Best-selling thriller writer Jack Higgins dies at 92

Novelist was best known for 1975's 'The Eagle has Landed' about a fictional plot to kidnap Winston Churchill

Henry Patterson wrote novels for almost 60 years, using the pseudonym Jack Higgins. PA
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Best-selling thriller writer Henry Patterson, known to the public by his pseudonym Jack Higgins, has died at the age of 92.

Patterson published 85 books during his lifetime.

He died at home in Jersey, surrounded by his family, his long-term publishers HarperCollins said.

Patterson is best known for the 1975 novel The Eagle has Landed, about a fictional plot to kidnap Winston Churchill during the Second World War.

The book sold more than 50 million copies and was adapted into a film starring Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland and Sir Michael Caine.

Patterson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on July 27, 1929 to an English father and a Northern Irish mother.

He was raised in Belfast until his mother remarried and he moved to Leeds.

After a two-year stint in the National Service, he qualified as a teacher and began to write novels on the side.

He received a £75 advance for his first novel, Sad Wind from the Sea, in 1959.

His final book, The Midnight Bell, was published in 2017 and was a bestseller on The Sunday Times list.

HarperCollins said that by the time his final novel came out, they referred to him simply as “The Legend”.

He is survived by four children from his first marriage — Sarah, Ruth, Sean, and Hannah — as well as his wife, Denise.

Updated: April 10, 2022, 5:37 AM