Five rules for a sympathetic killer protagonist

These days many thrillers have protagonists who, if you stand back for a moment, are only marginally better than the people they are hunting down or trying to escape from. This is particularly the case when they are cold-blooded killers. Most of us as readers would never dream of killing anyone, and wouldn’t hang out with killers. As an example, if you were in a tight and dangerous spot, you’d be forgiven for wanting Jack Reacher on your side. But if things were going just fine, I’m not sure you’d want him to come babysit your kids every Thursday…

As a writer the trick is to make such characters ‘sympathetic’.…