Henry Patterson (born 27 July 1929), known by his pen name Jack Higgins, is a British writer. He is one of the best-selling authors of popular thrillers and espionage novels. His breakthrough novel The Eagle Has Landed (1975) sold over 50 million copies and was adapted into a successful film by the same title.
27 July 1929
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England
|Residence||Jersey, Channel Islands|
|Alma mater||London School of Economics|
|Genre||Thriller, espionage, mystery|
Some of his other notable books are A Prayer for the Dying (1987), The Eagle Has Flown (1991), Thunder Point (1993), Angel of Death (1995), Flight of Eagles (1998), and Day of Reckoning (2000). His 85 novels in total have sold over 150 million copies and have been translated into 55 languages.
Jack Higgins was born Henry Patterson on 27 July 1929 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. When his father abandoned them soon after, his Irish mother returned with him to her home town of Belfast, Northern Ireland, to live with her mother and her grandfather on Shankill Road. Raised amid the religious and political violence of Belfast, Patterson learned to read at the age of three, when he was tasked with reading The Christian Herald to his bed-ridden grandfather. At night, he would crouch beneath a window and read by the light of the street lamps.
I read Oliver Twist when I was six. Not because it was a classic, but because it was a book that was available. I probably didn't understand everything in it — for years I used to pronounce the word rogue as rogger—but I didn't care. I just loved reading.
When his mother remarried, the family moved to Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, where Patterson attended the Roundhay Grammar School for Boys. He proved to be an indifferent student and left school with few formal qualifications. In 1947 he began two years of National Service, at first with the East Yorkshire Regiment, and later as a non-commissioned officer in the Royal Horse Guards Regiment of the Household Cavalry doing security work on the East German border.
After leaving the army, he returned to London to study Sociology at the London School of Economics while supporting himself as a driver and labourer at night. He chose the school for its "history of nonconformism". He received his third-class degree after three years of study. After getting a teaching qualification, he took a job lecturing in social psychology and criminology. He taught liberal studies at Leeds Polytechnic and education at James Graham College, which became part of Leeds Polytechnic in 1976.
In 1959, Higgins began writing novels. One of his aliases was James Graham. The growing success of his early work allowed him to take time off from his teaching, and he eventually left the classroom to become a full-time novelist.
Patterson's early novels, written under his own name (as "Harry Patterson") as well as under the pseudonyms James Graham, Martin Fallon, and Hugh Marlowe, are thrillers that typically feature hardened, cynical heroes, ruthless villains, and dangerous locales. Patterson published thirty-five such novels (sometimes three or four a year) between 1959 and 1974, learning his craft. East of Desolation (1968), A Game for Heroes (1970) and The Savage Day (1972) stand out among his early work for their vividly drawn settings (Greenland, the Channel Islands, and Belfast, respectively) and offbeat plots.
Patterson began using the pseudonym Jack Higgins in the late 1960s; his first minor bestsellers appeared in the early 1970s, two contemporary thrillers The Savage Day and A Prayer for the Dying but it was the publication of his thirty-sixth book, The Eagle Has Landed, in 1975, that made Higgins' reputation. The Eagle Has Landed represented a step forward in the length and depth of Patterson's work. Its plot concerns with a German commando unit sent into England to kidnap Winston Churchill, and is reminiscent of Alberto Cavalcanti's wartime film Went the Day Well?, which itself was directly based on the 1942 Graham Greene short story "The Lieutenant Died Last". The main character is Irish gunman, poet, and philosopher Liam Devlin. Higgins followed The Eagle Has Landed with a series of thrillers, including several (Touch the Devil, Confessional, The Eagle Has Flown) featuring return appearances by Devlin.
The third phase of Patterson's career began with the publication of Eye of the Storm in 1992, a fictionalised retelling of an unsuccessful mortar attack on Prime Minister John Major by a ruthless young Irish gunman-philosopher named Sean Dillon, hired by an Iraqi millionaire. Cast as the central character over the next series of novels (22 to date, out of 43 published between 1992 and 2017), it is apparent that Dillon is in many ways an amalgamation of Patterson's previous heroes — Chavasse with his flair for languages, Nick Miller's familiarity with martial arts and jazz keyboard skills, Simon Vaughan's Irish roots, facility with firearms and the cynicism that comes with assuming the responsibility of administering a justice unavailable through a civilized legal system.
