The best action book series with characters who have served in the military

Wolfric Styler Author Of Troubled Zen
By Wolfric Styler

Who am I?

I have been in various militaries for over 17 years and am proud of my service. Troubled Zen is my first foray into the publishing world and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I enjoy the ex-military hero-style action/ thriller novels because I find that I can understand their mindset and relate well with their characters. I found most were male, ex-special forces so I chose a female Explosive Ordnance Disposal member as I believe that there are plenty of aspects to investigate that can show how a woman can be equally tough, stubborn, ingenious, brave, and determined.

I wrote...

Troubled Zen

By Wolfric Styler,

Book cover of Troubled Zen

What is my book about?

Having survived some of the worst warzones in modern history, Ex-EOD operator, Zenobia Ortega Martinez opts for the quiet life in Australia. That is until she is caught in the crossfire of cartels, violence, and revenge. She will need all her skills and instincts to survive and protect the people she loves. Running away has never been an option.

This debut novel from Wolfric Styler introduces a new heroine in Zenobia Ortega Martinez. She's tough, loyal, and clever. Someone we've all been waiting for.

The books I picked & why

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Short Range

By Stephen Leather,

Book cover of Short Range

Why this book?

My preference is for authors to develop a series for their characters in order for me to fully embrace the depth of the character, if the character is worth developing. I enjoy picking up a novel in which I am familiar with the character as it makes it easier for me to relate to them.

The Spider Shepherd series is essential reading for me, and in particular this book. A book or two previously showed that Shepherd had finally healed enough, from his wife’s death, to find a new relationship. As a non-rule breaker, Shepherd shows that he will do what it takes to protect his family. The ending truly shocked me, leaving me chomping at the bit for the next one.

One Shot

By Lee Child,

Book cover of One Shot

Why this book?

What I admire the most about Reacher is his sense of doing what’s right whether it is within the law or not. The next most appealing aspect of this series is his ability to use analytical rigor in order to work out what is going on. In this book, his ability to see beyond the low-hanging fruit of James Barr as the criminal, teaches us to see beyond what everyone wants us to see. This is becoming more and more apparent in life, for instance in some of the imagery coming out of Ukraine. I believe that people have lost the ability to think for themselves, which is why in my novel, Zenobia goes through a number of thought processes to make her decisions.

Made to be Broken: SAS Hero Turns Manchester Hitman

By Robert White,

Book cover of Made to be Broken: SAS Hero Turns Manchester Hitman

Why this book?

At the start of this book, Rick Fuller has hit rock bottom. I won’t go into why for those who haven’t read it but it shows a real determination for someone to overcome tragedy and get themselves back into a functioning state while dealing with loss. The action throughout this book is very believable and Lauren North’s transformation throughout the series has inspired me to write about a strong female lead.

Sharpe's Assassin: Richard Sharpe and the Occupation of Paris, 1815

By Bernard Cornwell,

Book cover of Sharpe's Assassin: Richard Sharpe and the Occupation of Paris, 1815

Why this book?

Bernard Cornwall’s series is an epic tale of a rifleman throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The action is loosely based on true events and grips me from start to finish. As with Reacher, he attempts to do the right thing and doesn’t mind bending the rules as he does it – so long as it helps to achieve the objective. This book seems to be the last in the series and puts Richard and Harper out to pasture as they deserve. Sharpe’s rise from the gutter is a constant reminder to keep trying and no matter where you come from, you have a chance to reach the top. His stubbornness is classic male behaviour and I’ve used some of that for my own character, Zenobia. 


By James McGee,

Book cover of Rebellion

Why this book?

This series about a Bow Street Runner piqued my interest as, like Reacher and Sharpe, he is a bit of a rogue but tries to do what is right while also breaking the rules at times. What appeals to me about his character is that he was unjustly discharged but did his best to secure another profession that tries to help people. The description and action scenes are very believable however Hawkwood isn’t as indestructible as Reacher. His vulnerability and pragmatism are features that I have molded into the main character in my novel too.

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