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Espionage Novels That I Have Enjoyed


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Recommended by Elaine, one of the library's adult reference librarians.

Check our other Fave Five lists, too!

A Matter of Honor

by Jeffrey Archer
1065803.jpg I remember this as one of the most exciting, involving spy stories I had ever read. The main character is an ex-Army officer who is bequeathed a secret from his dead fathers will which is hidden in a statue and could clear his fathers name. From then on, he is pursued by the CIA, KGB and MI6 for the secret which he was told, in his fathers letter, never to reveal. I strongly identified emotionally with the feelings of the main character as he struggles to redeem his fathers honor.

The Man from St. Petersburg

by Ken Follett
1037014.jpg This is the first book I read by this author and I was hooked for life! His gift for creating sympathetic characters that you get to know and feel for is amazing, and I even had a lot of sympathy for the bad guy. A Russian anarchist will resort to anything to stop an alliance between Russia and England before WWI because he thinks it will be politically bad for Russia. A young Winston Churchill, who is a very gratifying character saves the day at the end.

A Perfect Spy

by John LeCarre
1063334.jpg This is an interesting psychological character portrait of two spies, a father and a son, that was emotionally involving as well as exciting. The father is suspected of being a traitor and he writes his son letters while in hiding, revealing his true self and past the son never knew. Meanwhile, the son has used him as a role model! As friends and enemies rush to trap and find the father, I had to ask myself what loyalties motivated the spies and whether their deceptive lives were worth all the damage and self-destruction.

Up Country

by Nelson DeMille
1214451.jpg I love the wise-cracking cop in this book, who takes his duties seriously, but struggles to maintain his integrity and still carry out his classified assignment. He travels to North Vietnam to investigate a war-time murder and relives his own traumatic past as an ex-Army officer. Everyone in the novel is deceptive to him and evidence points to a government cover-up at the highest level. The inside details of battles, monuments and past and present political history are authentic enough to give the intrigue plenty of depth.

The Fourth Protocol

by Frederick Forsyth
1043320.jpg This book is much better than the movie for its great characters, character development, and authors knowledge of British and Russian culture. A terrorist wants to detonate a nuclear device in an English town next to an American airbase to destroy relations between the two countries and get Britain out of NATO. This superb writer held my interest from beginning to end, and I could see this same scenario repeated by terrorists today to influence elections, treaties or alliances.