Higgins met Amy Hewitt while both were studying at the London School of Economics. They were married in 1958, shortly after receiving a £75 ($210) advance for his first novel—"the biggest wedding present we could have had." They have four children: Sarah (born 1960), Ruth (born 1962), Sean (born 1965), and Hannah (born 1974). Their daughter Sarah Patterson penned the novel The Distant Summer (1976). Higgins lives on Jersey, in the Channel Islands, with his second wife, Denise.
|1||1959||Sad Wind from the Sea||Harry Patterson||Mark Hagen||John Long|
|2||1960||Cry of the Hunter||Harry Patterson||Martin Fallon||John Long||Martin Fallon Book 1|
|3||1961||The Thousand Faces of Night||Harry Patterson||Hugh Marlow||John Long|
|4||1962||Comes the Dark Stranger||Harry Patterson||Martin Shane||John Long|
|5||1962||Hell Is Too Crowded||Harry Patterson||Matthew Brady||John Long|
|6||1962||The Testament of Caspar Schultz||Martin Fallon||Paul Chavasse||Abelard-Schuman||Paul Chavasse Book 1|
Revised and re-released in 2006 as The Bormann Testament
|7||1963||The Dark Side of the Island||Harry Patterson||Hugh Lomax||Fawcett|
|8||1963||Pay the Devil||Harry Patterson||Clay Fitzgerald||Barrie & Rockliffe||Revised and re-released in 2000 under the same name|
|9||1963||Seven Pillars to Hell||Hugh Marlowe||Gavin Kane||Abelard-Schuman||Revised and re-released in 1994 as Sheba|
|10||1963||Year of the Tiger||Martin Fallon||Paul Chavasse||Abelard-Schuman||Paul Chavasse Book 2|
Revised and re-released in 1996 under the same name
|11||1964||Passage by Night||Hugh Marlowe||Harry Manning||Abelard-Schuman|
|12||1964||A Phoenix in the Blood||Harry Patterson||Jay Williams|
|13||1964||Thunder at Noon||Harry Patterson||John Dillinger||Revised and re-released in 1983 as Dillinger|
|14||1964||Wrath of the Lion||Harry Patterson||Neil Mallory|
|15||1965||The Graveyard Shift||Harry Patterson||Nick Miller||Nick Miller Book 1|
|16||1965||The Keys of Hell||Martin Fallon||Paul Chavasse||Paul Chavasse Book 3|
Revised and re-released in 2002 under the same name
|17||1966||A Candle for the Dead||Hugh Marlowe||Sean Rogan||Revised and re-released the same year as The Violent Enemy|
|18||1966||The Iron Tiger||Jack Higgins||Jack Drummond|
|19||1966||Midnight Never Comes||Martin Fallon||Paul Chavasse||Paul Chavasse Book 4|
|20||1967||Brought in Dead||Harry Patterson||Nick Miller||Nick Miller Book 2|
|21||1967||Dark Side of the Street||Martin Fallon||Paul Chavasse||Paul Chavasse Book 5|
|22||1968||East of Desolation||Jack Higgins||Joe Martin||Berkley|
|23||1968||Hell Is Always Today||Harry Patterson||Nick Miller||Nick Miller Book 3|
|24||1969||A Fine Night for Dying||Martin Fallon||Paul Chavasse||Paul Chavasse Book 6|
|25||1969||In the Hour Before Midnight||Jack Higgins||Stacy Wyatt||Revised and re-released the same year as The Sicilian Heritage|
|26||1970||A Game for Heroes||James Graham||Owen Morgan|
|27||1970||Night Judgement at Sinos||Jack Higgins||Jack Savage|
|28||1971||The Last Place God Made||Jack Higgins||Sam Hannah|
|29||1971||Toll for the Brave||Jack Higgins||Ellis Jackson|
|30||1971||The Wrath of God||James Graham||Emmet Kogh|
|31||1972||The Khufra Run||James Graham||Jack Nelson|
|32||1972||The Savage Day||Jack Higgins||Simon Vaughan||Holt|
|33||1973||A Prayer for the Dying||Jack Higgins||Martin Fallon||Holt||Martin Fallon Book 2|
|34||1974||The Run to Morning||Martin Fallon||Oliver Grant||Revised and re-released the same year as Bloody Passage|
|35||1975||The Eagle Has Landed||Jack Higgins||Liam Devlin||Holt||Liam Devlin Book 1|
|36||1976||Storm Warning||Jack Higgins||Paul Gericke||Holt|
|37||1977||The Valhalla Exchange||Jack Higgins||Hamilton Canning|
|38||1978||Day of Judgement||Martin Fallon||Paul Chavasse||Holt||Paul Chavasse Book 7|
|39||1979||To Catch a King||Harry Patterson||Walter Schellenberg|
|40||1980||Solo||Jack Higgins||Asa Morgan||Stein and Day||Asa Morgan Book 1|
Revised and re-released the same year as The Cretan Lover
|41||1981||Luciano's Luck||Jack Higgins||Harry Carter||Stein and Day|
|42||1982||Touch the Devil||Jack Higgins||Liam Devlin||Stein and Day||Liam Devlin Book 2|
|43||1983||Exocet||Jack Higgins||Tony Villiers||Stein and Day||Tony Villiers Book 1|
|44||1985||Confessional||Jack Higgins||Liam Devlin||Stein and Day||Liam Devlin Book 3|
|45||1986||Night of the Fox||Jack Higgins||Harry Martineau||Simon & Schuster|
|46||1989||Memoirs of a Dance Hall Romeo||Jack Higgins||Oliver Shaw||Simon & Schuster|
|47||1989||A Season in Hell||Jack Higgins||Tony Villiers||Simon & Schuster||Tony Villiers Book 2|
|48||1990||Cold Harbour||Jack Higgins||Craig Osbourn||Simon & Schuster|
|49||1990||The Eagle Has Flown||Jack Higgins||Liam Devlin||Simon & Schuster||Liam Devlin Book 4|
|50||1992||Eye of the Storm||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 1|
