As James Patterson, and, of all people, Bill Clinton create a new political thriller, I decided it was high time I checked out five of the best novels in the genre for anyone looking to whet their appetite and find a new favourite.
After all, with the current political situation around the world looking, to all intents and purposes, like the plot of a dystopia novel, now has never been a better time to escape into some fiction and draw alarming parallels to real life.
5. The Whistler: Former Lawyer John Grisham’s riveting thriller explores how corruption at the heart of the American judicial system can allow a gang to create a casino and use it as a base through which they can conduct all manner of crimes- including murder. Exploring the potential influence of a corrupt judge, an investigative journalist delves deep into this extraordinary mystery and finds a scandal that reaches into the very heart of the legal system. Grisham is a sure-fire bet for a fast-paced, exciting story, and this is no exception.
4. Tinker Tailor Solider Spy: The film was a lacklustre version of this exceptional tour de force from Le Carre, the king of innovative spy thrillers. Delving into the heart of the establishment to root out the rotten core, his enigmatic protagonist George Smiley proves that sheer determination and hard work, along with a dry wit and a nose for the truth, can get you just about anywhere.
3. The Manchurian Candidate: Richard Condon’s classic political thriller became the blueprint for many followers. The novel centres around a decades old conspiracy and one man’s quest to find out the truth- a classic thriller plot, the success of which hinges on great writing and strong characterisation.
2. The Reluctant Fundamentalist: Mohsin Hamid’s gripping tale keeps readers on the edge of their seats from tantalising beginning to cliff-hanger finale. Exploring the impact that 9/11 had on Muslims living in America at the time, the novel showcases in graphic detail how the reaction from every corner of society easily led normal Muslims to drastic beliefs and identity struggles. Tackling this sensitive subject with respect, the novel perfectly sums up the alienation many felt following this horrific event, and turns it into a fascinating story that stays with you long after you set the book down.
1. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Frankly, the entirety of Larsson’s Millennium series is truly excellent, but the first novel really delves into the corruption inherent in the author’s version of the Swedish judicial, legal and political systems. This is a true thriller, and at times it is truly terrifying and will have you hooked from the first page.