Best Spy Novels


Title:                      Best Spy Novels

Author:                 Good Reads

Date Posted:      January 10, 2017

Date Updated:  June 7, 2017

The following books were listed by Goodreads (www.goodreads.com) as the best 100 spy books they recommend. Caveat. Perpendat itaque lector cavendum (civilis).[1] Some readers will not accept book, such as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books as valid “spy novels.” I have included all items on the list because they involve some element of espionage, from assassination to government conspiracies.

The best spy novels from the 20th and 21st centuries.

  1. Le Carré, John (1974). Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. London: Hodder and Stoughton
  2. Ludlum, Robert (1980). The Bourne Identity . New York: R. Marek Publishers
  3. Le Carré, John (1964). The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. New York, Coward-McCann
  4. Clancy, Tom (1984). The Hunt for Red October .Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press
  5. Forsyth, Frederick (1971). The Day of the Jackal. New York, Viking Press
  6. Larsson, Stieg (2008). The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. London: MacLehose Press
  7. Follett, Ken (1978). Eye of the Needle. New York: Arbor House
  8. Le Carré, John (1980). Smiley’s People. New York: Knopf
  9. Flynn, Vince (2011). American Assassin: A Thriller. New York: Pocket Books
  10. Forsyth, Frederick (1972). The Odessa File. New York: Viking Press
  11. Clancy, Tom (1988). Patriot Games. New York: Putnam
  12. Greene, Graham (1958, 2007). Our Man in Havana. New York: Penguin
  13. Clancy, Tom (1989). Clear and Present Danger. New York: Putnam
  14. Smith, Martin Cruz (1981). Gorky Park. New York: Random House
  15. Ludlum, Robert (1990). The Bourne Ultimatum. New York : Random House
  16. Brown, Dan (2004). The Da Vinci Code. New York : Doubleday
  17. Clancy, Tom (1986). Red Storm Rising. New York: Putnam
  18. Fleming, Ian (1957, 1981). From Russia with Love. Geneva: Edito-Service
  19. Clancy, Tom (1988). Cardinal of the Kremlin. New York: Putnam
  20. Sewell, William (2013). Nonofficial Asset: The Iran Affair. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse
  21. Silva, Daniel (2000). The Kill Artist: A Novel. New York : Random House
  22. Larsson, Stieg (2009). The Girl Who Played with Fire. New York: Alfred A. Knopf
  23. Le Carré, John (1977). The Honourable Schoolboy. London: Hodder and Stoughton
  24. Fleming, Ian (1954). Casino Royale. New York: Macmillan
  25. Morcan, James (2011) and Lance Morcan. The Ninth Orphan. Papamoa, N.Z.: Sterling Gate Books
  26. Higgins, Jack (1975). The Eagle Has Landed. London: Collins
  27. Le Carré, John(1989). The Russia House. New York: Knopf
  28. Buchan, John (1915, 1935). The Thirty-Nine Steps. London: W. Blackwood & Sons
  29. Child, Lee (1997). The Killing Floor. New York: Putnam
  30. Greene, Graham (1955, 2004). The Quiet American. New York: Penguin Books
  31. Le Carrè, John (1986). A Perfect Spy. New York: Knopf
  32. DeMille, Nelson (1988). The Charm School. New York, NY: Warner Books
  33. Clancy, Tom (1993). Without Remorse. New York: Putnam
  34. Flynn, Vince (2004). Memorial Day. New York: Atria Books
  35. Baldacci, David (1996, 2016). Absolute Power. New York: Grand Central Publishing
  36. Fleming, Ian (1981). Goldfinger. Geneva: Edito-Service
  37. Flynn, Vince (1999, 2015). Transfer of Power. New York: Pocket Books
  38. Clancy, Tom (1991). The Sum of All Fears. New York: Putnam
  39. Forsyth, Frederick (1974). The Dogs of War. London: Hutchinson
  40. Matthews, Jason (2013). Red Sparrow: A Novel. New York: Scribner
  41. Flynn, Vince (2001). Separation of Power. New York: Pocket Books
  42. Berenson, Alex (2006). The Faithful Spy. New York: Random House
  43. Morcan, James (2012) and Lance Morcan. The Orphan Factory. Papamoa, N.Z: Sterling Gate Books
  44. Silva, Daniel (2011). Portrait of a Spy. New York: Harper
  45. Grady, James (1974). Six Days of The Condor. New York: Norton
  46. Conrad, Joseph (1907, 2007). The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale. New York: New American Library
  47. Le Carré, John (2004). The Little Drummer Girl. New York: Scribner
  48. Steinhauer, Olen (2009). The Tourist. New York: Minotaur Books
  49. Flynn, Vince (2006, 2007). Consent to Kill. New York: Pocket Books
  50. Silva, Daniel (2002). The English Assassin. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  51. Deighton, Len (1983, 2012). Berlin Game. New York: Sterling
  52. Robbie, Vic (2012). In Pursuit of Platinum: The Shocking Secret of World War II. Los Gatos: Smashwords Edition
  53. Ludlum, Robert (2003). The Bourne Trilogy. London: Orion
