For readers who love spy thrillers, the name Ted Bell needs no major introduction. However, for those new to the genre or those who haven’t yet gotten a chance to read his widely popular Alexander Hawke series, here is a bit more about what you can expect reading his books.
Alex Hawke is a British Lord and a decorated naval hero. He is also a secret agent who is often sent on missions far away from home.
I have to admit, when I first started the series, I was not very impressed, especially with the first book called Hawke. I found the writing a bit choppy, and there are lots of cliches throughout the pages. However, if you start the series, don’t give up as it gets better. Much better. I think Pirate was the book that really clicked for me (it is the 3rd Alex Hawke novel) and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Reading the Ted Bell books in order really focuses on his Alex Hawke series as his second series focused on Nick McIver is one for young adults, and one that I sadly admit not having read (yet).
So here are the Ted Bell books for his two series. The list will be updated regularly.
New Ted Bell Book
Alexander Hawke Series
- Hawke (Alex Hawke #1), 2003
- Assassin (Alex Hawke #2), 2004
- Pirate (Alex Hawke #3), 2005
- Spy (Alex Hawke #4), 2006
- Tsar (Alex Hawke #5), 2008
- Warlord (Alex Hawke #6), 2010
- Crash Dive (Alex Hawke #6.5), 2012
- Phantom (Alex Hawke #7), 2012
- What Comes Around (Alex Hawke #7.5), 2014
- Warriors (Alex Hawke #8), 2014
- White Death (Alex Hawke #8.5), 2015
- Patriot (Alex Hawke #8), 2015
- Overkill (Alex Hawke #10), 2018
Nick McIver Adventures Through Time Series
Ted Bell Biography
Ted Bell was born in the US in 1947. In his youth, he attended the Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, from where he got his B.A. in English. He is a former member of the college’s Board of Trustees.
Before becoming a published author, he worked for several years in advertising starting as a junior copywriter at Doyle Dane Bernbach, New York. This was in the early 1970s. A decade later, in 1982, he went to work for Leo Burnett Co., Chicago, in the position of creative director.
Just four years later, at the age of 40, he became the company’s Chief Creative Officer and even its President.
Next, he moved to work for the highly popular Young & Rubicam in London as Vice Chairman and Worldwide Creative Director. He could easily afford this position since he developed and created several award-winning advertising campaigns that got his name recognized in the world of advertising. He was, indeed, a successful advertising executive.
In continuing his higher education, Ted Bell became between 2011-2012 Writer-in-Residence, Visiting Scholar-Cambridge University at Cambridge University in the UK.
Ted Bell remained for 10 years at Young & Rubicam, after which he retired in 2011 from advertising to focus solely on writing books. He eventually became a protegé of Palm Beach thriller writer James Patterson.
The Ted Bell books feature the Alex Hawke series, featuring the author’s famous character who is often compared to James Bond. Both drive expensive cars, have lots of women, love chasing evil guys, and are extremely rich. It is not surprising that there is a James Bond influence in Ted Bell’s writing since he has been reading Ian Fleming’s books from his preteens, from the age of 12.
When Ted Bell decided to write his first novel, he even thought of writing something similar to James Bond but with his own twist. Hence, Alexander Hawke was born. And once the character was created, the author realized that Alex is as different from James as possible. He is quite the sensitive guy and, unlike Bond, he does fall in love and has real feelings.
The latest Ted Bell book is called Overkill, and it features, as usual, Alex Hawke and Russian bad guys, specifically Putin. It is an interesting phenomenon how the author Ted Bell has been focusing on Russia in his books when all the world’s eyes are on the Middle and the Far East at the moment. I wonder if there is something he can see that we are not seeing yet about the seemingly forgotten Cold War.
In Overkill, Alex’s son, Alexei is kidnapped while the two are on a trip in the Swiss Alps, and now it’s up to Alex to save his son and stop Vladimir Putin’s plan for world domination. But to do that, he has to find out who took his son and what connection there is between the kidnap and Russia’s president. And what both have to do with Naxi and Hitler.
Should we read the Ted Bell books in order? I recommend that they should be, although, there is enough background in each book to keep those readers who love standalones or don’t care about proper reading order happy as well. But you would miss out on some great character development by doing so. If anything, at least read Patriot (an Alex Hawke novel) and Overkill (another Alex Hawke book) one after another as both deal with the evil Putin (in fiction, of course).
Praise for Ted Bell
Books Reading Order » Thriller Authors » Ted Bell
Better than any writer in the thriller genre, Bell mashes up old-fashioned boys’ adventures with modern military action. (Publishers Weekly)
Lord Alex Hawke is back, and better than ever . . . (Suspense Magazine)
Rrich, spellbinding, and absorbing. (Clive Cussler on Hawke)
In the prologue of bestseller Bell’s exciting, at times affecting 10th Alex Hawke novel, Vladimir Putin, who’s on the run from his country’s oligarchs, parachutes out of the jet he used to escape Russia… This entry boasts all the attributes Bell’s fans have come to love. (Publishers Weekly)
[Hawke is] a secret agent who takes you into the danger zone with a ballsy wit that had me hooked. (Vince Flynn)
Ted Bell puts a capital A in adventure….Commander Bond might choke on his martini next to Bell’s superlative Alex Hawke. (Madison County Herald)
Alex Hawke is the new James Bond. Ted Bell is the new Clive Cussler. (James Patterson)
Warriors, [is] impossible to put down. . . . It’s really expansive, great reading. If you like spy, espionage, mystery-thriller stuff, you cannot get a better book. (Rush Limbaugh)
Think Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum meet Stephen King…Spy is THE BOOK of the summer! (Glenn Beck)
Very Bondlike…. (The New York Times)