August 15 – 21: “Who is your favorite protagonist of all time?”

thriller-roundtable-logo5This week join ITW Members Jessie Keane and J.H. Bográn as they answer the question: Who is your favorite protagonist of all time – and why?




stay deadJessie Keane was born rich. Then the family business went bust and she was left poor and struggling in dead-end job, so she knows both ends of the spectrum and tells it straight.

Her fascination with London and the underworld led her to write the Number One Heatseeker Dirty Game, followed by best sellers Black Widow, Scarlet Women, Jail Bird, The Make, Playing Dead, Nameless, Ruthless, Lawless, Dangerous and now STAY DEAD.



Firefall_Proof2J. H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist. He ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José’s genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw in a twist of romance into the mix. His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. His debut novel TREASURE HUNT, which The Celebrity Café hails as an intriguing novel that provides interesting insight of architecture and the life of a fictional thief, has also been selected as the Top Ten in Preditors & Editor’s Reader Poll. FIREFALL, his second novel, was released in 2013 by Rebel ePublishers. Coffee Time Romance calls it “a taut, compelling mystery with a complex, well-drawn main character.” He’s a member of the Short Fiction Writers Guild, Crime Writer’s Association, and the International Thriller Writers. He lives in Honduras with his family and one “Lucky” dog.


  1. Hi Everyone

    I have to say that my favourite protagonist of all time is Annie Carter, who strolled into my brain in 2008 and has occupied six of my books, including number 1 Heatseeker Dirty Game, Black Widow, Scarlet Women, Playing Dead, Ruthless and now, out on September 8th this year, STAY DEAD.

    Who’s your favourite? Join in the discussions, we’d love to hear from you.

    All best
    Jessie x

    1. Hi Jessie,
      Interesting choice, and six books already, just WOW!
      I will contribute with my favorite character later this afternoon, but thought to hit the ball to your court with a follow up question. 🙂
      Can you tell us a bit more about her? What makes her tick?

      1. HI All

        Annie Carter is just such a great character – very ballsy and tough, a real Rottweiller of a girl. But she also has a tender side to her. She’s a great friend, a devoted mother, a passionate wife.

  2. My favorite protagonist of all time is Shantaram, from the novel Shantaram, by David Gregory Roberts. The character & story is inspired by Mr. Roberts and his experiences when he broke out of an Austrailian prison and fled to Bombai, India.

    He is an empathetic, poetic soul, who is also comfortable with violence. He is a drug dealer, writer, and philosopher. He worked the black market to get medical supplies to provide treatment in the impoverished slums. Most interestingly, he loves with all his soul, and expresses his innermost thoughts, with no evidence of editing his strengths, weaknesses, impulses or imperfections. Most of us naturally edit the narratives of our lives to be less petty or more in the right. Shantaram straight up shares his impulsive innermost thoughts. That is why he is my favorite protagonist of all time.

  3. My favorite character is…
    …a tie between James Bond and Sherlock Holmes.
    I think both have transcended way past the life of their creator and have moved on to other media. Sherlock Holmes lives in two very popular TV series (Elementary in the US and Sherlock in the UK), and the public enjoyed them both!
    With Bond, I was a fan since I watched Moonraker as a kid. Had the opportunity to watch all the movies (except Thunderball) in a theater as part of a Bond Film Festival celebrating the 20th or 25th anniversary. Then in the late 90’s I discovered the novels and was enthralled to discover all the little details that the movies left out.
    The opposite happened with Sherlock Holmes. On a dare, I read a compilation of the short stories and loved them all. I was never a fan of the character until I read the original work.
    I guess I am not alone in my selection of characters because decades after the death of the original authors, new books and stories still come out; Holmes because he is public domain, and Bond authorized by the Fleming Estate.
    So there you go.

    1. You can’t go wrong with James Bond. OR Sherlock Holmes, and I particularly love the new TV version of Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead roll.

  4. Can I sneak in another favourite protagonist here?
    It’s Sid Halley, injured jump-jockey from the pen of the late great Dick Francis. He has an accident over the jumps and that means he can’t race anymore – but he makes a great detective!
    Highly recommended read, this. I loved it.

  5. And I’m going to be cheeky here and mention another great author who’s o longer with us – Alistair MacLean. His heroes were gigantic, monumental. Ice Station Zebra, the Last Frontier, the heroes in his books were just so tough and memorable.

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