Co-Authors With Cred
You may recognize their names most in connection to the bestsellers they’ve co-authored with well-known writers like James Patterson, Vince Flynn, and Tom Clancy, but these authors also have standalone books that demand your attention.
J.T. Ellison’s collaboration with Catherine Coulter on the Brit in the FBI series has been a huge success, with FBI agent Nicholas Drummond and his partner, Mike Caine getting deep into the thick of things. But hopefully you also know Ellison’s other excellent series, the Lt. Taylor Jackson series and its spinoff featuring Medical Examiner Samantha Owens. Ellison’s last solo book, Lie to Me, was a domestic thriller gem that garnered critical praise and further loyalty from fans.
Mark Greaney is well-known for taking the reins and continuing the Tom Clancy universe after his death, having written three Jack Ryan books with the author before his passing. But Greaney has his own fast-paced and intense bestselling series, The Gray Man, which follows lethal ex-CIA operative Court Gentry on missions, starting with one to save his life. A film adaptation of the first book is in development and the sixth book, Agent in Place, came out this year.
Technically Kyle Mills didn’t co-write with Vince Flynn, having only have met him briefly before his death, but for Mitch Rapp fans, Mills is the guy who kept their favorite series alive. He did the same for Robert Ludlum's Covert One series. But Mills’ own books, like Fade and Darkness Falls, tackle everything from the intelligence community secrecy, to military-oriented plots, to threats revolving around cutting-edge science, to corporate intrigue.
Mark Sullivan has co-authored four books in James Patterson’s Private series, which is centered on former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan and the fast-paced happenings at his globe-spanning investigation firm. But Sullivan, a former investigative journalist, has also had his own hits, his most recent one being last year’s standout Beneath a Scarlet Sky, which has been optioned for a movie. It’s the heartbreaking true story of a young man who had to go from helping Jews escape the Nazis to driving for one of the Third Reich’s most powerful commanders.
Illinois judge David Ellis has co-authored five books with James Patterson, with each making a splash on the charts. But some of Ellis’s most intriguing work has been when he mined his own legal career for his Hidden Man series, which revolves around Jason Kolarich, a defense attorney with a knack for getting pulled into dangerous, tricky cases. The second of the four books, Breach of Trust, was based in part on the scandal involving impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich, who in real life, Ellis prosecuted and convicted.
Candice Fox has excelled in her collaboration with James Patterson on the Black and Blue series, about dogged detective Harriet Blue. But the Sydney-based author has been making waves down under since her 2014 debut, when she started racking up Australian Crime Writing awards. Her most recent book, Crimson Lake, is a thrill ride full of colorful characters as she pulls us into the world of Sydney detective Ted Conkaffey, who is weathering a truly disconcerting attack on his reputation and his life.