispose of them quietly. In response to this threat on their new lives, Bannerman leads his people out of retirement to battle the very government for which they loyally worked for many years.

The second book in the series, The Bannerman Effect, follows Pasul Bannerman’s romantic relationship with Susan Lesko, the daughter of a prominent New York City cop, who was featured in another of Maxim’s books, Time Out of Mind. When Susan begins to receive death threats, Bannerman vows to protect her, endangering his hard-earned average suburban life. While the retired assassin focuses all of his attention on Susan’s safety, the government agency who threatened the lives of his whole team in the previous novel returns with a vengeance. The agency hatches a plan to use their former employees to test an experimental computer program, but it seems they have, once again, underestimated the retirees and their leader.

Maxim went on to write three more books in The Bannerman Series, while some of his other novels, such as Time Out of Mind and A Matter of Honor, can be classified as spinoffs or crossovers, including references to characters and events from the Bannerman books. Even when he departs from his familiar scenes, Maxim frequently explores the subjects of assassins, spies, and secret government plots. Rather than fill his books with supernatural occurrences and mythical creatures, Maxim chooses, instead, to thrill his readers with plausible plots that teeter on the edge of the real fears felt by a paranoid public in a world fraught with increasing conflict. His only non-fiction work, Dark Star, tells the story of the life and career of silent film star John Gilbert. Maxim cowrote this biography with Leatrice Gilbert Fountain, John Gilbert’s daughter.

Although he has a wide range of loyal readers and has garnered much critical acclaim, Maxim’s books have yet to be adapted into movies or television series. For Maxim, three decades of dream fulfillment as an author, a successful business career, and a life spent with his wife Christine pursuing interests such as sailing and skiing have brought much happiness and satisfaction.

Book Series In Order » Authors » John R. Maxim

2 Responses to “John R. Maxim”

  1. John Jankoff: 5 months ago

    Loved every Bannerman and spin off; are books available to buy? Library seems out

  2. Bill Bucci: 2 years ago

    I’ve become a fan, and have read your books more than once. Have you stopped writing, or do you have another novel in the works? I hope so.


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