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Looking for Spy novel recommendations

mattig89ch

New Member
Hidy ho all,

I've always been a fan of spy novels. Novels which depict spys, as men and women who stand apart from the rest of the world, doing and seeing things you probably would have a hard time imagining existed. And novels that seem realistic have always been better, to me, then novels like the James Bond series. I've only really ever read 2 novels like this, the first being "An Ordinary Spy", and the second I'm reading now called "I Am Pilgrim". Both of these portray spys in a rather dry light, no real trumped up action sequences, or contrived reasons for large shoot outs and uneeded car chases.

I can understand why this wouldn't be everyones cup of tea, but its something I've really enjoyed when I come across it. So I'm wondering, are there any other novels that deal with spys in this light?
 

Joni Dee

New Member
well aside from my own which is preview at mom http://www.bookandreader.com/threads/would-u-preview-a-debut-spy-political-thriller.28931/

Anything John le Carre is a no trumped up action spy novel. I disagree i think I AM PILGRIM is very "actiony". you would prob love

"A prefect Spy", "Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy" and "Absolute friends" - all from John Le Carre

The Quiet American , Our Man in Havana & the Human Factor - all from Graham Greene

Give them a try, they are both my inspirations and classics!
 

mattig89ch

New Member
Fair enough, it might just be the presentation then. I'm listening to the audible version, and the author doesn't really get into the action much. So it comes across as long winded and bland.

But there are a few scenes I've gone through so far, that could be considered actiony.

Do you have any more modern recommendations? What I'm enjoying most about I Am Pilgrim, is the recent setting. Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy is set during the cold war, though I haven't looked into the other novels. I'll give them a glance though
 

Joni Dee

New Member
the latest Le Carre takes place in current times (post cold war)
A Most Wanted Man & Our Kind of Traitor
and of course The Night Manager who just had a TV series made for it by the BBC

enjoy!
 

mattig89ch

New Member
Thanks for the recommendations. Does anyone else know of any good noir or spy esque novels that take place a little closer to our times?

I recently went through the Maltese Falcon, and was kinda disappointed by it. The main character was very mercenary, too much so for my taste. And I actually think I liked the villains more then the hero's. But I do respect it, for creating a genre.
 

mattig89ch

New Member
Many thanks! I read the first 2 bond novels, but they are a little too distant in the past for my tastes. They were talking about the radio like it was the newest hotness.

But I haven't heard of the imitation game yet, I'll look into that one. Thanks for the recommendation.
 

Graham Owen

New Member
Hidy ho all,

I've always been a fan of spy novels. Novels which depict spys, as men and women who stand apart from the rest of the world, doing and seeing things you probably would have a hard time imagining existed. And novels that seem realistic have always been better, to me, then novels like the James Bond series. I've only really ever read 2 novels like this, the first being "An Ordinary Spy", and the second I'm reading now called "I Am Pilgrim". Both of these portray spys in a rather dry light, no real trumped up action sequences, or contrived reasons for large shoot outs and uneeded car chases.

I can understand why this wouldn't be everyones cup of tea, but its something I've really enjoyed when I come across it. So I'm wondering, are there any other novels that deal with spys in this light?

Hi Guy’s,


You have got to read this book “From The Shadows They Come” it’s out on Kindle only at the moment.

All the other books, and there are only one or two, on this unique Special Forces Unit have mainly talked about the selection for this unit. This book for the first time tells us how the unit worked. The writer had to make up an operation for obvious reasons. But what an insight in to one of the most secretive Special Forces units in the world.
 

Read only

New Member
Highly recommend Alan Furst. His novels are set in Eastern Europe or France just before or during the Second World War. Nice plotting, good characters and beautiful noir atmosphere.
 

Juleeming

New Member
Ditto on Alan Furst. But I like his novels that actually take place during the war and involve war-related activities more than the ones that take place before the war. And there tends to be a certain sameness about his protagonists that it makes it difficult to distinguish one from another. And too many of them are filled with long boring dinner parties and unneeded sex scenes that really add little to the narrative.
 

Juleeming

New Member
I'm really enjoying Stella Rimington's Liz Carlyle series. Liz is a member of Britain's counter-intellgence unit (Mi5), and the books usually revolve around her trying to stop terrorists from carrying out their plots. All the books take place in the post 9/11 era.
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
(replying to general question for recommendations)

Oh my, there are so many!
But the most recent truly outstanding spy novel I have read, that immediately comes to mind above all others, is I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.
The ending is fabulous! So take the time to read carefully to get there.

Also outstanding for their intricacy are the novels by Charles McCarry which feature spy Paul Christopher. Tears of Autumn, Secret Lovers, Last Supper are three which first come to mind, although there may be other connected novels, like the Miernik Dossier. Some delving may be necessary to sort out the series, but that should be part of the fun. :)

Happy reading,
Peder
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Ditto on Alan Furst. But I like his novels that actually take place during the war and involve war-related activities more than the ones that take place before the war. And there tends to be a certain sameness about his protagonists that it makes it difficult to distinguish one from another. And too many of them are filled with long boring dinner parties and unneeded sex scenes that really add little to the narrative.

Juleeming,
Your post is about right in capturing my own rather lukewarm response to Alan Furst's stories, including the selection he read at a book-signing we went to.
Peder
 
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