Revised and re-released in 1996 as Midnight Man
|51||1993||Thunder Point||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 2|
|52||1994||On Dangerous Ground||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 3|
|53||1995||Angel of Death||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 4|
|54||1995||The Morgan Score||Jack Higgins||Asa Morgan||Published as a short story in "Great Irish Tales Of Horror"||Asa Morgan Book 2|
|55||1996||Drink with the Devil||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 5|
|56||1997||The President's Daughter||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 6|
|57||1998||Flight of Eagles||Jack Higgins||Harry Kelso||Putnam|
|58||1999||The White House Connection||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 7|
|59||2000||Day of Reckoning||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 8|
|60||2001||Edge of Danger||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 9|
|61||2002||Midnight Runner||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 10|
|62||2003||Bad Company||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 11|
|63||2004||Dark Justice||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 12|
|64||2005||Without Mercy||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 13|
|65||2006||Sure Fire||Jack Higgins||The Chance Twins||Putnam||The Chance Twins Book 1|
Co-written with Justin Richards
|66||2007||The Killing Ground||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 14|
|67||2007||Rough Justice||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 15|
|68||2008||Death Run||Jack Higgins||The Chance Twins||Putnam||The Chance Twins Book 2|
Co-written with Justin Richards
|69||2009||A Darker Place||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 16|
|70||2009||First Strike||Jack Higgins||The Chance Twins||Putnam||The Chance Twins Book 3|
Co-written with Justin Richards
|71||2009||Sharp Shot||Jack Higgins||The Chance Twins||Putnam||The Chance Twins Book 4|
Co-written with Justin Richards
|72||2009||The Wolf at the Door||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 17|
|73||2010||The Judas Gate||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 18|
|74||2012||A Devil is Waiting||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 19|
|75||2013||The Death Trade||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 20|
|76||2014||Rain on the Dead||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 21|
|77||2016||The Midnight Bell||Jack Higgins||Sean Dillon||Putnam||Sean Dillon Book 22|
|1967||The Violent Enemy||Hugh Marlowe||Don Sharp||Tom Bell||From the novel A Candle for the Dead|
|1972||The Wrath of God||James Graham||Ralph Nelson||Robert Mitchum|
|1976||The Eagle Has Landed||Jack Higgins||John Sturges||Donald Sutherland|
|1984||To Catch a King||Harry Patterson||Clive Donner||Robert Wagner||Television film|
|1987||A Prayer for the Dying||Jack Higgins||Mike Hodges||Mickey Rourke|
|1989||Confessional||Jack Higgins||Gordon Flemyng||Keith Carradine||Television series, 4 episodes|
|1990||Night of the Fox||Jack Higgins||Charles Jarrott||George Peppard||Television film|
|1996||On Dangerous Ground||Jack Higgins||Lawrence Gordon Clark||Rob Lowe||Television film|
|1996||The Windsor Protocol||Jack Higgins||George Mihalka||Kyle MacLachlan||Television film|
|1997||Midnight Man||Jack Higgins||Lawrence Gordon Clark||Rob Lowe||Television film, from the novel Eye of the Storm|
|1998||Thunder Point||Jack Higgins||George Mihalka||Kyle MacLachlan||Television film|
- Crace, John (30 July 2010). "A Life in Writing: Jack Higgins". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- Canby, Vincent (26 March 1977). "The Eagle Has Landed (1976)". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Author Interview: Jack Higgins". HarperCollins. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- Hauptfuhrer, Fred (17 January 1977). "The Eagle Has Landed Jack Higgins in a High Tax Bracket ..." People. New York: Time, Inc. 7 (2). Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Growing up in divided Belfast my inspiration, reveals author Jack Higgins". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Eagle Has Landed author Jack Higgins offers charity nights in West Sussex".[permanent dead link]
- Archipelago, World. "HarperCollins Canada". www.harpercollins.ca.
- Higgins, Jack (2010). Confessional. Open Road Media. ISBN 978-1480479449.
- Patterson, Sarah (1976). The Distant Summer. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671222574.
- Swaim, Don (16 January 1987). "Audio Interview with Jack Higgins". Wired for Books. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Jack Higgins Homepage: Books". Scintilla. Retrieved 25 September 2014.