Everyone loves a good spy novel. Although James Bond will always be the classic spy, there are so many exhilarating thrillers out there to enjoy.
As the nights continue to roll in and bookworms seek the warmth of their armchairs to enjoy a good book, why not tuck up and enjoy a good a good spy novel to get you in the mood for the massive dinner you’re undoubtedly going to devour shortly?!
5. Our Man In Havana: Graeme Greene’s fascinating insight into the secret services is a surreal portrayal of events eerily similar to actual happening which occurred after the novel was published (the Cuban Missile Crisis). The novel portrays the secret services as easily swayed and quick to believe any intelligence, and as such it becomes comic in places. Despite this, there is a great tension throughout the book as it delves into the stupidity of human nature and man’s quest for adventure, as well as the issue of telling seemingly small lies.
4. The Man Who Was Thursday: Chesterton’s creative thriller explores the fears and ideals of the time. Christian allegory, anarchism and poetry all combine to offer a thought-provoking tale. The title refers to a covert council, each member of which is named after a day of the week. Undercover detectives battle to infiltrate the council and put an end to the anarchy they aim to unleash, but tensions, lies and deceit abound in this tantalising thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats.
3. The Night Manager: John le Carré’s riveting thriller was recently made into a popular TV series, which has only served to make this gripping book more popular. This, in my humble opinion, can only be a good thing. The tale of a hotel Night Manager’s move from hospitality to espionage, in a bid to take down a corrupt criminal whose villainous empire consists of arms and drugs. This globe trotting adventure sees the hotel worker trade in changing beds for chasing criminals as he assists the security services in bringing down the corrupt arms dealer.
2. Live and Let Die: The top of my Top Five Best James Bond Novels, Live and Let Die is a riveting nail-biter that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, as Bond takes on a fiendish villain with the aid of a beautiful and beguiling woman. The great thing about this novel is that it involves a variety of twists and ingenious characters, all integrated into a fast and exciting plot.
1. The Thirty-Nine Steps: John Buchan’s classic thriller is a great fugitive spy narrative that will keep you entranced from the very first page to the moment you close it. Short and sweet, the novella is a perfect quick weekend read to get you pumped for the week ahead, and has become the template for loads of Hollywood films and TV shows. Great characterisation, a fast paced narrative and stunningly described settings all make for a great espionage book.