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Old 04-19-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
Denny_
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Villains as protagonists?

I'm looking for books where the lead character is a villain such as a hit man, burglar, con man, etc. rather than the typical lead as a detective, doctor, medical examiner, lawyer, agent, etc. Not a single novel, however, but a series. A single novel may end with the villian going to jail or getting killed but a series would follow him/her in subsequent books.

In my search I found a series written by Garry Disher where the main character is Wyatt, who is a thief. I haven't read any yet but I was hoping that someone on the forum would know of some others.

Thanks,

Denny
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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The Dortmunder series by Donald E. Westlake. I'm not sure if you are looking for humorous but they are very comedic and very good.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
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Of course, there's Dexter Morgan, ethical serial killer (he only kills other killers), from the series by Jeff Lindsay that starts with Darkly Dreaming Dexter.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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There is also Modesty Blaise. She and her henchperson Willie are criminals and killers.

The 10,000 strip cartoons are better than the novels.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:13 PM   #5
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Charlie Huston's Hank Thompson series the first book is "Caught Stealing"
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:55 PM   #6
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A.J. Quinnell's Creasey series (starts with Man on Fire, best of the series to me). Toss out whatever notions you have from Denzel Washington's movie.

Perhaps also Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley series?

On a supernatural slant there are Anne Rice's vampire books. Or Michael Moorcock's eternal champion series (Elric of Melnibone and many others). His newer stuff (Dreamthief's Daughter) is even better. Or Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series (Shadow of the Torturer).
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny_ View Post
I'm looking for books where the lead character is a villain such as a hit man, burglar, con man, etc. rather than the typical lead as a detective, doctor, medical examiner, lawyer, agent, etc. Not a single novel, however, but a series. A single novel may end with the villian going to jail or getting killed but a series would follow him/her in subsequent books.
Are you familiar with the term antihero?

You could try the Takeshi Kovacs books by Richard Morgan.
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kilohertz53 View Post
Of course, there's Dexter Morgan, ethical serial killer (he only kills other killers), from the series by Jeff Lindsay that starts with Darkly Dreaming Dexter.
I love this series.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:48 AM   #9
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The "Flashman" series by George Macdonald Fraser is great; the main character of the books is an absolute scoundrel.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:24 PM   #10
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Carol O'Connell's Mallory series is unique - the protagonist is a sociopathic former street urchin adopted by a cop. She in turn becomes a cop - but bends/breaks ALL the rules.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:52 PM   #11
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I'd definitely second HarryT's Flashman suggestion - quite possibly my favourite series of books ever

Also, there is the Serge Storms series of books by Tim Dorsey of which I have read a couple and enjoyed. I think there's about 12 of them in total so far.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:08 PM   #12
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Would the 'Death' books from Discword qualify? Death is the main character.
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:43 PM   #13
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Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny. A great book
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:59 PM   #14
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Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. It takes place in Victorian England and the hero's name is Jack (it's narrated by his dog)....

PS - Oops, you specified a series. How about Saberhagen's Dracula novels?

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Old 04-20-2010, 05:00 PM   #15
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Would the 'Death' books from Discword qualify? Death is the main character.
It 'death' a villain? Everyone Poops, and everyone dies.

BOb
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