Joe Ryker Books

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Joe Ryker is a series of novels written by Nelson DeMille, an American Author. The novels revolve around a Detective Sergeant known as Joe Ryker. Ryker is written as a regular person who just happens to work for the Police Department in New York.

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Order of Joe Ryker Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Sniper ( By: Nelson DeMille) 1974 Description / Buy
2 The Hammer of God ( By: Nelson DeMille) 1974 Description / Buy
3 The Terrorists (By: Nelson DeMille) 1974 Description / Buy
4 The Agent of Death / The Death Squad ( By: Nelson DeMille) 1975 Description / Buy
5 Child Killer ( By: Edson T. Hamill) 1975 Description / Buy
6 Ryker the Sadist ( By: Edson T. Hamill) 1975 Description / Buy
7 Motive For Murder ( By: Edson T. Hamill) 1975 Description / Buy
8 Cannibal ( By: Nelson DeMille) 1975 Description / Buy
9 The Smack Man ( By: Nelson DeMille) 1975 Description / Buy
10 The Night of the Phoenix ( By: Nelson DeMille) 1975 Description / Buy
11 The Slasher ( By: Edson T. Hamill) 1976 Description / Buy
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Chief amongst Joe’s strengths is his keen understanding of his surroundings which, in turn, makes him a powerful asset when it comes to tracking down criminals. Joe often works alone, though that isn’t always on purpose.

With a knack for depending more on his guns than on other people, Joe Ryker is very unlikeable, both as a person and as a police officer. No one likes him, especially not in his police department and usually because of the things that come out of his mouth.

As such, when Peter Christie is tasked with being his partner, he is less than thrilled with the idea. The books find Joe doing everything in his power to corrupt Peter, who is, for all intent and purpose a nice guy and the real hero of the story.

Nelson DeMille kicked the Joe Ryker story off with The Sniper, the first book in the series which was published in 1974. In that book, Joe was tasked with finding a sniper that was using his professional skills to pick people off at random.

It is worth noting that DeMille didn’t write every single Joe Ryker book in his bibliography, even though he is credited as the writer on most of the books.

Some readers have referred to Joe Ryker as the precursor to John Corey, DeMille’s other protagonist; though, Corey is a little more subdued in comparison to Joe who will literally do anything to accomplish his goals as a police officer.

Nelson DeMille primarily writes adventure and suspense novels. He has also written under pen names like Ellen Kay, Brad Matthews and Jack Cannon. Born in 1943 in New York City, he would move with his family to Long Island where he grew up. He played high school football and ran track at Elmont Memorial High School, where he graduated from. After high school he went to Hofstra University for three years before heading to the Army.

The author spent time in the United States Army back in the 1960s and he actually did some fighting in Vietnam as part of the First Calvary Division. He was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After leaving the army, DeMille would head back to Hofstra where he studied Political Science and History.

DeMille is a member of American Mensa, The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, and is past president of the Mystery Writers of America. He was also chosen as ThrillerMaster of the Year in 2015. DeMille is married with three children, he lives with his wife in Long Island.

DeMille’s earliest books were primarily detective novels revolving around the NYPD. DeMille loves writing about alpha males with somewhat unappealing personalities.

Best Joe Ryker Books

Joe Ryker might be an unpleasant individual but the DeMille series still has a lot of fans who appreciate the unique nature of the character, with some of the best books in the series including:

The Sniper: There is a sniper on the loose, one with a penchant for killing and who seems to select his victims at random. And it is up to Joe Ryker to stop him. Once the battle ensues, only one of these dangerous men will survive.

This book, which was released under the name Jack Cannon, one of Nelson DeMille’s Pseudonyms, is one of the author’s earliest and it shows. Joe Ryker is chosen to put a stop to the machinations of a dangerous killer because he is one ruthless NYC police detective. And he uses this book to prove that there is nothing he won’t do to get the job done.

Cannibal: Joe Ryker has seen it all. And nothing can surprise him, not corpses and certainly not crime. When a call girl in New York requests Joe to investigate a missing persons report, Joe acquiesces because of the girl’s beauty. Once he begins his investigation, Joe quickly learns that there is still room left in his life for unexpected surprises.

This book, the fourth in the Joe Ryker series, attempts to test Joe’s mettle by throwing a few curveballs his way.

The Death Squad: The fifth book in the Joe Ryker series is one of the best. Someone out there is delivering vigilante justice. There are criminals being murdered at the station house, there are bad guys being killed in guarded hospital rooms, and even in jail. Criminals and their cohorts are being taken out in cold blood before they ever see justice. A lot of people think that Joe Ryker is responsible for these crimes, but when his best friend on the force is taken out – Ryker goes hunting for the death squad himself and starts delivering his own brand of justice. With no one to trust, Ryker will have to find out who is behind this one his own, even if it takes him all the way to City Hall. The death squad have him marked for execution next, but they are no match for the one-man army that is Joe Ryker.

Other Book Series You May Like

The “Jack Reacher” Series by Lee Child stars Jack Reacher as a former Major in the United States Army who takes odd jobs as he makes his way across the United States. Along the way, Reacher is pulled into dangerous investigations and conspiracies. Lee Child tells his story in the first or third person in a series of novels and short stories.

The “John Corey” Series by Nelson DeMille stars John Corey as an NYPD officer who is forced to retire after being shot while on duty. John soon finds that he can still fight bad guys by working with the FBI on special assignment.

What Is The Next Book in The Joe Ryker Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Joe Ryker Series. The newest book is The Slasher and was released on January, 1st 1976.

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