As former deputy Labour party leader Tom Watson announces that he’s writing a political thriller following his exit from parliament, I started to think about the other former politicians who’ve drawn on their personal experiences to write thrillers.
These books are often gritty, tense and scary because they’re based on the real-life experiences of these people who have first-hand experience of how countries around the world are lead.
It’s surprising how many politicians choose to write political thrillers, ranging from small fry right all the way up to former presidents. So, if you fancy reading a political thriller created by someone who really knows what they’re talking about, read on!
5. A Very British Coup: Labour MP Chris Mullin’s novel, which was adapted for television and had a sequel, discusses a Labour politician’s rise to become Prime Minister. Once he achieves his dream, he struggles to get his progressive policies past his colleagues and other members of the established order, who quickly conspire against to take him down.
4. Open Arms: A female British politician working in India becomes embroiled with a Billionaire arms tech genius during the middle of deepening political and racial tensions in the country, leading the both of them to question their loyalties. Vince Cable’s thriller is tense and fast-paced, giving readers an intriguing international storyline that evolves and grows with every chapter.
3. House of Cards: You may have heard of the TV series House of Cards, but you might not know that it was based on a book by Conservative politician Michael Dobbs. It follows on from the resignation of Margret Thatcher, and shows the brutal, imagined Conservative party leader election, with members of the party blackmailing, threatening and conniving against one another in a nail-biting thriller that will give you a unique glimpse into the backbiting that goes on behind the closed doors of Number 10 Downing Street.
2. The Pelican Brief: The famed novel that became a popular film, The Pelican Brief tells the story of journalists working to uncover the link between the assassinations of two Supreme Court Justices and the White House. John Grisham is a famous political thriller writer, but he’s also a lawyer, former Democratic member of the House of Representatives and a political activist who’s been working with the American political and justices systems for more than 40 years. As such, his many books are all incredible stories that are accurate representations of these systems and the complicated, often convoluted ways they work.
1. The President Is Missing: Co-authored by former president of the United States Bill Clinton, this is a gritty thriller about a potential cyber threat that keeps on giving. Created by Clinton in collaboration with serial author James Patterson, who brings out about 500 books a year, the novel seems a little pedestrian at times, but it has a lot of twists and turns, meaning it’ll keep any reader on their toes. It is about a President navigating the corridors of power and dealing with the petty jealousies and major insecurities of those who are supposed to support them, but could very well be out to destroy everything.