Jack Hamma Action Adventures

Reviews by Jason Denness
On his blog
Gnome Appreciation Society

The Girl With The Golden Gun
The twelfth Jack Hamma outing in this incredible series and this one is all about marriage. The book starts of with Jack and Kashmere celebrating their second honeymoon in typical Hamma style, hot air balloon collisions, quicksand and flash floods, everything seems to be against them. Once they get home and back to work it all kicks off for Jack, multiple marriage disputes and a head injury leaves him in hospital with some tins of soup.
As with all Thorogood’s books, this is full of energy, fighting, danger, humour and lots of crazy characters, it always makes me chuckle how Hamma has some kind of gravitational pull for crazy. One thing I’ve learnt from previous books is that sometimes the characters stick around and I think we’ve got a few more added to the family. A favourite habit that Thorogood has is in the middle of the action he pauses to give a mini history lesson and the first occurrence of this had me giving a little cheer.
Never disappoints and always a fun read, can’t wait to see what is next for Hamma.

The Purple Pimpernel
I can’t believe this is the 11th book in the Jack Hamma series, it still feels so fresh and there are still plenty of new aspects to the story to love. The opening scenes have to be my favourite opening to any Jack Hamma book, Jack wakes up in prison, the reader has no idea why he is there, all we learn for a few chapters is that Jack is rather good at annoying prison guards…from Jack’s past dealing with bad guys we shouldn’t be that surprised he has that effect, a great comedic opening with plenty of action.
Once that plot was resolved the story moves on to the main case, a murder and the suspect is none other than Jack, this book’s plot is one of the most intricate that Thorogood has written it feels like an Agatha Christie novel, so many suspects, so many reasons for the murder to have been committed, I made guess after guess and still was way off the big reveal. Fantastic fun trying to solve this case.
My favourite part of this book has to be all those scenes stolen by Jack’s mum, she truly is an epic character, so much energy for an old lady and you really get to see just where Jack gets his skills of banter from…the awesome women gets to drive a Maserati too. Legend!
11 books in and these books show no signs of being tired, I can highly recommend every single one of the books in this series.

The Ten Musketeers
The tenth book in the Jack Hamma series, I find it amazing that a writer can keep coming up with stories for the same character and still make them fell unique. Thorogood has done another great job with Jack Hamma, after 10 books he does have a soft spot in my heart so any wrong step by Thorogood would make this reader rather angry. Somebody is trying to kill Jack, car bombs, being mowed down in the street makes for some very tense reading, just how many lives does Jack have left?
The best thing about this book was finding out about Jack’s past, he has hinted in previous books that his time in the army was not a good experience, something went down that did traumatise him a bit, not that he would admit that and it finally gets revealed what happened.
Thorogood includes his usual sense of humour, some great banter during shoot-outs, crazy characters…particularly one rather rich lady and there is a huge amount of action. This all makes for a exciting and fun read, not a dull moment to be had. One of my favourite series of books.
Second Reading 23/11/22
The Ten Musketeers seems way more epic than the other books in this series, same number of pages but it feels much longer, in a good way of course. The action is still there, plenty of explosions and bullets flying all over the place, what feels bigger is Jack. His past has come back to haunt him during a reunion with his squad from his army days and with the impending reunion his mood becomes much darker, he is not his usual chipper self, the banter is still there but with his squad it is far more strained…all of this has you wandering what went down. Gradually as the story unfolds, we find out just why Jack was so reluctant to meet up with his past.
Whilst Jack is being blown up, crashed into, beaten up and shot up he is still awesome enough to take on a missing persons case and solve it. As an added bonuses Jack uses a Boomerang and we get taught how to fly a plane Thorogood style. A great addition to the series and lots of questions from previous books get answered here.

