AUTHOR and Jersey resident Henry Patterson – better known by his pen-name Jack Higgins – has died at the age of 92, his publisher has confirmed.
Mr Patterson is best known for his 1975 novel The Eagle Has Landed which sold more than 50 million copies and was later turned into a film starring Michael Caine and Donald Sutherland.
The Jersey resident was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1929 before moving to Belfast. He died at home surrounded by his family.
He published 85 books, mainly thriller and espionage novels, selling more than 250m copies worldwide.
Mr Patterson’s final book The Midnight Bell topped the Sunday Times best-seller list in 2017.
HarperCollins chief executive Charlie Redmayne said: ‘I’ve been a fan of Jack Higgins for longer than I can remember. He was a classic thriller writer: instinctive, tough, relentless. The Eagle Has Landed and his other Liam Devlin books, his later Sean Dillion series, and so many others were and remain absolutely unputdownable. Being part of his publishing for even part of his career has been a privilege – his passing marks the end of an era.’
Jonathan Lloyd, his literary agent, added: ‘I had the privilege of being at Collins Publishers when we received the manuscript of The Eagle Has Landed. We all knew, with a rare certainty, that we would be publishing an instant classic.’
Mr Patterson is survived by his four children from his first marriage, Sarah, Ruth, Sean and Hannah, and by his wife, Denise.