Our favourite action thriller bad guys: Top antagonists of the Stone Cold Thriller Series
Action thriller bad guys are integral to the action thriller genre. For every protagonist, you need an antagonist. Harvey blurs the lines between good and evil, often doing worthy deeds for the wrong people or committing crimes with good intentions. But the antagonists are more easily identified. From criminal geniuses to rogue felons to street-level outlaws, they all have one thing in common. They’ve got to get past Harvey Stone.
We were introduced to Donny in Stone Cold as Harvey’s foster brother. He slowly develops into an antagonist. Although we know he and Harvey are foes from the start, their relationship was more sibling rivalry than arch enemies. Harvey even saves Donny’s life in a burning car wreck. But when Donny’s actions turn progressively warped and dark in Stone Fury, Harvey doesn’t hesitate to bring him down.
In a self-imposed world of human trafficking, torture and murder, Donny’s true evil character surfaces. But his crimes do lead to one good thing. Through Donny’s demise, Harvey develops a valuable moral lesson that he keeps with him throughout the series: It’s those that suffer the most who most deserve the closure that retribution brings. It’s a concept that becomes a key sway in Harvey’s moral compass. And Donny certainly faces retribution in the end. Is Donny Cartwright the most important action thriller bad guy in the Stone Cold Thriller series?
In Stone Free, Crowe jumps out of the page as a top antagonist. He’s one of those quintessential action thriller bad guys, holding a family hostage in the middle of Dubai. But unlike other enemies, who are introduced in their fully-developed evil form, Crowe is given a backstory. It doesn’t justify his crimes, but it does make us think twice about his intentions. Once a family man and high flyer, Crowe was dragged to the bottom and now has nothing to lose. His evil actions have a specific personal edge. He’s not in it for money or respect or bringing down the government. This is revenge.
Until his final moments, Crowe and Harvey don’t have much interaction. Harvey takes on more of a ninja style throughout the book, and Crowe is busy antagonising Jackson and Reg over video in London. But their eventual union is shocking. And it’s one that everyone at the DWC’s Forty-Fifth Annual Gala won’t forget in a hurry.
Faisal Al Sayan
Al Sayan is the man who won’t die. He is a powerful and destructive force, taking down thousands in his wake. Many have suffered at his hands, and Frank’s team know the results of his evil more than most. Grief fuels their hunt for Al Sayan’s capture and the takedown of his terrorist organisation. Al Sayan enters the story in Stone Fall, but his crimes stay in the minds of Melody, Reg, Harvey and Frank for much longer.
Al Sayan’s aura of fear makes him seem like some unreal, invincible figure. Even in the open wide space of Wanstead Flats, he is too clever to be killed. Almost as unbeatable as Harvey, Al Sayan manages to survive again and again. An explosive vest, fall over Tower Bridge and float down the Thames certainly dents his mortality. But is it enough to kill him? Like Donny, Al Sayan’s eventual conclusion comes in the form of vengeance. And there’s only one man who hates him more than Harvey.
Like Crowe, Ferez is a character made for an action thriller. Bad guys like him might be common in this genre, but his specific blend of creepy obsession, genius scheming and sprightly fighting skills make him unique to the Stone Cold Thriller Series. Dominating Stone Rush with his disturbing crimes, Ferez becomes rapidly hated by the reader.
But undeniably, his skills are quite exceptional. In their epic fight scene on an island outside Athens, Ferez even brings Harvey to his knees (who, to be fair, is suffering from a gun wound after being shot by his fiancé) and puts Reg, Melody and Jess in a precarious position. Ferez’s obsessive personality keeps him clinging to life at all costs. His demise is only possible from the shocking actions of somebody he underestimated, and from the bravery and strength of the last person anybody expected. Ferez’s death is a downfall to remember. Is he the baddest action thriller bad guy Harvey has met?
Del Dixon is one our more underrated action thriller bad guys. He’s easy to envisage, leaning on the ropes in a cloud of smoke, yanking out his cigar with ring-covered fingers to shout into the boxing ring. Although he’s a smooth-talking fella on the surface, there is a dark current of evil in his blood. He might be more of a local tough guy than a criminal mastermind like Ferez or Crowe, but his actions are just as lethal.
Introduced in the first chapter of Stone Fist, we quickly realise Dixon doesn’t like to get his own hands dirty. Instead, he demands the deaths of others from the young and easily influenced. Even when death isn’t necessary, he gets a sick satisfaction from knowing he’s on the winning team. Harvey works with him for a while. But when tensions rise and Dixon is on his knees, Harvey is quick to shift his loyalty. A group of brothers want Dixon dead. And Harvey doesn’t hesitate to help them.
Rupert and Charlie Bond
There is something unnervingly likeable about Rupert and Charlie Bond. More stupid and short-sighted than they are evil, the Bond Brothers make quite the double act. Often humorous, sometimes well-intended and always loyal to their own, their capacity for evil seems quite limited compared to other antagonists. Their basic desires for ‘sun, sand and semi-naked women’ crack a smile, and their brotherly bond keeps them together right until the end.
Rupert, particularly, expresses method to his madness. As they drive through their London territory, he even takes pride in the peace their protection has brought to the area. Yet undeniably, their search for the Demonios Gemelos is selfish. And with Harvey and the team hot on their tails, their immorality will be rebalanced soon enough. The Bond Brothers definitely commit some heinous crimes along the way. But their antagonist antics lead us to read one of the greatest ever diamond heist scenes.
So when action thriller bad guys create fantastic stories, who can hate them?