Unconditional Surrender
The ninth Jack Hamma adventure and possibly one of his toughest adventures yet. Jack is used to battling numerous bad guys or crazy women, he is also used to battling nature and the elements, this time though his battles are with his own demons. His life is falling apart, his marriage could be over, his detective agency is about to close and the tax man cometh. How is he gonna handle what life is throwing at him this time?
Thorogood has been very clever with the timing of this book, If you have read the previous 8 books in this series then Jack has almost become one of the family (if you are starting with book 9 then what is wrong with you? Read them in order you crazy fool), it is heart breaking what is going on in Jack’s life and you find yourself rooting from him a way that hasn’t happened in the previous books.
The humour is still there, along with plenty of anger. Politians still get ridiculed, Jacks Mum is still the best Mum from literature and Jack still fights the good fight. One highlight in this book was the use of an “anger room” pay some money, go into a room and smash up the place, this would be blooming good fun to take part in.
A good addition to the series and now onto book 10.
Second Reading 25/11/22
Jack Hamma is facing the toughest battle so far…real life! Everything seems to be falling apart all at once, everything that he has built over the last 9 books is gone, it is devastating and heart breaking to watch. With everything that is going on Hamma is angry, so much rage is contained within these pages…so it seems like the perfect time to abduct his child, what’s the worst that could happen? You ever seen the Movie Falling Down? At times it feels like Jack is going to tip over the edge and lose it completely…luckily he senses how bad things are and visits an “anger room” I had forgotten all about that, I did look for one in my area but no luck.
We get some new interesting characters including the firecracker Chantelle and the rather blue Opal Topaz and we have the favourites, Lincoln gets a funny drinking scene and stealing the book as per usual is Hamma’s mum, she is hilarious, a proper good son-embarrassing-mother.
I’m still getting loads of entertainment out of this series and only have the one book left to complete the re-reading challenge of 2022.

Licensed to Thrill
What an emotional rollercoaster of a book, never have I ever wanted to give a character a slap as much as this before! Breanna is a horrible person, obsessed with Jack, you really feel for the poor chap and I was really proud that he kept his cool the whole time. Thorogood has done a great job of channelling his inner “fatal attraction” to create this monster of a woman.
The book is a good advertisement for Australia, the mountain scenes and amazing sunrises are only slightly countered by the poisonous snakes. Jack has a couple of cases this time and you’d think they were pretty straight forward, a bit of rock climbing and sorting out a dispute about a dog, simple right? Nope, there is plenty of peril for Jack to deal with. A new character is introduced, Acid, a punky little kid, I was just starting to warm to him when the book came to an end, I do hope he features in the next book as I could feel him being a sort of protégé to Jack.
Good fun as usual and looking forward to what Jack will be facing in his next book.
Second reading 21/11/22
Re-reading this as part of a 2022 reading challenge, all Jack Hamma books read in one year. Nothing has changed in my opinion of the new characters, I so wish I had the ability to go into a book and slap the characters all over the place (I was in sync with Kashmere with her opinion of Breanna)…luckily I had a mate watching me read this who was willing to hold me back. Thorogood has always been the master of banter in my opinion but here he shows just how strong his character development has become, not only have I suddenly found myself very protective of Jack but within a few pages Thorogood can create a character so despicable that the anger will stick with you long after you have finished the book.
Thorogood spends some time describing the Australian outback, the view from atop mountains and the sunrise/sunsets, all of which makes the place seem magical, this time I spotted that he mentions an artist called Albert Namatjira, I decided to check out his work and wow, absolutely stunning pieces of artwork…Ghost Gums was my
Highly entertaining and well worth having a read.favourite.

Blind Man’s Bluff
This is a far grittier Jack Hamma than you’ll be used too, the fighting is harder and more desperate. The opening scene is a right corker! It is nighttime in the middle of a storm, Jack is involved in unarmed close combat with a mountain of a man, this is the closest Jack has got to death as he is easily over-powered by this beast. The fight is at Thorogood’s usual epic pace and by the end of the scene this reader was left out of breath.
The after-effects of this fight is Jack is blind and has no memory. The bad guys are waiting for revenge, the police are waiting to pin the blame on him and his only help is from his nurse. I have enjoyed this, watching Jack still able to function minus his sight is very reminiscent of Zatoichi the blind samurai, Jack takes his usual awesomeness to a whole new level.
How does Jack keep getting himself in these crazy situations? It’s all down to him trying to save any lady in distress. Great stuff as usual from Thorogood.
Second Reading 17/11/22
Re-reading this as part of my 2022 reading challenge, all Jack Hamma books in a year, this one is still a cracking read. It feels like one long battle, bad guys coming from all directions, dumb cops, French Mafia, businessmen and Jakeline. Jack is blind and uses his natural instincts to defend himself, he does really well with one rather audacious scene with a bottle of Champagne. One of my favourite scenes in this book was in the French restaurant where the menu is read out, mouth-watering stuff, which reminds me of the scene in the last book where a Roast dinner was described…. I may have a problem Haha.
Fantastic stuff, Jack Hamma shows his true grit by getting into a situation that a lesser man could not survive.