  54. Flynn, Vince (2000). The Third Option. New York: Pocket Books
  55. Fleming, Ian (1963). On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. New York: American Library
  56. DeMille, Nelson (1997). Plum Island. New York: Warner Books
  57. Follett, Ken (1980). The Key to Rebecca. New York, NY: Morrow
  58. Forsyth, Frederick (1985). The Fourth Protocol. New York: Viking
  59. Baldacci, David (2005). The Camel Club. New York: Warner Books
  60. Baldacci, David (2012). The Innocent. New York: Grand Central Publishing
  61. Fleming, Ian (1954). Live and Let Die. London: J. Cape
  62. Le Carré, John (1996). The Tailor of Panama. New York: Alfred A. Knopf
  63. Fleming, Ian (1958, 1968). No. London: Cape
  64. Trevanian (1979, 2005). Shibumi: A Novel. New York: Three Rivers Press
  65. Deighton, Len (1962). The IPCRESS File. New York, Simon and Schuster
  66. Littell, Robert (2002). The Company: A Novel of the CIA. New York: Overlook Press.
  67. Le Carré, John (1965). The Looking–Glass War. London, Heinemann
  68. Clancy, Tom(1994). Debt of Honor. New York: Putnam
  69. Clancy, Tom (1996). Executive Orders. New York: Putnam
  70. Child, Lee (2005). One Shot. New York: Delacorte Press
  71. Hayes, Terry (2014). I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller. New York: Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books
  72. Clark, Norm (2013). The Saladin Strategy. publisher not identified
  73. Gallagher, Michael James (2014). Tsunami Connection: A Kefira Mossad Thriller. Kindle edition
  74. Silva, Daniel (2009). The Defector. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
  75. Ludlum, Robert (1986). The Bourne Supremacy. Franklin Center, PA: Franklin Library
  76. Furst, Alan (1988). Night Soldiers. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
  77. Flynn, Vince (2008). Extreme Measures: A Thriller. New York: Atria Books
  78. Morcan, James (2013) and Lance Morcan. The Orphan Uprising. Papamoa, N.Z.: Sterling Gate Books Ltd
  79. Le Carré, John (2001). The Constant Gardener: A Novel. New York: Scribner
  80. Le Carré, John [pseud. for David John More Cornwall] (1962, 2102). Call for the Dead. New York : Penguin Books
  81. Silva, Daniel (2012). The Fallen Angel. New York: Harper
  82. Fleming, Ian (1961). Thunderball. London, J. Cape
  83. Silva, Daniel (2008). Moscow Rules. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  84. Deighton, Len (1984, 2012). Mexico Set. New York: Sterling
  85. Child, Lee (1998). Die Trying. New York: Putnam
  86. Flynn, Vince (1997). Term Limits. New York: Pocket Books
  87. Flynn, Vince (2012). The Last Man: A Thriller. New York: Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books
  88. Silva, Daniel (2010). The Rembrandt Affair. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  89. Child, Lee (2007). Bad Luck And Trouble. New York: Delacorte Press
  90. Furst, Alan (2006). The Foreign Correspondent: A Novel. New York: Random House
  91. Silva, Daniel (2006). The Messenger. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  92. Clancy, Tom (2002). Red Rabbit. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  93. Greene, Graham (1943, 1950). The Third Man. New York, Viking Press
  94. Le Carré, John (1962, 2012). A Murder of Quality. New York: Penguin Books
  95. Childers, Erskine (1903, 2005). The Riddle of The Sands: A Record of Secret Service. New York: Barnes & Noble Books
  96. Lustbader, Eric (2004). Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne In The Bourne Legacy: A Novel. New York: St. Martin’s Press
  97. DeMille, Nelson (2007). Up Country: A Novel. New York: Grand Central Pub.
  98. Greene, Graham (1943). The Ministry of Fear: an entertainment. New York: The Viking Press
  99. Child, Lee (2010). 61 Hours. New York: Delacorte Press
  100. Ambler, Eric (1939, 1996). A Coffin for Dimitrios. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers

[1] On occasion, personal loyalties and opinions can be carved in stone and defended with a vengeance — at times with some venom thrown in. In these situations, the actual importance of the subject matter is dwarfed by the amount of aggression expressed. Retain a sense of proportion in all online and in-person discussions. [From The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies.]

 

[1] On occasion, personal loyalties and opinions can be carved in stone and defended with a vengeance — at times with some venom thrown in. In these situations, the actual importance of the subject matter is dwarfed by the amount of aggression expressed. Retain a sense of proportion in all online and in-person discussions. [From The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies.]

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