Poirot Packs a Punch
Another cracking Jack Hamma adventure.
I think this line sums up this book perfectly…
“Take my word for it, there is no joy in trying to flee across a moor with an old lady hanging monkey fashion onto your neck trying not to get her fluffy pink slippers any more muddy than they already were.”
I think that shows you the style of humour and mad action you’ll find in this book.
The adventure starts off on the Moors in England, you know the Moors I mean, the one near that pub that does a great Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding. Jack rescues an old lady and takes her back to Australia, where a series of events unfolds, all linking up perfectly for an exciting conclusion. I’ve really started feeling sorry for Jack’s wife, she really does have to put up with a lot of craziness from her husband. It doesn’t matter how many bullets he faces I reckon it will be the wife that takes him down.
Thorogood is still the King of witty banter and this book is no exception, crazy characters, bizarre vehicles, attempts to protect a forest and one angry wife make for a wonderful story. You are guaranteed a good laugh with a book from Thorogood.
Second Reading: 14/11/22
Read as part of my Jack Hamma reading challenge, read the series throughout 2022. Read this one in one sitting, I’m pretty sure I said this about other books in the series but this one is my favourite…at times mouthing-watering…Thorogood’s descriptions of Yorkshire puddings, roast beef, thick gravy, all the trimmings and a couple of pints almost made me chuck this book across the room and run to the nearest pub. Not even his descriptions of the English weather could put a dampener on things.
This book displays two of the things I love about these books, action right from the off and banter, it doesn’t matter how many times I read about Jack running for his life I don’t think I’d ever get bored with it, Thorogood always manages to find a way to make it unique, this time Hamma has an old lady on his back who needs a cup of tea and a wee but not in the same cup. These books are perfectly matched to my sense of humour. I really liked the background moral included in this book, protecting our forests and looking after the small local food producers.
One of the stronger books in the Jack Hamma series, I can’t recommend these enough, they are quick fun reads with a nice dollop of action…I’d also recommend reading this one on a Sunday when the pubs are doing a Sunday roast.

Hi Jack
A cracking little book, this is definitely one for the fans of Jack Hamma. Jack is in a hospital sat at the bed of an unknown person who is dying and he is reminiscing about his past. All those events from Jack’s past that have been hinted at in the previous books, the supermarket bombing and the incident on the train, all finally get revealed here. I think it is one of the most important books in the series. You get to see how Jack has developed into the person he became in the previous books and his crazy mum gets a big scene in this outing, she really brings the humour after some real serious moments.
The best part for me though was a cameo of an awesome guy suffering from a gunshot wound, he was called Jason from Stokebasing, he seemed quite handsome and very heroic, probably the most important character ever to appear in literature.
Great news at the end too, another book is on it’s way, looking forward to the next adventure.
Second Reading: Re-read this as part of the 2022 Jack Hamma Reading challenge, This is still one of my favourite in the series, Jack’s origin story told to a dying man in hospital it recaps the events that lead up to the start of book 1 in the series. As with any of these books it starts off with Jack in Peril…this time in the sea with a concrete block tied to his ankles…you’d think this would be a short book but this challenge is nothing to the mighty Hamma. We then witness Jack’s battles across the world, when he meets a rather dashing character called Jason, who for some reason doesn’t get the woman but does get a baby? hmmmmmm
Jack’s wonderful mum plays a big part here and her constant chatter always makes me smile, a feisty lady anybody would want with them in battle.
Great book and after 2 reads still worth the 5 stars.

Miss Marple Struts Her Stuff
The fourth instalment of Jack Hamma and his detective agency is currently my favourite in the series, which will probably by usurped by book 5 Whilst reading this I kept having one thought, the style of writing is similar to Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently, but slightly more sensible. In my opinion Anthony Thorogood is fast becoming the “King of Banter”, the pace of the book is fast and this is matched by the pace of the humour. Just read the blurb above, so much has been crammed into this book and the reader barely gets a chance to take a breath. Very funny with a nice tidy story-line. And as for the ending, it had me going oooooooh!!! into my cuppa. There were some great character names “Sore Tooth Charlie” and “Harry Up Wong”.
I say this after every book, this really needs to be made into a TV series, hurry up Netflix and snap this up.
Second Reading: This is still a really strong book, so much happens to Jack, dealing with the Chinese Triad, looking for a missing girl, also there is another girl under investigation in another case, the question is are they all related? The case is one of the most frustrating that Jack has had to deal with as every clue leads to a dead end and Miss Marple and her secrets doesn’t help matters. There are car chases aplenty, climbing up buildings whilst being shot at, epic hand to hand fight scenes, big old shoot-outs and one hefty door that comes to the rescue.
Good fun story with plenty of character development for the background characters and the book has a wicked Eastenders style ending.

Picnic with Picasso
Book 3 in the Jack Hamma series and it doesn’t disappoint. Jack is about to get married but wakes up all tied up in a cellar, once he escapes the book becomes about surviving in the outback. Jack deals with this crisis, hairy bikers, unbearable heat and a chatty girl all with his usual sense of humour.
I’ve enjoyed this story very much, as a character Jack develops big time in this book and he picks up one of his greatest habits, collecting people….he will help anybody in need, putting himself in danger if necessary. This is the book where he crosses that line between private detective and superhero private detective. Thorogood has created another brilliant character…Little Miss Jabber….totally adorable, a cheeky young thing who I say deserves her very own spin-off adventure book.
Another very entertaining action packed book full of top notch jokes. Highly recommended by me.
Second Reading: I’ll never stop smiling when reading about Jack and his ability to collect people, I mentioned the wonderful Little Miss Jabber in my last review so this time it is the turn of Charred. Charred got his name during his induction into the biker gang, in this book he dares to take on the Hamma and comes away with some holes in his legs. The way Jack treats him is a bit of a wake-up called for Charred, not used to compassion he soon sees the error of his ways and joins Jack in protecting the kids. Turns out he isn’t really a big scary biker, in fact he is a proper big softy with the kids, just needs to get his biker language under control.
Another stand out character is The Old Timer, won’t somebody get the old timer some sausages, I would say more but might save that for the third reading of this book.
Out of the first three books in this series this is the funniest, lots happening all over the place and some great banter between Jack and Kashmere.

In bed with Jane Austen
Anthony Thorogood is one of the funniest writers out there, I’m sure I’ve said this before but he is the “King of Banter”. In the Jack Hamma series he has created a fantastic cast of characters and put them into a smoothly written plot, with plenty of action to keep the reader interested. The books are quite short and he does a great job of cramming a lot of story in without it becoming a mess.
Jack Hamma is a bit like old James Bond, he has that same swagger and cockiness, luckily what is missing is the sexism and alcoholism. In this story he is paid to escort a 17 year old girl home from school, Anastasia, a real pain in the ass. But as they deal with each dangerous scene, through Thorogood’s “banter”, they develop a bond (not James) which is almost a father/daughter relationship. Jack ends up taking quite a beating and some awkward questioning from his lady.
If you fancy a quick funny read then definitely check out this book.
Second Reading 2022: The biggest surprise for me during this second reading was Anastasia, I remember her being a right pain in the butt, but she has grown on me, I was constantly chuckling at the back and forth between her and Jack, the repeated attempts to sneak a kiss from him and the trying to trick him into saying he loved her. Missing from my first review was Basher, what an awesome dog he is! Way better trained than my one, any bad guys turn up he’ll probably abandon me on the off chance they have some food. The action in book 2 is very intense, some very long scenes of fighting, car chases and feats of survival, all good fun and well written.
Jack Hamma shares his political opinions in this book, a scathing attack on Australia’s immigration policies, corrupt/incompetent police force and childish politicians….not much has changed over the years, God knows what Jack would make of Boris and his evil cronies.
This book is still good fun and I still recommend giving it a go.

Shakespeare on the Roof
What a splendid book. Anthony Thorogood and Matthew Reilly, how come Australians are able to do such fast action packed books? I thought you guys were laid back.
Part action, part private detective and 100% funny.
Jack Hamma is a brilliant character, reluctantly getting himself into lots of tricky situations and so difficult to kill.
I thought the book was only worth a 4star rating until the detective agency was formed and suddenly the plot all came together and the humour picks up.
Favourite part has to be in the middle of a gun battle the action is paused to give the reader a little history lesson on the Tommy Gun.
Really looking forward to reading the next Jack Hamma story. If you like a book with lots of action and brilliant humour then you’ll not go wrong with this one.
Second Reading: I have decided to read the Jack Hamma series again and first up is Shakespeare on the roof, the book where I fell in love with Jack Hamma, Old Stan and the wonderful Kashmere. If you take everything good about James Bond and remove all the sexist stuff, add a few bullet holes into the mix, then what you end up with is Jack Hamma. A proper good hero, the sort of hero that I am certain is based on me, I’ve done all the stuff Jack has, worn a shirt with flowers on it, eaten a doughnut, done Shakespeare, crashed a car and battled bad guys on an island in the Indian ocean….well one of those I ain’t done but most of it has happened to me.
The book is still great fun and worth the 5 stars I originally gave it, the banter is excellent and action intense. Stand out things in this book…Old Stan, what a great guy he is, I forgot just what he was like in book 1, his obsession with food had my mouth watering. Second thing was just how quick a read these books are, you are thrown into the action right from the off and it doesn’t seem to stop until the last line. Fantastic story telling.
You really should check out this series, it won’t take up much of your time cos I’m sure your surrounding will disappear as soon as you open this book.

Author Extraordinaire